Extreme Temperatures


'Snow bombs' force widespread road closures in South Island, New Zealand

© Angela ShawSnow plowing Bullock Road in St Arnaud on Saturday.
The New Zealand Transport Agency said extreme care was advised on South Island highways after a heavy dumping of snow overnight.

Spokesperson Lee Wright said police had assisted motorists on state highways and some had been taken to safety.

A considerable amount of snow had fallen on the Lewis Pass especially, and it would be some time before it dissipated.

"The Lewis Pass has 400mm of snow and a very heavy snow burden on the trees,"
Wright said.

"It is estimated that some of the 'snow bombs' are up to 3/4 tonne so no work can be done in these areas until they fall."

More bad weather is predicted today with forecasts showing snow down to 200 metres.

Police are warning motorists to use snow chains on most routes and many highways are down to 60km/h in many places.

© Daniel SinclairSnow in Springs Junction on Friday afternoon


Heat wave in Tokyo enters 8th day; 55 confirmed dead in Japan

And the Heat Goes On
A heat wave that has already killed dozens and sickened thousands in Japan reached another torrid milestone Thursday as the nation's capital, Tokyo, suffered an unprecedented eighth consecutive day of extreme heat.

Tokyo reached 36.7 degrees Celsius (98.1 degrees Fahrenheit) shortly before noon local time Friday, marking its eighth straight day of highs at or above Japan's "extreme heat" threshold of 35 C (95 F). An analysis of Japan Meteorological Agency data, conducted by The Weather Channel, confirmed that the previous record was just four consecutive days sent on five different occasions between 1978 and 2013. Records began in central Tokyo in June 1875.

The torrid late-morning reading also marked central Tokyo's highest reported temperature since Aug. 30, 2013. The city's all-time record high remains 39.5 C (103.1 F) set July 20, 2004.

The toll from Japan's ongoing heat wave accelerated last week, boosting the year's official tally to 55 heat-related deaths and sending more than 11,000 to the hospital according to new government figures released Tuesday.


Helicopter rescues 10 people stuck in heavy snow in Tasmania, Australia

© Sergeant Paul Steane/Police and Marine Rescue Services Tasmanian emergency crews rescued two men whose car was snowed in. The pair were reached on foot after almost 24 hours after hazardous conditions thwarted earlier attempts by snowplough and helicopter.
Nine adults and a child winched to safety from Mount Field national park, a day after police rescued two men from snowbound car in same park

Police have rescued 10 people who were stranded for more than a day after heavy snow in Tasmania.

Two men were rescued in Mount Field national park late on Monday night after their car was snowed in, but police were not aware of the other party until Tuesday.

At about 1pm on Tuesday, a helicopter winched nine adults and a child to safety from the same national park, north-west of Hobart.

Four had taken shelter in a hut - details of the others were not immediately released.

"All persons were in good condition and spirits," police search and rescue spokesman Michael Preshaw said.


First major snowfall in almost 30 years for Hobart, Australia

© Daniel JolleySnow in West Hobart
Residents of Hobart have woken up to a winter wonderland after the most significant snow event to hit the city since 1986 blanketed the rooftops and streets in white powder.

Weather Zone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said the snow had fallen as low as sea level on some of the beaches around Hobart.

"It's very cold air that's travelled up from Antarctica and it's been moving up with an intense cold front," he said.

He said that there was another snowfall in the city in 2005 but it was not as widespread as this morning's.

© Daniel JolleyWest Hobart

Snowflake Cold

Melbourne in Australia experiences coldest July in 20 years

© Russell PhillipsIt was so cold in Croydon, in Melbourne's east, that even birdbaths were freezing over.
A continuous series of cold fronts and brisk north-westerly winds have contributed to the coldest July in Melbourne in two decades, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

The average top temperature was 13.3 degrees Celsius in July, the lowest mark since 1995, when it was 12.9C.

Temperatures were consistently 1C below the normal average maximum temperature across the state.

The mercury dropped as low as minus 6C in Bendigo.

Melbourne had its coldest morning in 18 years on July 19, when the mercury dropped to just 0.6C in the city.


Heat, drought cooks millions of fish alive in Pacific Northwest

© Chris Kozfhay/AP
Freakishly hot, dry weather in the Pacific Northwest is killing millions of fish in the overheated waters of the region's rivers and streams.

"We've lost about 1.5 million juvenile fish this year due to drought conditions at our hatcheries," Ron Warren of Washington State's Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement. "This is unlike anything we've seen for some time."

