Europe-North America Teleconnection / 1st Glimpse At Christmas Week

Written by on December 2, 2013 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

As ridging builds north up the US East Coast and ridging also holds over the UK, the focus of coldest air over the hemisphere will be centred over Greenland today through Wednesday but that changes dramatically by the end of this week.

This morning is the coldest in a good couple of weeks over Greenland with -55C or -67F recorded at Summit Camp this morning. Factoring in a simple 15 mph wind and it feels like -105F. The next couple of morning’s are likely to be even colder as the trough deepens and sinks south, extending down over the Atlantic. The air mass itself grows colder and the surface high intensifies.

However this warming over the eastern US and currently over the UK is short lived as we see the ridge get kicked off North America and gets forced out over the North Atlantic and up into Greenland. By Thursday we could see a rise of 30-40C in the space of 36 hours over Greenland as warmth replaces cold and cold replaces warm… The thing of course that’s kicking the mild ridge off the East Coast of NA this weekend into next week is one of the strongest/coldest troughs potentially in years for the West and Central US.


Here’s the 850mb temperatures by 24 hrs and you can see that Greenland is the coldest in all of the hemisphere while it’s mild over both eastern North America and western Europe.


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By 120 hrs, we see significant warming over southern Greenland as arctic air dives south either side of the North Atlantic/Greenland ridge. While it’s a glancing blow for Ireland and the UK with the core diving into the heart of Europe, the motherlode of cold drives south into the United States with two main waves, one Thursday-Friday, the other early next week.


After a very mild spell over Iceland, temperatures crash through this week once a low passes by to the south midweek. Check out the midday Thursday temperatures over Iceland below, based on the ECMWF.


The low opens the floodgates for arctic air to pour south from Greenland and the pole down over Iceland, the UK and eventually all of Europe..

Here’s this afternoon’s surface temps according to the ECMWF.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Sat AM.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Highs this weekend are sure to have a hard time reaching freezing over most of Europe including the UK, overnight lows will be the coldest this season across the board. Look for -20s over Iceland and the Alps, possibly some -30s over Scandinavia. -10C is possible over the UK and where the snow hits and sticks, look for colder temperature than these models are suggesting.

Here’s the all important snow chart according to the ECMWF through 144 hrs.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro


Forecast for ‘snow on the ground’

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

I still think some snow is possible at low levels over the North and Central part of the UK as the low makes it’s closest approach, bringing not only wind, rain, gales and a sharp temperature drops but a potentially rain change over to snow scenario.

Mild Air Returns Around the 9th or 10th, Modelling Varies On How Long It Lasts

The ECM monthly shows milder air returning late Monday into Tuesday across Ireland and the UK but the cold remains firmly on the other side of the North Sea.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Interestingly, while the ECM deterministic and GFS hold onto the milder regime through the 10 days after the Atlantic air returns, the monthly shows more cold dropping back into western Europe before the 20th, setting the stage for a cold run up to Christmas right across Europe including the UK.

The 408 hr shows mild trying to hold on for dear life while cold gathers either side.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Quick Glance At Christmas Week

While the warming was inevitable given the neutral to slightly positive NAO, there are hints of a return to colder and possibly a longer lasting cold spell in the week leading up to Christmas. Nothing solid by any means this far out but there is evidence to support a cold run up to Christmas following a midmonth mild spell.

Here’s the latest NAO.


The ECMWF ensembles show a negative trend too.

Despite the current warming over the arctic and the descending arctic air into the mid latitudes, the longer term has little guidance but my hunch is for it to trend negative along with the NAO.


Here’s a quick look at the ECM monthly below for the days leading up to Christmas across Europe, it’s interesting to see a trough and some pretty cold air in place including over the UK and Ireland. Keep in mind that the ECMWF NAO forecast appears to trend negative through the second half of the month, so this is worth watching.

20th Dec

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

If the model is anything to go by, it looks reasonably cold on Christmas Eve here and throughout Europe.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

First we have the upcoming cold spell and let’s see how quickly it exits into next week.

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