The Japanese city has the lowest summer temperatures in 128 years of records, + night clouds persist in August as the atmosphere continues to cool.
The media has diligently touted this year's Olympics as potentially "the hottest ever!" but in reality northern Japan is suffering from a record, unprecedented cold - and almost nothing has been reported.
The northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, the city of Wakkanai, recorded a daily high of 51F (10.5C) this week, the lowest August reading in 128 years since 1893 (Hundred Years / Glaysburg Low).
Overnight, as you would expect, temperatures dropped even further - according to local news channel TV Asahi, an astounding 36.7F (2.61C) was recorded early Thursday morning, Aug.11.
Shocked residents said they could see their breath in the middle of summer.
Extreme weather and extreme temperature swings have been reported across Japan in recent weeks.
In late July, Wakkanai came close to breaking the high temperature record, but didn't make it.
Such fluctuations between extreme values are quite predictable during periods of low solar activity - such as the historically low level that we are experiencing now - since less incoming energy weakens the jet streams, returning them to the undulating (meridional) current.
It is predicted that these fluctuations will only intensify when the Great Solar Minimum fully comes into its own (coming in SC26 - early 2030s).
Elsewhere, hundreds of thousands of Japanese residents have been ordered to evacuate their homes due to flood warnings and the danger of landslides caused by torrential rains on Kyushu Island.
Authorities issued the highest-level evacuation orders in some central areas of the island on Thursday, Reuters reported.
People have been warned to take urgent action to protect their lives.
SILVER CLOUDS WILL REMAIN UNTIL AUGUST
Luminous clouds at night, or noctilucent clouds, extend beyond the Arctic Circle and descend further south than ever before.
Generally speaking, August is not the best month for the NLC - noctilucent clouds of dull meteor smoke begin to melt as the mesosphere warms up in late summer.
However, clouds can still be seen this August.
Nadia Malecki photographed them on Thursday, August 12, over Zurich, Switzerland:
"It was a very beautiful painting," says Malecki.
The significance of this picture is not that NLCs are observed in August. Rather, it is the latitude at which this phenomenon is located: +47 N. latitude, explains Dr. Tony Phillips.
Clouds usually recede towards the Arctic Circle by mid-August, rather than appearing in the center of Europe.
Throughout the summer, the NLCs have been descending further south than they are "supposed to."
At some point in June, they were spotted off the Mediterranean coast of Spain.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Very low temperatures are required for NLC to form - down to -150F.
These brilliant nocturnal clouds are always more common during solar minimum, when solar energy heats less the extreme upper atmosphere (mesosphere). And since the Sun is currently trying to break out of its deepest minimum in more than 100 years (SC24), this explains to some extent Maletskiy's rare sightings in mid-August and at low latitudes.
But there is also a long-term upward trend:
(a) Combined SBUV seasonal averages of ICC (ice water content) for three different latitudinal bands: 50N-64N (purple triangles), 64N-74N (green crosses) and 74N-82N (blue squares). Solid lines show multiple regression fits of the data for the 1979-1997 and 1998-2018 periods. (b) Combined SBUV seasonal averages of IWC for 50S-64S, 64S-74S and 74S-82S. Solid lines show the correspondence for the periods 1979-1997 and 1998-2018 [source].
Until 2019, noctyl-lucent clouds were observed in mid-latitudes.
Then, as a result of a growing, record cold snap in the mesosphere (caused by low solar activity), NLCs began to be observed further south than ever before: in mid-June 2019 they were observed in Joshua Tree, California (34 ° N.) and Albuquerque, New Mexico (35 degrees. N) - new records of all time:
The NLC observation at +34.1 degrees set a record for observations at low latitudes.
But forget about August, Dr. Phillips continues.
Will this be the year when NLC can be seen in September …?
Keep for updates.