Extreme Temperatures


From record wildfires to extreme cold inside two weeks: Australia experiences coldest November night in 40 years

This was the scene outside Canberra a couple of weeks ago... since then Australia has gone deeper into Summer and temperatures have plunged to freezing.
Parts of southern New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory endured their coldest November night in over forty years, with the region set to chill again tonight.

The ACT saw some of the coldest temperatures, with Canberra Airport dipping to -1.5 degrees, its coldest November night since 1970. Tuggeranong fell to a chilly 1.2 degrees, its coldest November night in a decade.

In NSW, Goulburn Airport dipped to -3.1 degrees and Thredbo -6.1 degrees, the coldest November night since 2006.

The unseasonably cold night was caused by a variety of factors. Firstly, a gusty cold front moved across the region yesterday, leaving behind a pool of cold air. Overnight, a high pressure system moved in, causing winds to ease as well as clear skies, allowing the mercury to plummet.

This high will continue to bring similar conditions tonight, allowing for the region to shiver through another cold night.

Canberra is expected to see it dip to zero tonight, and if this occurs, will be the coldest pair of November nights on record. Thredbo is expected to reach minus five, which would be its coldest pair of November nights since 2006.


The coming of a new Ice Age

Contrary to the conventional wisdom of the day, the real danger facing humanity is not global warming, but more likely the coming of a new Ice Age. What we live in now is known as an interglacial, a relatively brief period between long ice ages. Unfortunately for us, most interglacial periods last only about ten thousand years, and that is how long it has been since the last Ice Age ended.

How much longer do we have before the ice begins to spread across the Earth's surface? Less than a hundred years or several hundred? We simply don't know.

Even if all the temperature increase over the last century is attributable to human activities, the rise has been relatively modest one of a little over one degree Fahrenheit - an increase well within natural variations over the last few thousand years.

While an enduring temperature rise of the same size over the next century would cause humanity to make some changes, it would undoubtedly be within our ability to adapt. Entering a new ice age, however, would be catastrophic for the continuation of modern civilization.

Comment: This article adds one more piece to the newly emerging consensus on the direction that our climate seems to be heading. Those scientists who carefully observe the reality on the ground and scrutinize the available facts see what is coming our way in the not so distant future: the return to an Ice Age.


Global warming?... Chile hit with worst cold spell in 80 years

© The Daily Caller
Anyone looking to get some delicious Chilean fruit this winter is going to be disappointed, as the worst frost in more than 80 years has damaged 50 million boxes of fruit exports - causing the country to declare a state of emergency in its agricultural sector.

The Chilean Fresh Fruit Exporters Association said that freezing temperatures throughout mid-September hit the country's fruit growers with the coldest frost since 1929.

Temperatures fell to an average of 19 degrees Fahrenheit for an average of seven hours in several of the Chile's growing regions, contributing to a huge drop-off in fruit exports.

Chilean growers exported about 282 million boxes of fruit last year, and experts believe that exports will fall short of that by about 50 million boxes for this year. However, when production increases are taken into account, the total frost damage to fruit production could be closer to 60 million or 65 million boxes.

The wine industry was hit hard by the frost as well.

Snowflake Cold

Snow leaves thousands without power in Russia

Nearly 17 thousand people were left without electricity in the Sakhalin region (Russia's Far East, a big island north of Japan) as a result of wet snow on the wires that disconnected the power lines. This was reported today by the Ministry of Emergencies. Power lines are currently under emergency repair work. (10-27-2013)
Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for this link

Ice Cube

Hmm...Real risk of a Maunder minimum is 'Little Ice Age', says leading scientist

It's known by climatologists as the 'Little Ice Age', a period in the 1600s when harsh winters across the UK and Europe were often severe. The severe cold went hand in hand with an exceptionally inactive sun, and was called the Maunder solar minimum.

Now a leading scientist from Reading University has told me that the current rate of decline in solar activity is such that there's a real risk of seeing a return of such conditions. I've been to see Professor Mike Lockwood to take a look at the work he has been conducting into the possible link between solar activity and climate patterns.

According to Professor Lockwood the late 20th century was a period when the sun was unusually active and a so called 'grand maximum' occurred around 1985. Since then the sun has been getting quieter.

By looking back at certain isotopes in ice cores, he has been able to determine how active the sun has been over thousands of years. Following analysis of the data, Professor Lockwood believes solar activity is now falling more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years. He found 24 different occasions in the last 10,000 years when the sun was in exactly the same state as it is now - and the present decline is faster than any of those 24. Based on his findings he's raised the risk of a new Maunder minimum from less than 10% just a few years ago to 25-30%.

