“Red Alerts” Issued In India As Cold Wave Intensifies
Cold records have been tumbling across India this week, as an Arctic chill descended unusually-far south. And now, India’s Meteorological Department (IMD) is warning that “severe cold wave conditions” will grip much of the country moving forward, including parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi, Rajasthan and MP.
A cold wave swept Delhi on Monday with the minimum temperature at the Safdarjung Observatory, considered the official marker for the capital, dropping to 3.2C (37.8F) — five notches below normal, and the lowest of the season so far.
Elsewhere, a host of multidecadal benchmarks fell during the initial cold wave, including in Bhopal where the city’s coldest December day since 1966 was suffered. Long-standing records were also busted in the likes of Rajasthan, Churu, Siker, Bhilwara, Pilani, Chittorgarh and Ganganagar.
“Intense cold conditions continued to paralyze normal life in Rajasthan,” is how a recent republicworld.com article described it. Rajasthan state reportedly saw the mercury dip below freezing at four places on Sunday night: – 1.8C in Fatehpu; -0.5C in both Sikar and Churu; and -0.1C in Karauli, with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeting Monday that measures should be taken to save crops from frost in these regions.
Even colder conditions prevailed further north, as you’d expect, with Lahaul Spiti, located in India’s northern province of Himachal Pradesh, gripped by lows of -15C to -20C (5F to -4F) on Tuesday, according to DD News on Twitter:
The IMD has also noted that light to moderate snowfall should be expected over the western Himalayan region between December 22 and 25 under the influence of two western disturbances.
Record Snowfall Hits Switzerland
This week, much of the Alps and the Pyrenees have experienced historically snowy conditions: “best snow ever,” are the cries across the peaks; “it’s dumping down!” others are reportedly yelling.
It’s not often you start the ski season with already record volumes of snow (for December). However, this year, and thanks in no small part to Storm Barra that hit a few weeks back, it seems European’s are being compensated for having to hang up their planks last season–due to the lockdown of ski resorts across the continent.
“We’ve had about 82cm (32.3 inches),” Benoit Python, a ski instructor from the Swiss Ski School Crans-Montana, said.
“And over in Chamonix, they’ve had nearly 85cm (33.5 inches)!”
According to The Chamoniarde (Chamonix Mountain Prevention and Relief Society, France’s world-famous freeride destination), there hasn’t been snowfall like this since 1966 (solar minimum of cycle 19).
“I shoveled snow outside my house for 3 days on the trot,” said local mountain guide, Andy Perkins, as reported by euronews.com.
“I skied some exceptional powder down to very low altitudes on December 11,” he continued.
“I was out today (Dec 14) at one of my regular pre-season snow test sites around 2,400 metres (7,800 ft), and the depth is more than 100cm (39.7 inches) greater than what I’ve seen on average in previous years!”
All this early season snow is great news for enthusiasts. But Perkins is keen to issue a warning, too.
“Stellar” conditions are set to persist for the remainder of the year, he says; however, “In the run-up to 2022, enthusiasm for lift based off-piste skiing and ski touring is building like a pressure cooker … this large quantity of snow is sat on a twitchy (unstable) base” … “enthusiasm is great, but needs tempering with knowledge, judgement and good decision making in terms of avalanche risk assessment,” warns Perkins.
Amid Freezing Lows & Energy Shortages, Europe Struggles To Keep The Lights On
Electricity prices surged to a fresh record in Europe this week, as France, in particular, scrambled to keep its lights on, sucking up supplies from the rest of the continent.
Strong winter demand and simmering geopolitical tensions between key supplier Russia and consumer nations led prices to new all-time benchmarks on Tuesday as this orchestrated collapse of western society ratchets up a notch.
Europe’s reference Dutch TTF gas price hit 162.775 euros per megawatt hour in late morning deals, up more than ten percent from Monday, while UK prices leapt to 408.30 pence per therm (seven times greater than at the start of 2021) — both markets beat previous records from October, with this latest price spike driven predominantly by fears of a cold northern hemisphere winter, and doing nothing to allay concerns of spiraling worldwide inflation.
European gas “continued its inexorable rise… to another record,” wrote Deutsche Bank analysts in a client note.
“It comes as temperatures have continued to decline heading into the European winter, and we also got the news that [Russian energy giant] Gazprom had not booked any extra capacity in January for gas flowing through Ukraine.
“That’s an important story heading through the winter with implications for European growth, and one that will have investors closely following the weather forecasts to work out what might happen.”
As reported by The Moscow Times, “Europe’s gas stocks had already been depleted by a prolonged winter last year. Added to the picture, calmer prevailing weather conditions have this year sharply reduced the supply of wind power.”
Russia isn’t helping the situation, naturally, German Economic Affairs Minister Robert Habeck warning Saturday of “severe consequences” for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany if Moscow attacked Ukraine.
But the 10-billion-euro ($12 billion) project has for years been dogged by delays and drawn fierce criticism from both Germany’s eastern EU allies like Poland and the US, who claim Nord Stream 2 will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, with the Ukraine describing it as a “geopolitical weapon”–but be in no doubt, today’s energy shortages and soaring prices are due to the crippling-cold weather compounded by reduced investment due to fossil fuels going out of favor with investors (the latter thanks to ideologically-hamstrung politicians duped by powerful bodies with nefarious intentions disguised a ‘green ideals’).
Getting back on point, ‘negatively impacting European growth’, as the Deutsche Bank puts it, won’t be of the greatest importance to the average household — rolling blackouts during the coldest months of the year will be. There is a looming humanitarian crisis here — and one, as they often are, that is entirely self-inflicted.
A 2-year-old child died from the cold on December 12 in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakır province after the Dicle Electric Distribution Company (DEDAŞ) failed to provide the family with electricity.
The child, Yunus Emre Binen, suffered from asthma and bronchitis and regularly used a nebulizer. The machine could not work without electricity, and the little boy’s health quickly deteriorated. Yunus Emre died before making it to hospital.
DEDAŞ authorities refused to acknowledge they should be held accountable for the death, saying: “We did not cut the family’s power and therefore have no responsibility for the little boy’s tragic death.”
Record cold and snow has gripped much of transcontinental Turkey this month.
Just last week, heavy snow blocked roads and cut off a number of towns and villages from the outside world. As reported by the dailysabah.com, snowstorms took hold in Turkey’s eastern and western regions, blocking hundreds of roads, including 43 in Başkale, 11 in Digor, and a further 31 in Erzincan, .
Snow depth surpassed 80cm (2.63ft) in the country’s higher elevations, thanks to persistent falls which began back in late-Nov/early-Dec:
And blackouts won’t just be confined to the poorest nation’s of the west, ‘green ideals’ and reduced investment threaten all of us — the cold of winter is on course to invade even the wealthiest of nations: Recall Texas last winter, when 702 people died…
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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