The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this article, discuss the issue on the talk page, or create a new article, as appropriate. (April 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

A cold wave (known in some regions as a cold snap or cold spell) is a weather phenomenon that is distinguished by a cooling of the air. Specifically, as used by the U.S. National Weather Service, a cold wave is a rapid fall in temperature within a 24-hour period requiring substantially increased protection to agriculture, industry, commerce, and social activities. The precise criteria for a cold wave are the rate at which the temperature falls, and the minimum to which it falls. This minimum temperature is dependent on the geographical region and time of year.[1]

In the United States, a cold spell is defined as the national average high temperature dropping below 20 °F (−7 °C).[2] A cold wave of sufficient magnitude and duration may be classified as a cold air outbreak (CAO).[3][4]

Effects

A cold wave can cause death and injury to livestock and wildlife. Exposure to cold mandates greater caloric intake for all animals, including humans, and if a cold wave is accompanied by heavy and persistent snow, grazing animals may be unable to reach needed food and die of hypothermia or starvation. They often necessitate the purchase of foodstuffs to feed livestock at considerable cost to farmers.

Cold spells are associated with mortality rates in populations around the world.[5] Both cold waves and heat waves cause deaths, though different groups of people may be susceptible to different weather events.[6] More deaths occur during a heat wave than in a cold wave.[7][8] Extreme cold weather often causes poorly insulated water pipelines and mains to freeze. Even some poorly protected indoor plumbing ruptures as water expands within them, causing much damage to property and costly insurance claims. Demand for electrical power and fuels rises dramatically during such times, even though the generation of electrical power may fail due to the freezing of water necessary for the generation of hydroelectricity. Some metals may become brittle at low temperatures. Motor vehicles may fail when antifreeze fails or motor oil gels, producing a failure of the transportation system. To be sure, such is more likely in places like Siberia and much of Canada that customarily get very cold weather.[citation needed]

Fires become even more of a hazard during extreme cold. Water mains may break and water supplies may become unreliable, making firefighting more difficult. The air during a cold wave is typically denser and thus contains more oxygen, so when air that a fire draws in becomes unusually cold it is likely to cause a more intense fire[citation needed]. However, snow may stop spreading of fires, especially wildfires.

Winter cold waves that are not considered cold in some areas, but cause temperatures significantly below average for an area, are also destructive. Areas with subtropical climates may recognize unusual cold, perhaps barely freezing, temperatures, as a cold wave. In such places, plant and animal life is less tolerant of such cold as may appear rarely. The same winter temperatures that one associates with the norm for Colorado, Ohio, or Bavaria are catastrophic to winter crops in places like Florida, California, or parts of South America that grow fruit and vegetables in winter.

Cold waves that bring unexpected freezes and frosts during the growing season in mid-latitude zones can kill plants during the early and most vulnerable stages of growth, resulting in crop failure as plants are killed before they can be harvested economically. Such cold waves have caused famines. At times as deadly to plants as drought, cold waves can leave land in danger of later brush and forest fires that consume dead biomass. One extreme was the so-called Year Without a Summer of 1816, one of several years during the 1810s in which numerous crops failed during freakish summer cold snaps after volcanic eruptions that reduced incoming sunlight.

Recent research suggests a possible link between cold waves and extratropical cyclogenesis.[9]

Morality

Extreme cold causes 1300 deaths while moderate cold causes 1200 deaths. Winter cold causes a total of 2500 deaths.

Countermeasures

In some places, such as Siberia, extreme cold requires that fuel-powered machinery to be used even part-time must be run continuously. Internal plumbing can be wrapped, and persons can often run water continuously through pipes. Energy conservation, difficult as it is in a cold wave, may require such measures as collecting people (especially the poor and elderly) in communal shelters. Even the homeless may be arrested and taken to shelters, only to be released when the hazard abates.[10] Hospitals can prepare for the admission of victims of frostbite and hypothermia; schools and other public buildings can be converted into shelters.