And a repeat of the Dalton solar minimum which occurred in the early 1800s, which also had its fair share of cold winters and poor summers, is, according to him, 'more likely than not' to happen.


Record daily snowfall set in Dayton, Ohio

Record Snowfall in Dayton
© Dayton Daily News/Storm Center 7
A record daily snowfall was set at Dayton International Airport on Wednesday, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said Wednesday evening.

The airport recorded 1 inch of snow, which breaks the previous record of 0.2 inches set in 1917. This is not the earliest snowfall of an inch or more, she said. That record was set Oct. 19, 1989, with a total of 4.8 inches. A dusting or coating of snow had been forecast for the early morning.

The record snowfall comes in advance of a freeze warning for the area that begins at 2 a.m. Thursday and ends at 10 a.m.

Stray rain or snow showers are possible by morning, she said, with a high in the mid 40s. At times, it will feel as though the temperatures are in the upper 30s because of afternoon winds that are expected to reach 10 to 15 mph.

Friday morning will be frosty, Vrydaghs said, and temperatures will plunge to their lowest marks in months.


U.S. Midwest's first October snowfall since 1980 leaves thousands without power

Lights out. No green, yellow, or red. The Checker's drive thru in East Moline was also dark."It's been a pretty slow day. We lost power around 11:30, noon," said Stacie Vandyke, Shift Supervisor at Checker's. At the peak of the outage, more than 4,000 MidAmerican customers were in the dark. Camanche, Iowa and East Moline, Illinois were hit the hardest. East Moline Schools dismissed students at the Blackhawk Area Education Center because of the outage.

MidAmerican Energy says 100 different incidents of trees hitting or downing power lines caused the outages. And then there was thick, dense fog. White snowflakes were visible, but not much else. The Moline Fire Department rescued two men aboard the Marsh Barge when their sailboat was stranded on a lateral dam on the Mississippi.

"We just couldn't see anything," said Conner Morton.The visibility was so poor, the boaters - traveling from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico - needed a flare to help rescuers find them.

Check out photos from the October snow - click here.


Meteorologist: Gulf Stream weakens to lowest level in five years...may bode ill for Europe's winter!

German meteorologist Dominik Jung has a commentary today at his wetternet.de site where he looks at the Atlantic Gulf Stream. The commentary is titled: "Is the Gulf Stream Now Losing Its Steam?"

Over the last few days Central Europe has been enjoying almost summer-like temperatures as a weather system is drawing warm air from Mediterranean to the south. But this of course is a temporary weather situation and things will soon be cooling off.

There have been a number of signs pointing to another cold winter, and meteorologist Jung today points to yet another: a disrupted Gulf Stream.

The Gulf Stream is a powerful, warm Atlantic ocean current that originates at the tip of Florida and pumps warm water along the eastern coastlines of the North America and across the Atlantic over to Europe, thus keeping the north of the old continent relatively warmer in the wintertime.


Snow-like hail blankets NSW beach

Residents of a sleepy town on the southern coast of NSW were treated to scenes resembling a winter wonderland after a freak hail storm blanketed a popular beach in snow only a day after the mercury soared above 30 degrees.

Local Allen Coulthard, 27, captured some of the spectacular scenes at Malua Bay Beach last night as his children used a body board to glide along the seemingly snow-blanketed shore.

Bizarro Earth

South Dakota's cattle cataclysm: Why isn't this horror news?

Dead Cattle
© Lacey WeissA dead cow is lifted from flooding in the aftermath of winter storm Atlas in South Dakota.
If you aren't in the ag world, you most likely haven't heard about the devastating loss that ranchers in western South Dakota are struggling with after being hit by winter storm Atlas.

For some reason the news stations aren't covering this story. I don't understand why they wouldn't. This story has heartbreak, tragedy and even a convenient tie into the current government shutdown. Isn't that what the news is all about these days?

But the news isn't covering this story. Instead, it is spreading around on social media, and bloggers are writing from their ranches in South Dakota. Bloggers are trying to explain how the horrible happened. And now I am going to join them to tell you the part of the story that I know, and I am going to ask you to help these people, because if you are here reading this, I know you give a crap about these people.

Last weekend western South Dakota and parts of the surrounding states got their butts handed to them by Mother Nature. A blizzard isn't unusual in South Dakota, the cattle are tough and can handle some snow. They have for hundreds of years.

Unlike on our dairy farm in Wisconsin, beef cattle don't live in climate controlled barns. Beef cows and calves spend the majority of their lives out on pasture. They graze the grass in the spring, summer and fall and eat baled hay in the winter.