Extreme Temperatures


Land of Ice & Snow: Montreal record busting snow sours the mild winter climate narrative

Montreal Snow
Montreal, 2005; author Denis Jacquerye, source Wikimedia
ON the 24th December this year, Montreal was a poster child for the "new normal" - mild weather, no snow in sight. All that came to an abrupt end on the 29th, when Montreal strayed off narrative with a record breaking snowfall.

From the 24th;
Montreal's Christmas Eve record-breaking temperature matches Los Angeles

Dec. 24 high of 16 C matches cities synonymous with sunny, warm weather at this time of year


The balmy temperature was the last thing Anaum and Muhammed Sajanlal were expecting when the siblings arrived in Montreal from Kuwait recently.

They had big plans for winter fun.

"I was looking forward to building a snowman because we see in the movies and cartoons that they build lots of snowmen. We can't do that in Kuwait," said Anaum, 11, on CBC Montreal's Daybreak.

Ice Cube

Just Saying: Greenland retained 99.7% of its ice mass in 20th Century!!!

Naturally, the Real Clear Science headline actually read...

Greenland Lost 9 Trillion Tons of Ice in Century

Which sounds even more serious than the original headline...

Ice Cube

'Snowball waves' filmed on Sebago Lake, Maine

© Weather Channel"Snowballs" cover Sebago Lake in Maine.
A New England man captured video of "waves of snowballs" lapping against the shore in Maine's Sebago Lake.

David Allen of Stone Point Studio posted a video to Facebook showing the unusual state of the Sebago Lake waves Tuesday, just after the first winter weather hit the area.

"This was one of the most awesome natural events I have ever seen!" Allen wrote in his Facebook post.

He offered some speculation as to how the snowball waves might have formed:

Comment: See also: Ice balls form on Lake Michigan along the shoreline near Traverse City

Snowflake Cold

Cold yet? Montreal breaks 61-year snow fall record

Montreal snow removal trucks
© CTV News - MontrealSnow removal trucks cart away snow in Montreal, December 30, 2015.
Montreal was hit with 39.2 centimetres of snow in its first major snowfall of the season, and as always, after the snow fall comes the problem of carting it away.

The major snow removal operations began Wednesday morning. The city says removal will be underway in every borough by 7 p.m. The operation will cost around $20 million.

The city announced its new snow removal policy, an attempt to harmonize the cleanup across all 19 boroughs, in August.

The first priority is the city's main arteries, busy commercial streets, priority bus routes, reserved lanes, hospital entrances and very narrow streets. Then the operation begins on smaller streets, other bus routes, and finally local streets and industrial areas.

About 3,000 city employees will be involved in carting the snow away. Their mandatory 36-hour break will begin Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. and end Jan. 2 at 7 a.m.

The city says the suspension of blue collar workers from earlier this month won't affect snow removal.

The most oft-cited impediment to snow removal is cars that are in the way, so residents are being asked to download the Info Neige app or check out the website, which shows the progress of snow-clearing operations and tells you where and when you can park on the street.

Ice Cube

Ice balls form on Lake Michigan along the shoreline near Traverse City

Ice balls
Ice balls
Ice balls on Lake Michigan are currently forming along the shoreline near Traverse City.

In this video, shot on December 29, 2015, ice boulders are seen clanking against one another along the shores of Lake Michigan. What are they? Where did they come from?

This curious ice phenomenon doesn't happen often, so when it does, it's something to celebrate and take note of.

Ice balls start out life as a small chunk of ice in the water. The small chunk of ice grows by thin measures as it tumbles in the waves.

Ice boulders can only form when the air is cold enough for the water to instantly freeze and the lake is cold, but not too cold.


Heavy snowfall in the summer for Peru

Snow in Peru
Snow in Peru

Heavy snowfall of about 10 centimeters thick covered Chonta population centers today and Astobamba Pucapampa district of Santa Ana, in the province of Castrovirreyna, Huancavelica region, surprising its inhabitants.

The COER and Regional Government urge the Huancavelica population to take precautions, keep warm and avoid sudden changes in temperature, especially in populations in situations of high vulnerability either by their social status (poverty and extreme poverty), children under 5 years and older adults.

Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for this link

"Heavy snowfall in Peru, south of the equator, where it is summer now. Could this mean that cold air from the North Pole has crossed the equator?" asks Argiris.


