California’s Snowpack Highest In 40 Years; Heavy Snow “Causes Chaos” In Oslo; Extreme Freeze Begins Across Vast Areas Of Russia/Asia; + X-Flare Watch

California’s Snowpack Highest In 40 Years

Snowpack across California’s mountains is at the highest level in 40 years — with more heavy snow in the forecast.

Currently, the Cali pack is measuring 179% of the historical average, boosted by recent record-setting snowstorms.

Statewide snowpack is even 70% of the April 1 average, and is matching the best water year on record (1982-1983):

The snow was coming down at a rate of 7″ per hour at Palisades Tahoe on New Year’s Eve and 7.5″ per hour at the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, with the former breaking its all-time 12-hour snowfall record:

Digging out from the record-breaking snow at Palisades Tahoe.

California is on course for even more snow through the weekend.

But state water officials remain all doom and gloom –no surprises there– even though the year’s first official measurements of snow and water content in Phillips, a town east of Sacramento, found levels to be well-above average for this time of year.

“While we see a terrific snowpack –and that in and of itself may be an opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief– we are by no means out of the woods when it comes to drought,” said Karla Nemeth, director of the state’s Department of Water Resources.

This week’s expected storm system is on course to be very cold and will increase the snowpack further:

GFS Total Snowfall (inches) Jan 6 – Jan 22 [].

California’s above-average precipitation this water year (commencing Oct 1) has seen state climatologist Mike Anderson concede that “things are looking pretty good … certainly a lot better than we have been in past years.”

For reference, the past three years have been California’s driest since 1986 (solar minimum of cycle 21).

Heavy Snow “Causes Chaos” In Oslo

It’s been holding incredibly cold across Scandinavia over the past month+, and accompanying the chill has been heavy, disruptive snow, particularly in Norway.

Despite round-the-clock efforts of the city’s plowing crews, Olso commuters were urged to work from home Thursday and Friday after heavy snow brought much of the capital’s transport to a standstill.

Some 30 bus routes were cancelled Thursday morning, with those still running either delayed or rerouted due to the treacherous conditions.

“There are extremely challenging driving conditions, and it will be a challenging day today,” said Øystein Dahl Johansen, press officer for Ruter, Oslo’s public transportation authority.

Ruter asked people to avoid travel if possible, and also to allow plenty of time to complete their journey:

“Those who have the opportunity are encouraged to have a home office, keep up to date, use the subway and consider whether you have to travel at all today,” added Johansen. 

The below tweet shows clearing operations Wednesday afternoon, which ultimately turned out to be something of a ‘bootless errand’ given the far-heavier flurries that settled overnight and into Thursday morning.

Extreme Freeze Begins Across Vast Areas Of Russia/Asia

It is indeed warm in central Europe, alarmists, we get it. But what about the record-setting freeze to the east which is beginning to engulf the majority of transcontinental Russia and the wider Asian continent as a whole?

If a land mass of approx. 1.1 million km2 currently holding warm (central Europe) is due to ‘catastrophic global warming’, then what’s the freezing land mass of well-over 20 million km2 to the east caused by? Also global warming, I presume…?!

That’s the level of reckless ignorance we’re dealing with here; poverty-inducing ignorance; suicidal compliance and blind belief.

Here’s the temperature outlook for Europe:

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) Jan 7 [].

And here’s Asia (excluding the far east) — an area at least 20x bigger:

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) Jan 16 [].

It’s a non-contest.

Starting in Western Russia, this is intense cold even by hardy Russian standards. Lows of -30C (-22F) are forecast for Moscow by the weekend, perhaps even lower.

While headed east, Siberia, Kazakhstan (all of the ‘stans, in fact), Mongolia and China (as well as Japan and the Koreas–not quite shown on this map) are on course to be invaded by fierce, record-challenging polar cold — again.

Indeed, these regions have been no stranger to anomalously-frigid conditions in recent weeks.

Northern China, for example, endured lows of -50C (-58F) back in December, with Beijing suffering its lowest reading since the 1970s.

November was also exceptionally cold in this part of the world. More than 20 provincial areas of China were put under ‘extreme cold warnings’, with Xinjiang issuing the country’s first ‘red alert’ since the deadly cold wave of 2008 (solar minimum of cycle 21). The warning was warranted, too: record-breaking lows bottoming-out at -48.6C (-55.5F) hit in late-Nov, cold which froze-to-death thousands upon thousands of livestock as well as seven unfortunate construction workers near the city of Altay.

Record cold has also touched Siberia of late, as well as Mongolia and South Korea; while all-time snowfall records have been slain across Japan — to name just four other regions.

Looking again at the above GFS forecast, similarly-deadly conditions look set to return, but over an even larger region.

Stay tuned for updates.

X-Flare Watch

Newly-emerging sunspot AR3182 poses an ongoing threat for strong solar flares.

On Tuesday, Jan 3 the very active region produced a probable X-class eruption on the farside of the Sun, followed on Friday, Jan 6 by a confirmed X1.2-flare on the Earthside:

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the eruption just before 0100 UT this morning (Jan 6):

The explosion inflated a dome of glowing-hot plasma which hovered above the blast site for more than an hour. But so far, no coronal mass ejection (CME) has been observed emerging from the area, points out Dr Tony Phillips of

A pulse of X-rays and extreme UV radiation from the flare ionized the top of Earth’s atmosphere, causing a shortwave radio blackout across South Pacific (see map below). Ham radio operators, mariners and aviators may have noticed unusual propagation effects at frequencies below 30 MHz for as much as an hour after the flaring.

Given the size and apparent complexity of AR3182, there’s a good chance the explosions will continue into the days ahead — just as the region turns to face Earth.

To reiterate, a strong Earth-facing X-flare has the capacity to send our civilization back to the Stone Age.

AR3182 is worth paying attention to — let’s put it that way.