Cold Weather in Europe

Cold Weather in Europe

3

Published

3 February 2012

Nearly all of Europe, from Scandinavia down to the Mediterranean, is currently gripped by a cold snap.

The drop in temperatures began in mid January over eastern Russia and Siberia and moved through eastern and central Europe, reaching western and southern Europe late in January and the beginning of February.

The current situation is caused by the Siberian high pressure system which is preventing milder temperatures from moving from the Atlantic Ocean eastwards over Europe.The cold air coming from the north was fed with a strong moisture flux from the central Mediterranean sea.This caused heavy snow fall over parts of south eastern Europe such as the Balkans, Romania, Bulgaria and Italy as was recorded in the beginning of February.

Compared to the more significant cold winter of 2009/2010, the cold snap this year came much later. In fact in 2009/2010, cold conditions started in mid December and continued over most of January and February period.


Conversely in the current winter, December and most of January recorded above normal temperatures over Europe. It is therefore unlikely this winter will breakas many temperature records over large areas as was the case in 2009/2010. Nevertheless, it is likely that there will be some record low temperatures already recorded in some places or yet to be recorded in the coming days.

Several European countries recorded their coldest night of the winter on 2/3 February. These include Sweden, where the temperature in Kvikkjokk in the northern part of Sweden fell to -42.7 °C which is the lowest temperature in Sweden since 2001 In the capital Stockholm, it was about -14 °C.

It was also the coldest night of the winter in Poland. It was almost -20 °C, and in the coldest parts in the eastern Poland was almost -30 °C.Night time temperatures in Belgium fell to -9°C at the coast and -17°C on the coldest heights. The normal minimum temperature for this time of year is + 0.4°C.

In Germany, temperatures fell to -26.4°C in Deutschneudorf. The United Kingdom also had its coldest night of the winter. The lowest temperature was -11.3°C in Powys, Wales. The Siberian air mass reached Portugal which had its coldest night in the last 10
years.

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