Extreme Temperatures

Snow Globe

NOAA - "Extraordinary" cold and large snowfall forecast for southern Brazil

"Our team had never seen so incisive cold weather to our region, nor the cold waves more intense in recent years."

NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmosphere) describes the cold wave that will reach the Southern Cone of America and Rio Grande do Sul as "extraordinary."

MetSul Meteorology analysis says that the wave will bring polar temperature to atypical locations as far north as northern Bolivia and southern Peru as well as the Midwest of Brazil, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.

According to NOAA, the flow of moisture from the sea will bring snow to coastal areas of Patagonia to southern Brazil, including the province of Buenos Aires and also in Uruguay.

The report adds that heavy snow will hit much of Patagonia, reaching Viedma and Bahia Blanca with accumulated 10-15 centimeters. Should snowing, says NOAA, mostly in the province of Buenos Aires. In the area of ​​the River Plate and the southeastern Uruguay can be expected bumps of snow and snow mixed with rain (water nieve).


Cold snap puts wildfires on ice in Alaska

The cool weather that struck northeast British Columbia last week likely didn't please most Peace Region residents who saw July snow around Wonowon and Pink Mountain on Thursday, but fire crews managing wildfires in the northeast corner of the province were certainly happy with the low temperatures and precipitation.

An information bulletin issued by the Prince George Fire Centre on Friday, July 12 stated the inclement weather had allowed the Wildfire Management Branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) to wrap up their response to several of the wildfires in the region, reducing the number of active fires in the Prince George Fire Centre to just four.

Last week saw 16 new, small wildfires in the region, but the Fire Centre noted they didn't pose any risk to structures.

Just one of those fires was the result of human activities.

"We have had 123 fires and burned 2,136 hectares so far this year," said Dustin Eno, a fire information officer with the Prince George Fire Centre.

The majority of that activity has been in the Fort Nelson Zone.

"Last year at this time we had had 137 fires and burned 7,467 hectares," he added.

Snow Globe

Sunspots and the great cooling ahead

Presumably, even among the ill-informed ideologues at the White House, there are a few who have heard of sunspots. There may even be one who knows, as most informed persons do, of the correlation between sunspot activity and the earth's climate. But apparently no one has bothered to inform the president.

When sunspot activity is high, as it was during the 1990s and early 2000s, temperatures tend to be high as well. When it is low, as it is now, temperatures fall. And because sunspot activity occurs in decades-long cycles, the unusually cold winter and spring of 2012 may be just the beginning. As a Barron's article recently noted, current sunspot activity is now the least it has been in a century.

What this means is that the era of global cooling has begun. In the northern hemisphere, three out of the four last winters and springs have been unusually cold. This spring was so cold in East Asia that China was forced to import millions of tons of grain and soybeans from the U.S. and other suppliers.

Arrow Down

Unusually cold spring causing bat declines in Britain

© Thinkstock.com
Because of an unusually cold spring and an insect shortage this summer, conservationists are concerned bat numbers could continue to suffer this year. Based on the latest figures from Britain's National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP), the annual bat breeding season got off to a slow start due to unseasonable weather earlier this year.

Dr. Kate Barlow, Head of Monitoring at the Bat Conservation Trust, said, "After 2 years of long, wet, winters and a particularly late and cold start to summer this year, the outlook isn't too promising for our bats. The most recent results from the National Bat Monitoring Programme showed that there were fewer bats were counted in 2012 than in 2011 for most species monitored."

Dr. Barlow added that 2013 saw the coldest March in 50 years and summer got off to such a late start many of the species are struggling. "This year Britain's bats need all the help they get," she said.

Further adding to the bat recovery struggle is the fact that winged insect numbers are also down. So on top of a cold spring and delayed summer, several species may face shortages in food supply, especially those that rely on moths, according to a National Trust report released last month.

Cloud Lightning

Over a foot of hail covers Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Santa Rosa, N.M. - In some areas of New Mexico Wednesday, it looked more like the night before Christmas than Independence Day Eve.

More than a foot of hail covered streets, yards and parking lots in Santa Rosa, about 100 miles east of Albuquerque. A huge thunderstorm dumped golfball-sized hail around 6 p.m.

Snow plows cleared drifting hail from the roads.

The storm caused severe damage to many homes, cars and businesses.

Meteorologists say large accumulations of hail are fairly common in northeast New Mexico because of the high elevation.


Unprecedented summer snow in Norway June 29th

In the trenches: The British couple had to call the tow truck before they could continue their holiday. - They are not so used to driving on this road conditions, says Morten Hansen from Traffic surveillance. There have been no reports of other accidents associated with snowfall.
Snow fell on highway 7 over Hardangervidda on Saturday, but the snow plow came too late for this British couple.

- They had not driven more than 400 meters before they ended up in the ditch, says Kari Varberg (50), who owns and operates Dyranut Fjellstov

She sat at the breakfast table when it started snowing on Saturday morning.

