Europe 10 Day Outlook: Another Big Storm Threat For Iceland, Another Look At Winter

Written by on September 9, 2013 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

As we commence a new working week, it’s a cool and fairly unsettled start with frost to start Monday then through this afternoon, there are plenty of blustery showers around, especially down the eastern side of the British Isles. Somewhat drier, brighter and sunnier and a touch milder further west.

The pesky low from the weekend is now spreading a lot of cool, unsettled weather across west and central areas of Europe and it’s the northwest flow of the backside we here in the UK are feeling. By the time we reach Wednesday, higher pressure is back in play bringing lighter winds, sunshine and slightly warmer air with low 20s back into Southeast England.

Here’s the ECMWF surface map for today.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

By Tuesday we remain in the cool NW flow but it’s drying out. A lot of wind and rain just to our east over the North Sea, we could see wet and windy conditions along the immediate east coast but elsewhere it’s not looking too bad.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

By Wednesday, the UK is sandwiched between lows with the weekend system slowly exiting while the next rain bearing front is knocking on the northwest door. Highs Wednesday should range between 15C in the North to 21C in the South.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

60 hr 500mb/850 temps


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Thursday into Friday sees the front associated with a new Icelandic low swing southeast across the UK bringing windier, wetter conditions for all. Thursday will see warmer air over the Southeast ahead of the approaching front from the north and so we could see London get up to 23C Thursday afternoon.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

The first half of the weekend isn’t looking too bad, however take a look at the low the ECMWF is spinning up over Iceland by Sunday!

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro


Another Blizzard Threat On The Way For Iceland?

By the time we get to next weekend, the ECMWF has another wild scenario brewing for Iceland with an even more impressive system than the one we saw a couple of weeks ago which brought snow to the north of the island. Interestingly the model suggests pressure falling to 970mb with gale or even hurricane-force northerly winds. Combined with -5C to -10C 850mb temps along with snow, Iceland may see a blizzard. This would come just a couple of days after the one year anniversary of last September’s blizzard which killed many sheep in the Icelandic Highlands.

Check this out for next Monday.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

5,000ft temps at 168 hrs over Iceland are between -5 and -10C with a howling north wind. While the last system wasn’t as bad as expected (thankfully), this may be something to be concerned about.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Here’s the 204 hr snow forecast.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

I obviously use caution in this with it being so far out and yes the model may change from this scenario slightly or considerably but given the circumstances in atmosphere and ocean profile and weighing everything up, this makes sense to me.

By 222 hrs or a week from Wednesday, the model has the low tracking southeast from off the Iceland coast down into the North Sea with a 988 centre south of Norway. Strong northerly winds blowing down the UK would present the chilliest air mass yet and could bring a sub 10C day over Scotland and N England with snow showers in the mountains.

Widespread heavy rain, wind and cold conditions for southern Norway into Denmark, Germany, the Low Countries and France. Rough crossings for North Sea travellers.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

The next 10 days continues to suggest a progressive pattern across the Atlantic and Europe with no real big highs or deep troughs as the NAO holds on the positive side of neutral. That slightly positive NAO keeps things moving along but there are some decent shots of chill set to drop into the UK and western Europe in the next 1-2 weeks with a few larger, deeper lows set to take aim at Iceland.

These deeper lows seen by the model are plausible given the growing temperature contrast between warm and cold. The warmer than normal water temperatures stretching from Greenland to north of Norway and the fact the cold is growing faster than in recent years given the more expansive arctic sea ice and the positive AO.

While we see some decent shots of cool in this pattern, the ridge is always seen pushing back in on the backside. Without any real blocking high, the atmosphere remains fluid, keeping things moving along.



I’ve always had a largely progressive September for Europe with an active Icelandic low which would bring front running warmth into the UK, Ireland and W Europe followed by slaps of cool from the NW on the backside of rain and wind bearing fronts. Towards late month I suspect the NAO/AO starts to dip into negative territory with high rises to the north while pressures lower over Europe. The first COLD spell may arrive during the closing days of September into October. I remain confident that October will be a chilly month with blocking in the high latitudes. Snow may not be out of the question of some over the British Isles mid to late month and not just over high ground either.

Here’s the CFSv2 temperatures for October. Though it shows nothing for much of Europe, pay attention to the warmth seen up over Greenland. This suggests that it’s seeing blocking and stronger heights further north.


It’s also important to remember the situation going on into the arctic just now. Arctic sea ice is much more extensive than just just last year but in the last 4-8 years and with a positive AO, the polar vortex is stronger over the pole and so the source region is charging early. Get a flip to a negative AO at the end of this month and October along with the NAO and we’ve got an taste of early winter in October.

November flips around. We want to watch the warm waters surrounding the UK and in the North Atlantic from the warm summer we’ve enjoyed as with the NAO/AO possibly flipping back positive and the Atlantic storm train reactivating, the warm waters may fuel bigger rains in November making for a wet, windy and quite warm November.

Remember what I’ve said in many previous posts in the run up to winter. Where the heaviest rains fall in late Autumn, that’s where the cold during winter often heads for. I believe a very wet November, even early December is possible before we get a blast of cold and snow towards mid-December.

The Jamstec model continues to support a north Atlantic tripole signal, favouring blocking over Greenland this winter. The very warm summer over Scandinavia with abnormally warm waters north of Scandinavia and into Baltic Sea may stretch out a Greenland-Scandinavian blocking high with spells of major cold focused and locked underneath from Germany to Ireland.


Jamstec December through February surface temps.


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