Snowstorm To Hit Colorado Before Slamming Into Texas
A winter storm is forecast to dive southward across the Rocky Mountains early this week, riding on the back of a weak and wavy meridional jet stream flow.
“A stationary front extending southward from southwestern Canada will bring rounds of snow to the northern and central Rockies Monday night into Tuesday night,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Alyssa Smithmyer. For reference, a stationary front occurs when the forward motion of a cold front slows and stalls.
The storm will begin crossing the Canadian border on Monday, bringing snow to places like Calgary, Alberta, before then hitting the likes of Billings and Missoula, Montana, and Rapid City, South Dakota.
As dawn approaches, the snow is expected to continue traveling southward into locales such as Casper and Cheyenne, Wyoming.
“The higher elevations of the Colorado Rockies are expected to record snowfall amounts of 3-6 inches,” Smithmyer said.
Accumulations of 6 inches are also expected across western Kansas.
With 12 inches possible in other parts.
“Residents in Denver will notice a drop in temperature between Monday and Tuesday,” said Smithmyer, with settling snow expected by sunrise bringing totals of 4 inches by the afternoon. The snow will be accompanied by temperatures in the mid 20s — well below normal. Then on Tuesday night, temps are forecast to fall into the lower teens — at least 5F below the average of 19F.
Snow is expected to arrive across the northern tier of New Mexico Tuesday, and by Wednesday morning, residents of Santa Fe should be awaking to a few inches and lingering flurries into the day as the storm continues its track towards northern Texas.
Amarillo, Texas, is also expecting inches of snow, with Lubbock, Texas, on for an inch Tuesday through Wednesday.
And while the west/south is suffering snow, the coldest conditions will actually been reserved for the central/eastern parts.
As visualized in the latest GFS run (below), temperatures of as much as 20C below the seasonal norm are forecast to sweep the entire eastern half of the U.S. –and Canada– this week: from Peawanuck, Ontario, down to Birmingham, Alabama; from the eastern halves of the Dakotas, to the Eastern Seaboard — this week’s cold will be widespread, pervasive and record-challenging.
Stay tuned for updates.
Already copping anomalous cold this week has been Florida.
Monday started off very chilly across the state, with many areas awaking to frost and freeze advisories.
Ocala dipped into the mid-20s in the early hours of Monday morning, the Villages and Kissimmee dropped below freezing at 31F, while lows on the coast and in metro Orlando reached the mid-30s to low 40s — readings that were close to historic records, said meteorologist Scott Kelly, who added: “There have been numerous reports of frost, especially rooftop and cartop frost, but there’s also been some frost on the ground” — concerning for the state’s the Citrus crop, and yes, there have been reports of ‘Falling Iguanas’ (they can drop out of trees when temps drop below 45F).
Monday’s high in Orlando struggled to climb above 60F, a reading well below the norm of 72F for the date–the record high being the 86F set back in 1920, and the record low the 27F from 2003.
Looking ahead, while a Gulf stormfront could bring a slight warm up with showers this week, another cold front is expected to descend down next weekend: “Eventually it is going to get cold again over the weekend forecast,” said Kelly. “There will be reinforcing strong cold air this weekend (and) temperatures (could be) getting back down into the 30s again by Sunday morning.”
Surprise Outburst Of Noctilucent Clouds
As reported by Dr Tony Phillips over at spaceweather.com, researchers in Germany were surprised yesterday, Jan 24, when cameras they installed in Argentina recorded a bright outburst of noctilucent clouds (NLCs).
This footage was shot in Rio Gallegos, Patagonia:
NLCs are Earth’s highest clouds. For them to form, extremely cold temperatures are required — as low as -150F. Wisps of water vapor rise up from the poles to the edge of space where they crystallize around specks of meteor dust, creating vivid electric-blue structures.
At this time of year, NLCs are typically confined inside the Antarctic Circle, so it is a surprise to see them bursting out to mid-southern latitudes, with Rio Gallegos sitting at at 51.6S.
There is the possibility that these clouds came from Tonga, suggests Dr. Phillips.
The monstrous eruption of the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai volcano on Jan 15 hurled a plume of ash, sulfur dioxide and (this is the important part) water vapor to –a revised up– 55 km (180,000 ft).
Researcher Gerd Baumgarten, of the Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics, and others, are investigating the possibility that water from the volcano has reached the mesosphere, creating this outburst of noctilucent clouds.
Stay tuned to spaceweather.com for updates.
