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Fri, 24 Feb 2017
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Extreme Temperatures


Several parts of Morocco to be hit with large drops in temperature

© libe.ma
Several parts of Morocco will be hit by a great drop in temperature until the end of this week, according to the Direction de la Météorologie Nationale (DMN).

These are the provinces of Midelt, Tinghir, Azilal, Al Haouz, Béni Mellal, Boulemane and Ifrane where low temperatures will vary between -11 and -5 ° C, and max temperatures will range between -3 and 0 ° C.

(...) It is the poor and deprived population of the regions, particularly the mountainous massifs of the Atlas and the Rif, that suffer from this great drop in temperatures.


Ancient tree rings suggest sunspot cycles similar to the one observed in more modern times

The Sun by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
A pair of researchers affiliated with the Natural History Museum in Chemnitz and Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, both in Germany, has found evidence in ancient tree rings of a solar sunspot cycle millions of years ago similar to the one observed in more modern times. In their paper published in the journal Geology, Ludwig Luthardt and Ronny Rößler describe how they gathered an assortment of petrified tree samples from a region in Germany and used them to count sunspot cycles.

Scientists know that the sun undergoes a sunspot cycle of approximately 11 years—some spots appear, grow cooler and then slowly move toward the equator and eventually disappear—the changes to the sun spots cause changes to the brightness level of the sun—as the level waxes and wanes, plants here on Earth respond, growing more or less in a given year—this can be seen in the width of tree rings. In this new effort, the researchers gathered petrified tree samples from a region of Germany that was covered by lava during a volcanic eruption approximately 290 million years ago (during the Permian period), offering a historical record of sun activity.

The research pair obtained 43 petrified tree specimens (tree-trunk slices) and report that they were able to count 1,917 rings which were preserved well enough to allow for observation under a microscope. Because the trees had all died at the same time, the researchers were able to establish a baseline between them which allowed for comparing tree ring growth between samples over the same time periods—which covered 79 years. Doing so, they report, revealed very clearly a cycle of growth similar to that seen in modern trees, though in this case, it was slightly different. Today the cycle is an average of 11.2 years, back then it was 10.6—close enough, the researchers suggest, to conclude that the sun has been behaving very predictably for at least 290 million years.

It should be noted that not everyone agrees with the theory that sunspot activity leaves such a clear record in tree rings—other factors might be involved such as general global temperature, weather patterns or even outbreaks of insect populations.

More information: Ludwig Luthardt et al. Fossil forest reveals sunspot activity in the early Permian, Geology(2017)

Snowflake Cold

Cold Temperatures Set Records Throughout Manitoba

© Debra Crammond
It's been two straight days of record setting temperatures across Manitoba and more will likely fall before the weekend.

Since Manitoba has been stuck in the 'extreme cold' a week ago, mild, Pacific air has warmed up the province considerably and brought about record setting temperatures January 15, 17, and 18, with nearly the entire province getting above 0 C on Wednesday.

While the province hasn't taken the title as the country's 'hot spot,' McCreary Man., has consistently been the warmest in the province registering temperatures well above freezing since Sunday. McCreary registered it's highest temperature Wednesday at 9.2 C. The warmest place in the country Wednesday was Violet Grove Alt., at 13.2 C.

Thursday could be a record breaker as well with temperatures getting up near 5 C in some areas. Winnipeg will stay closer the freezing mark, below record levels.

As the weekend approaches, the forecast will start to change. Southern Manitoba will continue to see mild temperature but rain and snow will likely show up a few times on and off Friday night and through the weekend. Temperatures are expected to start to cool off close to the middle of next week.

January 18 records (and previous records):

Comment: Winnipeg also reported its snowiest December in more than 100 years.


2,000 trapped overnight as snow cuts off highways in Spain

A statue of a bull is covered by snow at the entrance of the bullring in Ronda, southern Spain, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.
Authorities say some 2,000 people were trapped overnight in vehicles as heavy snowfall cut off several roads in eastern Spain.

The army's emergency unit said Friday it was distributing blankets and hot drinks to hundreds of people trapped on the A3 highway linking Madrid to the coastal city of Valencia and on other roads in the region.

Soldiers and firefighters used snowplows to try to clear the snow, managing to open A3 traffic toward Valencia although it remained blocked toward Madrid.

Some train services in the region were also interrupted.

