Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 26 Jan 2022
The World for People who Think

Extreme Temperatures


Parts of South Africa and Lesotho covered in blanket of snow up to 8 inches deep

Snow at Semonkong Lodge in Lesotho.

Snow at Semonkong Lodge in Lesotho.
Over the weekend parts of South Africa and Lesotho were transformed into a wintery wonderland as snow blanketed the ground.

The South African Weather Service issued a warning before the weekend that the snowfall might be "disruptive" in some parts of the country.

Some areas like the Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho received more snowfall than expected, causing road blockages and power outages.

According to Peter Peyper, managing director at the resort, they expected 5-10cm of snow, but instead received over 20cm of snowfall.


Unseasonal August snow in upper reaches of Kashmir

Upper reaches in Kashmir on Sunday received snowfall resulting in considerable dip in mercury, officials of MeT centre Srinagar said here.

An official said that the unseasonal snowfall was witnessed at Amarnath cave and higher reaches of Sonamarg.

He said that the unseasonal snowfall in the upper reaches has caused a dip in the day temperature.

He, however, said that the weather may start improving from tonight in the valley, but there are chances of late night showers in the Jammu region.

"There are also reports of snowfall in the mountainous ranges of Drass in the Union Territory of Ladakh," he added.


Wakkanai, northern Japan just recorded its coldest summer temperature in 128 years - 2 weeks after city hit one of its hottest temperatures ever

Hokkaido is Japan's northernmost island
© Shutterstock/Sean Pavone
Hokkaido is Japan's northernmost island.
Just days after Japan's northernmost island Hokkaido baked in record heat, an unseasonably cold snap saw temperatures plunging on Thursday (Aug 12) to among their lowest on record for the month.

At the same time, the island of Kyushu in the south-west is being pounded by a torrential deluge, with some areas encountering in a single day what is typically a full month's worth of precipitation for August.

These extreme weather patterns are raising concerns about the impact of climate change on Japan, where 7,943 people were admitted to hospital nationwide last week amid a scorching heatwave.

Two weeks after Wakkanai in Hokkaido set its highest temperature on record of 32.7 deg C on July 29, the mercury tumbled to just 2.6 deg C around dawn on Thursday - the city's lowest reading for August in 128 years.

Sapporo, some 300km to the south, was a cool 13.9 deg C on Thursday morning, compared with the 26 deg C recorded at 7am on Sunday, when the Olympic men's marathon event flagged off. A combination of the heat and brutal humidity led 30 out of the 106 competitors to pull out.


"Like a horror movie:" Greece wildfires continue to force thousands of evacuations

The burning of wildfires in Greece was like living in a horror movie, one resident said as she was evacuated from the Greek island of Evia by ferry on Sunday.

Thousands of people have fled their homes on Evia as wildfires burned uncontrolled for a sixth day, and ferries were on standby for more evacuations after taking many to safety by sea.

Fires that had threatened the northern suburbs of Athens in recent days died back. But the blaze on Evia, a large island north-east of the capital, quickly burgeoned into several fronts, ripping through thousands of hectares of pristine forest across its northern part, and forcing the evacuation of dozens of villages.


Seven dead as wildfires sweep across Algeria

Some fires erupted near houses, forcing inhabitants to flee [Screengrab/ Social media]

Some fires erupted near houses, forcing inhabitants to flee [Screengrab/ Social media]
Algeria is the latest Mediterranean country to be hit by wildfires, after blazes hit Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.

Wildfires fanned by blistering temperatures and tinder-dry conditions have killed at least seven people in Algeria, the interior minister said Tuesday, adding the fires had criminal origins.

Photographs posted on social media show huge walls of flame and billowing clouds of smoke towering over villages in the forested hills of the Kabylie region, east of the capital Algiers.

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snow and frost cause problems in Punta Arenas, Chile

During the day, some traffic accidents with minor damages were reported in different sectors of Punta Arenas, as well as falls of people due to snow and frost.

In the early hours of yesterday, a heavy snow began to fall in Punta Arenas, which covered the main streets of the city in white, and even more so in the western sector.

This created problems for drivers, who found it difficult to walk, also considering that in recent days the flow of vehicles increased considerably.

SOTT Logo Media

SOTT Earth Changes Summary - July 2021: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

China's monsoon season has been catastrophic so far, unprecedented heavy floods have taken a heavy toll. The southwest and central regions in the Yangtze river basin witnessed the heaviest rainfall in 1,000 years, and the water continues to pour down with no rest.

Across Henan, rains deluged 1,700 large-scale farms, killing more than a million animals, and whose many small farmers still play a major role in meat production. The floods also caused a major explosion in an aluminum alloy unit in central Henan.

