Europe: 8th December or 8th November?

If we look at the minimum temperatures of this morning across Europe (Figure1), we can see how most of Central-Western Europe is observing minimum values well above 0°C (that this, almost 10 °C above the average in some areas between central Europe and S. Scandinavia).

Only in the Balkans, Russia and central-northern Scandinavia negative temperatures are observed, though with values still above the average (minimum temperatures below -10 °C are pretty normal in Russia and central Scandinavia at this time of the year, but these values are observed only between Lapland/ N. Sweden and N. Norway).

Very mild especially across the central-western Mediterranean region with values between 10-15 °C in central-southern Italy, eastern Spain and S. France. Colder, instead, in Greece with temperatures below or close to 0°C.

Figure1. Minimum temperatures observed this morning in Europe (Meteociel).

These temperatures are closer to the average of November than of December, and especially in W. Europe all the first week of December has been mild, with maximum values close to 20°C in the Mediterranean region. This was due to a high pressure system positioned on the western Mediterranean region, which has driven mild air from N. Africa/ mid-Atlantic towards W. Europe.

However, the weather condition (especially in Central Europe, Alpine region and S. Scandinavia) is going to change from this weekend due to an arctic maritime air mass which will move southwards on the eastern side of a high pressure ridge positioned between Spain (where mild conditions are expected) and the UK (Figure2).

Figure2. Synoptic condition on Sunday night 9/12/2018 (Met Office).

The arctic air is visible from the satellite imagery of this morning (see the scatter clouds on the N. Sea, Figure3) and is moving southward due to a deep low pressure system positioned on the N. Sea between the UK and Norway. The strong pressure gradient between central-northern Europe and the Mediterranean region is causing fohn (a dry and warm wind) in N. Italy, with bright skies and mild temperatures. Finally, the high-pressure system is still positioned west of Spain and Portugal, causing settled and mild weather in the western Mediterranean region.

Figure3. Satellite imagery of this morning (10.40 UTC) (Sat24).

The arctic air mass will cause a decrease in temperatures, and snow at low levels especially in Central Europe and Scandinavia. However, it won’t be a relevant episode, but simply a way back to the average temperatures values for December. So, in the next week, no cold waves are expected and temperatures will be mostly close to average (or slightly below), but it will feel ‘colder’ due to the drop in temperatures compared with the previous week.

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I am Edoardo and I am passionate about weather analysis and forecasing. I would like to share my knowledge and to learn more with others (both International and Italian community).

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