100 Million Americans On Alert For Severe Weather–With Records Already Falling Across The West; Omaezaki, Japan Suffers Extremely Rare Snow; + Eastern Europe Freezes

100 Million Americans On Alert For Severe Weather–With Records Already Falling Across The West

There are some 100 million Americans on alert for severe weather right now as a major winter storm is barreling in, forecast to bring heavy snow, high winds and a threat for tornadoes from Colorado to Alabama through Thursday.

Snowfall warnings stretch from New Mexico to Illinois, with whiteout conditions likely across the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, Kansas and southern Nebraska–with snowfall rates of 2 inches per hour and high winds predicted.

Heavy snow will sweep Colorado to Michigan through Thursday, with many areas expected to pick up more than a foot.

Schools and stretches of key highways, including Interstate 40, were shut across northern Arizona and New Mexico Wednesday due to accumulating snow, and with these flurries now passing, unseasonably cold and bitter wind chills are settling it.

The cold will extend further west, too, with sub-zero lows forecast around Lake Tahoe;-6F (-21C) for Truckee, California; and -10F (-23C) at Ely, Nevada near the Utah line.

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) Feb 15 – Feb 24 [tropicaltidbits.com].
GFS Total Snowfall (inches) Feb 16 – March 4 [tropicaltidbits.com].

Records have already been falling.

The disruptive 3.6 inches of snow posted at Grand Junction on Wednesday broke the locale’s previous record of 2 inches, set in 1940. “It was some good snow for the area,” said NWS meteorologist Megan Stackhouse, “and we’re very happy to see that.”

In Colorado, an 81-year-old record was toppled at Colorado Springs: The 4.2 inches that fell on Valentine’s Day usurped the old benchmark for the city of 3.3 inches, set in 1941.

And finally, though by no means exhaustively, Pueblo went and busted a daily snowfall record on February 15: The 6+ inches of new snow as of 6:30 AM Wednesday smashed the city’s previous record for the day of 2.8 inches set back in 1965.

Omaezaki, Japan Suffers Extremely Rare Snow

Japan has posted some truly historic cold benchmarks this winter, for both cold and snow.

Large swathes of the country have endured similarly frigid conditions this week, particularly Hokkaido prefecture in the north.

Here, temperatures have been bottoming out in low -30sC (-22F to -27F), with the cherry taken by Shumarinai’s -32.5C (-26.5F) — a reading which rivals the locale’s monthly record for February (in books dating back to 1978).

The snow also continues to be a factor.

On Wednesday morning, Sukayu Onsen, Aomori Prefecture posted a snow depth of 394cm (12.9ft)–the highest across all of Japan, according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, in what has been all-time record-busting winter (see link below).

This week has also brought extremely rare flurries to Omaezaki, located at the tip of Omaezaki Peninsula on Japan’s Pacific coast. Previously, the city had only received snow in 1966 and 1996 (solar minimums of cycles 19 and 22, respectively), and never more than 3cm (1.18 inches).

Cold January’s For Thailand And Guadeloupe

Capping off January’s round-up…

Jan 2023 in Thailand had an average temperature of 25C, which is 0.5C below the multidecadal average.

While in Guadeloupe, and as has been the case for many Caribbean islands, the locale’s official station, sited at Le Raizet airport averaged 24.6C last month, which was 0.4C below the norm.

Eastern Europe Freezes

As has been the case for weeks now, Eastern Europe–particularly southeastern parts–are holding anomalously cold.

Dangerous lows and disruptive snows continue to prove problematic for Turks and Syrians impacted by the recent deadly earthquake–the death toll from which has now surpassed 41,000.

Hard frosts and bone-chilling temperatures in the -30s(C) (-22F to -40F) have ripped through the highlands, with -35.4C registered Wednesday at Bezirhane and -31.4C at Erzurm airport.

Even the far-southern coast of Turkey has been shivering, with unusual lows of sub-5C (sub-41F) posted there.