Although a severe cold wave has gripped our region the past couple of weeks, it is not cold all over the Earth. The world is a big place, and it's important to realize that local or regional weather, even when it is persistent, is usually not indicative of the weather around the globe.
For example, after enduring the warmest December on record, the continuing Australian heat wave has now made January the hottest of any month's on record. Temperatures have repeatedly reached into the 110s and 120s, even in Australia's major cities like Melbourne and Sidney. Occasional power outages and the constant threat of brush fires have made life miserable for some Australians.
El Nino usually creates hot and dry conditions in Australia, but the ongoing heatwave is shattering records and this summer could end up being the country's hottest on record.