South America hit by an insane cold: a symptom of crazy weather



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South America hit by an insane cold: a symptom of crazy weather

Unlike other parts of the world that have experienced extreme heat, the Southern winter is hitting South America with an unprecedented cold wave. Below average maximum and minimum temperatures, even quite anomalous, up to 10/12 ° C lower in eastern Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Uruguay.

A phenomenon that could be partly linked to the persistence of a phase of La Nina. The cause of all this are the icy Antarctic currents that from the South Pacific break on the western slopes of the Andes and cross over from Chile to Argentina, causing heavy snow showers, accompanied by sustained gusts of western wind.

This situation should persist for a few more days and lessen only starting next Thursday. The snowfall was so abundant that some ski areas were unable to open to customers. It happened in La Lolla, Esquel, hit by a real storm of wind and snow.

Problems also in Bariloque, a ski resort in the province of Rio Negro, in Patagonia at 893m above sea level. Here the temperatures remain around freezing and the precipitations maintain a snowy character. Southern Africa is also struggling with sub-average temperatures and anomalous snowfalls and if we go the other way to South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand we find similar situations.

Opposite problem in China

The two-month long heat wave is the longest ever recorded in the country, according to the National Climate Center, and the demand for electricity to run the air conditioners has put energy groups under pressure.

Sichuan, civil servants were asked to use air conditioning in offices at a temperature of no lower than 26 degrees and to avoid taking elevators whenever possible. The drought is putting a strain on electricity supplies in Sichuan, which relies on hydroelectricity to generate 80% of its energy capacity.

The capacity of the province's hydroelectric plants has halved since July, with electricity flow falling from around 900 million kWh to around 450 million kWh, and it is estimated that it will continue to decline at an average daily rate of 2%.

Of particular concern is the production of food and the cultivation of wheat in the provinces of Sichuan and Anhui, both in southwestern China: the Chinese president himself, Xi Jinping, had already recommended last March, a few days after the invasion of Ukraine by Russian soldiers, in the face of uncertainties in supplies triggered by the outbreak of the war.