Plunging Temperatures Tests French Power Grid: Macron, “Don’t Panic”
Snow and plunging temperatures swept much of France on Monday.
Météo-France placed 24 departments under weather warnings, with the weather agency foreseeing intensifying wintry conditions as the week progresses, with temps holding 5C below the norm — a first resilience test of the French power grid.
In Lozere, significant snowfall on Monday left motorists stranded on the A75:
While at higher elevations, ski season has commenced at many resorts, such as Val Thorens, in the French Alps this weekend. However, six mountainous resorts, from Haute-Savoie to Alpes-Maritimes, have had their fun tempered by the issuance of ‘avalanche watches’.
The below tweet reads, “[snow fell at] Gap, the capital of the Hautes Alpes … 300m (985ft) lower than expected.”
Plunging temperatures, in particular, will test the resilience of France’s power network, with even President Emmanuel Macron urging the French, in a public address, not to panic amid warnings of possible blackouts.
French utility EDF saw its electricity output drop to a 3-decade low in 2022 due to a record number of nuclear reactor outages arising from “corrosion problems”. And on Monday, arriving in line with the cold, came the news that at least two of the country’s offline reactors will experience further delays.
A mild November helped ease demand, but as the mercury fell on Monday, concerns rose, with people again prompted to download the government’s ‘alert app’ which is designed to warn of high demand and potential power cuts.
Currently, France’s low nuclear availability is being offset by higher imports from its neighbors. However, with this week’s Arctic outbreak not limited to France, the fear is that help won’t be on offer for much longer as nation’s prioritize domestic security.
“We do see France hitting its import limitations,” said Jean-Paul Harreman, director of EnAppSys energy consultancy. And with even colder weather forecast next week (Dec 12), supplies “will be even tighter,” so says Refinitiv analyst Nathalie Gerl.
“Consumption is set to peak at 80 GW (versus 73 GW on Dec 5), while wind power is expected to be below normal. Should the nuclear availability remain at 37-38 GW the supply gap risk will be much more acute than today,” explained Gerl.
As hinted at above, this influx of polar cold has been widespread, infecting much of the European continent.
The UK, for example, has suffered its first real taste of winter, with snow and ice the common theme.
Below is the current scene in Wales where a feels-like of -10C (14F) and snow clipped the higher elevations:
While in Norway, an energy rich nation that often offers its spare capacity to its European neighbors, a bout of record-breaking, power-sucking cold is also being endured, which has fired the nation’s energy prices to unprecedented levels.
The price record for central Norway was shattered on Sunday after an average price of 2.71 kroner per kilowatt hour was logged.
A fierce, below-average freeze has settled in across the Nordics, resulting in residents cranking-up their heating.
And there’s much more where that came from as December rolls on — and for the majority of Europe, too:
“First of all, let us be clear: no panic!” Macron told TF1 television over the weekend.
“It is legitimate for the government to prepare for the extreme cases which would mean cutting off electricity for a few hours per day if we did not have enough power,” he added, with a smarmy grin — after he himself continues to be knowingly complicit in the ‘controlled demolition’ of the global energy supply under the thinly veiled guise of ‘saving the planet’.
But as has been exposed now, these destructors aren’t ‘pro-planet’, rather they are mercilessly ‘anti-human’.
Reject their treacherous rhetoric.
U.S. Snowpack At Historically High Levels
Going by the snow totals, you’d guess it was mid-winter in the U.S. — ski areas are seeing their snowiest starts to winter in decades with the West’s snowpack, in particular, averaging twice-as-much as the seasonal norm.
With back-to-back-to-back-to-back winter storms across the West –beginning in early-November– the snowpack is thriving. Parts of the Sierra and the Pacific Northwest are seeing record-challenging depths for the time of year.
In Central California, Sierra snowpack stands at 200+% of normal, with far higher percentages logged at other basins.
“We’re looking fairly good up here at this point,” Andre Schwartz, research scientist at the University of California-Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory said. “We’re definitely above average, as far as how much snow we have on the ground.”
This year, frequent storms, in combination with exceptionally cold temperatures, have helped the snow to stick around.
Eyeing the forecast, the Sierra and the Rockies will be hit with again this week as multiple storm systems traverse the West.