People can stock up on food, water, and other necessities before a cold wave. Some may even choose to migrate to places of milder climates, at least during the winter. Suitable stocks of forage can be secured before cold waves for livestock, and livestock in vulnerable areas might be shipped from affected areas or even slaughtered. Smudge pots can bring smoke that prevents hard freezes on a farm or grove. Vulnerable crops may be sprayed with water that will paradoxically protect the plants by freezing and absorbing the cold from surrounding air.

Most people can dress appropriately and can even layer their clothing should they need to go outside or should their heating fail. They can also stock candles, matches, flashlights, and portable fuel for cooking and wood for fireplaces or wood stoves, as necessary. However, caution should be taken as the use of charcoal fires for cooking or heating within an enclosed dwelling is extremely dangerous due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Adults must remain aware of the exposure that children and the elderly have to cold.

Historical cold waves

21st-century cold waves (2001–present)

2022

2021

Novosibirsk reached a low of -41 °C. Beijing recorded a low of -19.6 °C which was the coldest since 1966. Seoul also recorded -18.6 °C in January 8 which was the tie record with 2001 and the coldest since 1986. Over 200 cm of snow fell in western Japan along the Japan Sea coast.

2020

2019

2018

2017–2018

2017

2016

2014–2015

2013–2014

2013

2012

2010–2011

2009–2010

The first snowfall began on 17 December 2009, before a respite over the Christmas period.[41] The most severe snowy weather began on 5 January in North West England and west Scotland with temperatures hitting a low of −17.6 °C (0.3 °F) in Greater Manchester, England.[42] The snow spread to Southern England on 6 January and by 7 January the United Kingdom was blanketed in snow,[41] which was captured by NASA's Terra satellite.[43] The thaw came a week later, as temperatures started to increase.[41] The winter weather brought widespread transport disruption, school closures, power failures, the postponement of sporting events and 25 deaths. A low of −22.3 °C (−8.1 °F) was recorded in Altnaharra, Scotland on 8 January 2010. Overall it was the coldest winter since 1978–79, with a mean temperature of 1.5 °C (34.7 °F).

2008

2007

2005–2006

2004–2005

2002

20th-century cold waves (1901–2000)

2000

1997

1996

1995

1994

1990–1991

1989

1987

1985–1986

1985

1983

1981–1982

1979

1978

1977

1977–1979 winters

1975

1968–1969

1966

1962–1963

1956

1954-1955

1955

1950

1949

1947

1941–1942

1940

1937

1936

1934

1933

1932

1930

1917-1918

1916-1917

1912

1904 was the coolest year on record.[77]

19th century cold waves (1801–1900)

1899

1895

1893

1888

1886–1887

1882–1883

1874–1875

1859

1857

1835

18th century cold waves (1701–1800)

17th century cold waves (1601–1700)

