In a season of pandemic lockdowns and abandoned slopes, the U.S. breaking a string of avalanche death-toll records is even more telling. Fewer people out on the mountains yet a deadly avalanche year? This is a reality global warming prevaricators are keen to sidestep, because it points to historic accumulations of SNOW. And while a host of outlets are using mere anecdotal evidence to suggest the excess deaths were caused by more people hitting the backcountry, due to to closed resorts (a narrative concocted by CNN), historic snowfall data should be considered a far more likely reasoning.
A total of 36 avalanche fatalities have occurred during the 2020-2021 season.
One-third of those were recorded in Colorado, which is known for its weaker snow pack.
“They’re just devastating to the communities,” said Alex Marienthal, a forecaster with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. “It’s never expected, and it always has a big ripple effect through quite a few people.”
Winter 2020-21 Avalanche Fatalities
A record-tying number of people died in the backcountry this season, in books dating back to 1950 (what is considered to be ‘the modern-era’).
That benchmark of 36 was first set during the 2009-2010 winter season (solar minimum of cycle 23); however, the 2020-21 season is far from over, meaning this year could claim the unenviable title all for itself.
Ethan Greene, director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, described this season as “difficult and challenging.” He says the main component here is the volume of snow. Colorado’s avalanche information center has ranked this year as an event that might occur once every 10 years (so once every solar minimum then?).
In addition, this avalanche year also delivered the deadliest week since 1910 (solar minimum of cycle 14, the Centennial Minimum), when an avalanche derailed a train in Washington killing 96.
Between Jan. 30 to Feb. 6 this year, a total of 15 people lost their lives in avalanches across the United States.
The Bigger Picture
At its seasonal peak, Total Snow Mass for the Northern Hemisphere (shown below) had climbed to an incredible 3,250 Gigatons — a reading some 500 Gigatons ABOVE the 1982-2012 average.
Also worth noting, while 500Gts was the departure from the average at the peak, snow mass actually exceeded the normal range (dotted black line) by a whopping 700-800 Gigatons throughout long stretches.
Looking ahead, further record-smashing snowfall is forecast for the mountains, even into the second week of May:
Colorado and Wyoming, for example, could easily be looking at totals registering in the feet over the next 14-or-so days:
Stay tuned for updates.
Today’s Other Articles
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