Freeze Returns To Parts Of Europe–Scandinavia Suffers-35.5C (-31.9F)
Brief but powerful shots of Arctic cold hit parts of Europe over the weekend, particularly the Alps, Czechia, and Scandinavia.
The Winter of 2021-2022 has been a mild one for Central and Western Europe, and while that continues to be the case, periodic punches of polar cold are still managing to break south–the continent’s chill of winter has largely been confined to the East and Southeast, where record-breaking lows and debilitating snows have been buffeting the likes of Turkey since December 2021.
With regards to the weekend’s polar conditions: Amburnex Combe, Switzerland logged a low of -24.8C (-12.6F); Rokytská Slať, Czech Republic saw -18C (-0.4F), plus 115cm (3.8ft) of snow; Austria observed -20C, and 65cm (2.1ft) of snow; while in Scandinavia, Naimakka, Sweden shivered through -35.5C (-31.9F), with Kaukoteino, Norway suffering -35.2C (-31.4F).
On Monday, pockets of anomalous cold will persist in parts of Czechia, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, the Baltic region, Scandinavia, and the Balkans; but as the week progresses, these areas will flip to experiencing anomalous heat, as will the majority of Europe. Central Europe, for example, could see highs upwards of 20C this week, while Portugal/Spain could register 30C (86F)–but rather than an indication of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, this setup will serve as evidence of the swings between extremes witnessed during times of low solar activity:
And while Europe trends warmer this week, the world as a whole looks set to continue its cooling trend.
Climate Reanalyzer utilizes existing publicly-available datasets and models to give a ‘best guess’ of the global temperature for the day. The Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine is charged with its operations, and, being a mainstream dataset, temperature forecasts tend to run hot. But still, readings have been hovering around the 1979-2000 baseline in recent days, and as of today, Feb 14, ‘the World’ is just 0.1C above the average:
Moreover, January’s observed UAH data put the average global temp of the lower troposphere (where us humans reside) at just 0.03C above the 30-year average. This is down 0.18C from the previous month, and down a substantial 0.68C from the 2016 high:
Earth has been cooling since 2016, in line with low solar activity. Where this cool-down stops is anyone’s guess, but with the sun’s slumber persisting into SC25 –with the past two cycles proving the weakest of the past 200+ years– we likely have a long way left to fall. And that’s not counting NOAA’s forecast for SC26 (late-2020s to early-2040s) which shows all-but ZERO sunspots over the coming decades, a reality, that if it were to play out, would signal the onset of a Grand Solar Minimum proper.
Combined, Solar Cycles 24 and the burgeoning 25 are looking set to be on par with those of the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830) — an era of brutal cold, crop loss, famine, war and powerful Volcanic eruptions. Like the deeper Maunder and Spörer Minimums preceding it, the Dalton brought on a period of lower-than-average global temperatures. The Oberlach Station in Germany, for example, experienced a 2C decline over 20 years, which devastated the country’s food production.
The Year Without a Summer also occurred during the Dalton Minimum — in 1816. It was caused by a combination of already low temperatures plus the aftereffects of the second largest volcanic eruption in 2000 years: Mount Tambora’s VEI 7 on April 10, 1815. The earthquakes and tsunamis that followed that explosion killed tens of thousands of people living on the surrounding Indonesian islands. But in Europe and the U.S., Tambora’s eruption wasn’t of much interest, at least not initially — the news was dominated by the Napoleonic Wars and the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, in which the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon Bonaparte at the expense of 65,000 men. Newspapers were preoccupied with the battle right up until the start of winter in 1815, when the weather turned decidedly ‘wacky’. By 1816, the climate was dominating the headlines when both Spring and then Summer failed to arrive. One Virginia resident recalled, “In June another snowfall came and folks went sleighing. On July 4, water froze in cisterns and snow fell again, with Independence Day celebrants moving inside churches where hearth fires warmed things a mite.” Clothes froze on the line in New England, ice on ponds and lakes was reported in northwestern Pennsylvania in both July and August, and Virginia had frosts in August. The temperature occasionally got into the 90s, but then would drop to nearly freezing in just a few hours. Crops that had managed to sprout were frozen out in early June, replanted, and frozen again in July. Very few crops were actually harvested, and of those that were, the yields were very poor. In turn, food and grain prices skyrocketed — for example, in 1815, oats sold for $0.12 a bushel but by the next year, a bushel would set you back $0.92.
And the story was the same across the world:
The potato crop in Ireland rotted in the ground resulting in widespread starvation. In England, France and Germany wheat crops failed leading to bread shortages and food riots and looting. Northern China was also hard hit with thousands of people starving to death. While in southern Asia, torrential rains triggered a cholera epidemic that killed many more.
The year 1816 went on to earn another, rather more morbid nickname, “Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death“.
This is the power of cosmic and climatic forcings, and an eerily similar setup is building again today: climate is cyclic, never linear, after-all, and the COLD TIMES appear to be returning. Prepare.
Swings Between Extremes Hit The Northeast And Atlantic Canada
Swings have also been noted in North America of late, particularly in Massachusetts, U.S., and Nova Scotia, Canada.
After Saturday’s out-of-season warmth that fired the mercury into the 50s parts of Massachusetts, highs on Sunday dipped into the 40s before plummeting into the 30s and then 20s into dusk: a “weather roller coaster” is how NWS meteorologist Bill Leatham put it.
More snowfall than expected hit areas like Boston (4.8 inches), and also Rockland, Weymouth, and Lexington (6 inches), with the flakes still coming down overnight Sunday and through Monday morning: “The system tracked closer to us, and provided an extra lift that resulted in more snowfall than we were anticipating,” said Leatham.
This stark flip-flopping infected areas across the Northeast — and following daily record-highs on Saturday, New York City was blasted by a powerful Arctic front on Sunday which delivered a dusting of snow to Manhattan:
And similarly in Nova Scotia, a blast of polar cold is currently hitting the Canadian province just a day after record highs were enjoyed (breaking records from 1981 and 1998).
In response to the frigid outlook, Environment Canada issued public weather alerts for all counties in the province for both Sunday and Monday. Winter storm alerts have been issued for all of Cape Breton, with snowfall alerts in place for mainland Nova Scotia — ECCC is advising that non-essential travel be postponed until conditions improve.
CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon said the incoming system will be long in duration, and is arriving in two rounds — the first round moved through Sunday night, with the second set to traverse the area Monday, bringing with it stronger winds.
Snow totals of up to 25cm (10 inches) are expected across Nova Scotia, with 30+cm (12+inches) likely to be seen in eastern areas and Cape Breton. Frigid lows are expected to continue Tuesday and into Wednesday, said Snoddon.
As discussed above, the Sun appears to be slipping into its next Grand Solar Minimum cycle–a multidecadal spell of reduced solar output where the solar disc can be devoid of sunspots for months or even years at a time.
The result on Earth’s climate will be one of violent swings between extremes. Intense bursts of heat will linger in one area, while a teeth-chattering chill will dominate nearby, and then the regions will switch — it is this unpredictable chopping and changing that will hasten the failure of our modern food production systems; crops will fail, on a large scale, and famine could quickly ensue.
Prepare accordingly — learn the facts, relocate if need be and grow your own.
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).
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