Extreme Temperature Diary- Tuesday February 25th, 2020/ Main Topic: An Odd, Snowless Winter For Many In Europe

Tuesday February 25th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😉

Main Topic: An Odd, Snowless Winter For Many In Europe

Dear Diary. After letting my readers know about the “Anti Greta” yesterday it’s time to press on relating real world global warming issues to the public. Much of Europe has had a starkly warm winter. The latest summer-like upper ridge to briefly build over Spain and France produced these results:

While many might be delighted in seeing relatively warm temperatures during winter there are some bad consequences. Ski resort operators in some areas are suffering greatly this winter. I first noticed this phenomenon in the United States during the 1990s and 2000s in the Northeast when many were speculating that ski resorts would have to close during many years of positive Arctic oscillations. This year we see a record positive AO. The snow did come back during some bitterly cold winters during the 2010s, mainly due to negative AO’s, but millions of dollars in revenue were lost.

For this latest round of ski resort losses today I am presenting this BBC report:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51524278

French ski resort uses helicopters to deliver snow for bare slopes

  • 16 February 2020
Two men help a helicopter carrying snow near Luchon in French Pyrenees

Getty Images


Mild weather and a lack of snow have left ski slopes bare in the French Pyrenees

Helicopters moved snow from higher mountains to slopes at the Luchon-Superbagnères resort

A French ski resort has used helicopters to deliver snow after mild weather dried out its slopes, threatening it with closure.

The Luchon-Superbagnères resort in the Pyrenees arranged for around 50 tonnes of snow to be dropped on its slopes.

Taken from higher mountains, the snow was dumped on slopes for beginners and children on Friday and Saturday.

Temperatures have risen above 10C across the Pyrenees this week, leaving ski slopes devoid of snow.

Milder weather and a lack of snow during winter are trends that meteorologists have linked to climate change.

In order to keep Luchon-Superbagnères open, the local council arranged for snow to be sent at a cost of more than 5,000 euros (£4,150).

Hervé Pounau, director of the local council, said it was a worthwhile investment.

“We’re not going to cover the entire ski station in snow, but without it we would have had to close a huge part of the ski domain, and it’s during the holidays that we have the most activity for beginners and the ski schools,” Mr Pounau said.

The school holidays in February and March are typically the busiest time of year for ski resorts in France.

People pull a sled on the top of a ski slope near Luchon, in French Pyrenees

Mild weather and a lack of snow have left ski slopes bare in the French Pyrenees

The jobs of up to 80 people, including lift operators, ski school teachers and child minders, will be protected by keeping the resort open, Mr Pounau said.

However, the delivery of snow has been criticised by environmental groups.

“Instead of adapting to global warming we’re going to end up with a double problem: something that costs a lot of energy, that contributes heavily to global warming and that in addition is only for an elite group of people who can afford it. It is the world upside down,” Bastien Ho, of green group Europe Écologie Les Verts (EELV), told French television.

People look at a helicopter carrying snow near Luchon in the French Pyrenees
Helicopters were hired to move around 50 tonnes of snow to the slopes

Mr Pounau conceded that moving the snow was not a “particularly ecological” solution but said “we had no choice”.

Many other ski resorts in the Pyrenees mountains are facing an uncertain future, as low snowfall levels result in fewer visitors.

This month, the ski resort of Le Mourtis was forced to temporarily close down its ski runs in mid-season, impacting the local economy.

Unseasonably mild temperatures have melted snow at lower altitude ski resorts. France experienced its mildest January since 1900, according to Meteo-France, the country’s national forecaster.

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What’s worse is that this mild winter may translate into another hot summer, potentially killing thousands in Europe. We will keep a close eye on potential heat waves for Europe going into the summer of 2020.

Here is some more weather and climate news from Tuesday:

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(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have  put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)

Here are some more “ET’s” from Tuesday:

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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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