America Breaks Hundreds Of Low Temperature Records; European Frosts; + Coronal Hole

America Breaks Hundreds Of Low Temperature Records

A full-blown Arctic Outbreak gripped much of the U.S. over the weekend — one that continues to be felt.

Hundreds of low temperature records were felled on Sunday alone.

The below graphic depicts those to have fallen from 7:00 AM on March 19 to 6AM March 20 (UTC):

The breadth of the cold is noteworthy, with daily record lows falling from Idaho to Florida.

This was the descending mass of polar air responsible:

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) March 17 – 20 [].

And there’s more where that came from, due to hit early next week…

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) March 25 – 28 [].

…with impressive spring snowfall totals to boot:

GFS Total Snowfall (inches) March 20 – April 5 [].

As has been well documented, it simply won’t stop snowing across the Western U.S. with all-time benchmarks tumbling across the likes of California and Utah. Here, avalanches are commonplace and buildings are buckling under the weight of the snow.

A string of snowstorms pounded California in January and then again in March, bringing monstrous totals and causing widespread damage, power outages, and monstrous totals.

Below is a before and after shot of the ski lifts at Bear Valley:

While in Tahoe, it’s proven impossible for residents to stay on top of snow clearing, leading to collapsed roofs.

While in Tahoe, long time ski film maker Scott Gaffney has been posting incredible images of accumulations there:

This is the story across California’s higher elevations.

That is, record-smashing snowfall totals, from UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab to Kirkwood Mountain Resort, from Bear Valley to Mammoth–with the latter posting 618 inches at its base (Main Lodge) so Lord only knows what’s up top.

Similarly in Utah, Alta ski resort has received some 681 inches to date.

While neighboring Snowbird has close to 625 inches with the resort already extending its season.

Solitude and Brighton in Cottonwood Canyon are also boasting huge numbers.

Solitude has 623 inches, but its Brighton for the win with its whopping 699 inches — with yet more to come.

Insta: @scottgaffski

March 20 may mark the vernal equinox, and so the onset of spring, but its winter-like lows and record-breaking cold that are the prevailing weather conditions sweeping the United States.

The Twin Cities, for example, just wrapped up its coldest St. Patrick’s Day weekend since the early 1990s. And even in the Southeast, temperatures are set to hit sub-freezing levels Monday morning, with parts of Tennessee dipping below 20F (-6.7C).

“Record-breaking cold across the Southeast Monday morning to lead to widespread and potentially harmful freezing temperatures,” the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) announced Sunday.

Rug up America.

And cover those crops.

European Frosts

Very cold conditions are persisting across areas of Europe, particularly the Iberian Peninsula and the south/southeast.

In Italy, for example, frosts are still sweeping the nation’s low elevations, even in Sicily — incredibly rare mid/late-March.

Recently, freezing lows have been registered here, with -0.6C (30.9F) posted in the usually mild Noto area.

Looking ahead, conditions are threatening to turn colder for the majority of the continent by the end of March:

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) March 27 – 29 [].

With the likes of the UK expecting spring snow, with additional feet forecast across the Alps:

GFS Total Snowfall (cm) March 26 – April 4 [].

Coronal Hole

The Sun was relatively inactive over the weekend. Sunday saw just 38 spots peppering the Earth-facing solar disk, with activity confined to the farside.

Today, however, a large hole has opened in the sun’s atmosphere. One that’s spewing a stream of solar wind toward Earth.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the structure on March 20:

This is a “coronal hole”, explains Dr Tony Phillips of — a region in the sun’s atmosphere where magnetic fields open up and allow solar wind to escape. It looks dark in the above ultraviolet image because the glowing-hot gas normally contained there is missing.

The solar wind from said hole will reach Earth later this week, on either March 23 or 24, only a few days after the vernal equinox. Expect a good display of high-latitude auroras.

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