Polar Outbreak And Spring Snowfall For SE Australia; First Snow Of The Season Hits Anchorage; Wyoming’s Plow Trucks Are Out In Force; + U.S. Corn Yields In El Nino Years

Polar Outbreak And Spring Snowfall For SE Australia

A frigid air mass is enveloping southeastern Australia Friday and into next week, dropping temperatures well-below the average and dumping late-season snow on the alpine peaks. 

A polar front will ride over large parts of Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, the ACT and Queensland starting today.

The cold will extend well into next week, too, crashing temperatures 4 – 8C below the seasonal norm and returning freezing lows to the likes of Thredbo and Mount Hotham, both of which can expect -4C (24.8F) Monday night.

Fierce winds will accompany this cold front, which will drive the ‘feels like’ much colder. 

While spring snow is also forecast for the alpine peaks Sunday and Monday, down to 1,200m (3,900ft).

Looking further ahead –and admittedly into the unreliable time frame– October could continue to hold anomalously chilly for many Australians as ‘blues’ look set to remain in charge (long-range forecast taken with a pinch of salt, but worth monitoring):

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) Oct 25 – Oct 28 [tropicaltidbits.com].

Wyoming’s Plow Trucks Are Out In Force

Thursday’s snowfall in Anchorage, Alaska has gone down as the first flakes of the season.

Officially, 1.2 inches settled at the National Weather Service Forecast Office, with 2.3 inches landing elsewhere in the city.

Note: at least 1/10th of an inch needs to accumulate to qualify.

Anchorage snow records date back to 1952.

As per the books, the city’s average first snow date is October 16, meaning this 2023’s first flakes arrived four days early. The earliest first snow ever recorded was on Sept 21, 1996 (solar minimum of cycle 22), with the latest being Nov 13, 2002.

Strong, cold winds from two different storms have battered the Aleutians and Southeast of Alaska of late; wet, frigid and windy conditions that are forecast to persist into the weekend. The cold is expected to return with avengeance by the end of next week:

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) Oct 20 [tropicaltidbits.com].

Plow Trucks Out In Wyoming

For the first time this winter season, Wyoming Department of Transportation plow trucks are out in force on the state’s highways. One and a half feet of snow are forecast to fall in parts of the state as a cold front barrels south.

“We’re still trying to hire plow drivers in other parts of the state, both permanent and temporary,” said Cody Beers, spokesman for WYDOT District 5, speaking to a persistent hiring problem. “But statewide, I think we’re in quite a bit better shape.”

Nobody can say for sure exactly how this winter season will play out, said Beers — hopefully it will be significantly less severe than the record-smashing 2022-2023 winter season, but “we don’t hope,” said Beer, “we’re preparing for the long haul.”

“If we get shorthanded in one part of the state, we’ll have guys in another part of the state help them. We did it last year, and it worked,” he said.

“I don’t think you’re ever prepared for what happened last (winter). That was a winter like we haven’t had in a generation. It was survival and on-the-job training for seven months. People were pretty burnt out by the end of it, but they persevered, and we got through it.”

Here’s what this incoming storm is threatening (plus an extended look to the end of October):

GFS Total Snowfall (inches) Oct 13 – Oct 28 [tropicaltidbits.com].

And as for the winter season to come, all early indicators point to it being another brutally cold and snowy one:

“We’re going to be busy,” concluded Beers.

“Our guys are ready for another winter. That’s life in Wyoming.”

U.S. Corn Yields In El Niño Years

For those under a rock, an El Niño is building. With some outlying forecasts are calling for a strong El Niño this time around, it is likely useful to see how U.S. corn production fared during the previous the past three “super” events.

Going from oldest to most recent, we find the following details from the USDA annual reports (research conducted by Bryce Anderson for dtnpf.com):

In 1982, U.S. corn production and yield set new records at 8.4 billion bushels (bb) with an average yield of 114.8 bushels per acre (bpa). The yield number was notably higher than the previous year — 5.0 bpa above the 1981 yield.

In 1997, U.S. corn production totaled 9.37 bb with an average yield of 127.0 bpa. The yield was virtually the same as in 1996, but production was the third-highest on record behind 1994 (10.1 bb) and 1992 (9.48 bb).

In 2015, the third modern “super” El Nino growing season, U.S. corn production totaled 13.601 bb with a yield of 168.4 bpa. In this year, production was 4% lower than the previous year, and the average yield was also 2.6 bpa lower.

So, two out of three ain’t bad: here we have two of the previous three “super” El Niño growing seasons delivering either record or near-record production and yield numbers to the U.S. corn crop. And once again, warmth proves itself beneficial.

Linked below is the day’s other article:

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