Extreme Temperatures


US in the grip of the 'The Big Chill'

We've known that the USA is in for a bi-coastal blast of cold air, snow, and heavy rains, but this map by Jesse Farrell shows just how much of the contiguous USA has below freezing temperatures this morning.

Here is a summary of temperatures seen this morning by states:
  • All States except Florida (80% of US Land) are less than 32°F
  • 25 States (30% Land) Below 0 °F
  • 6 States Below -20°F
USA Temperatures
© Jesse Farrell
Of course, though not seen in the map above, Alaska has subfreezing temperatures, and Hawaii has subfreezing temperatures on the mountain peaks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea -not unusual for this time of year, but it is important not to exclude the 49th, and 50th states from any discussion about the USA.

Meanwhile, a once in a decade storm will hit California this weekend.


Rare waxwing birds from abroad that signal harsh winter seen across Gloucestershire, UK as temperatures plummet

Delighted twitchers came out in force after groups of rare birds said to be a sign of a harsh winter descended on the county in search of berries this week.

Groups of waxwings have been spotted across the county in recent days.

Crowds or birdspotters have been gathering around sites where the feathered winter visitors have arrived from colder climes looking for food.

At the minute many are gathered at Lidl in Cinderford where around 16 Waxwings have been spotted feeding from the winter berries.

Two waxwings have been spotted feeding on berries outside the police station in Cirencester and a pair have been seen at the The Boars Head car park in Berkeley.

Snowflake Cold

U.S. Snowstorm moves across the West into Rocky Mountains

much of the western U.S. (Jan 5)
© AP
States from California to Colorado and Wyoming are dealing with heavy snowfall, as a fierce winter storm moves across much of the western U.S. (Jan 5)

Snowflake Cold

Heavy snow, winds, leave 16,000 households in Poland without power

Snowfall in Katowice, southern Poland.
© PAP/Andrzej Grygiel Snowfall in Katowice, southern Poland.
Almost 16,000 households across Poland were left without electricity on Wednesday after heavy snowfall and fierce winds downed power lines.

Forecasters have said that regions close to the mountains may see up to half a metre of snow over 24 hours from Wednesday but added that heavy snowfall is not expected in most other areas of the country.

Meanwhile, temperatures are set to plunge at night as arctic air arrives in Poland from the north. The mercury in northeastern Poland is expected to drop to minus 17 degrees C.

The authorities have warned that homeless people may be in danger unless they find shelter.

Source: IAR/PAP

Snowflake Cold

Severe winter weather warnings stop trains throughout Austria

Snow Austria
© Ximeg/Wikimedia
A violent winter storm pattern will thrash through all of Austria this Wednesday. Recent forecasts have put the entire country under red alert and are predicting very difficult winter conditions that have gone so far as to impact the national train service.

According to Heute, the region of Upper Austria is currently under heavy snowfall and the outskirts of Vienna have already been hit by incredible wind speeds, peaking at 131km/hr. Within the city itself, gusts of up to 100km/hr were measured, which has lead to the closure of many major public parks, including the Augarten, Burggarten, Volksgarten, the grounds of the Belvedere Palace and Glorietteberg.

Even the city's central ice rink located in front of town hall known as the 'Wiener Eistraum' was forced to shut down due to potential dangerous conditions. City police have also reported trees toppling over onto the street, one even crushing a parked car in the district of Ottakring.

Ice Cube

Somali immigrant abandoned during blizzard, found dead in Bulgaria

Snow plows
Bulgarian police reported finding the body of a Somali immigrant in Mount Stranja (southeast) near the Turkish border.

The young woman was in a group of about 30 illegal immigrants caught by border police Sunday near the town of Ravadinovo, about 40 km from the border. Police learned during interrogation that the group abandoned the woman amid a blizzard.

The body was found Monday, noting that temperatures at night fell to more than ten degrees below zero. Two Somalis teenagers, a boy and girl, 16 and 14-years old also suffered from frostbite.