Snowfall totals here could easily end up at 4 foot, with more widespread totals coming in at a foot or less. While across Central and Eastern states, record-challenging totals are also on the cards — for the likes of Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma:
“Feels Like Antarctica” In Alberta
Parts of Canada, namely Alberta and Saskatchewan, are forecast “dangerously cold” temperatures this week as “the polar vortex” drives polar air southwards, plunging the mercury to “Antarctic levels”, according to The Weather Network.
For Alberta, a dangerous freeze will enter Tuesday morning where temperatures for the northern half of the province will sink below -30C (-22F), with communities such as Edmonton bracing for -35C (-31F), with a wind chill driving temps into the -40s.
In fact, Edmonton airport has a chance of seeing actual temperatures drop to -40C Tuesday morning, which would be one of its earliest -40Cs in recorded history.
Frost bite can occur within minutes under these conditions, warns Environment ‘and Climate Cooling’ Canada (ECCC). As a result, Canadian’s are being urged to take the necessary precautions to limit exposure to the extreme cold.
A Word on Antarctica
Antarctica itself has been holding exceptionally cold of late, recently posting its coldest month of November since 1987.
The unseasonable cold brought with it unseasonable snow — so much snow, in fact, that the Royal Navy had to come to the aid of four UK women working at an isolated Antarctic base after its buildings were buried.
Sailors and Royal Marines from HMS Protector spent two days digging out the Port Lockroy site, and managed to fix the roof of Bransfield Hut which is home to a museum, a gift shop and the world’s most remote post office.
The four women beat 6,000 applicants to manage the base.
Clare Ballantyne, Mairi Hilton, Natalie Corbett and Lucy Bruzzone accepted the task of reopening the site in October.
They were busy setting up, assisted by three other staff who are leaving shortly, ahead of the austral summer –which falls between Nov to Feb– when an unexpected 4 meters (13+ feet) of snow put a stop to their efforts.
The sailors and Marines shifted several tonnes of snow for the women, and successfully carried out repairs.
Warrant Officer First Class Lee “Rattler” Morgan, who was part of the rescue team, said he was “taken aback” by “the sheer amount of snow,” adding that the buildings “had all but disappeared”.
Climate Lockdowns Are Here
As predicted, and feared, COVID Lockdowns are evolving into Climate Lockdowns, with a trial to be launched in Britain.
Oxfordshire County Council has approved plans to effectively lock residents into one of six zones due to ‘global warming’.
Under the new scheme, electronic gates will be placed on key roads in and out of the city, confining residents to their own neighborhoods. If a resident sought to leave their zone they would first need permission from the Council who gets to decide who is worthy of freedom and who isn’t.
For those seeking freedom, they will first have to register their vehicle details with the council who will then track their movements via smart cameras round the city. If you qualify, you may leave your zone for a maximum of 100 days per year. Oh, and for two-car households, both vehicles will be counted as one, meaning you’ll have to divide up the journeys.
A county council travel chief has insisted the controversial plan would go ahead whether people liked it or not.
People can drive freely around their own neighborhood and can apply for a permit to drive through the filters and into other neighbors, said the chief, but reiterated that this was only possible for up to 100 days per year.
Oxfordshire is a higher learning hub, home to the University of Oxford, and is also, in part, run by the Green Party. It follows that opposition to these Chinese-style movement restrictions will be tempered. After all, government-funded studies say the climate is heating–or something… so authoritarianism is the clear and obvious fix–or something…
As Eric Worrall writes, “Almost a thousand years the University of Oxford stood as a beacon of intellectual freedom. A number of leading Oxford intellectuals were hanged or otherwise persecuted over the centuries, because of their resistance to authoritarianism. So it seems incredibly sad that the inheritors of that proud tradition seem so willing to turn their backs on those freedoms their predecessors sometimes laid down their lives to defend.”
And as British commentator Neil Oliver says, “Anyone who puts up with this deserves whatever the overlords plan next.”
These Oxford ‘Climate Lockdowns’ are about control. For those who don’t see that by now, brace for the shackles and the tightening noose around your necks; likewise, for those not working to obtain freedom now, mentally prepare yourselves for slavery — because if you stay within their system, this future –unlike that of ‘global warming’– is baked in, inevitable.
You will obey — for a meal, for warmth, for a roof over your head — you will obey.