The MetSul blog this week (translated) tells a harrowing tale of extreme heat in Brazil, followed by severe storms with hail and flooding as a powerful Spring storm system (one of the most intense ever) moved through between September 15 and 17. The temperature at Antonina, Parana, Brazil spiked to 108° F (42.1 C) before the storm hit, breaking not only winter, but summer heat records for Southern Brazil.
Metsul goes on to say that lightning strikes numbered over 300,000 in four days in Rio Grande do Sul (the southernmost state in Brazil), which reported two million without power. Near the city of Camaquã, nearly a foot (300 mm) of rain was estimated, collapsing a bridge. Huge hailstones punched holes in roofs, high winds (estimated near 100 mph) knocked down brick walls and radio antennas. Thousands of homes were damaged in southern Brazil as well as neighboring Argentina and Paraguay (where five people were killed). On the Uruguay coast, streets filled with sand and sea foam as winds gusted to 107 mph (172 km/hr).
Incredibly, less than 10 days later, a low pressure system has pulled up extreme cold from Antarctica and "Santa Catarina*" became a trending topic on Twitter this morning, as reports and photos of snow and temperatures below freezing (with wind chills as low as -30 C!) started pouring in from that state. An article from Estadao.com says (translation) says: "Also there was record snow between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, in Bom Jardim da Serra and Urubici. According to Epagri / Ciram, responsible for monitoring weather conditions in Santa Catarina, the last time there was record snowfall in spring in the state was in 2000."
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The March Nor'easter dropped 39 inches of snow and had 100 mph winds.
Two webcams in California and Montana show massive differences in snow compared to last winter.
Believe it or not, heavy snow is unusual in Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day.
Use a cheap microscope to take near close-up photos of snowflakes
California is in a snow drought and the webcams show this all too well.