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Fri, 27 Jan 2023
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Germany: "Most severe winter start in 200 Years!"

Salt mine
© wikipedia.org
Last Thursday evening and yesterday winter made its debut in Southern Germany and Austria - and how! Read more here.

German RTL television last night here (starting at 4:30) called it the "most severe start of winter in 200 years!", saying many meteorologists were caught by surprise. Up to half a meter of snow fell at some locations.

Gone are the mild winters of the sort Europe seen in the 1990s and early 2000s. Indeed for central Europe the last 5 consecutive winters have all been colder than normal - a record!

These days are blockbuster times for German road salt manufacturers. In Europe municipalities have learned their lesson: ignore foolish predictions of warm winters, order huge quantities of salt, and do it early!


Snow falls weeks early in Munich! ...Meteorologist: "Winter strikes unusually early and severely"!

 Snow Falling
© P Gosselin
Meteorologists warned us that snow was on the way and would fall below the 500 m elevation in southern Germany and elsewhere. Moreover, they warned us that this winter could be one of the worst in 100 years for Central Europe.

No one knows if it's really going to be such a winter, but one thing is sure: it sure is starting out like one! At least in parts of Central Europe.

Wetteronline.de has put up a video (Schneefall auch in München) of snow falling in Munich this morning, October 11, 2013. Normally the first snow arrives in the Bavarian capital weeks later.

Snowflake Cold

Shutdown worsens historic blizzard that killed tens of thousands of South Dakota cattle

Snowfall Rapid city
Rapid City and many other parts of South Dakota recorded record snowfall totals for the entire month of October in just three days over the weekend.
An unusually early and enormous snowstorm over the weekend caught South Dakota ranchers and farmers unprepared, killing tens of thousands of cattle and ravaging the state's $7 billion industry - an industry left without assistance because of the federal government shutdown.

As many as 75,000 cattle have perished since the storm slammed the western part of the state Thursday through Saturday with snowfall that set records for the entire month of October in just three days, state and industry officials said.

Across the state, snow totals averaged 30 inches, with some isolated areas recording almost 5 feet, The Weather Channel reported.

The South Dakota Stock Growers Association estimated that 15 percent to 20 percent of all cattle were killed in some parts of the state. Some ranchers reported that they lost half or more of their herds.

Ice Cube

Current sunspot cycle weakest in 190 years

Currently solar activity is especially low. Solar sunspot number (SSN) in September was at 36.9, and thus was just 36% of the usual mean value 58 months into the cycle. The sun continues to remain in an unusually weak cycle 24, which was characterized by a 1-2 year delayed start in November 2008. The following graphic shows the mean value (blue) and the current cycle (red) and the very similar sunspot cycle SC5 (light gray) which occurred during the Dalton Minimum of the early 19th century:
The average solar cycle
© Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt
Dark blue shows average sunspot cycle; red shows current cycle 24 and light gray shows SC5. Horizontal axis is the number of months after the start of cycle. -

Snow Globe

Due to too much ice: Alaska village grapples with collapse in walrus harvest

Walrus on the ice
© Unknown
Gambell - For as long as many here can remember, hunters in this Eskimo village where the mountains of Siberia are clearly visible have managed to kill enough walruses to provide food that lasts through the brutal Arctic winter.

But after harvesting only 108 walruses this year - one sixth the average - the island community of 690 residents is rushing to find alternate sources of food before winter sets in. Other towns have offered donations of reindeer and fish, but tribal officials say it isn't enough to offset the shortage. Villagers say they can't afford to shop at the one full-service store because prices there can be three times as high as on the mainland.

"If it continues like this, we will seriously starve," said Jennifer Campbell , a 38-year-old mother of five whose family caught two walruses this year, down from as many as 20 in normal years. In August, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell declared an economic disaster for Gambell and its sister village of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, freeing up more state resources such as possible grants to help the stricken communities.

State and federal marine experts, meanwhile, say the collapse of the walrus harvest is another example of how wild weather is altering life in native villages like these that still follow a subsistence lifestyle. Rick Thoman , a climatologist with the National Weather Service in Fairbanks, said the Arctic's warming climate is likely to make it harder for such villages to catch enough walruses and other prey animals and fish, which scientists say are likely to fall in number in coming years due to diminished ice.

But this past spring, the village had the opposite problem: The coldest winter to hit the state in decades meant the Siberian Yupik Eskimo hunters on the island, which lies just 36 miles from Russia's Chukchi Peninsula, weren't able to maneuver their boats past unusually thick ice in the Bering Sea as the walrus herds migrated past.

Comment: Despite the author's efforts to concentrate on global warming in the whole article, the fact is that there is a cold change underway.

Snowflake Cold

Winter to open with bitter cold, snow in U.S. northwest, Rockies -forecaster

The Pacific Northwest and western Rockies should brace for a dramatic start to the winter, with bitter cold and significant snowfalls, while the eastern United States will have less of both, according to a long-term forecast by Accuweather.

