Brutal Winter Taking Toll On Wyoming Wildlife; India’s Bitter March; + Solar Wind Arrives

Brutal Winter Taking Toll On Wyoming Wildlife

Much of the U.S. is enduring a harsh, prolonged winter with extremely cold temperatures and deep snowpack. Wildlife managers across the state of Wyoming, for example, are monitoring the impact this is having on big game, and are seeing increased mortality.

“Wyoming is used to tough winters, but it has been a while since we have had a winter where severe conditions were so widespread across the state,” said Doug Brimeyer, Wyoming Game and Fish Department deputy chief of wildlife.

“Wildlife managers throughout the state are acutely aware of the effects winter is having on big game populations.”

This winter season is looking bleak, but wildlife managers won’t have a full understanding of its impact for months.

Still, preliminary numbers show areas around Lusk, Pine Ridge north of Casper/Glenrock, northern Laramie Range, southern Bighorns, Rattlesnakes and low-elevation basin areas are experiencing far-heavier than normal snowpack, making foraging difficult. Unlike most winters in the Casper Region, thick snow has persisted for the entirety of the season, and into spring.

Here, mule deer and pronghorn are looking to have the highest winter mortality, but a lot will depend on weather conditions through early April. Will we see a change in fortune, a much needed warm up? Latest GFS runs give a resounding answer:

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) March 30 – April 10 []
GFS Total Snowfall (inches) March 31 – April 16 []

And as a side-note, over the past 24-hours low temperature records continued to fall, particularly across the Midwest:

As of now, one of the biggest concerns re. Wyoming’s wildlife is public safety. Some big game herds cross roads and highways as they move to lower elevations and habitats in search of forage. Drive slower, is the messaging from officials. Thanks officials.

India’s Bitter March

Despite a warm CO2-fueled beginning to the month, natural forcings have dominated ever since and have driven March 2023 into the top 10 coldest on record across India (in books dating back to 1951).

“March 2023 has seen a radical change in temperatures compared to historical averages,” reports the

A swing between extremes.

As visualized in the chart below, the first half of the month had global warming proponents shaking their fists at the atmospheric carbon dioxide in the sky and blindly throwing money at the government to make everything better, but a deep plunge in temperatures beginning March 15 saw them fall oddly hushed.

The average maximum for India up to March 29 is 30.35C, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), which is 0.96C below the older 1981-2010 average used by the department.

On Feb 28, the IMD had called for a warmer that average May. The first two weeks followed the script. But after that, temperatures crashed across India. From March 16 onward, every day has been at least 1.3C colder than the multidecadal average. The weeks ending March 21 and March 28 were a staggering 3.5C and 2.3C colder, respectively, with the former going down as India’s coldest March week since records began.

According to a recent IITM study, extreme cold waves are increasing across India “despite global warming”.

The analysis took into account the number of cold wave events from 1951-2022 and discovered that more ‘cold wave days’ are occurring in recent decades than in previous ones.

Note: India declares a ‘cold wave’ when the temperature reaches 10C-or-lower, or is 4.5C below an area’s average.

According to the research, central and eastern India has seen the average number of cold waves increase by more than five days per decade, and by over 15 days per decade in some places. On average, these regions used to record 2-to-5 cold wave days per 10 years during most decades from 1951-2011, but this rose to nearly 5-15 days in the last decade (ending 2021).

Even in built-up areas, where the UHI effect will be a factor, the data also show that cold waves days across the likes of Haryana, Chandigarh and even Delhi have increased to 5-10 per decade during the last 20-year period vs the average of 2-5 in the previous decades.

“We wanted to understand through the study if there can be a reduction in cold wave events amidst a global warming scenario,” said IITM researcher Raju Mandal: “ We, however, found that occurrences of cold wave events have continued even under the general warming scenarios.”

Warming = cooling.

Doublespeak: the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct.

Solar Wind Arrives

And finally, Earth is entering a stream of solar wind flowing some 600 km/s (1.3 million mph).

This wind is escaping a small hole in the Sun’s atmosphere:

Ordinarily–that is to say just a few years ago–600 km/s wouldn’t be newsworthy. However, given Earth’s ever-depleting magnetic field strength we can expect G1-class geomagnetic storms from the impact, due to hit sometime today, Friday, March 31.

High latitude sky watchers should be on alert for auroras.

For more, see the links below:

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