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BY GEORGE: Is It Cold!

This article has nothing to do with climate warming and long-term weather and climate trends, so don’t take this, nor any other short-term weather phenomena as some sort of climate and world shattering event. The planet is indeed warmer than it’s been in history, we can’t argue that, but the causes are many, and that’s not the subject of this article. So, rest easy. What I am discussing here is record cold. Record cold, you mean the warmth, right? No. As of this research and writing, during the period of January 8th-12th, 2013, record cold is gripping much of Asia, the Mideast, North Africa, and parts of Europe. As we in the Southeast bask in near record warmth, it’s not all balmy and flower-blooming in the Northern Hemisphere. (By the way, Australia, in the Southern Hemisphere where it’s summer, is having one of its hottest and driest summers ever.) 

A fresh cold wave has brought snow, strong winds and temperature drops to different parts of China. Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, north China and northeast China were the regions hardest hit. Rarely seen, heavy snow and strong winds hit Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous recently. As much as 3 inches of snow have since accumulated in this normally mild region in the northwest of Xinjiang. For that matter, China is having one of its coldest periods since 1985. 

In Inner Mongolia, temperatures dropped to nearly 40 degrees below zero lately. 

Transportation has been impacted to a great extent, as well as agricultural products of the south, which has already accelerated inflation and lead to food shortages in areas. Hubei, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces have recently reported heavy snows, and near record cold temperatures are forcing strains on heating systems and health care. 

In India, severe cold has already killed dozens of people. For that matter, the country's Supreme Court ordered states to provide adequate night shelters for the homeless during this severe cold winter outbreak, which began in December.

Heavy fog and a cold wind have disrupted life across northern India with sub-zero temperatures in Indian-administered Kashmir. The capital, Delhi, has seen record low temperatures near freezing, as well as frequent times of dense fog with the cold and dense air.

The cold wave that started the third week of December forced schools to close in the state of Bihar during the third week of December, and have since experienced intermittent closings this month. Record cold has reached into Afghanistan as well, putting extreme strain on a country that we all know has been rocked by years of violence.

Other areas of the region are also seeing record cold temperatures and heavy snow, with winter long from over.

In the meantime, we’ll cool down soon, but even then, the coldest air is likely to stay locked to our north. So for now (at least through the 21st or so), we’ll go from very warm, then back to more seasonable.

By: George Elliott

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