Sockeye salmon losses in the Columbia River due to the heat are in the hundreds of thousands, said Jeff Fryer, senior fishery scientist with the river's Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. The fish were returning from the ocean to spawn when the "unprecedented" warm water killed them, he said.

Water temperatures in the Columbia River โ€” part of which runs along the border of Oregon and Washington โ€” reached the low 70s shortly after July 4, something that doesn't usually happen until August, if at all, Fryer said.

High temperatures โ€” coupled with the low water levels โ€” can be lethal to fish, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. With no end to the drought in sight, there could be additional fish die-offs, said Rod French, a fish biologist with the department.


Another week of boiling weather in Cyprus: 42C heatwave begins, code yellow warning issued

© in-cyprus.com
Another week of boiling weather has already begun, with forecasters predicting temperatures could rise as high as 42C by Tuesday.

The Weather Service issued a 'code yellow' weather warning on Saturday, meaning: "The weather is potentially dangerous. The weather phenomena that have been forecast are are not unusual, but be attentive if you intend to practice activities exposed to meteorological risks. Keep informed about the expected meteorological conditions and do not take any avoidable risks."

The entire island is already basking in "wall-to-wall sunshine" as a swathe of blistering hot air sweeps in from Asia.

The heat wave will peak on Tuesday with temperatures reaching 42 degrees inland, a meteorologist told the Cyprus News Agency.

The mercury this weekend will average around the 38 degrees mark and will gradually climb above 40ยบC, with 41 degrees being the average.

On the coastal areas slightly lower temperatures, ranging from 34 to 38 degrees, are expected.

Take Precautions

The heat could have health impacts, causing dehydration and exhaustion, particularly in people over age 65, infants and young children, people with medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, asthma or respiratory conditions.

Cloud Precipitation

Farmers suffering worst summer in 4 decades on Shetland, Scotland

The poor weather has hit the fortunes of both crop and livestock farmers.
The chairman of the local National Farmers' Union (NFU) branch has echoed nationwide concerns about the impact poor weather is continuing to have on the agriculture industry.

Jim Nicolson said that this year's weather is "almost certainly the worst" he's experienced in Shetland in the last four decades, with high levels of rainfall and a cold climate affecting the growth of grass and crops.

His comments come after NFU president Allan Bowie said this week that there is "real concern" over how some farmers will cope in the coming months as a result of the poor weather.

Bowie made the remarks after visiting Caithness to see first-hand the impact the climate has had on Scotland's agriculture industry.

Nicolson, who chairs the Shetland NFU branch, said that there are continuing "knock-on effects" that will run on through to winter as a result of adverse weather earlier in the year.


Iranian city approaches record for world's hottest day

hottest day
© AP Photo/ sergei_fish13
Residents of the Iranian city of Bandar Mahshar were eager to reach a deal that would give them relief from the heat Thursday, when the air there felt like 154 degrees, factoring in the humidity.

The actual air temperature was 109 degrees with a dew point temperature of 90, the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reported.

"Bandar Mahshahr sits adjacent to the Persian Gulf in southwest Iran where water temperatures are in the 90s. Such high temperatures lead to some of the most oppressive humidity levels in the world when winds blow off the water," wrote Jason Samenow, of the Post.

Comment: All over the world extreme weather records are being broken! See also:

Russian scientist: Slowdown in Earth's rotation means we're on the verge of major climatic upheaval

Heat and high humidity can be a deadly combination

Cloud Precipitation

Thousands hungry due to freak cold wave in Papua; hailstorms damage crops and kill livestock

© Indonesian Red Cross SocietyVolunteers of Indonesian Red Cross Society are unloading aid materials in sub-district Kuyawage, Lanny Jaya. About 182,000 people are affected as extreme weather hit areas in Papua, Indonesia.
In recent weeks, thousands of people in the Indonesian Province of Papua have been suffering the effects of a severe cold wave that has left remote communities in need of food and clean water.

The cold wave first struck at the beginning of July, hitting the district of Lanny Jaya particularly hard. The sub-districts of Kuyawage, West Wanu and Goa Baliem were struck by hailstorms accompanied by freezing temperatures which plunged to minus two degrees Celsius.

"Water is an urgent need for the communities in Lanny Jaya," said the Executive Chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross Society, Ginandjar Kartasasmita. Local water sources are reportedly frozen or have been contaminated and supplies of bottled water are unavailable in local markets. In response, the Red Cross has so far distributed 500 gallons of drinking water, blankets and instant food to help 182,000 people who are in need of humanitarian assistance.

All aid items have been decided following a rapid assessment carried out by the Red Cross in coordination with local authorities which have distributed five tonnes of rice to Kuyawage and deployed two doctors and five nurses.