Heavy snowfall and rainstorms have hit many parts of Spain this week with some eastern coastal tourist towns reporting their first snow in decades.

The AEMET weather agency said that more snow and freezing temperatures were expected Friday.

Source: AP


Freak heavy snowfall hits the Sahara desert; up to one metre deep

© Zineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinson
The sand dunes were turned into snow-covered hills
Photographers have taken incredible pictures this morning of ONE METRE deep snow covering the sand in the small Saharan desert town of Ain Sefra

These bizarre scenes from the Sahara Desert show locals sledging down sand dunes after the heaviest snowfall in living memory.

Photographers have taken incredible pictures this morning of ONE METRE deep snow covering the sand in the small Saharan desert town of Ain Sefra.

The town saw a sprinkling of snow just before Christmas, when a few flakes settled on the red sand dunes of the world's hottest desert for the first time in 37 years.

© Zineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinson
People sledging in the Sahara Desert

Snowflake Cold

Spain experiences its heaviest snowfall in 35 years

Snow on the beaches of Majorca where the freak weather has turned the island into a winter wonderland

Brits who headed to Europe this week in search of some winter sun were in for a nasty surprise as a snow storm swept across the continent and Spain experienced its heaviest snowfall in 35 years.

The usually sun-drenched holiday destinations in Germany, Croatia, Italy, Corsica and Serbia are all feeling the chill thanks to the freak cold snap.

Beaches at numerous coastal resorts - where tourists flock to escape the British weather - have been wiped out by freak snow storms.

But the cold weather didn't stop Orthodox Russian Christians taking cold dips in freezing temperatures as part of a celebration of the Epiphany.

Many who have retired to Spain for its sunnier climes were stunned to see snow covering beaches on the eastern coast today - and even sticking to the citrus fruits the country is famous for


Intense Aurora lights and 'sounds' recorded; 'perfect storm' of bad weather wipes out vegetables in Europe

© YouTube/Adapat 2030 (screen capture)
Fox Flash freezes in Danube River, ice clogs hydro electric dam in Canada, Bangladesh cold wave, and cyclonic winds and blizzards wipe out Europe's vegetable crops. Exodus of villagers in Pakistani villages.

Comment: See also:

Ice Cube

With two weeks to go, Gunnison, Colorado experiences snowiest month on record

With a lot of days to go in the month.

Gunnison's airport estimated they've seen 55 to 60 inches of snow since January 3 of this year.

That would make it Gunnison's snowiest month on record. Not the snowiest January on record, mind you, but the snowiest month on record.

If the airport's estimate is correct, this would top January 1957 when 50.2 inches of snow fell on Gunnison.

See incredible snow amounts in this video from 9News.

Comment: Global Warming? Too Much Snow Closes Ski Resorts, Amazing Light Pillars & California Drought Erased in One Storm

Snowflake Cold

More heavy snowfall across Mediterranean countries

Snow covered car in Corte, Corsica
Much of southern Europe is experiencing its second round of snow in just under two weeks. Many in parts of southern Europe may be feeling that winter has targeted them in giving them the brunt of heavy snow and winds caused by the second winter storm to affect the area in just 10 days.

The excursion boat MS AquaMarin is locked in by snow and ice on the Okerstausee reservoir, Germany
While similar to the previous storm that brought heavy snow and extremely cold air across much of the region, this storm will also stay locked in place over the Mediterranean. The weather pattern continues to keep a "blocking" pattern in place across much of central Europe and the steering winds stay well to the north.

While we may see a few breaks in the weather, the forecast into late January keeps many of these storms bringing snow, winds and rain to the countries around the Mediterranean Sea.

Snowflake Cold

Italy sends in the army to assist people trapped by snow

Heavy snowfall and unusually harsh weather have left hundreds of thousands of homes without electricity, schools closed, and roads unusable.

Recent days have seen up to a metre of snow in southern areas, strong winds in the north and coastal areas, and temperatures well below the average for the season in most of the country, reaching lows of below -30C in some northern mountain towns.

The wintry conditions are expected to last for at least another week, due to the arrival of a polar air mass in the country, weather experts at Meteo.it explained.

On Tuesday evening, Italy's Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti confirmed that the army had deployed soldiers to Abruzzo, which is suffering the brunt of the wintry spell with road closures, power blackouts and some smaller villages isolated.