Shortly after, she was called upon to take care of the two British campers who ended up in the ditch.

- They had woken up and seen that it was snowing, so they wanted to get out quickly on the fells, she says.


'It's brutal out there': Weekend heat wave to bake western U.S.

High temperatures have been baking Nevada, Arizona and parts of California, where thermometer hit 126 in Death Valley. Meanwhile, storms are rolling through the mid-Atlantic. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

Las Vegas - A high pressure system hanging over the West this weekend is expected to bring temperatures extreme even in a region used to baking during the summer.

Notoriously hot Death Valley's forecast could touch 129 degrees, not far off the world-record high of 134 logged there July 10, 1913. The National Weather Service called for 118 in Phoenix, and 117 in Las Vegas on Sunday - a mark reached only twice in Sin City.

"It's brutal out there," said Leslie Carmine, spokeswoman for Catholic Charities, which runs a daytime shelter in Las Vegas to draw homeless people out of the dangerous heat and equip them with sunscreen and bottled water.

While the Southwest boasts the most shocking temperatures, the heat wave is driving up the mercury all over the West. Western Washington - better known for rainy coffee shop weather - should break the 90s early next week, according to the weather service.

Dry southern Utah is forecast to reach higher than 110 degrees, and northern Utah - which markets "the greatest snow on Earth" - is also expected to see triple digits.

The heat wave is "a huge one," National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto said. "We haven't seen one like this for several years, probably the mid- to late 2000s."

Cloud Grey

UK wildlife and nature hit hard by erratic weather

A wet winter and cold, late spring have affected both flora and fauna - and gardens. How long will the summer last?
© Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesA Reed Bunting sits in reeds at Elmley Marshes. Many young birds are going hungry due to knock-on effect of late seasons.
One week past midsummer's day and nature still has not recovered from the misearable, wet winter and the cold, late spring, say wildlife experts and gardeners.

"Spring got seriously behind and was the latest since 1996; with bluebells still in bloom in early June and many butterflies very late to emerge," said National Trust naturalist Matthew Oates. "Summer is now running two to three weeks late."

The long spell of cold weather caused insects to struggle, with a knock-on effect on tree and flower pollination and a lack of food for birds like swallows and swifts which depend on airborne insect food. The result has been late flowering plants and possibly many young birds going hungry.

Snowdrops lasted into April, daffodils until May and wild roses and elder trees are now flowering but unusually late, said Oates. "Some aspects of spring failed altogether - with frogs and toads struggling to breed in ponds which remained frozen".

The cold winter has left seas particularly cold. "This means the plankton is very late and we are only just beginning to see basking sharks, six weeks later than usual," said Joan Edwards, head of the Wildlife Trusts' Living Seas in Plymouth. "We also see that some seabirds look particularly undernourished, possibly because of the cold seas."


Push back on misinformation!

© Alex Wong/Getty ImagesU.S. President Barack Obama speaks as he unveils his plan on climate change, June 25, 2013 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
With his recent address to students at Georgetown University, Washington DC, President Obama has commanded: "Push Back on Misinformation. Speak up for the facts."

What a wise command! In the following, let me provide some examples of misinformation:

Examples of Misinformation

I."Carbon Pollution"

In this very address, President Obama used the term "carbon pollution" 30 times or so.

There really is no such thing as "carbon pollution." Carbon is a vital constituent of all living organisms on earth. If the term "carbon pollution" is meant to be a short form for the term "carbon dioxide pollution," then it ought to be spelled out, at least once in the address. However, assuming that that's what he actually meant, let's look at carbon dioxide.

II. "Carbon Dioxide Pollution"

There really is no such thing as "carbon dioxide pollution." Except for some bacteria that use other carbon sources, all life on earth is derived from and requires continued presence of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the earth's atmosphere. If the concentration of CO2 in the air, currently around 0.04%, were to fall by one half, say to 0.02%, most life on earth would come to a screeching halt. The partial pressure of CO2 at 0.02% in the atmosphere would be insufficient to sustain photosynthesis in most plants. Without growing plants, the bottom of the food-chain would disappear.

Snowflake Cold

New Zealand: Bitterly-cold winds, freezing temps and up to 1 metre of snow

"This is a significant event which is expected to persist through until Friday morning," MetService said in a severe weather warning at 9.42am.

South Island residents are getting ready for it.

Freezing conditions were expected in much of both islands, bringing snow, rain and gale force winds to many areas.

Heavy snow was expected about Canterbury and southern parts of Marlborough above 300m. Snow was also expected to low levels about Southland and southern Fiordland. Snow was expected about Banks Peninsula.

"A very strong and cold southerly flow spreads over the South Island tonight, with snow expected to lower to near sea level about southern and eastern areas," MetService said.

Accumulations of snow were likely to exceed 50cm above 300m, and 100cm above 500m. Smaller amounts of snow were expected below 300m.