Record Freeze Grips China (-28.4C At Hala Lake)
Winter is approaching, and a low-solar activity-induced ‘meridional’ jet stream flow is shifting with it, reverting from wave-7s to wave-4s, i.e. from ascending tropical warmth to descending polar cold.
Exceptional chills have gripped much of China of late, most notably in Qinghai Province of the Tibetan Plateau.
Hala Lake took the ‘cold cherry’ over the weekend. The brackish lake, located in China’s Qilian mountains, bottomed-out at a record-breaking (for mid-Oct) -28.4C (-19.1F) on Sunday, October 15.
It wasn’t the only locale to post anomalous cold (see list below).
And note, many of these readings have gone down as new record lows for this early into a season.
Despite the media’s skewed focus on summertime heat, the majority of Asia has held exceptionally cold in 2023.
One late-April cold spell sent the mercury crashing to unprecedented levels in Northern China, when, on April 22, some 241 stations suffered their lowest-daily-maxes ever recorded (during the latter half of April).
Very rare April snow accompanied the cold, with many Chinese towns and cities posting their latest accumulating snow since records began. Shanxi, for example, received 24cm (9.4 inches) in late April — a new record for both monthly-depth and lateness.
The cold and the snowfall “arrived suddenly,” so said the locals.
A farmer in Taiyuan, Shanxi said that snowfall caught him completely off guard: “Now the fruit trees are covered with snow, the temperature is too low. If the flowers are frozen over time, they won’t bear fruit later,” he was quoted as saying.
The following month, May, was another colder-than-average one for all of China.
Looking back to last winter (2022-23), historic benchmarks were busted throughout the month of January, too, and not just in China. While Mohe City’s -53C (-63.4F) stole the headlines (the coldest reading ever recorded by the Chinese meteorological system), all-time national lows were slain across Asia, from Pakistan to Japan. Even China itself posted a host of additional cold records that largely slipped though the net, including Beijicun’s first ever -50C (-50.3C on Jan 22).
As per China’s energy policy, Beijing clearly aren’t buying the ‘carbon dioxide – end of times’ correlation:
Snow Is Building In Siberia
North of China resides a little nation called Russia, and cold and snowy conditions are ripping here, too, particularly in Siberia.
The Russian town of Batagaj-Alyta–for example–located on the eastern flank of the Verkhoyansk Range, plunged to -29.8C (-21.6F) over the weekend. This usurps last week’s -21C (-5.8F) in Delyankir to become Russia’s coldest temperature of the season.
“For the last three nights in a row in the village of Delyankir the temperature has dropped below -20C (-4F),” reports gismeteo.ru, which is highly unusual for mid-October.
Also in east Yakutia, “a permanent snow cover [of up to 26cm (10.2 inches)]” has been observed. This is visible in NOAA’s ‘Northern Hemisphere Snow & Ice Chart’ (below) with 40% of Russia now under snow. Also note China’s building pack.
Looking ahead, the GFS has snow blanketing nigh-on 100% of Russia by the end of the month.
Similarly, eastern China, northern India and norther Pakistan are also forecast late-October burials:
The fall trend:
Monthly Cold Record Broken In Myanmar
Those wave-4s truly are delivering of late. The setup has shifted. This NH winter is setting up to be a doozy.
Last week, record cold swept the southeast Asian nation of Myanmar (formerly Burma).
Maungdaw, in Rakhine State, dropped to 17.3C (63.1F) and so comfortably busted the town’s coldest-ever October temperature, previously the 18.5C (65.3F) set back on October 31, 1985 (solar minimum of cycle 22).
Europe’s Polar Plunge
Europe’s forecast polar outbreak has started as expected, with the UK logging -4C (24.8F) over the weekend.
The village of Shap, in northern England registered -4C in the early hours of Sunday morning — an extremely low temperature for the time of year, likely a record-challenging low for mid-October (though I have yet to confirm this).
All regions of the UK –as divided by the Met Office– saw freezing lows over the weekend.
Even ‘London & South East England’ registered a very anomalous -1.1C (30F) on Oct 15.
Looking ahead, ‘blues’ and ‘purples’ will push into the heart of the European continent this week, sending temperatures (and snow) falling from Spain to Ukraine (and beyond), with the fiercest anomalies currently on the cards for next weekend:
The early-season snow could actually prove widespread and quite disruptive.
As well as the 1.5 meter (4.9ft) forecast for Norway, heavy snow could also sweep Europe’s lower latitudes, across the likes of Germany and Poland, with the Alps also set for an October pounding: