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Thu, 28 May 2020
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Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake Cold

Thousands without power in Maine as polar vortex freezes big chunk of US - up to 10 inches of snow recorded

snow accumulation near Readsboro, Vermont can be seen on Saturday, May 9, 2020.

Snow accumulation near Readsboro, Vermont can be seen on Saturday, May 9, 2020.
Thousands of people were without power in Maine after a punishing spring storm brought snow and high winds Saturday to New England.

The frigid cold, caused by a polar vortex that blasted in from the north, set a number of records across the region, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service said unusually chilly conditions are expected to linger Sunday across the Central Plains, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast ,with freeze warnings and frost advisories in effect.

"We have another really cold morning across parts of the Northeast," Fox News chief meteorologist Rick Reichmuth said on "Fox & Friends Weekend." "It is going to get better. In fact, temps today are going to be back up into the 60s for a lot of people, so that snow that we had yesterday will be gone, but we do have one more chilly morning to get through with this."

Cloud Precipitation

Spain's Costa Blanca gets massive hail storms

As the Costa del Britain enjoyed some sizzling spring heatwave weather over the first part of the weekend, Spain's Costa Blanca got a real taste of winter with some massive hail storms.

The UK hot spell did not last, with a big change this Sunday (May 10), but photos from the resort of Torrevieja certainly got people wondering whether the two countries had done a deal to swap their regular weather!

The local weather group, Proyecto Mastral, posted some photos taken of the effects of the hailstorm pummelling parts of the Costa Blanca city early this morning.

Comment: A day earlier the municipality of Pozohondo in the central region of Castile-La Mancha experienced unusual flooding:


Earth's mean temperature falling and possible explanation of the 11-year cycle

Dropping Temperatures
© NASA Earth Observatory. Public Domain
The global mean temperature in April 2020 was again significantly lower than in February and March, at 0.38°C above the average from 1981 to 2010. The average temperature increase on the globe from 1981 to February 2020 was 0.14°C per decade. The further development promises to be interesting, especially since a number of research institutes expect a higher probability of a cooling La Nina in the Pacific towards the end of the year. March's solar activity was very low with a sunspot number of 1.5. Activity in April rose slightly to 5.4. The first sunspots of the new cycle are showing.

What causes the sun to have an 11-year cycle?

Since the Dessau pharmacist Heinrich Samuel Schwabe discovered in 1843 that the sunspots of the sun increase and decrease in an 11-year cycle, science has been puzzling over the reason why this cycle lasts 11 years and why the solar magnetic field also changes its polarity in this rhythm: the north pole becomes the south pole and vice versa.

In July last year, scientists at the Helmholtz Centre in Dresden Rossendorf made a little-noticed but exciting discovery. Every 11.07 years, the planets Venus, Earth and Jupiter are aligned quite precisely. At this point in time, their gravitational force acts jointly in one direction on the Sun.

"The agreement is amazingly accurate: we see a complete parallelism with the planets over 90 cycles," explains Frank Stefani, one of the authors of the publication published in Solar Physics. Just as the gravitational pull of the Moon causes the tides on Earth, planets could move the hot plasma on the surface of the Sun. But the effect of a simple gravitational force is too weak to significantly disturb the flow in the Sun's interior, so the temporal coincidence has long been ignored.

Snowflake Cold

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Will record May cold in Europe and N. America wipe out crops?

Record cold records broken by the thousands between N. America, Australia and Europe over the first weeks and a half on May 2020.

Wheat planting is 22% compared to 49% the average in USA. So the question to be asked with the warm spring and now epic May freeze in multiple continents, how do you think this will affect agriculture in 2020?



Polar vortex brings snowfall, wintry conditions to New England - up to 9 inches of snow recorded in Vermont

A polar vortex brought rare winter weather conditions to the Northeast of the US on May 9, with freezing temperatures and snow reported across parts of New England, including Vermont.

Up to 9 inches of snow was recorded in parts of Vermont with freeze or frost advisories reported in 20 states across the Midwest and Northeast.

Video filmed by Mitch @VermonsterWx shows several inches of "light and fluffy" snow accumulation near Readsboro, Vermont.

Credit: Mitch @VermonsterWx via Storyful


'Snow in Central Park! In May!': Rare snowfall ties 1977 record

NYC snow
© Seth Travis/Twitter
Snow fell in Central Park early Saturday morning, tying a record for May snowfall set in 1977, according to the National Weather Service. "In New York City at Central Park this morning, it was- it tied for the latest snowfall we've ever seen," said CBS News meteorologist Jeff Berardelli on "CBS This Morning: Saturday."

In upstate New York, a significant amount of snow left the region looking like a winter wonderland - in the middle of spring. According to Berardelli, the disorienting May weather is due to the polar vortex, which normally only touches down in the winter.

The polar vortex is a massive whirlwind of frigid air that typically circulates around the Arctic Circle. It tends to sink down into the U.S. a few times each winter. But this past winter it did not - and instead the vortex was unusually strong and stationary, keeping cold air locked far north.

Comment: The month of May brings record (sometimes historic) cold to both hemispheres


How ancient people preserve their foods

New Fridge
© Everett Collection
For quarantine cuisine, many of us are reaching deep into the kitchen pantry and freezer — recovering canned soups and frozen veggies, purchased who knows when. Though we may wonder, "Are these the same peas I used to ice my sprained ankle?" we're confident the contents are edible. Perishables last for years thanks to modern methods of preservation, such as freezing, canning, vacuum-sealing and chemical additives.

But how did ancient people preserve their foods?

It's a problem that every society, from the dawn of humanity, has faced: How to save food for figurative rainy days — away from microbes, insects and other critters eager to spoil it. Over the years, archaeologists have found evidence for a variety of techniques. Some, like drying and fermenting, remain common today. Others are bygone practices, such as burying butter in peat bogs. Though low-tech, the ancient ways were effective — clearly, as some of the products have survived millennia.
Bog Butter
© Nordic Food Lab/University of Copenhagen
Bog butter.


'Sure doesn't look like May': Lake-effect snow blows across Lake Superior coastline

Unseasonable weather conditions hit the coastal towns along Lake Superior in northern Michigan on May 8, leaving behind several inches of snow.

On May 7, the National Weather Service out of Marquette, Wisconsin, tweeted about the cold forecast: "Colder temperatures are on the doorstep. A surge of winter-like conditions will return tonight into Fri. with some lake-effect snow."

This video was taken from the NWS Marquette office, showing their forecast come to fruition. The caption with the video said, "Sure doesn't look like May 8."

Snow flurries were also reported across Ohio and Pennsylvania on May 8.

Credit: NWS Marquette via Storyful

Comment: The month of May brings record (sometimes historic) cold to both hemispheres


Some parts of Ontario are now covered by snow in May and it looks like winter

Ontario Woke Up A Massive Heap Of Snow

Ontario woke up a massive heap of snow
The unusual snowfall originally predicted for this weekend hit parts of northern Ontario today, and it has blanketed areas of the region in fresh powder.

The unseasonable snowfall is the result of a polar vortex sweeping over the region that's expected to last throughout today and into the weekend.

Comment: Related: The month of May brings record (sometimes historic) cold to both hemispheres

Snowflake Cold

May snow and cold in Norway

snow map
May 05 - Minus 17 degrees on Hardangervidda tonight

"Sandhaug in Hardangervidda had a total of 17 minus degrees, " Meteorologists wrote on Twitter.

In Hardangervidda, temperatures of around zero degrees during the day, says Tone Christin Taule, on-duty meteorologist at Vervarslinga in Western Norway.

Comment: A continuation of the recent snowy weather in the region witnessed at the end of April:

Also related: The month of May brings record (sometimes historic) cold to both hemispheres