Brutal Winter Leads To “Horror Scenes” At Syria Camps
Record cold and snow has been hitting much of the Middle East of late. And freezing lows in Syria have turned camps for internally displaced people into disaster zones, the UN Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator said Monday.
Coordinator Mark Cutts said humanitarians had seen “some real horror scenes” in the last few days after bone-chilling lows and record snows swept the nation — entire families have been found frozen to death in their tents.
“Our humanitarian workers have been pulling people out from under collapsed tents,” said Cutts, who added that many people don’t have shovels or other equipment to clear the snow, so they have been doing it with their bare hands, while children walk in the snow wearing just sandals.
People are “living in these torn and ripped and flimsy tents in these sub-zero temperatures”, the coordinator said.
According to him, about 100,000 people have been affected by the heavy snow and about 150,000 have been battling freezing temperatures: “That’s a quarter of a million people who are really suffering now the effects of this cold spell that is going across the entire region.”
Cutts concluded by issuing an appeal to the international community, asking it to recognize the scale of the crisis and to quickly get the displaced out of tents and into safer and more dignified temporary shelter.
Snow Strands Thousands In Istanbul…
Rescue crews are attempting to clear major roads across Turkey that were blocked by the latest round of unprecedented snow left thousand of people and vehicles stranded in below-freezing conditions.
According to Selcuk Tutuncu, manager of the city’s Disaster Co-ordination Center, or AKOM, “there are over 1,500 vehicles and over 7,000 personnel working out in the field nonstop.”
Roads in Istanbul came to a standstill on Monday after accumulating powder hit the 16 million-strong city. Snow totals touched a meter (3.3 feet) in some areas, and forced stranded motorists into a tough decision: spend the night in their cars, or venture out in search of shelter.
AKOM said an Icelandic low-pressure system is behind the cold front and record snowfall affecting the country, one that descended unusually far south due to a ever-weakening jet stream.
The storm also caused havoc in neighboring Greece, snarling traffic in Athens and putting most public transport out of action:
Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu said another substantial snowstorm was set to hit Tuesday evening, and the latest forecasts has it lasting through Wednesday.
…As Turkey Suffers Its Largest Power Outage Ever
Compounding the historic wintry woes, Turkey cut electricity supplies to its industrial sectors yesterday, after Iran announced a temporary halt in natural gas exports due to its own record-high domestic heating demand.
Officials from state-run pipeline company Botas were dispatched on an emergency mission to Tehran to try to reverse the stoppage, which led to what is thought to be Turkey’s worst energy crunch ever after the Turkish government imposed three-days a week power outages across hundreds of industrial zones.
Industry accounts for nearly a quarter of Turkey’s economic output, and nearly 10% of the country’s workforce is employed in industrial zones, so the consequences of the power halt could ripple nationwide, reports bloomberg.com — more than half of the country’s electricity is produced in gas-powered plants.
Electricity supplies were cut after Iran, a major supplier of gas to Turkey, announced a 10-day halt late last week, citing technical failures, but which analysts have linked to the record-high energy consumption sweeping Iran itself after widespread record low temperatures and unprecedented snow set in.
On Sunday, Iran’s oil minister, Javad Owji, urged citizens to reduce usage and “wear warm clothing” after consumption hit 692 million cubic meters a day, a new record high, but one expected to be broken again after forecasts called for yet colder conditions as the new week progressed.
With a record cold spell currently gripping Iran and the resulting surge in heating demand, shortages of gas have become acute and the country has reverted back to burning dirtier fossil fuels in order to handle the higher load. This is a scenario playing out across Europe, too, where a rushed, ill-conceived switch to renewables, combined with historically cold winter conditions are fueling an all-out energy crisis.
As I discussed yesterday –but it’s worth repeating– Iran is a case in point. The country has the second largest reserves of natural gas in the world but it is barely able to satisfy domestic demand. This is due to a decline in production thanks to a chronic lack of investments in an out-of-favor oil and gas sector:
Turkey’s crippling fuel supply disruptions come as it struggles to cover surging energy costs with a badly weakened lira.
The country had just 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas in storage as of Jan 18 — that’s 42% less than a year ago, according to Energy Exchange Istanbul data. Conversely, the country’s natural gas consumption hit a record high on Jan 20 due to the record cold.
As concluded by the Bloomberg report, the energy crunch could actually get worse in the coming days as temperatures are forecast to fall even further below seasonal norms, further bolstering demand for gas just as supply is squeezed by Iran.
The government has pledged that households wouldn’t be affected by blackouts and restricted gas supplies — we’ll see…
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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