Extreme Temperatures
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Snowflake

High avalanche danger in southern Alps following over 2 feet snowfalls in 24 hours

Vars has received 60cm (2 feet) of snowfall in 24 hours.
Vars has received 60cm (2 feet) of snowfall in 24 hours.
The avalanche danger has jumped from level 2 ('moderate') to a 'high' level 4 on the scale to 5 at ski areas across the region after several reported over two-feet (60 cm) of snowfall in about 24 hours on Tuesday-Wednesday this week.

Isola 2000, Serre Chevalier and Risoul-Vars in the southern French Alps were among the areas posting 60cm (24") accumulations on their higher slopes, with Les 2 Alpes also noting that the avalanche danger there had jumped to level 4.


Snowflake

Best of the Web: Wild swings: Snow falls on Malaga in southern Spain following a dramatic drop in temperatures overnight

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Parts of Malaga have woken up to a blanket of fresh snow following a dramatic drop in temperatures overnight.

Whilst low-lying coastal areas have experienced much-needed significant rainfall, Malaga's high altitude areas have been hit by snowfall.

This morning, many of the region's mountains were covered in snow after unseasonably low overnight temperatures.

Snow settled in the Sierra de las Nieves, Sierra Tejeda, Sierra Bermeja and the Torcal de Antequera National Park.

Snow was also visible from the cities of Ronda and Granada.


Comment: Related: Temperature extremes: From 30ºC to snow fall in Portugal


Snowflake

Best of the Web: Temperature extremes: From 30ºC to snowfall in Portugal

From 30ºC to snow fall
From 30ºC to snow fall
Several areas woke up covered in snow this morning, including Gerês, Paredes de Coura and Arouca.

Snow fell again in several parts of the country, after several days with thermometers tipping the 30ºC mark.

Castro Laboreiro, in the municipality of Melgaço, woke up painted white after the snow fell during the afternoon and night of Monday.

In Cabana Maior, Arcos de Valdevez, right on the doorstep of the Peneda-Gerês National Park, it also snowed, with several online users sharing images.


Comment: Related: Snow falls on Malaga in southern Spain following a dramatic drop in temperatures overnight


Snowflake

Over 2 feet of snow, flooding pummel Northeast US with more than 350,000 power outages

Snow falls in Plymouth New Hampshire on March 23, 2024.
Snow falls in Plymouth New Hampshire on March 23, 2024.
A strong coastal storm made for a washout during the first half of the weekend with a steady drumbeat of heavy rain and gusty winds across the Northeast's Interstate 95 corridor while heavy snow piled up in New England.

Rain began falling across the coastal regions on Saturday morning and only increased in intensity into the afternoon and evening as the storm's center swirled just off New York City and Boston.

Where temperatures were cold enough, precipitation fell in the frozen variety, and there was a lot of it.

Some snow totals eclipsed 2 feet in the higher elevations of New England.

Albany, New Hampshire, reported 28 inches of snow while Ludlow, Vermont, saw 27.3 inches pile up.


Bizarro Earth

The Polar Vortex is spinning backwards

Earlier this month, atmospheric scientists noticed something unusual in the Arctic stratosphere. The polar vortex was spinning backward.

"The vortex changed direction around March 4th," reports Dr. Amy Butler, author of NOAA's Polar Vortex Blog. "It was a substantial reversal, reaching -20.5 m/s a few days ago, which puts it in the top 6 strongest such events since 1979."
Polar Vortex
© NOAA Climate Gov Data: Waugh et al 2017
Two weeks later, it is still spinning backwards. What's going on?

"Atmospheric planetary waves have been breaking in the polar stratosphere, increasing its temperature," says Butler. "We call this a 'Sudden Stratospheric Warming' event, and it can cause the vortex to change direction.'"

In recent years, many people have heard the phrase "polar vortex" because of the effect it can have on winter weather. When the polar vortex is strong and stable, it helps confine cold air to polar regions. When the vortex weakens or becomes disturbed, cold air spills out to lower latitudes.

Arrow Down

Climate Superheroes plan to rescue Arctic with 10 million wind powered pumps

Brave researchers have decided to save the world by pumping seawater onto ice sheets in the depths of winter. They are struggling through -30C windy conditions somewhere off the top end of Canada. Their plan is to thicken the ice so it will survive longer in summer, thus presumably raising the albedo of Earth.

For some reason the dedicated team at the BBC don't mention what energy source drives the pump. I wonder where that cord goes?

Saving the Ice!
© joannenova.co.au
Could the cord go to a diesel gen, sitting on arctic ice, snipped out of the photo?

If it was a solar panel, we know they would have told us.

