Canada Sets A Slew Of Low Temperature Records, 17 In B.C. Alone
At least 17 low temperature records were broken in British Columbia alone on Wednesday, according to Environment Canada data, as Arctic air parked itself over the province, and indeed over much of the the country, too.
The majority of the fallen records date back decades, with the oldest being the city of Duncan’s -7.2C (18.1F) which, until Wednesday’s -7.7C (18.1F), had held for 105 years–since the year 1917 (the Centennial Minimum).
Other temperature records broken in B.C. (in degrees Celsius) include:
Campbell River: -9.5 bested the -6.6 from 1982; Hope Slide: -16.5 beat the -14.8 set in 1979; Malahat: -7 broke the -6.3 set 2011; Nanaimo: -7.5 vs -5.6 (sate set not indicated); Port Alberni: -9.5 vs -7.2 from way back in 1922; Port Hardy: -4.6 pipped the -4.3 set in 1982; Powell River: -5.5, vs -4.5 from 2017; Qualicum Beach: -6.9 vs -4.6 set in 2018; Sechelt: -4.7 vs -3.6 from 2018; Sparwood: -28.2 vs -26.7 set back in 1956; Squamish: -6.1 vs -5.5 from 2018; Tofino: -4 broke the old record of -3.3 set in 1982; Trail: -17.4 vs -17.1 from 2018; Victoria: -6 pipped the -5.9 set in 1993; West Vancouver: -5.7 usurped the -3.1 from 2018; White Rock: -5.5 bested the -4.4 set in 1957.
This week’s blast of cold air is prevailing south of the border, too, where it continues to deliver record low temperatures and snowy conditions to the United States, disrupting travel, knocking power and toppling trees.
Thursday morning’s readings were the coldest of the polar outbreak so far: International Falls, Minnesota, for example, suffered a staggering -40F, breaking its old daily record of -31F in the process; while Sidney, Nebraska observed -11F, besting its previous benchmark of -8F. Shifting West, some spots in California were testing monthly low temperature records Thursday: Fairfield touched 24F; while Lemoore hit 22F — and across the state, mounting agricultural damage is also being reported.
Thursday morning’s broken cold records come on top of the hundreds upon hundreds that fell Tuesday and Wednesday, including the record low-maxes busted in places like Billings, Mont. (-3F), Oklahoma City (19F), and Wichita Falls (24F). And looking at the coolwx.com animation (embedded below), we can see that the past 24 hours have been just as noteworthy as the 48 hours that preceded it, with those toppled monthly records in California also clearly marked:
The system is still, as of Friday, affecting more than a hundred million Americans from Texas to Maine.
The Arctic blast –caused by an extreme dip in the jet stream which, in turn, is linked to the historically low solar activity we’re experiencing– is intensifying east of the Rocky Mountains where it is bringing additional icy conditions to the South, Midwest and Northeast — on Friday, as much as a foot of snow is forecast across the NE, including Boston, Albany, and Hartford; while severe icing, of 0.25″ to 1″, is on the cards for many, including in Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri, but elsewhere, too, particularly to the east. At the Weather Service in Little Rock, forecasters didn’t mince words, writing that “power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice. Travel could be nearly impossible.” As of the early hours of Friday morning, some 35,000 homes are without power in Arkansas alone, according to poweroutage.us.
North of the ice, a zone of snowfall is likely from the Central Plains through the Midwest, and into the Northeast, too.
Concentrating on the Northeast’s forecast snow totals, large portions of New York and New England have been put under a winter storm warning. Rensselaer Mayor, Michael Stammel, has even declared a state of emergency in the city, ahead of the impending snowstorm which could-well deliver more than a foot by the time it’s done. Boston’s flurries began in the early hours of Friday, and by the time the sun is due to rise, there should already be up to half a foot on the ground in some spots. Here, snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are expected early Friday, making travel tricky.
As much as 8 inches is likely across the majority of of Southern New England Friday — a flash freeze later in the day also is’t being ruled out, according to latest NWS forecasts, including in Rhode Island.
More All-Time Snowfall Benchmarks Surpassed In Japan
Just briefly –as I’ve discussed Japan a lot in recent weeks– all-time snowfall benchmarks continue to falling for the month of February, particularly across the country’s northern prefectures.
Newest additions to list are Tsunan and Matsunoyama. The snow depth at the former climbed to 4.19m (13.7ft) on Feb 24, totals which surpassed Tsunan’s all-time Feb record of 4.16m (13.6ft) set back in 1989; while the latter, Matsunoyama –which sits at an elevation of just 446m (1,463ft)– touched 5m (16.4ft) as of Thursday, the locale’s highest since 1984 — and with a few more snowy days left to run before the month is done, these records are expected to nudge even higher.
“Absolutely crazy,” writes @ThierryGooseBC on Twitter:
Even crazier totals are being reported elsewhere, with 6.25m (20.5ft) logged at Hiuchi Dam, 6.7m (22ft) at Charmant Hiuchi, and 6.9m (22.6ft) at Tanigawadake Tenjindaira. Putting these figures into context, note the monstrous spikes on the below charts:
Grain Prices Spike, Wheat Nears 2008 Highs
While the stock markets appear calmer, at least as I type this, wheat prices have jumped to their highest level since 2008, threatening to push up food prices in a world already suffering with spiraling inflation. Ukraine is a major wheat exporter, the sixth largest on the planet, hence its nickname ‘the bread basket of Europe’.
Wheat futures in Chicago rose 2.8% to $9.6075 a bushel in early Asian trading, after surging by the maximum allowed by the exchange yesterday, while corn and soybeans also rose — corn climbed 1.2% to $6.9825 a bushel, with soybeans 0.8% higher.
U.S. agribusiness conglomerate Bunge announced Thursday that it had temporarily suspended its Ukraine-based operations at processing facilities in Nikoalev and Dnipro, and the company offices are closed across the country following Russia’s invasion.
Bunge said it employs 1,000 people in Ukraine at two processing facilities and grain elevators as well as a grain export terminal in the Mykolaiv commercial seaport. It also runs a dry corn milling facility in the Vinnytsya region, near Kyiv.
The company said in a statement that its highest priority and primary concern “is for the safety of our employees.” It also attempted to ease supply concerns, adding: “Taking advantage of Bunge’s global network and footprint, the company will work to minimize any impact on our supply chain.”
Prices for wheat, corn, oilseeds and vegoils all rose sharply on Thursday as traders responded to the increased likelihood that invasion and war will cause major disruption to supplies from Black Sea ports and other routes. Ukraine is a major producer and exporter of both wheat and corn, it is also one of the world’s biggest exporters of sunflower seeds and derivatives — any disruptions to exports in the country will have reverberations around the world.
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