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The weather in China is breaking records with extreme differences between cold and hot temperatures.
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The weather in China is breaking records with extreme differences between cold and hot temperatures.

The Xinjiang region in China, located in the far western part of the country, recently had extremely low temperatures of -52.3C on 18 February. This broke a record that had stood for 64 years in the region. The temperature was only slightly higher than the national record of -53C, which was set in the Heilongjiang region in January of last year.

The recent severe weather has led to major disruptions following the celebration of the lunar new year. Heavy snow and ice have resulted in individuals being trapped on highways and train tracks. On the same day, Badu, located in southern China, reached a high temperature of 38C. This created an astounding temperature gap of 90.3C throughout the country, setting a new record for the greatest temperature contrast in a single country. This surpasses the previous record set by the US in January 1954, by a full degree Celsius.

During the same week, a weather system near the southern coast of Brazil had intensified and became Tropical Storm Akará. On February 18th, the Brazilian Navy Hydrographic Center announced that Storm Akará had developed with sustained winds of 40mph and a pressure of 1,000 millibars.

In contrast to the north Atlantic, it is uncommon for tropical cyclones to arise in the southern hemisphere because of powerful winds and limited favorable weather conditions for growth. Akará is the initial named tropical storm to emerge in the south Atlantic Ocean since Tropical Storm Iba in 2019, and just the third since Anita in 2010. Additionally, Hurricane Catarina in 2004 remains the only documented hurricane in the history of the south Atlantic.

Akará formed from the leftovers of a cold front that had caused heavy rainfall in parts of South America and then moved out to sea. As it crossed over warmer waters and was fueled by a stream of tropical moisture from the Brazilian coast, the low-pressure system quickly intensified into a tropical storm. Although it posed no threat to land, the Brazilian National Institute of Meteorology predicted that it would bring strong offshore waves up to 4.9 meters (16 feet) and winds reaching 50 mph. By Tuesday, the Brazilian navy reported that the storm had weakened to a tropical depression and was moving away from the mainland. As it continued to travel over cooler waters far from land, the system weakened even further on Wednesday.

Source: theguardian.com