Snowflake

Mid-March storm dumps up to 5 feet of snow on Colorado (UPDATE)

Snow piles up in Woodland Park.  Debbie Kelley
© Debbie KelleySnow piles up in Woodland Park.
Portions of Interstate 70 were reopened late Thursday after being closed since the morning due to safety concerns during the snow.

"If you have to ask 'How do I get there?', the answer is, you can't," the Colorado State Patrol had warned during the closing on X.

Where the roads weren't closed, accidents abounded. Thursday morning, Denver Police and C-DOT Crews worked together to free a wrecked vehicle from the snow after it crashed into the concrete barrier on I-25 at Centennial.

Nederland, Colorado, reported 53 inches of snow -- over four feet -- from the storm. Most of the Denver Metro area had received 6 to 12 inches of snow by noon, while the airport recorded 5.7 inches, falling short of the biggest snowstorm this season, as 7.5 inches of snow fell on Oct. 28-29, 2023.


Comment: Update March 15

Denver7.com reports:
Thursday's snowstorm around Colorado was best measured in feet, not inches, with totals reaching beyond four feet in some locations.

Clouds are clearing out and you may even see some sunshine poking through today. Conditions will warm up and dry out through Tuesday, when a weak storm system might bring some light snow to the mountains, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures on Friday are well above freezing and snow is already starting to melt around the Denver metro area — something that will continue as highs will stay in the 40s, 50s and 60s for the foreseeable future.

The NWS is continuing to update its snow totals map. As of now, the list tops out at 61.5 inches in Aspen Springs, a community just north of Black Hawk.

We have collected a list of snow total data from the NWS of more than 300 locations.

These are the totals for the past 48 hours as of 3 p.m. Friday, according to the latest data from the NWS:

Aspen Springs (community near Black Hawk): 61.5 inches
1 W Aspen Springs: 57
4 ENE Nederland: 53
4 SE Pinecliffe: 50.7

1 WSW Eldora: 46
1 NNW Genesee: 45.7
3 W Jamestown: 45.5
1 SW Manitou Springs: 44
4 NE Nederland: 43.5
1 NE Divide: 42
1 SSW Crescent Village: 42
4 SSE Pinecliffe: 41.2
1 NNE Echo Lake: 41
1 SSE St. Mary's Glacier: 40.5
1 N Genesee: 40
2 W Pennock Pass: 40
2 SSE Manitou Springs: 40
1 S Manitou Springs: 40
4 W Conifer: 39.5
4 E Aspen Springs: 36
Aspen Park: 36
2 S Estes Park: 36
1 SSW Rollinsville: 36
6 ESE Hillside: 36

(More here)



Arrow Down

Two New Zealanders die in avalanche in Japan

The avalanche hit Mount Yotei in Hokkaido, Japan, on Monday, killing two people from New Zealand.
© Jun AsanoThe avalanche hit Mount Yotei in Hokkaido, Japan, on Monday, killing two people from New Zealand.
Two people from New Zealand died in an avalanche in Mount Yotei in Japan on Monday, police said.

A third person, also caught in the avalanche, sustained a shoulder injury.

Police in Japan confirmed that two foreigners "have sadly passed away" following an avalanche, New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

A spokesperson said: "The New Zealand embassy has offered consular support to the families of those involved."

The two New Zealand nationals lost their lives while skiing in the backcountry of Mount Yotei, approximately 90km from the city of Sapporo in Hokkaido island.

Arrow Down

Man dies in avalanche while skiing in Kananaskis, Alberta

Avalanche locator map
© Robson Fletcher/CBCAvalanche locator map
A 19-year-old man from Kelowna, B.C., was killed in an avalanche in Alberta's Kananaskis Country on Sunday, according to Canmore RCMP.

Police said the avalanche happened around 1 p.m. on a mountain known as The Tower, about 25 kilometres south of Canmore and just east of Mount Engadine Lodge.

"One of the males was able to escape by digging himself out of the snow; however, the second male was buried," the RCMP said in a news release.

Police said they recovered and the man's body on Monday morning with the assistance of Kananaskis Mountain Rescue.

Snowflake

Five skiers found dead and one missing in Swiss Alps during snow storm

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The bodies of five missing skiers have been found in the Swiss Alps, police have said.

Local authorities are still searching for a sixth person.

A huge search and rescue operation was launched on Saturday after the group went missing near the 3,706m high Tete Blanche mountain.

They had set off from Zermatt, home of the famous Matterhorn mountain, on a ski tour towards Arolla along the Swiss-Italian border.

Five of the six skiers were found at 21:20 local time (20:20 GMT) "without any signs of life," a statement from Swiss Valais canton police said.

Authorities had previously told the BBC that the skiers were all Swiss nationals, and range in age from 21 to 58 years old.

Local police said teams on both sides of the route were alerted but severe weather was hampering the operation.