Is Possible Break In W Europe Ridge Next Week A Sign? Eurasian Snowcover Ahead Of Last Year!

Written by on October 5, 2013 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 2 Comments

For those living here on the western side of Europe you may be asking where the heck is autumn or the cooler weather you would expect at this time of year, well you only have to look at the other side of the continent where it’s looking and feeling more like early winter rather than early autumn. Yes, we’ve been experiencing rather balmy weather for this time of year on this side but mild air is not uncommon into early or mid October but the chill driving into SE Europe, straight from Siberia is anything but common.

In fact there have been reports of temperatures in the Romanian mountains down to -15C. It’s said that this is the coldest on record for so early in this region and it’s feeling more like mid November Heavy snows have cut power and closed roads also. It’s all about the pattern and how it’s reacting to the change in season with alteration now underway in accordance with the type of summer pattern we’ve seen. In other words the ridges and troughs are set up in the way that they are due to feedback. Call this current mild weather over the UK, a type of ‘summer hangover’. The warmth wants to linger but as the atmosphere continues to change with the upper levels growing colder, so the feedback will eventually change. What exactly that will be is unknown.

Here was a scene from the start of the week in Romania. Two days after this traffic cam was shot, the snow was still lying. Pretty incredible for early October when the capital, Bucharest still has an average temperature of 21C or 70F at this time of year.

Via Nicorel Nicorescu

Via Nicorel Nicorescu

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What’s most interesting is the level of cold we’re seeing entering eastern Europe. Why so cold? Could it be the cold summer up in the arctic this year, the less melting of sea ice compared to recent times? It could be, plus I want you to have a good look at the below snow and ice cover comparison charts between Oct 4, 2012 and Oct 4, 2013. Note the much larger area of both ice in the arctic ocean and the snow cover over northern Asia. That’s a good explanation I think to how it’s so cold. Remember the arctic oscillation has been negative, so arctic origin air is crossed this larger snow cover and so it moderates less by the time it reaches eastern Europe.


Could it even be this?


There is a well known and understood link between lower sunspot activity and a weaker sun with cooler temperatures on earth. Yes this is part of a longer term effect as a pose to current cold but what may be interesting to look at is notice the dip in the above chart right around the 2009-10 period and remember how cold it was across the Northern Hemisphere that winter. Notice it ‘maxed out’ around 2011-12, it was a much warmer winter and now look where it’s heading. Sure it’s not at the same levels as late 2009 BUT the solar cycle (24) is weaker than the previous and we have both sea ice and snow cover extent at the greatest levels since 2009. Could this be telling us what kind of winter we might expect? It’s simple I know but shouldn’t be overlooked.

So, yes it’s mild in the west but VERY cold (compared to normal) in the east and this bares watching. Remember what’s been said. The same set of ingredients now, i.e the -NAO/AO will have different ridge-trough positioning 1, 2 and 3 months from now so don’t worry if your worrying about that ridge hanging on through the winter because I don’t believe it will.

As for the upcoming week and beyond, well those cold weather lovers out there take heart.. I may have some good or better news for you coming up.

The newer runs of the ECMWF and to a lesser extent the GFS, does send a trough not ridge into the west of the continent mid to late week, albeit it appears right now anyway, to be short lived. Is this the first signs of a pattern change. The atmospheric feedback altering as surrounding SST’s cool, the sun continues to weaken and the arctic grows colder?

Here’s the latest ECMWF 500mb or upper level chart which shows well what the atmosphere is doing. The 500mb level is best used for seeing the ridges and troughs.

Let’s start with Monday and note the ridging and positive heights extending from well west of Ireland right across to eastern Europe where the cold and trough is getting kicked out and replaced by warmer Atlantic air. Pay attention to the kink and upper energy riding the jet or northern periphery of the ridge. This feature will ultimately act like a knife popping a balloon.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

By Tuesday the feature is east of the UK but note another even stronger upper level feature dropping south over Iceland. This will catch up with the feature that’s crossed the UK. This will have brought a wave of wet, windy weather to Ireland and the UK BTW.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

By Thursday we have a wild and VERY different chart. Note the deep trough diving down the North Sea. Both eastbound feature crossing the UK and the 2nd dropping out of Iceland have connected and BURST the bubble of warm, driving ARCTIC air south over the UK and W Europe.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Check out the 850 temps

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

It’s early but I wanted to show you this as this could be a sign of something bigger going on for the second half of the month or perhaps not till later down the road.

Let’s see if this scenario as merit tomorrow!

Also of interest..

Temperatures are growing increasingly colder over Greenland. Have you noticed the 850mb temperatures sharply cooling over the coming days? Temperatures today have reached the lowest values of the autumn yet at Summit Camp in central Greenland. Not last night but indeed early this afternoon.

Here’s a current view.


What a stunning but bitter looking blue sky. The temperature is currently -42C or -44F and it could get down to -50C tonight or in coming nights as the trough deepens. Iceland will also turn frigid away from the immediate coast in coming nights as the trough drops south and cold from Greenland crosses over. Watch for interior temperatures to drop towards -15C over the Central Highlands of Iceland in coming nights.

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  1. perry says:

    That’s the news we’ve all been waiting for.

  2. Michael says:

    Og thank you, there is hope after all. A change may be just around the corner. 🙂

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