See also

References

  1. ^ "Cold Wave". AMS: Glossary of Meteorology. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
  2. ^ Borenstein, Seth (January 10, 2014). "Winters aren't colder; we're just softer". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 8A. Archived from the original on January 13, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  3. ^ Smith, Erik T.; S. C. Sheridan (2018). "The characteristics of extreme cold events and cold air outbreaks in the eastern United States". Int. J. Climatol. 38: e807–e820. Bibcode:2018IJCli..38E.807S. doi:10.1002/joc.5408.
  4. ^ Smith, Erik T.; Sheridan, Scott C. (2020). "Where do Cold Air Outbreaks occur and how have they changed over time?". Geophysical Research Letters. 47 (13): e86983. Bibcode:2020GeoRL..4786983S. doi:10.1029/2020GL086983. S2CID 219424375.
  5. ^ Jaakkola, Jouni J.K.; Guo, Yuming; Ryti, Niilo R.I. (2015). "Global Association of Cold Spells and Adverse Health Effects: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis". Environmental Health Perspectives. 124 (1): 12–22. doi:10.1289/ehp.1408104. ISSN 0091-6765. PMC 4710591. PMID 25978526.
  6. ^ Joacim, Rocklöv; Bertil, Forsberg; Kristie, Ebi; Tom, Bellander (2014). "Susceptibility to mortality related to temperature and heat and cold wave duration in the population of Stockholm County, Sweden". Global Health Action. 7: 22737. doi:10.3402/gha.v7.22737. ISSN 1654-9880. PMC 3955771. PMID 24647126.
  7. ^ Gasparrini, Antonio; Guo, Yuming; Hashizume, Masahiro; Lavigne, Eric; Zanobetti, Antonella; Schwartz, Joel; Tobias, Aurelio; Tong, Shilu; Rocklöv, Joacim; Forsberg, Bertil; Leone, Michela (July 2015). "Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study". The Lancet. 386 (9991): 369–375. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(14)62114-0. ISSN 0140-6736. PMC 4521077. PMID 26003380.
  8. ^ Lomborg, Bjorn (2020). False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet. Basic Books. ISBN 978-1-5416-4746-6. OL 29483383M.
  9. ^ Messori, Gabriele; Caballero, Rodrigo; Gaetani, Marco (2016). "On cold spells in North America and storminess in western Europe". Geophysical Research Letters. 43 (12): 6620–6628. Bibcode:2016GeoRL..43.6620M. doi:10.1002/2016GL069392.
  10. ^ "Police law of Finland 11§" (in Finnish). Retrieved 2008-09-25.
  11. ^ Fox, Lauren; Puleo, Mark (October 27, 2020). "Bitter cold obliterates records in western US as storm dumps snow, ice". www.accuweather.com.
  12. ^ "New York City Tied Its Record Latest Spring Snowfall, In One of Its Least Snowy Seasons". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  13. ^ "Polar vortex brings rare May snow, low temps to New England | Boston.com". www.boston.com. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  14. ^ a b https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/baghdad-sees-snow-for-the-1st-time-in-12-years/679070[dead link]
  15. ^ "Погода в Новосибирске - климатический монитор за февраль 2019 года".
  16. ^ "Погода в Красноярске - климатический монитор за февраль 2019 года".
  17. ^ "Погода в Иркутске - климатический монитор за февраль 2019 года".
  18. ^ "Погода в Омске - климатический монитор за февраль 2019 года".
  19. ^ "Погода в Новокузнецке - климатический монитор за февраль 2019 года".
  20. ^ "Погода в Ванаваре - климатический монитор за февраль 2019 года".
  21. ^ "February is coldest in Los Angeles in nearly 60 years". Los Angeles Times. 2019-02-25.
  22. ^ "So far 2019 has set 35 records for heat and 2 for cold".
  23. ^ "Погода в Новосибирске - климатический монитор за декабрь 2018 года".
  24. ^ "Погода в Омске - климатический монитор за декабрь 2018 года".
  25. ^ "Погода в Красноярске - климатический монитор за декабрь 2018 года".
  26. ^ "Погода в Братске - климатический монитор за декабрь 2018 года".
  27. ^ "Погода в Барнауле - климатический монитор за декабрь 2018 года".
  28. ^ "Погода в Томске - климатический монитор за декабрь 2018 года".
  29. ^ "Погода в Ербогачене - климатический монитор за декабрь 2018 года".
  30. ^ "Storm Emma to bring up to 50cm of snow". BBC News. 2 March 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  31. ^ Sampathkumar, Mythili (2017-12-30). "North America weather: Canadian zoo moves penguins indoors because of cold temperatures". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2017-12-30. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  32. ^ "Потепление приближается" [The warming is coming] (in Russian). Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  33. ^ "Snow in April in Bosnia and Herzegovina!". 19 April 2017.
