Europe January 2022 Outlook

Written by on January 5, 2022 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

January opened with the warmest New Year’s Day on record following the warmest NY’s eve.

Despite a cold run up to Christmas for a large swath of Europe and modestly so for Scotland, December was a mild month for the west, southwest while north, northeast was cold.

Credit: Mike Ventrice

Strong blocking over Greenland made for a cold Scandinavia and Russia but didn’t deter a strong ‘undercutting’ jet which poured mild oceanic air across the UK, France, Iberia, Low Countries and as far east as Germany.

Then came the closing days of 2021 with large, elongated Atlantic trough coupled with strong ridging over central Europe. The unusually far south trough over the Atlantic coupled with Europe high set up a long fetch SSW flow which drove exceptionally mild air straight from the Canaries to Scotland.

With the Atlantic the main driver, the temperature will fluctuate. New Year was warm and now we’re back in a cold regime.

The days following NY has since seen a shift back to colder thanks to strong northerly winds ushering down arctic source air which has led to disruptive snowfall over Highland Scotland.

As high pressure eases the N wind and clears out the skies over the fresh Highland snow cover, tonight is likely to host the coldest of winter, likely surpassing the -10.2C recorded in Braemar earlier in December.

Tonight’s HP is all but brief as a weather system attached to a powerful sub-930 low near Iceland arrives tomorrow morning with a warm front followed almost immediately by a cold front bringing the potential for snow-rain-snow followed by snow showers as cold air follows in behind the front.

After another brief ridge, additional fronts arrive this weekend likely bringing the return of milder air and this may set the stage for a milder mid month as ridging may build from Azores to UK.

GFS ensemble shows a cold day 1-5 followed by mild day 6-10 only to be followed by a cold day 11-15.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

I believe there’s reason for (cold) optimism as we head through the 2nd half of January, according to the latest GFS both AO/NAO appear to go negative. This also fits my winter forecast.

While the Atlantic remains the driver, ‘changeable’ looks to be the story but could the east QBO begin to influence this winter as we progress and ocean cools and atmosphere shifts?

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Александра Анатольевна Бабенко (Alexandra Graham )

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