Rare snow storm for El Paso, Texas; more than 7 inches of snow reported

Snow in El Paso
© MARK LAMBIE / EL PASO TIMESBriana Betancis, 14, and Deziree Dominguez, 12, fly down a hill at Memorial Park on Dec. 27 as they enjoy the outdoors and fresh snow in El Paso
Despite the freezing cold, dangerous road conditions, power outages and several business and church closings, El Pasoans made the best of the rare winter storm that brought more than five inches of snow to the area.

"It's been great and it's been years since we have seen it snow like this in El Paso," said Sebastian Lopez, who was building a 12-foot snowman with family and friends at Eastwood Park Sunday. "While it is great, driving home last night to the East Side from work on the West Side was a bit harsh. The visibility was zero and people here just aren't used to driving in those conditions, but I made it home and it doesn't seem like the snow caused too many problems for people, so all in all it's been great."

According to the National Weather Service, the El Paso International Airport reported about 5.3 inches of snow, while areas in El Paso and Horizon City recorded more than 7 inches. Las Cruces received between five to 12 inches of snow, while Organ, N.M., outside of Las Cruces, reported getting 13 inches.


Unprecedented record snowfall in El Calafate, Argentina

El Calafate snow
© ahoracalafate.com.ar
Unprecedented - There is no history of snowfall recorded in El Calafate during this time of year.

It started snowing on Christmas eve in El Calafate and continued throughout the night and Saturday morning.

In one day they accumulated 38 mm of precipitation, three times the average for the entire month of December, which is a little more than 12 millimeters

As Saturday dawned, the tourist village was completely snowed in.

"Looks like we're at the North Pole" joked a tourist early in the morning while taking pictures of young poplars arched under the weight of snow.

Posters saying "Welcome to El Calafate" framed by a white cityscape, are preferred by the visitors, who do not stop sharing their pictures with their families. The same goes for the residents of this town, where the snowfall is all they're talking about.
El Calafate snow
© ahoracalafate.com.ar
Old people polled do not remember having seeing snow at this time of year in the town.


Unusual spinning ice circle surprises residents of Brainerd, Minnesota

Brainderd ice circle
© Brainerd Dispatch/Steve KohlsA rotating ice disc at the outlet of the Nokasippi River as it flows into Upper South Long Lake south of Brainerd Monday. Lake residents noticed the rotating floating ice disc this weekend and have been alerting each other through the lake association website.
Dark, cold water flowing from the Nokasippi River into Upper South Long Lake created an unexpected form this weekend—a rotating circle of ice. The ice disc forms as flowing water creates an eddy where ice is forming. The water is more still in the middle of the eddy.

"So you get ice forming and it gets bigger as it gets colder and then the water that is moving faster is not freezing up, so what you get in the end is this big pancake of ice that is moving slowly around in a circle," said Peter Boulay, DNR climatologist. "You see pancake ice on water that's moving. When the lakes are trying to freeze up this past weekend, I saw a lot of that kind of ice forming in circles. "It's a sign of turbulent water and some stillness in the water in the middle."
Brainerd ice circle
© Brainerd Dispatch/ Steve Kohls
Nearby residents were stopping to see the rotating ice circle after word about it was passed via Facebook, from the lake association and between neighbors. "It's amazing," said Upper South Long Lake resident Karen Reil.

Sue Rolfs, who has been an Upper South Long Lake resident since 1957, said she's never seen the phenomenon before. Residents who have lived on the lake for 25 years or more echoed that sentiment. Monday they were drawn to the water to watch the perfect circle swirl in the black water at the inlet.

Comment: Huge ice circle forms in Swedish river

Ice Cube

Biggest snow storm in half a century hits north Mexico; 12 inches of snow, minus-18 Celsius

Snow storm Mexico
© AFPA picture released by Mexico's National Security Commission shows an aerial view of the road in the mountains of Chihuahua State in northwestern Mexico on December 28, 2015.
Some roads remained closed in northern Mexico on Monday after the biggest snow storm in more than half a century blanketed parts of the region, authorities said.

The weekend snowfall covered 32 towns in the state of Chihuahua, which borders the US states of Texas and New Mexico, with some places hit by accumulations of 30 centimeters (12 inches) and temperatures of minus-18 Celsius (zero Fahrenheit).

"It's the most intense snowfall in the last 55 years," Efren Matamoros, the civil protection director in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, told AFP.

Seventeen roads were closed over the weekend, but 11 of them reopened on Monday.

The Ciudad Juarez airport resumed operations on Monday after it was shut down over the weekend.