Extreme Temperatures


Early snow in Albania

"Albania has a "cold snap" now, too," says reader Argiris Diamantis. "The first snow has fallen there quite early this year."

The first snow has fallen in the district of Kukes. The snows covered the areas over 1500 meters above sea level, approaching the villages of Shishtavec, Kalis, Gryke, Cajë, Arrën, Topojan, Zapod and several others.


Thanks to Argiris Diamantis in the Netherlands for this link

"The whole Northern Hemisphere is experiencing 'cold snaps' at the same time," says Argiris. "Whatever happened to global warming?"


Almost all of Switzerland covered in snow

Dozens of road accidents were reported in the canton on Saturday evening following the heavy snowfall which has affected almost the whole of the country.

As many of the deciduous trees still have their leaves, many trees have suffered under the weight of the snow and branches have broken off, some of them falling on to roads and blocking them. Woodland in both cantons of Basel is particularly affected, especially above 400 metres. The authorities there have advised people not to walk in woods, or even on the edge of them.

The Zurich Cantonal Police have advised motorists to adapt their speed to the prevailing wintery conditions accordingly. They have reported a number of accidents caused by people still driving with summer tyres.

Several accidents were reported in the canton of Schwyz, too, with the mountain road between Schindellegi and Sattel particularly badly affected.

Nine accidents were reported in the canton of St Gallen, with the fire brigade busy clearing roads of fallen trees.

The photograph shows an overturned car in Bonau in the neighbouring canton of Thurgau.


Heavy snowfall in Hungary - Video


France: Winter before it should be

"C'est l'hiver avant l'heure;" or 'it is winter before it should be', was one local person's reaction to heavy snow falls which have hit eastern parts of France.

The cold snap brought power cuts with up to 50,000 households in the Isere region in the Alps deprived of electricity.

Authorities have issued an "Orange" warning, the second highest alert, and rescue services have been fully mobilised.

Up to 50 centimetres of snow fell in some parts making driving hazardous. An icy wind and fresh falls of snow on top of the ice only added to the dangerous conditions.

Many drivers were forced to abandon their cars while emergency services were called to clear trees from roads felled in the high winds, with gusts blowing up to 130 kilometres per hour recorded in one area.

Parts of the south of France were the worst hit by the high winds where on the riviera two people have been reported missing.

A search has been mounted for a 12-year-old boy on the island of Porquerolles. Emergency services say his bike has been found. A 26-year-old windsurfer is also missing.

In the port of Marseille the ferry Napoleon Bonaparte was damaged when strong winds broke the ship's moorings.

The hull smashed against the dock flooding two of its watertight compartments.


Cold snap to sweep through China

Cold Snap in China
© Xinhua/Lin HongCitizens wearing thick clothes walk on a street in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Oct. 28, 2012. A cold front swept the province on Sunday, lowering the temperature nine to 11 degrees centigrade in most parts of the province and bringing the lowest temperature down to less than zero.
Beijing -- China's central and eastern regions will experience temperature drops in coming days, while the southern parts will receive moderate to heavy rain, the national meteorological watchdog forecast Sunday.

Strong wind will make temperatures in northeastern regions fall by six to ten degrees Celsius on Sunday. A blast of cold air is forecast to sweep across the central and eastern parts from Monday, the National Meteorological Center said on its website.

The center also forecast that fog will shroud parts of Hubei, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces on Sunday morning, reducing visibility to less than 1,000 meters.

Over the next three days, parts of South China will see moderate to heavy rain, and some regions may experience torrential rain, the center said.

Son-Tinh, the 23rd tropical storm of the year, strengthened to a super-typhoon on Saturday night and was located 260 km southeast of Vietnam's Thanh Hoa at 5 a.m. Sunday.

Son-Tinh is expected to move northwestward at a speed of 10 to 15 km per hour and make landfall in Vietnam's northern coastal regions on Sunday night, the center said.

Snowflake Cold

Sweden braces for week of heavy snow

Meteorologists predict heavy snowfall throughout the country and have issued a nationwide class 1 warning.

