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Mon, 20 Jan 2020
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Snowflake Cold

Prolonged cold spell in northern India blamed on 'unusual Western disturbance weather pattern'

Comment: That's what they also blamed the record cold wave in northern India LAST December on. Which means they don't know what they're talking about. Suffice it to say, it's unusually cold in India again this winter, after it was unusually hot again in India this past summer...

cold spell north india
© K M Sharma/BCCL Patna / File
School children shiver due to cold conditions
An unusual and powerful spell of "Western Disturbances", originating in the Mediterranean sea, has made India shiver for the past fortnight. Unfortunately, the spell, striking once in four to five decades, will continue to freeze people on New Year's Eve too.

"It is a long spell, very unique in nature, and would affect entire northwest India," says Dr Rajendra Jenamani, senior scientist at the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The thick cover of smog on the Indo-Gangetic plains and the uneven warming of the Indian Ocean has a role to play in this robust spell of Western Disturbances. The extratropical storms originating in the Mediterranean region are causing sudden winter rain in the northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent, which have brought the day temperatures in some Indian cities below 12 degrees Celsius.

Comment: Skymet Weather defines Western Disturbance as "a low pressure area or a trough over surface or the upper-air in the westerly winds regime, north of 20°N, causing changes in pressure, wind pattern and temperature fields. It is accompanied by cloudiness, with or without precipitation."

The term Western Disturbance (WD) was coined by Indian meteorologists for describing the systems moving from the west to east direction.
western disturbance weather pattern india

A Western Disturbance weather pattern from 2015

Snowflake Cold

Winter storm blankets Southern California mountain resorts with up to 3 feet of fresh snow

heavy snowfall shuts down major roads as

Heavy snowfall shuts down major roads
Though mountain resorts in Southern California received several feet of fresh snow Christmas Day into Thursday morning, some skiers and snowboarders hoping to take advantage are out of luck.

In Wrightwood, Mountain High Resort was doused with up to three feet of white powder, but was closed Thursday due to the severity of the winter storm. The resort was expected to reopen Friday.

Big Bear Mountain and Snow Valley Mountain resorts both saw a few inches fall and would be open.

Pine Mountain Club in southwestern Kern County also received nearly two feet of snow and more was expected to fall.


'Never seen that before': Birds falling 'dead' from trees during extreme heatwave in Australia

One of the dead cockatoos after apparently falling from a tree in extreme heat.

One of the dead cockatoos after apparently falling from a tree in extreme heat.
The extreme heat currently sweeping the nation has apparently begun killing native wildlife as temperatures continue to reach dangerous highs across the country.

A farmer shared grim photos to Twitter of what he says shows dead cockatoos that appeared to have fallen from a tree on a day that saw the thermometer on his back verandah rocket to 48.9C.

"Not an official reading obviously, but it was enough to kill these sulphur-crested cockatoos," he wrote.


Over a metre of snow dumped on Okanagan highways in British Columbia

The Coquihalla and Allison Summit were hit the hardest

The winter storm that blew through the Okanagan and the B.C. interior last week dumped more than a metre of snow on the Connector, the Coquihalla, Highway 1 and other mountain passes, according to Environment Canada.

At the height of the storm, the weather agency recorded between five and 10 centimetres of snow accumulating an hour, something that is very rare according to Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon.

"I wouldn't say that that was very normal," said Sekhon. "Keeping that rate up for a 12-hour stretch was quite exceptional."


Several resorts in the Alps post 1 metre plus weekend snowfall totals

Tignes, Les Arcs and Orelle (Behind Val Thorens in the 3 Valleys) are amongst resorts to report more than a metre (40 inches) of snowfall between Friday and Monday after another snowy weekend in the Alps.

Up at Arc 2000 the metre of snowfall, more than half of which arrived in the past 24 hours, was car burying stuff...

car buried by snow
Resorts across the Alps as well as in the Dolomites and Pyrenees, have been publishing big snowfall totals, with many posting 40-60cm accumulations. Although lower valleys (down to about 1000 metres) have still got above freezing temperatures the snow has also been accumulating down to resort level at traditional village resorts, as well as at the purpose-built altitude, although conditions are still best high up.


Record Christmas snow cover in Finnish Lapland

Sunset in snow-covered Lapland.
© Thomas Nilsen
Sunset in snow-covered Lapland.
Many Lapland residents will spend this Christmas enjoying record snow cover, according to data from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, FMI.