The group included 25 Afghans and three Pakistanis and three Somalis.

Bulgaria is witnessing the incident at the external borders of the European Union in the crowded immigrant reception centers, particularly as a result of the closure of Serbia's borders, cutting the road to central and western Europe.


Up to 32 inches of snow in 1.5 days for Longmont, Colorado

Infrared map of the Western US

Comment: According to the NOAA, Longmont, Colorado has had an average annual snowfall of 41.0 inches in the past 30 years. An ice age cometh?

Up to 32 inches (75 cm) of snow Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday night for Longmont, Colorado (near Estes Park).


Snow showers before 3pm, then snow after 3pm. Temperature falling to around 10 by 5pm. Wind chill values as low as -10. Windy, with a west wind 23 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.


Snow likely. Cloudy, with a temperature rising to around 14 by 4am. Wind chill values as low as -11. Windy, with a west wind 23 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.


Snow. Areas of blowing snow. High near 18. Wind chill values as low as -7. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.

Wednesday Night Snow. Areas of blowing snow. Low around 3. Wind chill values as low as -15. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 9 to 13 inches possible.


Severe weather: Sydney heatwave marks hottest year on record

Maroubra Beach
© Kate GeraghtyExercising early at Maroubra Beach on Wednesday.
A scorching end to 2016 will ensure Sydney registers its hottest year in more than a century-and-a-half of records.

The mercury is expected to climb to 37 degrees in the city on Thursday and 42 in Penrith, and fall just a couple of degrees shy of that on Friday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

All of coastal NSW will endure a heatwave on Thursday, with almost all of it either ranked as severe or extreme. (See bureau chart below). Authorities have also activated the state's heatwave action plan to ensure the public takes care to limit the effects of the heat, such as by staying hydrated and limiting outdoor activity.

The surge of late-December heat means Sydney would notch the city's hottest year in records going back to 1858 "without a doubt", Joel Pippard, a meteorologist with Weatherzone, said. "To not do that, temperatures would have be below zero."

According to Weatherzone, Sydney's maximum temperatures, including Wednesday's top of almost 29 degrees, lifted the average so far this year to 23.76 degrees. That's two degrees above the long run norm, and about a quarter degree higher than the previous hottest year in 2013.

Minimum temperatures will eclipse the previous high set in 2010 by almost half a degree, and are running at an average of just over 15.5 degrees for 2016 with just a couple of days to go, Mr Pippard said.

Cloud Precipitation

Science, politics, morality and climate change - Professor John Christy

Geoff Derrick writes: The John Christie talk is one of the best I have seen for a long time, keeping things simple but very very effective in the message. It should be compulsory viewing while still in holiday mode to take 1 hour off and watch the main event. It is just simply excellent, logical observation at work here.
John Christy
© The Huntsville TimesJohn Christy, the director of the Earth System Science Center at the UAH, has also been criticized for his views on global warming.
Professor John Christy, Alabama state climatologist speaks on science, politics and morality as they relate to climate change "action".
Recorded December, 2015.

Snowflake Cold

Arctic air pervades U.S. from coast to coast during 1st week of 2017

Arctic air map
A wave of arctic air will spread from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast of the United States during the first week of 2017.

The cold air will continue to invade the northwestern U.S. early this week. The cold air was accompanied by accumulating snow to near sea level in Washington on New Year's Day.

Over the Southwest, including Southern California and southern Arizona, the chilliest days will be the first part of the week as temperatures will moderate late in the week. Cold air will hang on much of the week in the Northwest.

"The main thrust of the cold air will extend from the northern Rockies to the northern Plains and the Upper Midwest," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey. In this swath, a snowstorm will precede the arrival of the arctic air.

By the middle of the week, actual temperatures will bottom as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit below-zero and will rival the coldest air of the season so far over the northern tier of the Central states. AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures over part of the northern Plains and Rockies can dip as low as minus 40 for a time.