  34. ^ "Dallas, TX Weather Forecast from Weather Underground". Wunderground.com. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  35. ^ "Dallas, Texas (75201) Conditions & Forecast". Weather.wfaa.com. Archived from the original on 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  36. ^ Pidd, Helen; Elder, Miriam (3 February 2012). "European cold snap threatens energy crisis as death toll rises". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  37. ^ Kyiv Post: Ukraine Cold Spell Death Toll Rises 101 Archived February 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ Wade, NZPA, Amelia (2011-08-15). "Snow falls in Auckland for first time in decades". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  39. ^ "Kiwis marvel at Auckland and Wellington snow - Storyful". 2014-02-01. Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  40. ^ "January 2010". The Met Office. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  41. ^ a b c "Snow and low temperatures – December 2009 to January 2010". www.metoffice.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  42. ^ "Minus 17.6C – Big freeze sets new record". Manchester Evening News. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  43. ^ "Frozen Britain seen from above". BBC News. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  44. ^ "UK | Heavy snow hits much of Britain". BBC News. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  45. ^ "Blanket of snow over much of Europe". RTÉ. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  46. ^ Gillan, Audrey (2 February 2009). "Heavy snow to cause travel chaos all week | UK news | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  47. ^ "Snow causes London to slow to crawl". NBC News. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  48. ^ Richard Allen Greene and Olivia Feld CNN (7 February 2009). "Heaviest UK snow in 18 years hits international flights". CNN.com. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  49. ^ "2008/02". antisimvatikos.blogspot. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  50. ^ Cormier, Bill, Buenos Aires Gets First Snow Since 1918, Associated Press (July 7, 2007).
  51. ^ Cold snap in Argentina leads to energy crunch that idles factories, triggers blackouts, AP via International Herald Tribune, May 31, 2007 Archived May 31, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  52. ^ "2004/02". antisimvatikos.blogspot. 14 February 2004. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  53. ^ "2002 cold wave". antisimvatikos.blogspot. June 2002. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  54. ^ "1987/03". antisimvatikos.blogspot. 15 March 1987. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  55. ^ "December Weather Trivia". Crh.noaa.gov. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  56. ^ "Record cold December". Crh.noaa.gov. 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  57. ^ "Minneapolis December weather records". Climate.umn.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-11-18. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  58. ^ a b "America's Coldest Outbreaks". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  59. ^ Extreme Weather record book, 2007 edition, pg 66, Christopher Burt
  60. ^ a b J.-M. Hirschi, Joël and Sinha, Bablu. "Negative NAO and cold Eurasian winters: How exceptional was the winter of 1962/1963?" Weather Vol. 62, No. 2 (February 2007); pp. 43–48
  61. ^ Rogers, Jeffrey A. and Mosley-Thompson, Ellen. "Atlantic Arctic Cyclones and the Mild Siberian Winters of the 1980s". Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 22 (1995), issue 7; pp. 799–802
  62. ^ "Daily Data Report for January 1950". Environment and Climate Change Canada. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  63. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010 Station Data". Environment and Climate Change Canada. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  64. ^ Extreme Weather record book, 2007 edition, pg 65, Christopher Burt
  65. ^ Brönnimann, Stefan. "The global climate anomaly, 1940–1942". Weather Vol. 60, No. 12 (December 2005); pp. 336–342
  66. ^ a b "Record Lowest Temperatures by State". InfoPlease. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  67. ^ Extreme Weather record book, 2007 edition, p. 64, Christopher Burt
  68. ^ The American Weather Book – David Ludlum
  69. ^ Diaz, Henry F. and Quayle, Robert G. "The 1976–77 Winter in the Contiguous United States in Comparison with Past Records". Monthly Weather Review, 106 (1977), no. 10, pp. 1392–1422
  70. ^ "Climate at a Glance". National Centers for Environmental Information. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  71. ^ "This day in history, January 15" (PDF).
  72. ^ "This day in history, January 11" (PDF).
  73. ^ Wagner, A. James. "The Record-Breaking Winter of 1976–77". Weatherwise 30 (1977), no. 2, pp. 65–69
  74. ^ "Korea weather data(1904~)(was served Korea Meteorological Administration)".
  75. ^ "The lowest temperature statistic before 1945(was served Statistics Korea)".
  76. ^ "The month-average temperature statistic before 1945(was served Statistics Korea)".
  77. ^ "Earth's coldest years on record all happened over 90 years ago". Mashable. 9 February 2019.
  78. ^ Extreme Weather record book, 2007 edition, p. 61, Christopher Burt
  79. ^ Extreme Weather record book, 2007 edition, pp. 61-62, Christopher Burt
  80. ^ Extreme Weather record book, 2007 edition, p. 60, Christopher Burt