Foot Of Snow In 3 Hours Hits Northern Japan, Still Coming Down
Rapidly developing low-pressure systems combining with a fierce Siberian blast are bringing heavy snowstorms to Japan’s northern prefecture of Hokkaido and northeastern region of Tohoku, hot on the heels of last months truly historic totals.
Otoineppu Village, Hokkaido, for example, registered a whopping 31cm (a foot+) of snow during a three hour period on Wednesday.
Blizzards are continuing across northern and eastern Japan, and local weather officials are warning of road closures and near-zero visibility. The substantial drifts have also seen the cancellation of hundreds of flights across the country.
James Reynolds, self-proclaimed “snow lover”, paints the picture:
Looking to Thursday, even colder air is set to stream over the majority of Japan, reports nhk.or.jp, bringing heavy snow to a wide area. During a 24-hour period –Thursday morning through Friday morning– as much as 70cm (2.3ft) of snow is forecast along parts of the Sea of Japan, including Tohoku, and up to 50cm (1.64ft) in Hokkaido and Niigata.
Additional snow is expected Friday over a large portion of the Japanese archipelago.
Weather officials are advising people to be on the alert against stormy winds, high waves, and also further traffic disruptions caused by blizzards and mounting snow drifts. People should also be vigilant against avalanches and power outages. And it is advisable to keep updated on the weather and refrain from going out unless absolutely necessary, concludes the nhk.or.jp article.
Record Lows Sweep Kashmir
The mercury plunged several degrees below the freezing mark across Kashmir on Wednesday, with the Pahalgam and Gulmarg resorts witnessing record low minimum temperature this winter, according to officials.
Pahalgam, located in south Kashmir Anantnag district, logged a low of -11.6C (11.1F). That was one of the regions lowest ever recordings–certainly the chilliest of the season so far. Gulmarg, the famous skiing resort in Baramulla district, suffered -11.5C (11.3F). That made it the resort’s fourth-straight night at -10C or below, officials confirmed — another record.
An unusual chill has been dominating northern India in recent weeks.
And the cold has started spilling south, too, breaking benchmarks in major metropolises, including Mumbai:
Eastern Europe Is An Ice Box
While Western and Central Europe has so far escaped the harshness of winter (-3C/26.6F in SW England this morning, mind), it’s a different story for the East, including deep into transcontinental Russia.
A mass of blues and pinks (indicating below-average temps) have dominated over the past few weeks, a setup that isn’t forecast to change anytime soon. In fact, extended GFS runs only show the cold intensifying into late-Jan:
Extreme frosts have invaded the Czech Republic in recent days, reports nova.cz. The village of Kvilda-Perla, Czechia reported an astonishing -27.3C (-17.1F) on January 12.
Other stations also logged extreme cold: -26C (-14.8F) was measured in Rokytská Slať, and -23.5C (-10.3F) in Jizerka. But it was freezing across the whole of the Czech Republic, continues the nova.cz article: “In Teplice nad Metují the thermometer showed -13C (8.6F), in Karlovy Vary -7.8C (18F), in Liberec -10.6C (12.9F), in Prostějov –5.5C (22.1F) and in Brno -7C (19.4F),” said Czechia meteorologist Dagmar Honsová.
Harsh frosts are set to persists this week, including further west, too, in Slovakia, Poland and Hungary where readings of -25C (-13F) are expected. Lows of -25.8C (-14.4F) have already been registered in the Baltics, and -20C (-4F) has been noted in the Ukraine, as winter-proper threatens a wider portion of the continent.
Likewise in Turkey, the basins and valleys, already besieged by deep snow cover, will see temperatures drop to as low as -30C (-22F) over the coming days, and heavy snowfall will persist across the mountainous regions. Severe frosts, although not so strong, and further snow should also surprise Turkey’s metropolitan cities, including Istanbul, Ankara, and even cities along the southern coast.
Shifting attention to the Middle East, Lebanon, Syria, and Israel are on for heavy snowfall, and to quite low levels, too. While very cold weather, and snow below 1,000m (3,280ft), should again rip through northern Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and even Egypt and Libya.
U.S. NatGas Jumps Higher On “Extreme Cold” Forecast For Late-Jan
U.S. natural gas futures jumped 4.4% to a six-week high on Wednesday after the latest forecasts confirmed earlier outlooks for an extremely cold last week of January. Also, traders also noted production has been slow to return following freeze-offs and other weather-related declines over the New Year weekend.
Lingering cold since New Year’s Day continued to cause well freeze-offs and other production declines in several regions, reports boereport.com, including the Permian in Texas and New Mexico, the Bakken in North Dakota and Appalachia in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
Refinitiv, an American-British global provider of financial market data, recently projected average U.S. gas demand, including exports, would slide from 133.5 bcfd this week to 132.7 bcfd next week, helped by a brief reprieve in the cold weather, but that traders couldn’t ignore latest forecasts for the final week of January, which called for the return of “extremely cold weather” to much of the CONUS.
Refinitiv added total U.S. gas demand plus exports hit a preliminary record of 150.9 bcfd on Jan 7, topping the current record of 150.6 bcfd on Jan 30, 2019, and also the 147.2 bcfd hit on Feb 12, 2021–just before record-smashing Winter Storm Uri left millions without power after freezing gas wells and pipes in Texas and other U.S. Central states, killing 702 people in Texas alone.
Traders said demand for U.S. LNG will remain strong so long as global gas prices keep trading well above U.S. futures as utilities around the world scramble for LNG cargoes to replenish worryingly low stockpiles in Europe and meet surging demand in Asia:
A quick word on Canada — “freezing”. Polar lows are sweeping eastern swathes of the country this week, and electricity consumption is hitting record levels across multiple provinces.
Taking Quebec, where record-high consumption was noted on Tuesday, January 11, after the mercury took a plunged. According to data provided by Canadian meteorologist Simon Legalt: -38C (-36.4F) was registered in Chibougamau, Abitibi and Matagami; wind chills touched -44C (-47.2F) In Sibukoma; Montreal suffered -27C (-16.6F), with the city’s usually packed parks and streets deserted; while in Toronto, daytime highs were holding at around -20C (-4F).
Environment Canada has issued warnings of extreme cold across Canada’s east, including Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, with the west enjoying a much-needed break for the recent historic lows and snows:
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING in line with historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow (among many other forcings, including the impending release of the Beaufort Gyre).
Prepare accordingly — learn the facts, relocate if need be and grow your own.
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