Old Man Winter is living up to his reputation this month across the Northern Hemisphere, with heavy snow reported in places that don’t see snow too often. Two weeks ago, 1 to 2 feet of snow fell on the Big Island of Hawaii; since then, additional snow has fallen across the higher elevations of both Hawaii and Maui islands. Just last week, Paris was hit by a severe winter storm, encasing famed attractions like the Eiffel Tower in snow and ice. Greece turned into a winter wonderland yesterday, with Athens seeing its biggest snowfall since 1987. And now the United States is dealing with what seems like an endless parade of winter storms, including one which brought snow and freezing temperatures to the Texas Gulf Coast. Yesterday, snow blanketed 73% of the continental United States, which is the greatest greatest extent of snow cover on record in the database, which dates back to 2003.
The recent snow has also been joined by cold blasts. The United Kingdom, along with large parts of northern Europe, is starting to that-out from unusually cold period of weather. Just days ago, on February 11, the Scottish Highlands village of Braemar -23.0°C (-9.4°F), the United Kingdom’s coldest temperature since 1995 and the coldest February temperature since the 1950s. Asia has been cold too. Earlier this month, authorities were fearing blackouts would roll through Japan due to a shortage of powerplant capacity in cold weather conditions and a shortage of fuel needed for those electrical generating stations.
Cold and snow is even popping-up in the southern Hemisphere. Just weeks ago, cold and snow arrived in southern New Zealand. While it’s the middle of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, more than 3″ of snow fell at the Cardrona Alpine Resort on the country’s south island, south and west of Christchurch.
How it started How it’s going
Further ❄ for the rest of today into tomorrow for lower and central South Island, possibly affecting the Milford Road.
Full details at https://t.co/qHyE5zhh6X
Thanks @snapinfotech for these shots of Cardona Ski Field pic.twitter.com/Sncng2tJZg
— MetService (@MetService) January 19, 2021
Back in the United States, Texas continues to make headlines for its current cold wave. On Sunday, Dallas was relatively balmy with a high of 22 and low of 9; yesterday, the high was 18 after a low of -2. This is only the 5th time on record there’s been a below-zero reading in Dallas. In Austin, the temperature only rose to 26 after a morning low of 7, making it the coldest temperature since December of 1989. San Antonio was also crips, dipping down to 9 degrees on Monday while the wind chill dropped to -6. Record low temperatures and record low high temperatures have been made throughout the Lone Star State.
Conditions are expected to moderate and return to somewhat more normal readings around the globe in the coming days. But as with any winter, more cold snaps, Arctic / Antarctica intrusions, and more snow is likely in the coming weeks as the always-variable Old Man Winter keeps people on its toes …and chilly.