The institute said that snow hit record depths in areas such as Pokka in Kittilä, Tähtelä in Sodankylä and Saariselkä in Inari.

In Pokka, powder is nearly 80 centimetres deep, while in Tähtelä and Saariselkä snow cover is around 70 centimetres. Except for coastal areas, most of the north has been blanketed by at least 50 centimetres of snow.

FMI said that this Christmas will be slightly warmer than usual in Lapland, with the mercury hovering around zero degrees Celsius in southern Lapland and a few degrees below freezing further north.


8,000 vehicles stranded in Kashmir by up to 3 feet of fresh snowfall

Stuck truck

Stuck trucks
While fresh snowfall in Kashmir and higher reaches of Jammu region this evening forced closure of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and cancellation of several flights to and fro Srinagar Airport, one person was killed and eight others were injured when a Tempo carrying them from Srinagar to Jammu was hit by shooting stones.

As predicted by the weathermen, Kashmir valley and higher reaches of Jammu region including Chenab valley areas received fresh snowfall today ahead of Chillai-Kalan which begins tomorrow whereas plain areas of Jammu received moderate rainfall, leading to drop in temperatures across the Union Territory of J&K. The snowfall led to slippery road conditions near the Jawahar Tunnel area forcing authorities to close the NH-44 for traffic this evening.

An official said that around 1000 vehicles crossed Jawahar tunnel towards Srinagar before the NH-44 was closed for traffic due to snowfall near the Tunnel. He added that around 3 inches of snow had accumulated at the Jawahar Tunnel.

The official said that around 1000 vehicles were stranded between Udhampur and Jawahar Tunnel due to closure of the highway while 7000 trucks were stranded in Qazigund area.


2 firefighters die as wildfires in Australia rage on - death toll rises to 8

Firefighters, many of them volunteers, are battling around 100 fires that have encircled Sydney amid drought and record-high temperatures
© Mick Tsikas/AAP
Firefighters, many of them volunteers, are battling around 100 fires that have encircled Sydney amid drought and record-high temperatures
The deaths of the two volunteer firefighters brings toll from the bushfires that have ravaged east for weeks to eight.

Two volunteer firefighters died while battling blazes around Sydney, authorities said on Friday, forcing Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison to cut short a holiday in Hawaii that had fuelled public anger at the government's response to the crisis.

Australia has been fighting bushfires across much of its east coast for weeks, leaving eight people dead, more than 700 homes destroyed and nearly 1.2 million hectares (3 million acres) of bushland burned.

Snowflake Cold

Up to 30 FEET deep snow banks in Iceland - 'We've never before had snow on this scale'

Work was done yesterday to shovel the roof of the houses,

Work was done yesterday to shovel snow off the roofs of the houses, as well as away from a window on the 2nd floor so the building could be entered.
"We've never before had snow on this scale," states Valgeir Þorvaldsson, director of the Icelandic Emigration Center in Hofsós, North Iceland, located in two-story houses that almost disappeared under a thick blanket of snow during the big storm last week.

"When building these houses, it never occurred to us we'd have to shovel [snow] off these roofs. There are, I believe, 9 meters (30 ft) up to the gable of the biggest house, and the roofs are very steep, too," he continues.

When contacted by mbl.is on Monday, he had just finished assisting 30 horses in accessing hay in the deep snow.

"Maybe this is why people emigrated to America," Valgeir ponders.


World Snow Wrap, December 20: Canada joins the powder party, more snow in Europe

There wil be plenty of more of this in Revelstoke this weekend. Kim Vinet having some fun on Tuesday.
© Hywel Williams
There wil be plenty of more of this in Revelstoke this weekend. Kim Vinet having some fun on Tuesday.
The past week has seen plenty of snow falling in Europe and North America, with Canadian resorts finally getting a good slice of the snow action. In the US, the Pacific Northwest is about to get hammered, but it will be quieter in both the Sierras and Rocky Mountains with a short period of fine weather on the way. As for Japan, the poor start continues, with claims it has been the worst December in over a decade, but there are signs things may soon change for the better.


All the current action in the US is happening in the Pacific Northwest where it is snowing across the Cascades and is set to continue over the next two to three days, and the forecast totals are big, Mt Baker in line for 120cms while Stevens Pass should see 85cms. This is a big turnaround as the snow cover in the Cascades was poor, that region having missed out on the big storms experienced in the Sierras and the Rockies over the past three weeks, the most recent being last weekend.