At least 14 people lost their lives in Zhengzhou city when their subway train flooded. More than 500 people were trapped in the subway in one of the worst-affected areas of the city.

China's biggest river, the Yangtze, and several of its tributaries have risen to dangerous levels after days of heavy rain, forcing evacuations of thousands of people and triggering an unprecedented emergency response alert.

A very serious double earthen dam failure sent 46 million cubic meters of water to the Hulunbuir area of Inner Mongolia, causing massive flooding.

The Three Gorges Dam has successfully contained the heavy floods, sighing relief to Chinese authorities, as a collapse could have had an even more catastrophic impact on the area.

Severe flooding caused by historic rainfall wreaked havoc across western Europe taking the lives of 189 people. Tens of thousands were unable to return to their homes and were left without access to power and drinking water. Towns in river valleys and low-lying plains in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Austria were heavily damaged. Most of the affected areas had not experienced that much rainfall in 100 years.

Drought and extreme heat triggered the two largest wildfires in the Western US. The fires have burned land nearly the size of New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago combined.

The Dixie Fire in California scorched 241,000 acres has destroyed more than 60 houses. The widespread fires have forced the evacuation of more than 7,800 residents.

The Bootleg Fire is still raging in southern Oregon, burning 413,000 acres since igniting this month. The fire has torn through more than 400 houses.

Greek firefighters faced dangerous and unprecedented conditions as they battled 154 wildfires through Athens, with one of them threatening Mount Parnitha national park — one of the last remaining substantial forests near the city. Meanwhile, in Turkey, eight people died in the country's worst blaze in decades that raged through swaths of the southern coast.

Hot weather and strong winds fueled multiple wildlife fires in Akkar, Lebanon, consuming the iconic Lebanese pine forests. The flames forced thousands to evacuate.

And on the southern hemisphere, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay reported rare snowstorms and surprisingly cold temperatures this winter.

A magnitude-8.2 earthquake rattled Chignik, Alaska this month, it has been recorded as the most powerful U.S. earthquake in half a century. Several Alaskan coastal communities were evacuated following the quake, but no major damage was reported due to the remote location and depth of the epicenter.

Have you noticed that more and more people, cattle, buildings, and trees are getting struck by lightning? Things are charging up in higher layers of the atmosphere. Keep your eyes open, and prepare accordingly!

All this and more in our SOTT Earth Changes Summary for July 2021:

Bizarro Earth

Major Atlantic ocean current system might be approaching critical threshold

The major Atlantic ocean current, to which also the Gulf stream belongs, may have been losing stability in the course of the last century. This is shown in a new study published in Nature Climate Change. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC, transports warm water masses from the tropics northward at the ocean surface and cold water southward at the ocean bottom, which is most relevant for the relatively mild temperatures in Europe. Further, it influences weather systems worldwide. A potential collapse of this ocean current system could therefore have severe consequences.
Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation,
© R.Curry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/Science/USGCRP
"The Atlantic Meridional Overturning really is one of our planet's key circulation systems," says the author of the study, Niklas Boers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Freie Universität Berlin and Exeter University. "We already know from some computer simulations and from data from Earth's past, so-called paleoclimate proxy records, that the AMOC can exhibit - in addition to the currently attained strong mode - an alternative, substantially weaker mode of operation. This bi-stability implies that abrupt transitions between the two circulation modes are in principle possible."


Athens: Major fire prompts evacuation of residential areas

A major blaze threatened northern suburbs of the Greek capital

A major blaze threatened northern suburbs of the Greek capital
A fire broke out on Tuesday afternoon in Varybobi, a northern suburb of Athens.

The Greek national road, which runs from Athens to Lamia has been closed due to the blaze.

The fire is thought to have started in the nearby heavily forested area of Kryoneri, but has spread significantly throughout the afternoon.

Evacuation of Varibobi was ordered short after 4:30 p.m.

As the blaze is near some power substation there are reports of problems in the power surge and thus on the hottest day in the Greek capital where over 42 degrees Celsius are being recorded.

Snowflake Cold

Rare snowfall blankets swathes of Bolivia and Peru

snow peru
In Potosi, Bolivia temperatures dripped below zero, providing the perfect climate for the downpour of snow.

Some locals threw snowballs in the town square in delight, while across town a soccer match was suspended amid the rare snowy conditions.

In Arequipa, Peru vehicles were left stranded after snow covered the landscape, blanketing roads into a sheet of ice.

The cold weather is expected to continue in Bolivia and Peru for the remainder of the week.

Source: Reuters

Comment: Elsewhere in South America recently: Cold wave brings rare snow to 13 Brazilian cities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul - Also to Northern Argentina and Uruguay

Fierce cold weather leaves Brazilian authorities scrambling to support homeless population