"There may be large quantities of snow," explained Lisa Frost of the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SMHI.

"As it's the first snow and it's quite early in the season, we're issuing the warning - especially as some people haven't changed to their winter tyres yet."

Throughout Monday, the Dalarna and Värmland counties have been slammed by a lengthy snow storm, which has left 10 cm (4 inches) of snow. SMHI forecast a further 10 cm before Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) is already fighting the blizzards.

The season's lowest temperature was recorded on Sunday night with Nattavaara in far northern Sweden hitting -22.1C (-6F).

Ice Cube

Surprise October snow hits central Germany - Suspected record

Winter appeared overnight in many parts of Germany on Saturday with unseasonal heavy snow fall and subzero temperatures hitting central and southern areas.

Meteorologists say this is the first time for decades that snow has fallen on low lying areas in October. More flurries are expected over the weekend.

As much as 17cm of snow fell overnight in Thuringen forest in central Germany - a suspected record for this time of year.

Heavy snow also fell on Bavaria, Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Saarland, with further flurries expected on Saturday in Leipzig, Dresden and Munich, according to the DWD.

"This happens maybe once every 30 or 40 years," meteorologist Christoph Hartmann of the German weather service (DWD) told Die Welt newspaper on Saturday, referring to the unusual snowfall in October.

The severe drop in temperature - by 20 degrees within a week - also occurs "very, very seldom," he added.

With winter's first onslaught, fallen trees blocked train lines between Leipzig and Munich, causing delays and diversions to the ICE high speed rail network.

A further 10-15 cm of snow is expected overnight in the Alps and in the Ore Mountains in Saxony, where DWD said temperatures could fall as low as minus ten.


Austria - Rare October snow catches drivers by surprise

Only twice before since records began has there been snow in October in all the nine provinces of Austria, on the 31 October 1941 as well as in the night of 23 and 24 October 2003.

Austrian weather expert Alexander Orlik from the central weather institute ZAMG said: "It is true the snow is very early this year and that is an indication that it will be a long hard winter, but not proof."

The early snow caught many drivers unaware who had not yet changed over to winter tyres - causing problems on the roads. The legal deadline to have winter tyres is 1 November in Austria.

In Carinthia parts of the region were left without electricity as the snow fell as a result of heavy snow meaning trees toppled onto the lines .


First snowfall of Northern winter freezes Russia and Poland

The first snowfall of winter in Europe has fallen in Russia and Poland, with freezing temperatures being recorded earlier than usual.
The first snowfall of winter in Europe has fallen in Russia and Poland, with freezing temperatures being recorded earlier than usual.

Heavy snow fell throughout Poland, in what some are calling an "early winter", leaving three people frozen to death. The snow cut power supplies to about 70,000 in the Warsaw area and caused transport delays across the country. During the night, snow clearing machines were used to make roads drivable and workers spent the evening shoveling snow from pavements.

In Moscow, melting snow resulted in areas of the city, including parks and some of the central squares, becoming waterlogged.


First measurable snow in Valdez, Alaska, occurred 17 days earlier than last season

Valdez, Alaska snow
© UnknownSnow surrounds this home in Valdez, Alaska on Jan. 9, 2012.
Why on earth are we starting off with the photo above? It's not January!Saturday, Valdez, Alaska, America's snowiest city, witnessed its first measurable snow of the season, picking up 1.6" accumulation. This may have inspired a sense of dread in the area, given last season.

A whopping 438" of snow fell in Valdez last season. That's 36 feet of total snow accumulation! The 2011-2012 season delivered over 100" above the average (326").

In fact, after a whopping 98" of snow fell just in the first 12 days of January 2012, the National Guard had to be called in to help rescue folks buried in both Valdez and nearby, Cordova, AK. Incredibly, snow invaded a home of one unlucky Valdez resident.

Here's the kicker. Yesterday's first measurable snow in Valdez occurred 17 days earlier than last season. Of course, there's no predictive value to this, much as an early start to the hurricane season doesn't usually say much about the rest of the season.