Blue skies over W/NW Europe chilly and rainy in the Mediterranean

In the last few days a strong High has set over the UK, moving E over the North Sea today. This High is causing dry and very warm temperatures across the British Isles, France, Spain and S Scandinavia.

On the other side of the continent, a Low over Ukraine is bringing unsettled and relatively cold weather across E Europe whilst another Low over the Gulf of Genoa is causing unsettled weather across the Central Mediterranean, with thunderstorms and strong winds observed in the last 24h over Northern Italy.

In Figure1 the current weather situation is shown.

Figure 1. Satellite image of this morning. Warm air and clear skies across W/NW Europe (yellow arrow) and colder air with showers/thunderstorms across E Europe/Central Mediterranean (blue arrow). (Source image Sat24)

Because of this synoptic situation, temperatures are above the climatological average across most of W/NW Europe (values already above 20°C this morning), whilst are below the average (temperatures below 20°C) over the E/SE areas (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Temperature observed today at 10UTC across Europe. (Souce Meteociel)

This situation is going to persist until mid-next week when the High will start to weaken and colder air from the Arctic seems to start pushing south towars the UK/Scandinavia.

Weather Europe: Cold in the north, hot and dusty in the south

Today’s weather conditions vary significantly across the continent. Indeed, looking at the minimum temperatures (Figure 1) we can see values below zero across Scandinavia, Belarus, W Ukraine and Tatra mountains, whilst the UK, N France, Germany and most of E Europe has seen temperatures between 0/+5°C. These values are well below the climatology (up to 10°C in some areas) and are due to the strong cold air flow which pushed south from the Arctic the previous weekend.

The cold air is moving E across Russia (see strong temperature gradient just E of Moscow) with snow occurring at low levels in some areas. On the southern part of the continent instead, very warm (sometimes hot) conditions are observed (see temperatures already above 20°C in Sardinia, Sicily and Tunisia). This is due to a significant hot air advection from the Sahara which will reach the peak between today and tomorrow across the central Mediterranean, before moving E over the Balkans during the weekend.

Figure1. Minimum temperatures observed in Europe 13/05/20 (Source: Meteociel)

This will be the first heatwave of the season for most of the central Mediterranean with risk of record-breaking temperatures in Sicily (expected 35/38°C). Meanwhile, between the cold and hot air masses, heavy rain and thunderstorms are occurring across the Alpine region, N Italy, S France and Spain (Figure2) due to a series of lows developing between the Balearics/Sardinia and S France.

Figure2. Europe sat image 13/05/20. Notice Saharan dust (yellow arrow) moving NE. The two lows (L), one south of France and one between Estonia and S Finland. Cold air advection (blue arrows) over central Europe. (Source of image Sat24).

Along the occluded front of this low, the strong S’ly flow is causing a dust advection across the Italian peninsula (Figure3), which will then move E over the Balkans into tomorrow.

Figure3. Dust load across Europe for today. (Source SKIRON).

In summary, it has been a interesting week, with very different weather patterns across the continent and possible record-breakings temperatures.