The private forecasting firm also warned that the upper Midwest, including Chicago, could face heavy snow around the holidays, in a forecast released on Wednesday, less than a week after a rare October snowstorm hit the central Rocky Mountain region, stranding motorists, killing livestock, and downing trees in parts of Wyoming and South Dakota.

Warmer weather is forecast for Oregon and Washington, with colder conditions to the east in Wyoming and Montana. Those colder conditions will bring more snow, but forecasters are less certain of where the temperature differential will occur.


Early snow kills thousands of cattle in South Dakota

Dead Cattle
© Keloland.com
Pierre - A record-breaking storm that dumped 4 feet of snow in parts of western South Dakota left ranchers dealing with heavy losses, in some cases perhaps up to half their herds, as they assess how many of their cattle died during the unseasonably early blizzard.

Meanwhile, utility companies were working to restore power to tens of thousands of people still without electricity Monday after the weekend storm that was part of a powerful weather system that also buried parts of Wyoming and Colorado with snow and produced destructive tornadoes in Nebraska and Iowa. At least four deaths were attributed to the weather, including a South Dakota man who collapsed while cleaning snow off his roof.

Gary Cammack, who ranches on the prairie near Union Center about 40 miles northeast of the Black Hills, said he lost about 70 cows and some calves, about 15 percent of his herd. A calf would normally sell for $1,000, while a mature cow would bring $1,500 or more, he said.

"It's bad. It's really bad. I'm the eternal optimist and this is really bad," Cammack said. "The livestock loss is just catastrophic. ... It's pretty unbelievable."

Cammack said cattle were soaked by 12 hours of rain early in the storm, so many were unable to survive an additional 48 hours of snow and winds up to 60 mph.

"It's the worst early season snowstorm I've seen in my lifetime," said Cammack, 60.


Climate guru puts 'global warming' on ice

Dr. Tim Ball
© Dr.TimBall.com
Dr. Tim Ball
Far from being the final word on climate change, last week's United Nations report suggesting near certainty that human activity is causing a rise in Earth's temperatures is actually further proof that the conventional wisdom is dead wrong and the Earth is cooling right on schedule, according to one of the leading scientists who is skeptical of the climate-change premise.

Last week, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, reported it was 95 percent certain that climate change was the result of human activity, specifically the burning of fossil fuels that emit "greenhouse gases."

"That's the result that they get when you premeditate your science," said Dr. Tim Ball, former professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg. "When you set out to establish a certain scientific outcome and you program your computers to do that, you shouldn't be surprised if that's the result you get.

The problem is what they're getting out of their computers is not fitting with what's actually happening. Of course, that's been the problem with the IPCC all along."

Ball told WND the deception of the IPCC and its allies can be seen in how the reports are released, with the policy statement drawing headlines while the scientific information comes later and is largely ignored.

"(The summary for policymakers) is a document written to scare to public and scare the politicians into providing more funding for their own research and their own political agenda," he said. "The actual science report, which it supposedly is based on isn't going to be released right away. They've always done it his way because the summary for policymakers completely disagrees with what the science report is saying. They know that the media and the public are not going to read the science report. And they also know that if any of them get into it, they won't understand it anyway."


Stranded citizens rescued after heavy snowfall in Turkey

"The blizzard in the US was, be it only shortly, on the Dutch television news," says reader Argiris Diamantis.

"However, in spite of the fact that many people of Turkish origin are living here, heavy snowfall in Turkey is not considered to be a news item in the Netherlands.

"In Keremali Akyaz Plateau district about 10 most elderly stranded citizens were rescued after heavy snowfall there mounted up to 70 cm (27 inches)."

According to information received from the region, they were caught unprepared.


Thanks to Argiris Diamantis in the Netherlands for this link


Upper Midwest struck by unusual autumn tornadoes, snowstorm

Unusual Storm
© Reuters/Kristina Barker/Rapid City Journal
Dustin Dunn (L) and Matthew Wenzel, both students at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City, walk along Canyon Lake Boulevard in Rapid City, South Dakota, October 4, 2013.
- The upper Midwest was recovering on Saturday from an unusual autumn wallop from a fierce snowstorm that trapped dozens of people in vehicles in western South Dakota and a swarm of tornadoes that left at least 15 people injured in rural Nebraska and Iowa.

More than 80 motorists remained stranded in western South Dakota after a blizzard rolled out of the Rocky Mountains and dumped up to three feet of snow on parts of the Northern Plains.

"Our priority right now is to get those people to a warm location," said Alexa White, spokeswoman for the Rapid City-Pennington County Emergency Management Office in South Dakota. "Many of them are out of gas in their vehicles."

To the east, emergency responders combed through debris in Iowa and Nebraska after 18 reports of tornadoes touching down overnight, including some cutting a swath as wide as a mile.

Fifteen people were injured in Wayne, Nebraska, including one man who suffered broken bones when his pickup truck was hit by a tornado, according to Nebraska emergency management spokeswoman Jodie Fawl.

Fawl said the twister did millions of dollars of damage - pummelling a local airplane hanger, farm implement supply businesses and several homes.