“Icelandic Blast” To Grip Europe…
An “Icelandic blast” is buffeting Western and Central Europe this week, bringing exceptionally frigid winds, snow and frost and threatening even colder conditions over the weekend and into next week.
UK meteorologists say winter is set to hit earlier than usual this year, thanks to 1) a deep low-pressure system spiraling towards Western Europe from Iceland, and 2) ex-Hurricane Fiona bolstering an anomalous high-pressure in the Atlantic.
“The cold weather will set in at the end of the weekend and looks like it isn’t going anywhere quickly,” said Jim Dale, meteorologist for the British Weather Services, who also predicts settling now for Scotland and frosts most-everywhere else.
“It is fair to say the seasons are about to make a dramatic transition to something much colder,” said Dale.
Lows of -3C (26.6F) –and beyond– are possible before the close of September, which in some locales would prove record-breaking — a dramatic turnaround that I’m sure our warm-mongering mainstream corporate media will dutifully relay to the public.
Today, for example, Sept 29, the coldest temperature ever recorded in the UK was the -4.4C (24.1F) set in West Linton in 1940.
The cold snap is also being driven by the remains of Hurricane Fiona, which threaten to “squeeze a lobe of cold air” over the UK. Rain will fall as snow falls over the higher elevations, and freezing lows will sweep much of Britain. This is according to the Met Office — “a cold plunge” is what they’re calling it, as “widely across the UK temperatures will be below average”.
And as revealed by the latest GFS run (shown below, which takes us through Friday), this “cold plunge” is already impacting far more than just Britain, with vast swathes of mainland Europe, including energy-stricken Germany, also shivering:
An early-season freeze the continent could have done without.
…As It Stares Down “Cold, Dark Winter”
With its depleting energy reserves, driven alost entirely by poor foresight and planning, Europeans are inching towards a winter of hardships and difficult choices — and the colder the conditions, the harder the hardships.
Homes are almost assured of energy shortages, and for many, that will mean the heating, lights, fridges and ovens will be useless as plummeting temperatures grip the continent this winter.
Across Europe, statues and historic buildings are being left in dark in order to save energy, there are limitations on maximum heating temperatures, and businesses, such as bakeries, have been forced to shut up shop due to cripplingly-high prices, reported the AP, who add that European’s are also collecting firewood in record numbers in an attempt to keep to the fast-approaching cold season at bay.
Frantic ‘Net Zero’ Back-Pedaling
Prior to the war, EU nations met 40% of their energy needs using Russian gas. But with Moscow halting the supply, as they’re fully entitled to do by the way, natural gas prices have skyrocketed which is proving most-painful for the average citizen.
Nations that were once major advocates of reducing carbon emissions have now seen the folly of their ways and are firing back up coal and nuclear plants like they’re going out of fashion–which, of course, they had been for years prior thanks to the hijacking of reason and sense by those meaning-seeking Greens who, rather than loving the planet, as they endlessly profess, appear to hate humanity far more.
Modern human prosperity, health and well-being was built on the back of cheap and reliable energy, you rid our species of that and you resign billions –yes billions– of people to an existence of comparative ruin and suffering.
Despite its best efforts, the EU is failing to ramp up its natural gas production quickly enough because the infrastructure is simply no longer there. Many governments have even nationalized utility companies in order to save them from going bankrupt. And at this juncture, the depressing yet only viable option open is to try and save energy reserves for the coming winter — i.e. rationing.
These measures, although beneficial in the short term, will have dire consequences. Industrial shutdowns are tearing through the block like falling dominoes. Taking fertilizer production, as an example, with non-operation manufacturing plants there will be a chronic shortage of farming inputs come next spring — a drastic reduction in fertilizers means a drastic reduction in crop yields.
Nord Stream “Sabotage”
Weeks after Moscow turned off the Nord Stream spigots, the pipelines have now been “sabotaged”, meaning Europe will have no choice but to survive winter without a single cubic foot of Russian gas.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the energy lifeline of Europe, is made of two parallel branches. The pair of pipes run under the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast near St Petersburg to north-eastern Germany. Its twin, Nord Stream 2, was stopped as soon as Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. Despite being out of operation, the pipeline contained gas.
The European Union on Wednesday promised a “robust” response to any intentional disruption of its energy infrastructure after saying it suspected “sabotage” as being behind the gas leaks discovered this week on both branches of Nord Stream 1.
As gas spewed out under the Baltic Sea for a third day it remained far from clear who might be responsible. However, theories and finger pointing abound, with the U.S. and Russia themselves being top of the list of suspects.
“Any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and will be met with a robust and united response,” the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said–which likely means precisely nothing.
Echoing the views of Germany, Denmark and Sweden, he said sabotage was likely, although the EU has not named a potential perpetrator or suggested a motive. While Washington, which has led efforts to punish Moscow over the war, believes it is too soon to conclude that there was sabotage, a senior U.S. military official said–wink-wink.
It is also possible that the taking out of Nord Stream is part of the oil price cap plan proposed by G7 nations –U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and Canada– along with the wider EU, which is a mechanism designed to hurt Russia.
Moscow however has made it clear that it won’t supply energy to any nation that signs up to it, likely deterring most other countries from supporting the plan.
Europe is currently brewing a major hurricane of its own with the entire globe susceptible to the storm surge.
Europe’s Crackdown On Inflation Is Already Cracking
“Europe is very clearly heading into what could be a fairly deep recession,” said a former chief economist at the IMF.
The economic downturn has been aggravated by Central Bank’s efforts to tackle surging inflation by raising interest rates.
However, Wednesday saw two major global banks –one being the Bank Of England– pivoting with regards to their planned Quantitative Tightening (QT). The BoE has caved given the overwhelming economic threat and has returned to Quantitative Easing (QE) — i.e., it’s turned the money printers back on and has aimed them at squarely at an already inflated economy. This, although potentially saving the situation (the markets) in the short term, will only worsen inflation in the medium to long-term.
This act, particularly if it’s followed across the pond by the Fed has, at least to my mind, confirmed that a Great Depression-level collapse will hit once we catch up to this behemoth of a kicked can. But first, a potential euphoric FOMO parabola could sweep the stock markets, giving us one last hurrah before the mother of all crashes takes everyone out at the knees.
Early-Season Snow Clips Minnesota…
Minnesota reported its first snowflakes of the season Tuesday morning.
According to the National Weather Service in Duluth, on and off flurries were noted along the Gunflint Trail in Cook County, with the likes of Ely also seeing some early-season flakes.
Worth noting, the average first measurable snowfall in Duluth is Oct 24 (with measurable snowfall defined as a tenth of an inch or more). The average in Rochester is Nov 4, with the earliest measurable on record their being Sept 26, 1942.
…Warnings Issued North Of The Border
“Winter is here,” reads the opening of a recent nnsl.com article.
Inches began settling Monday night, and blowing snow soon shuttered both the Dempster and the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highways.
Warnings were issued by Environment Canada for the Northwest Territories, including Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic and Inuvik: “Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow,” read part of the ECCC release.
Greenland’s Record Start To A Season
While we’re up north, it should be noted that Greenland’s ice sheet has started the 2021-2022 season in impressive fashion.
The island has logged Surface Mass Balance (SMB) gains (blue line in the chart below) that have not only climbed above the 1981-2010 mean (grey line), but that have also nudged above the highest levels ever previously recorded (lighter grey ‘range’):
Objectively looking at the data, Greenland hasn’t logged a ‘healthier’ start to a season in the 41 years of DMI record-keeping, and is continuing the ‘swing to gains’ which commenced back in 2013.