Things have taken a turn for the chilly across the Southern Hemisphere this week — both Australia and Southern Africa are bracing for record-challenging lows and heavy, high-elevation snows:
“Beast” of a Polar Air Mass Engulfs Australia
Rain, snow and gale-force winds have broken a bout of unseasonably warm temperatures in Australia’s southeast.
“In Sydney, we’re seeing a peak of 14 degrees (C) today, which is very different than the 27 or 28 recorded over the weekend,” Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster Hugh McDowell told AAP on Tuesday.
This week’s intense cold front has indeed delivered a stark transition from the warm winter days enjoyed in the New South Wales (NSW) capital of late, and is further evidence of the swing between extremes observed during prolonged bouts of low solar activity–such as the Grand Solar Minimum we appear to be descending into now.
A severe weather warning is in place Tuesday afternoon as a “rapidly developing beast” of a low formed off the east coast–one which is now delivering high winds, snow, and, in places such as Sydney, a months worth of rain in just 24 hours.
Maximum temperatures are plummeting in the wake of the front, “in parts dropping by up to 12 degrees (C),” said BOM meteorologist Miriam Bradbury, whose agency has advised residents to move vehicles away from trees, secure loose items, and keep at least 8 meters away from powerlines in case they fall.
By Tuesday afternoon, the sudden cold front had brought 40 mm (1.6 inches) of rain across NSW’s east and central coast, heavy snow to the Blue Mountains, and single-digit temperatures to all, reports ecns.cn — and there’s much more where that came from…
BOM meteorologist Melody Sturm told the Sydney Morning Herald that residents should brace for more chilly, inclement weather, with 90 mm (3.5 inches) of rain possible in some areas including the Hunter, Sydney and Illawarra coasts.
“It’s safer indoors right now than outdoors… and not just for the virus,” she said (using the COVID ‘crowbar’).
The latest GFS run (shown below) appears to back-up Sturm’s sentiments re the lingering chill — it reveals that the intense mass of polar cold currently sweeping the majority of the Australian continent will persist for at least the next few days:
The continent-spanning cold will continue delivering substantial volumes of snow to the southeast, too.
The states of New South Wales and Victoria look set to be worst hit.
Snow is also expect to dust the higher elevations of Tasmania over the coming days.
Another Record-Smashing Cold Front to Blast South Africa
South Africa has been no stranger to violent Antarctic air mass this winter season — it’s already been a record-breaker, and this week, the nation is bracing for yet another round of intense polar shocks.
A colder-than-normal Antarctica (shown below) is releasing a string of violent fronts over Southern Hemisphere landmasses this year — another symptom of the historically low solar activity we’ve been experiencing in recent years (a sleepy sun weakens the jet streams — see “The Changing Jet Stream” article linked above for more).
Also note: according to the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine –the folks responsible for the Climate Reanalyzer graphic above– during this time of supposed ‘catastrophic global heating’, Earth’s average temperature is, as of Tuesday, Aug 24, 2021, running at a ‘terrifying’ 0.0C vs the 1979-2000 base.
Those Climate Lockdowns can’t come soon enough! (sarc)
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has warned residents of extremely cold temperatures, and also of substantial snowfall over the country’s higher elevations.
On Tuesday morning, weather alerts were issued that are valid for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (although the polar blast now looks set to extend into Monday, according to the latest GFS run–shown below).
“Significant rainfall amounts, very cold conditions with snowfall over the high-lying areas, damaging winds and significant wave heights are expected in places over the Western and Northern Cape from Thursday until Saturday,” read the SAWS alert.
Spokesperson for the Western Cape Local Government James Brent-Styan said: “We urge people to take precautions ahead of the bad weather”.
Looking at the GFS, the warnings are indeed justified.
What the latest run sees for Saturday, Aug 28 is truly astonishing — much of Southern African can expect temperature departures plummeting a staggering 20C (or more) below the winter norms–this includes not only South Africa, but also the nations of Botswana and Namibia to the north.
Such lows threaten to decimate already ravaged crops in the area, they also risk bringing significant disruptions to the wider economy, too, and even a danger to life:
Here’s Sunday, Aug 29:
Stay tuned for updates…
Earth’s Magnetic Field is in for a Bumpy Few Days
A solar wind stream and, possibly, two Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are approaching Earth.
A direct hit by the stream on Aug 25 followed by near-misses (or glancing blows) from the CMEs on Aug 26 could spark 2 to 3 days of geomagnetic unrest, according to Dr. Tony Philips of spaceweather.com.
This is not a ‘big event’, not by any stretch of the imagination; however, disruptions to radio operators and even to parts of the electrical grid are possible given 1) the events are hitting in a one-two punch, and, more crucially 2) our planet’s ever-waning magnetic field (click the article below for more on that).
Eyes to the skies, and, again, stay tuned for updates…
In Other News…
Almost half the crop of the UK’s two favorite homegrown apples have been wiped out by the extremely cold spring of 2021.
Cox’s and Bramley have suffered due to prolonged and record-breaking frost in April and early-May.
Staying with apples, the Canadian Horticultural Council provided a preliminary estimate of 18,866,589 bushels for the 2021 season — this is down almost 9% from 2020, and, as is the case in the UK, has been blamed on poor weather.
It’s more than just UK orchards suffering this year.
As reported by thegrocer.co.uk, heavy rain and hail coupled with unseasonably low temperatures have hit harvests and yields across cereal and potato crops, too. In fact, a similar story is being reported across much of Europe.
According to , this spells bad news for feed producers in particular: “After supply chain disruptions and raw material unavailability, now weather-related challenges in Europe will most likely affect this year’s crop quantity and quality. Cold temperatures, heatwaves, tornadoes, and hailstorms are expected to adversely affect the quality and quantity of the harvest.”
The torrential rains in France and Germany, for example, “have darkened Central and Western farmers’ prospects … while the quantity may be there, the quality of wheat and corn is under question.”
Europe’s woes is compounding the misery witnessed across the globe this year: from South America to China, from South Africa to the U.S., crops are being utterly decimated by inclement weather –usually cold related– and our global stores are running dangerously low.
Prepare for the worst — grow your own.
And finally, coming out of politico.eu, the European Union’s natural gas reserves are currently well under normal levels — and if they don’t fill up by October, the bloc could face a price squeeze and even shortages if there’s a repeat of last winter’s severe Arctic outbreak.
“Going into the current winter with less in storage, Europe is walking a tightrope — and it wouldn’t take a huge gust of wind to knock us off,” said Jack Sharples, a research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.
“All it would take is for some [liquefied natural gas] projects currently offline to not come back on, or some unplanned maintenance on a pipeline bringing gas into Europe, or just another cold winter,” added Sharples.
The EU’s reserves were full a year ago — this is what allowed the bloc to comfortably weather an unusually long winter that sent global gas prices skyrocketing in January, continues the politico.eu article. Europe “managed to get through last winter relatively unscathed, as we had such high storage stocks at the start,” said James Huckstepp, gas analyst at S&P Global Platts.
Currently, EU storage facilities are filled to only 60 percent capacity, or just under 70 bcm of gas – -that needs to get up to at least 80 bcm by October 1 to ensure a proper buffer against market fluctuations through winter, Sharples said.
However, with LNG imports on the rise in South America and China, among other regions, and with supply-side technical issues and unplanned maintenance in the likes of Australia and Norway, EU storage facilities reaching 80 bcm appears a big ask.
Europe going ‘off-line’ his winter seems an unthinkable eventuality; however, European’s being unable to heat their homes during the coldest months of the year is a realistic possibility — more signs of the times as that Great Reset dawns…
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