Europe April 2021 Outlook

Written by on March 25, 2021 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

March 2021 has been a changeable month with flips between high and low pressure, mild and cool and with variable rainfall amounts and distribution.

One of the most noteworthy aspects has been the cooling of the continent thanks to cold, continental air flowing west, southwest beneath a persistent area of high pressure often placed west or over the UK. An average to above average temperature anomaly has turned below average from Russia to Spain as can be seen below while the northern half of the UK has warmed.

Credit: Michael Ventrice

So, how’s March’s final week looking? Well, we once again flip from high pressure dominance back to low pressure, albeit temporary.

Low near Iceland and high near the Azores will allow a series of Atlantic fronts to sweep over Ireland and the UK with some colder air digging in behind a front Friday.

Credit: wxcharts.com

Credit: wxcharts.com

This could see snow levels dropping to perhaps 100 metres with ‘wintry’ precip reaching near sea level for a time. Accumulation is likely in heavier showers across much of Scotland’s hills/mountains and for high parts of Northern Ireland, N England and Wales.

Western Scotland will see the lions share of precip over the next week, mainly as snow Fri-Sat above 200 metres.

GFS ensemble 7-day precipitation anomaly.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Snow depth off the GFS for Saturday morning.

Credit: wxcharts.com

The GFS sees another shot at decent accumulation for the western hills at the beginning of next week as the low near Iceland deepens and continues to drive Greenland air into the UK.

Credit: wxcharts.com

Credit: wxcharts.com

As we step out of March and into April, the models are firming up on a drier, high pressure dominated pattern. Quite indicative of a 2nd year La Nina April. However, while high pressure tends to correlate with drier weather, it doesn’t mean warm and this time of year can be very fickle. Positioning of HP is key. For warmth, you want high pressure either overhead or just to the east or southeast where winds can blow out of the south or southeast. Even then, it depends upon how warm the source region is and fetch of winds. Are they blowing off Africa or France?

The GFS ensemble has high pressure building but up towards Iceland, possibly Greenland. That’s not a warm position and if true, we continue to struggle to warm up proper.

-AO/NAO returning?

Yes, there have been ‘hint’ at some strat warming in the last 10 days.

Here’s the latest GFS ensemble 500mb heights for the upcoming 5 day period. As you can see a Greenland/Iceland trough, Europe high means Atlantic weather rules.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Then we get a complete reversal in the 6-10. A drier theme but not warm as winds blow out of the NW or even N.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Even the 11-15 has the high near Iceland/Greenland (-NAO) which takes us to nearly the 10th.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Of course, even with this setup, cool is relative at this time of the year. Sunshine and light winds will feel very comfortable indeed but get nagging northerly winds and or stubborn cloud and it will feel disappointing.

As the high replaces low beyond the upcoming 7 days, precip is generally below average.

Day 6-10

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

10-16

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

As for temp. We can call it a ‘delayed spring’ if the charts are anything to go by.

Day 1-5

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

6-10

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

11-15

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

The 2nd half of the month is a tougher call. Waters around the UK are ‘likely’ in my opinion to remain cool and or cool further while warmer waters to the north both tend to correlate to continued higher than normal pressure over or north the UK.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

This suggests the continuation of a drier than normal pattern BUT will the HP shift and if so, we could see warmer weather.

Interestingly and unsurprisingly while the GFS ensemble has a cool outlook through the first 10 days of April the CFSv2 weeklies call for warmer than average.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Throughout March, I’ve stated that the CFSv2 is too warm. Though 50-60% of the UK will wind up warmer than average. MOST of Europe is colder than average while the model had it warm.

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Jorge Franganillo

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