Extreme Weather Around the Globe: U.S. Freezing, Australia on Fire, Canada Melting

Graphic: ABC News

Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, is being consumed by wildfires, with 67 burning and so much smoke that it can be seen blowing all the way to New Zealand more than 2500 miles away, and experts are warning that conditions are poised to deteriorate even further, with the city of Sydney at risk for the first time, and the government has declared a state of emergency in the region for the next week.  Meanwhile, here in the U.S., a massive arctic front has shifted south, bringing bone-chilling cold and snow to the middle of the country today, with more than 67 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and hundreds of cold temperature records could be broken.

Why This Matters:  This is more than just uncomfortable weather — it is dangerous.  This type of “catastrophic” wildfire risk has never happened before in New South Wales — and the public is being warned not to be dismissive — with officials explaining that these conditions mean that lives are at risk.  The same is true for bitter cold here — with snow from the Dakotas to New England over the course of the week, and it is not even mid-November — due to changes in the jet stream.  Politicians should not take this extreme weather lightly.  Just ask the now-defeated Governor of Kentucky, Matt Blevin, who back in January criticized school and business closures due to record cold in Kentucky and he was lambasted for it.  Look what happened to him.

Australian Brushfires

Many parts of Australia are facing catastrophic wildfire risks this week, but none have the population numbers of Sydney and New South Whales.

In the U.S., How Cold Is It?

  • Snow canceled nearly 1,200 flights in Chicago yesterday and more than 1,500 nationwide after a plane slid off the runway in Chicago on account of the icy weather.
  • Lake effect snow will hit the Great Lakes region and interior Northeast, where up to 1 foot of snow is expected in some areas 14 to 20 inches of snow is not out of the question.

In Eastern Canada, Quebec’s Islands are Disintegrating Into the Sea

The Washington Post recently published the next article in their series entitled  “2 Degrees C: Beyond the Limit” — this one is about the Magdalen Islands of northeastern Canada that have warmed 2.3 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century, twice the global average, and are now are crumbling into the sea – losing as much as 14 feet of land a year and rising seas threatening their water supply.

Graphic: Newshub

Up Next

Urban Heat Islands Disproportionately Affect Black Neighborhoods

Urban Heat Islands Disproportionately Affect Black Neighborhoods

A new study conducted by Portland State University and the Science Museum of Virginia has revealed that a history of redlining in America has forced African Americans to live in neighborhoods that are much more affected by urban heat waves. As the authors explained, “Vulnerable communities—especially those within urban areas in the United States—are disproportionately […]

Continue Reading 405 words
One Safety Thing: Heed the Warnings of Strong Storms

One Safety Thing: Heed the Warnings of Strong Storms

Our favorite local National Weather Service forecast office tweeted out this important message on Saturday when a strong line of storms ripped through central Alabama.  With extreme and severe weather becoming the new normal, the National Weather Service and local emergency managers’ warnings are more important than ever.  Lives are at stake.  This forecast office […]

Continue Reading 146 words
Where In the U.S. Was Weather Its Most Extreme in 2019?

Where In the U.S. Was Weather Its Most Extreme in 2019?

Cities in Alaska and the Southeastern U.S. saw some of the greatest extremes in weather in 2019 — with Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, coming in at 9.3 degrees warmer than average and Bozeman, Montana was 5.3 degrees colder than average, while Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas was the wettest with 25.02 inches more rain than average and of U.S. cities, Tallahassee, Florida, had a 20-inch rainfall deficit. 

Why This Matters:  There were some big extremes in 2019 — with an impressive list and geographic spread of U.S. cities seeing record-breaking weather.  Record warmth for Alaska is one of the biggest stories of the year.

Continue Reading 425 words