Huge snowfall buries Alps as upper level winds turn easterly allowing Siberian air to head westwards

Written by on January 7, 2019 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

The much anticipated colder, snowier pattern has emerged and progresses south, southwestwards into central and southern Europe. Stopping it from spreading westwards is a very strong ridge anchored over the British Isles which reached record strength as we greeted 2019. This pressure pattern has resulted in a rather mundane Christmas to New Year period here but for parts of Europe, a wild one.

Credit: Severe Europe Weather

It’s coincidence that the turn to colder is directly related to the late December SSW and split which occurred around the 2nd. Upper level winds are turning easterly and with the positioning of the twin vortexes, we’re in a good place for some very impressive winter conditions during the second half of January.


Interesting times.

Atmosphere and geography merge to produce spectacular snowfall

Between the the strong positive anchored over the UK and deep negative over Greece is a feed of bitter cold air driven by powerful northerly winds. As Atlantic/Mediterranean collides meets incoming polar/Siberian and is forcing to rise, incredible orographic snowfall rates and totals occur along particularly the northern flank of the Austrian and Swiss Alps as well as the mountains of Poland.

The mountains of Greece were also hammered.

While the Alps get slammed, polar air has made made it out over the Med and Adriatic bringing snow to the beaches.

Yep, the cold even made it into Libya.

With powerful bitter northerly winds crossing a steep west-east mountain chain, you get some amazing variation in weather with relatively short distance.

Bitter cold and heavy snow on the north side but on the leeward south side, those strong winds cross over the ridges and descend the southern flank. As the air travels downslope, it compresses, drying it and heating it to very comfortable levels.

Credit: Severe Europe Weather

Now that we’re seeing the tropospheric response and interaction, the modelling is now seeing what has been suggested here all along.

With our atmosphere now in reverse, look for the ridge currently over the UK to be positioned over Greenland and where the cold trough is now, that should be over the UK and near continent in 6-10 days from now.

Check out the latest run of the CFSv2 weeklies.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Still some ways to go and things can still change for better or worse but it’s looking promising from a forecast point of view.

FEATURED IMAGE: Petrich Greblo

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