Wild start to 2019, Record 1045mb UK high vs 956mb Finland low, 19C Iceland, -23C Greece, 10ft of snow for Austria

Written by on January 10, 2019 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

There’s an argument to be had. Is the extreme, meridional upper air pattern over Europe to open 2019 a response of the sudden stratospheric warming which peaked around Christmas with split occurring around January 1-2? I believe there’s at least some sort of linkage given that one of the two, maybe three split daughter vortexes ended up over Ukraine.

Whether it is or not. What goes up… must come down… An unusually strong, unusually persistent area of high pressure (ridge) sitting over the British Isles in the last couple of weeks, this has continually forced mild, wet and windy weather north around the UK, up through Iceland and Norway but in turn drove a deep trough south, southwest over the heart of Europe with polar air blowing from Russia into the Mediterranean countries and even North Africa.

Credit: Severe Europe Weather

Possible record high sea level pressure for UK vs record low sea level pressure for Finland

With low pressure positioned over North Italy and an injection of polar air out of the northeast, the Alps often gets buried. 5-10ft of snow has fallen in some northern portions of Austria, Switzerland and Poland during the opening 10 days of January.

The heavy snows have reached Athens and beach resorts too.

Libya and Syria are among some North African and Middle East countries to see the white stuff.

The UK high has been wobbling back and fourth but it’s anchored has remained over British airspace providing an unusually quiet spell of weather through the Christmas and New Year period.

On New Years day and 2nd, the UK high peaked at a potential record 1045mb at the same time an unusually deep low produced record wind and waves to Finland and the Baltic Sea and deepest low in many years to the Finnish Lapland. In the wake of the Finnish storm, the coldest air of winter so far moved in with -32.2C.

‘I can’t recall the last time i’ve seen a 956mb isoline cross Finland’ says meteorologist 

Iceland reaches 19C!

With the aid of strong downsloping west, southwest winds, Dalatangi in Iceland’s eastern fjords reached an astonishing 18.9C prior to midnight last night falling just shy of the 19.6C set in 2000.

Austria: 8-10ft of snow in first 10 days of January

It’s been snowing heavily and almost nonstop over parts of the north and eastern Alps of Austria and Switzerland as well as Italy, Germany and Poland for a solid week to 10 days.

According to www.weathertoski.co.uk, many hardest hit Austrian resorts such as Gosau, Fieberbrunn, Hochkönig have picked up close to 10ft of snow during the first 9 days of 2019 with 3ft coming down in the last 48 hours alone.

Of course for it to snow, it has to be cold and that has certainly been the case all the way into Africa. One of the more noteworthy temperatures was a new all-time record low of -23C recorded in the northern Greek town of Florina yesterday.

A few other high elevation, deeply snow covered towns in northwest Greece also observed temps of -19C or colder.

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