4ft Of Summer Snow Strands Trekkers In Northern India
Following the successful rescue of 300 trapped tourists in Himachal Pradesh’s Chandratal Lake, the heavy summer snow has lead to additional rescue efforts being launched, including one to retrieve seven trapped trekkers.
Those 300 tourists had been stranded at Chandratal since Saturday after heavy snow blocked all access roads.
On Tuesday, a rescue effort lead by the Indo Tibetan Border Police and Border Roads Organisation was hindered by additional heavy dumpings and freezing lows. But after extensive snow-clearing operations, which saw the shifting of more than 4ft of rare summer accumulations, one 12km access road from Losar to Chandratal was successfully cleared on Wednesday.
Seven of the tourist were reported as critically ill, and were the first to be evacuated by an India Air Force helicopter.
Elsewhere on the Chandratal glacial lake, a group of seven trekkers also rescued rescuing by the the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The rescue operation was undertaken by a helicopter under “marginal weather and near white out conditions” tweeted the IAF on Wednesday:
“Extreme Cold” Strikes Tanzania
The Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) has warned of “extreme cold conditions across the likes of Njombe, Mbeya, Mafinga, Arusha, and other parts of the country”.
Speaking to a local news outlet on Wednesday, the TMA’s Dr Mafuru Biseke said that the intensification of the southern high-pressure system had contributed to the advection of the cold southerly wind from the southern tip of Africa towards most areas of the country, in particular the southwestern highlands (Songwe, Mbeya, Iringa and Njombe regions) and the north eastern highlands (Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara regions).
“Normally, June to August marks the dry, cold, and windy conditions over most of the country … Most of the time, the cold temperatures record less than 10C, especially over the high ground, translating into very cold conditions. [This year] the lowest temperature of 5C has been recorded in Njombe recently”, said Biseke.
Ekurhuleni Residents Urged To “Use Electricity Sparingly” During SA Freeze
Southern Africa’s polar blast has lead to a worrying spike in heating demand.
To avoid multiple power outages across the region, the South African city of Ekurhuleni –for example– is encouraging residents to use electricity sparingly during this week’s chill.
The city’s spokesperson, Zweli Dlamini, said widespread blackouts could ensue if people don’t restrict their usage.
Customers have been urged to “turn off unnecessary lights, use natural lighting, shorten showers, unplug all unnecessary equipment, and switch off outside lights during the day”; or in other words, ‘put garbage in garbage can’:
Aussie Snowfields Celebrate Healthy Dumpings
Sydney has recorded its driest start to winter since 1938, but a short trip to the south, Australia’s major ski resorts have welcomed impressive snowfalls and, in line with recent years, have formed a solid base to start the season.
This inverse relationship between coastal rain and snow on the Australian Alps is linked to the impacts of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), a natural –though somewhat unpredictably– climate driver which is tied to the latitudinal extent of westerly winds circumnavigating Antarctica.
This winter, SAM has mostly been in a negative phase, a setup that allows for cold westerly winds to expand north from the Southern Ocean. While westerlies bring dry weather to the NSW coast, they are perfect for producing snow on the alps.
As a result, the natural snow depth across Aussie snowfields is already accumulating, even at this early stage of the season.
Well-over a meter (3.3ft) has been officially reported on NSW slopes; Victoria’s Falls Creek posted 90cm (2.95ft) on Wednesday — substantially above the July 11 average of 58cm (1.9ft); while a “strong blanketing” has also clipped Perisher Valley, reports Aussie news outlets.
Thredbo, too, registered impressive accumulations over the weekend:
Australia’s winters are getting snowier and snowier; its years colder and colder.