Historic Snow Hits Japan
A strong, winter-like Arctic front has been gripping Eastern Asia in recent days.
Focusing in on Japan, the country’s northern prefecture of Hokkaido was hit by historic snowfall on Wednesday, November 24.
In Nayoro City, Hokkaido, for example, cars have been buried after flurries touched 60cm (1.97ft) — this reading is four times the normal amount, and it busted a new record for the month of November.
More impressive records fell elsewhere: “Although it’s still November, unprecedented heavy snow is hitting Northern Japan’s Hokkaido,” wrote Sayaka Mori on Twitter. “77cm (2.53ft) of snow fell in 24 hours (Tue-Wed) in Shumarinai, making it the heaviest since records started in 1981 (for any month of the year),” she added.
“When you walk on the sidewalk, your feet are buried,” said local reporter Kazuki Nakata. “About 80 cm (2.62 ft) of snow is piled up to the waist and the shoulder.”
These unprecedented dumpings were added to on Thursday — Shumarinai’s snow total now stands at 88cm (2.89ft).
Looking ahead, heavy flurries are expected to persist throughout the remainder of the week. And then after a brief reprieve, the polar lows and historic snows are forecast to make an unwelcome return as the calendar flips to December:
Record Flurries Cause Shutdowns In Russia…
Yakutia’s heavy snowfall that I reported on earlier in the week has now seemingly shifted south.
The town of Birobidzhan –located on the Trans-Siberian Railway, near the China–Russia border– is reporting blocked roads, closed schools, and an abandonment of public transport after two days of record-breaking snow.
Residents were out snow-clearing on Wednesday, freeing their cars from the early and unexpected Arctic blast, as this short video from Mother Nature on YouTube shows:
As reported by news.cgtn.com, blizzards have hit China’s northeastern provinces as the third cold-wave of the season sweeps across the country.
Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces were among those hit hardest by the polar conditions, where provincial governments issued a ‘Level II weather disaster’ (the second highest level) which allows for the release of emergency relief funding.
Residents (aka netizens) in these regions said the flakes felt like “razor blades slicing their faces.”
Schools/kindergartens were closed, 22 highways in Heilongjiang remain sealed off, and a string of flights were canceled.
Snow totals reached record-high levels across Heilongjiang, continues the news.cgtn.com article: The snowpack in the eastern city of Jiamusi, for example, had piled-up to 42cm (1.38ft) at the time of writing — unprecedented totals for November.
To combat the cold, local authorities have deployed more than 4,200 people to clear snow from roads covering almost 10,000km.
Spain Issues ‘Cold Weather Alerts’–Restarts Coal Power Plant To Cope
Ten Spanish regions were on alert for snowfall this week as the country braced for an early taste of winter.
The strong Arctic front –which arrived Monday, a month ahead of the start of astronomical winter– forced Spanish authorities to place four regions on orange alerts for snow (the second-highest level), and an additional six on yellow alerts (the third-highest).
Snow has been falling at increasingly low altitudes, reports elpais.com, with accumulations recorded below 800 m (2,600 ft) in the northernmost reaches of the country. According to Spain’s traffic authority DTG, restrictions were introduced on 750 km of roads across 10 provinces due to the buildup of snow.
The front delivered a “sudden and significant” drop in temperatures, said Rubén del Campo, meteorologist at Aemet (Spain’s national weather agency). Readings plunged some 16C below the seasonal average in parts. A high of just 3C (37.4F) was observed in Ávila, while in the Sierra Nevada –a mountain range in southern Spain– lows of -12C (10.4F) have been logged.
Spain’s early-season freeze is forecast to intensify into the weekend.
And it’s a similar picture for the majority of Western/Central/Northern Europe.
As revealed by the latest GFS runs, deep ‘blues’ and ‘purples’ –signifying well-below average temperatures– are expected to descend Friday evening, and then by Sunday, all of Western Europe will be shivering (along with northern Africa):
This does not bode well for a region of the world already contending with chronic energy shortages.
To combat the early start to winter, as more Spaniards turn on their heating, Spanish authorities have pushed the county’s power company Endesa to restart a coal plant slated for closure as part of European suicidal emissions-cutting goals.
To help the grid cope, Endesa restarted operations on Monday, and steam could soon be seen billowing from one of the plant’s two giant cooling towers, reports reuters.com:
“It is not possible to determine how long this entirely exceptional situation will persist,” an Endesa spokesperson said.
The company has been seeking government approval since 2019 to close the plant as part of its plan to phase out coal, in line with Spain’s pledge to end coal generation by 2030, the spokesperson added.
Before the recent chaos in the gas market, the cost of emitting carbon had priced coal power out of the market. But the situation has changed, and European governments are now increasingly tossing carbon targets out of the window as the reality of our cooling climate –due to low solar activity— hits home.
With natural gas prices holding at record highs, due to 1) the depletion of reserves during last year’s historically cold & long winter, and 2) the failure of renewables to cope, many other countries are making the switch back to coal.
Data from Ember showed coal generation in the European Union jumped by some 18,000 GWh in the third quarter.
And finally, before the aforementioned snow totals are even added, Northern Hemisphere Snow Mass is already tracking some 250 Gigatons above the 1982-2012 average, according to data compiled by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and climbing–an impossibility under the original global warming theory:
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING, in line with the great conjunction, historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow (among other forcings).
Both NOAA and NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with NOAA saying we’re entering a ‘full-blown’ Grand Solar Minimum in the late-2020s, and NASA seeing this upcoming solar cycle (25) as “the weakest of the past 200 years”, with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.
Furthermore, we can’t ignore the slew of new scientific papers stating the immense impact The Beaufort Gyre could have on the Gulf Stream, and therefore the climate overall.
Prepare accordingly— learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift