Weather for europe in february: 14 Best Places to Go in Europe in February 2023
New seasonal Forecast for the United States, Canada, and Europe from the latest long-range data » Severe Weather Europe
Winter 2022/2023 began strongly, bringing record cold and snow into parts of the United States and Canada. But what will the coming months offer regarding snowfall? First, we will look at the latest global drivers and then the snowfall predictions and trends from mid-Winter into the early Spring.
We have to take a quick look at the leading background drivers of global weather this winter season. What does the latest analysis data show, and what influence did it play on temperature and snowfall patterns in the past?
But our primary focus is on global long-range weather forecasting systems. We will show you their snowfall predictions for the rest of Winter and the early part of Spring.
GLOBAL WEATHER CONNECTIONS
A significant global weather factor this Winter is ENSO. This region of the equatorial Pacific Ocean changes between warm and cold phases. Typically there is a phase change around every 1-3 years.
ENSO phases significantly influence tropical rainfall, pressure patterns, and the feedback between the ocean and the atmosphere. The image below shows the circulation pattern of a cold phase (currently active) and its ocean-atmosphere connection.
This way, the ENSO impacts tropical rainfall and pressure patterns, changing the atmosphere-ocean feedback system. The ENSO influence is spread globally through this feedback system, creating a strong change in Winter temperature and snowfall patterns.
Below is the latest surface analysis of the tropical Pacific Ocean. You can see the ENSO region in the cold phase (La Nina). But the cold anomalies are weakening, losing the organized shape, and starting to break down slowly.
La Nina usually forms during strong trade winds, which can tell us much about the state of global circulation. This way, we can use these anomalies as an “indicator” to better understand the current state of the global climate system and its seasonal development.
Below, you can see the progress of the ENSO temperature in the last two years. It shows that we are currently in a moderate negative phase lasting for a prolonged period. This is also the final cold phase for at least two years.
As you will see, we will likely shift into a warm phase for the 2023/2024 Winter Season.
LA NINA WINTER FORECAST
Below we have an Official NOAA CPC probability forecast graphic, which shows the long-range forecast of the central ENSO region. The cold La Nina conditions are forecast to decay quickly over Winter. However, going deeper into 2023, you can see an increased probability of a warm phase (El Nino) developing.
To better understand the ocean changes across the ENSO regions, we produced a video showing the La Nina anomalies from Summer into Fall.
The video below shows the developing cold ocean anomalies in the equatorial Pacific, boosted by the strong easterly trade winds.
So what exactly does this mean for the winter weather patterns and snowfall potential? Despite weakening, La Nina is still active and creates its global influence.
We will take a closer look at the weather effects that La Nina usually shows over North America, which is under a more direct influence.
Europe is not known to have any specific/direct influences, as it is too far from the source regions. But that does not mean it has no impact.
La Nina does change the weather globally, but apart from the direct influence over North America, places like Europe have many other factors in circulation before any La Nina influence can spread this far.
NORTH AMERICA WINTER PATTERNS
Typically, the first influence of these ocean anomalies can be seen in the jet stream changes. The jet stream is a large and powerful stream of air (wind) at around 8-11km (5-7mi) altitude.
Historically, a strong blocking high-pressure system in the North Pacific is the most typical effect of a cold ENSO phase. That tends to redirect the polar jet stream down over the northern United States, with the cold air following the same path.
The image below shows the average pressure pattern during the La Nina winters over the past 40 years. You can see a strong high-pressure system in the North Pacific and a low-pressure area over Canada and the northern United States. Images by NOAA Physical Science Laboratory.
The circulation of the strong high-pressure system promotes the development of a low-pressure region over Canada. That relocates the jet stream downwards between the two strong pressure systems, marked above by the blue lines.
Looking at the temperature analysis for the same winters, we can see a cold anomaly following the jet stream from western Canada into the northern United States. This is the same path that the strong cold arctic air outbreak has across the United States this week.
Warmer than average weather and mild winter conditions typically develop over the southwestern United States, eastern United States, and eastern Canada. The most dynamic winter weather tends to occur between the warm and cold anomalies in the Midwest and the central United States.
Precipitation-wise, La Nina winters are usually drier over the southern United States. Drier conditions also develop in the southeastern United States. La Nina produces a weaker subtropical jet stream and less moisture over the southern United States. As a result, more precipitation is typical over the northwestern United States, the Great Lakes, and parts of the northeast.
You can see the La Nina jet stream redirection in the image below. It shows the average jet stream position and the resulting weather patterns over the United States and Canada in cold-ENSO winters.
The displaced jet stream brings colder temperatures and winter storms from the polar regions down into the northern and northwestern United States. Warmer and drier winter weather prevails over the southern states.
But what does that mean for snowfall potential? Of course, any change in the jet stream also changes the snowfall patterns over North America. The pressure systems take a different path along with the cold air required for snowfall.
The colder air is more easily accessible to the northern United States, which increases the snowfall potential if enough moisture is available. The graphic below by NOAA Climate shows the average snowfall pattern for weak/moderate La Nina years.
Besides the northwestern United States and the Midwest, we can see more snowfall potential over the northeastern United States and eastern Canada.
But now, we will look at snowfall predictions for mid-Winter and early Spring. Data is from the leading global long-range forecasting systems.
The format of this forecast is simple. We will look at the ECMWF and UKMO seasonal forecasting systems. We used the latest data available at present, released in early-mid December.
You will see the average snowfall forecast for the mid-Winter season, covering the January-February period. We will also include the March and April data, as the early Spring can still provide strong cold air outbreaks and snowfall events.
ECMWF WINTER/SPRING SNOWFALL LATEST FORECAST
As always, we start with the ECMWF. It is the most often used and highly regarded seasonal forecasting system. The Copernicus-EU open project provides the ECMWF and UKMO data.
Starting with the seasonal average, we see below-average snowfall over most of Europe, indicative of a dominant high-pressure pattern. Of course, this does not mean there will be no snow, but it indicates less snowfall than usual for this period.
In the January snowfall forecast, there is quite a strong negative anomaly over most of the continent. A more significant deficit can be seen over central Europe, especially over the Alps.
The February snowfall forecast shows no improvement. The snow potential is reduced over most of Europe. However, there are hints of areas with more snowfall in parts of south-central Europe.
Looking at the March snowfall forecast data, we see some potential in the western Alps. There are also patches with some snowfall indicated over central Europe and also over southern England.
NORTH AMERICA ECMWF SNOWFALL FORECAST
Over North America, most of the southern end has below-average snow accumulation. The exceptions are the northwestern United States, the upper Midwest, and southern Canada. The rest of the United States shows less snowfall than expected in the January-March weather season.
The January snowfall forecast shows a pattern of more snowfall from western Canada into the northwestern United States. We see an increased snow potential over the Midwest and the Great Lakes area. The southern United States and parts of the east show less snowfall than usual.
The February snowfall forecast shows continued snowfall potential over the northwestern United States and expanding over southern Canada into the northeastern United States. More snowfall is still forecast in the upper Midwest, but less snowfall is forecast across the southern United States.
Now going into early Spring, we have the March snow forecast below. Again, you can see more snowfall than average, covering a large area from western Canada into the northwestern United States and parts of the Midwest. The southern half of the United States is expected to see less snowfall in the early Spring.
The April snowfall forecast shows a generally weaker snow season across most of the United States. However, we see some interesting hints of more snowfall over the southern plains. This could result from one strong cold anomaly, which can still happen in April.
UKMO WINTER/SPRING SNOWFALL FORECAST
Long-range weather forecasting is not easy. There are a lot of factors that can impact seasonal climate. We always focus on trends and probabilities, but still, variation is critical. Therefore, the more forecast data you can look at, the better idea you can get about the expected weather patterns.
As you can never trust a single forecast model, we always have at least one other long-range forecasting system along the ECMWF. Meet UKMO. It was developed by the United Kingdom Met Office, where the initials UKMO come from.
Starting with the seasonal average for Europe, we can see another weak snowfall forecast similar to the ECMWF. Most of the continent is forecast to have less snowfall than average, except for far northern Europe.
The January snowfall forecast shows more potential in far northern Europe. The rest of the continent sees less snowfall than normal for this time of year. This is a very similar forecast to the ECMWF.
The February snowfall forecast indicates continued potential over the northern parts of Europe. But otherwise, the rest of the continent shows less snowfall this month. Given the distribution of snowfall anomalies, it supports a likely low-pressure zone over northwestern Europe.
Looking at the March forecast, no late-season surprise is in the works. Early Spring shows no real snowfall potential. But that does not mean we can’t see a cold outbreak or two in this period.
NORTH AMERICA UKMO SNOWFALL PREDICTIONS
The average seasonal forecast for the United States and Canada shows another typical La Nina snowfall pattern. We see more snowfall over the northwestern and northern United States and southern Canada. This is not too far from the ECMWF prediction, but we generally see more snowfall in the northern United States in this forecast.
January snowfall forecast shows this pattern, with more snowfall over much of southern Canada and the northern parts of the United States. Most of the southern half of the United States shows less snowfall than normal for January.
The February snowfall forecast shows snowfall potential increasing over the northern parts of the United States. We can especially see a snowfall increase across the Midwest, reaching down into the southern plains.
The March snowfall forecast shows a decent snow season continuing over the northwestern United States and the upper Midwest. Most central, southern, and eastern United States show reduced snowfall in the early Spring.
Looking at the April snowfall forecast, we see some snowfall potential in the upper Midwest and the northwestern United States. This is likely associated with continued cold air presence in southern Canada, continuing into early Spring.
Overall, the UKMO shows a decent snow season across the northern parts of the United States. It also shows some snow scenarios over the central United States.
OFFICIAL NOAA MID-WINTER AND EARLY SPRING FORECAST
We can also track snowfall potential with temperature and precipitation Winter forecasts. The highest snowfall potential is usually in regions with colder temperatures and more precipitation.
This can be seen in the NOAA’s latest official January-March 2023 temperature forecast for the United States. It shows colder temperature probabilities for most of the northern United States. The southern half of the country has a higher probability of warmer than normal weather.
But take note of the trough of “equal” temperatures probability extending down low into the south-central states. That can be interpreted as a potential route of winter cold air outbreaks down from the Midwest to the south. Such a pattern can create snow events in the south-central states.
The official NOAA Temperature outlook points:
- Warmer-than-average temperatures are favored in the Southwestern United States, the Southeastern states, and along the Atlantic coast.
- Below-normal temperatures are favored from the Pacific Northwest eastward to the western Great Lakes.
The official precipitation forecast is similar to the latest model forecasts. We see an equal-to-higher probability for more precipitation (and snowfall) over the northwest, extending into the Great Lakes and the eastern United States. However, the southern United States is forecast to have a drier-than-normal January-March 2023 weather season.
NOAA Official precipitation outlook points:
- Wetter-than-average conditions are most likely in the Pacific Northwest, the northern Rockies, Great Lakes, and Ohio Valley.
- The greatest chances for drier-than-average conditions are forecast in portions of California, the Southwest, the southern Rockies, the southern Plains, the Gulf Coast, and much of the Southeast.
Also, we will keep you updated on other developing weather trends, so bookmark our page. Also, if you have seen this article in the Google App (Discover) feed, click the like button (♥) there to see more of our forecasts and our latest articles on weather and nature in general.
Millions across North America will face Deep Freeze and the coldest Christmas in years, with Snow and Blizzards over the East-Central United States this week
Column: Europe’s mild weather reprieve this winter may come to bite by summer
LITTLETON, Colo., Jan 11 (Reuters) – Record warm temperatures across Europe this winter have been celebrated for helping to avert a potential power crisis across the region, which continues to face sharply lower natural gas supplies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
Mild conditions from Paris to Prague this winter have cut demand for heating and allowed utilities to fill natural gas storage sites to the brim, providing a buffer against lower pipelined supplies and driving heating fuel prices lower.
In turn, Europe’s reduced reliance on gas imports so far this winter has also blunted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leverage over major European gas consumers, some of whom are now starting to see power bills ease from last year’s peak thanks to the steady climb in gas inventories across the continent.
However, the balmy conditions – which some meteorologists have described as the worst winter heat wave on record – come with a downside: Sharply lower snow cover and rainfall that leave the region vulnerable to drought, reduced hydropower generation potential, and possible logistical challenges on key river systems later in 2023.
Since the end of September 2022, average temperatures in Germany – Europe’s largest gas consumer – have been 25% or 1. 58 degrees Celsius above normal, according to data from Refinitiv.
Temperatures averaged 29% (2.3 degrees) above normal during October and November, as the country braced for its first winter without steady Russian gas supplies since Putin authorised a “special military operation” against Ukraine in February.
Germany temperatures vs normal
Combined with reduced gas consumption by factories and industry, the sustained stretch of mild weather helped conserve Germany’s gas supplies, and allowed utilities to keep gas inventories at more than 80% of capacity throughout the final quarter of 2022, versus less than 50% at the end of 2021.
Germany natural gas storage capacity
Elsewhere in Europe, the warm weather has also left its mark.
In Switzerland – one of Europe’s top winter sports destinations – many ski resorts have been forced to close due to a lack of snow.
In Poland, ski jumping competitions have been cancelled, while the mountains above the Bosnian capital Sarajevo – which hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1984 – were nearly completely without snow so far in 2023.
Beyond lost tourism revenues, the unusually low snow totals and warm temperatures pose a potential threat to several European sectors later this year.
For power producers, the low snow totals come on the back of a drier-than-normal 2022, and leave hydro power production potential sharply below normal in several key countries.
In France – mainland Europe’s top hydro power producer – cumulative precipitation that could be harnessed for hydro power generation was 41% below the long-term average as of the end of 2022, according to data from Refinitiv.
Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and the Danube catchment area also recorded double-digit precipitation shortfalls, potentially curtailing a key source of emissions-free power in 2023.
Dried up: Europe’s hydro power production potential withers after cumulative rainfall totals fall well below normal
Europe’s farmers will also be affected by the lack of snow this winter.
Much of the region’s farmland has been left as bare as the ski slopes, deprived of beneficial snow cover that protects dormant winter crops against cold snaps that can kill plants before they have had time to fully develop in the spring.
The lack of snow also poses a risk for spring-planted crops, which rely on snow melt to provide crucial soil moisture for the start of the growing season.
Without snow melt – which softens soils gradually as compacted snow and ice thaws – farmland is at risk of flooding once spring rains arrive, as dry soils can often create a barrier to rainfall if left without moisture too long.
LOWER, AND WARMER, RIVERS
Low snow totals and above-normal temperatures also pose a risk to Europe’s river systems, which are vital trade arteries and provide critical cooling water for several nuclear reactors, especially in top nuclear power producer France.
Last July, a prolonged heat wave pushed river temperatures above the level that can help cool reactors, and forced power producers in France to curb nuclear output.
If snow totals remain well below usual, river temperatures may stay warmer than normal in 2023 and pose a fresh risk to nuclear operators. If nuclear power output is curtailed again, European utilities may be forced to burn more fossil fuels to generate power instead, producing additional emissions.
Dry conditions also slowed river freight in 2022, as several major rivers including the Rhine and the Danube dried up in key areas, preventing ship movement.
As trading firms use the rivers to move grain, fuel and finished goods, any further drops in river levels may snarl Europe’s key logistics channels for a second straight year.
So while the current mild weather is viewed by some as having prevented a deeper power crisis stemming from gas shortages, the low snow and rain totals this winter may themselves pose an even greater risk if the warm and dry conditions continue.
Reporting By Gavin Maguire; Editing by Himani Sarkar
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which, under the Trust Principles, is committed to integrity, independence, and freedom from bias.
The heating season will show whether the Europeans will laugh at gas price tags in February
At their meeting on November 24, the energy ministers of the EU countries could not agree on either the mechanism for introducing gas price limits, or the very level of this “price ceiling”. The European Commission proposed that the maximum allowable price be 275 euros per megawatt/hour, that is, almost $3,000 per 1,000 cubic meters. Numerous European commentators just do not laugh at this. It sounds really funny, given that today’s quotes fluctuate around $1,300 for the same thousand cubic meters. nine0003
But is it worth it to laugh? If these people strain their memory even a little, then they will not see anything funny and absurd here.
Let me remind you that in the spring of this year, the European Commission introduced strictly mandatory requirements for the level of occupancy of underground gas storage facilities in all EU countries, and not a single energy minister in any country objected. In an effort to meet the standards, European companies literally swept away gas from all markets, not paying attention to prices at all. In July and August, purchases went for 2,500 – 2,800 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, if anyone does not remember. “So what, now November is ending, now the prices are half as low, so let’s continue to laugh at the ceiling proposed by the EC of $ 3,000, it’s fun!” Fun? Is gas stored in underground storage facilities for free? And will companies that guessed to make purchases for, say, $ 2,600, give up their profits in favor of those who like to turn off the memory and have fun? There will be no winter in Europe, there will be no need to raise gas from storage facilities, gentlemen, laughers? nine0003
Unusually warm weather in October-November automatically pushed back the usual terms for gas withdrawal from UGSFs, and it was the consequence of this that prices at Europe’s largest TTF hub fell to the current level. Suppliers of gas, both pipelines and LNG, certainly would like to see the summer price level, but the suppliers did not think to go along with them. Gas physically had nowhere to be sent for storage, because the level of occupancy of European UGS facilities, as you know, reached 95%.
Consequently, new commercial batches of gas could only be immediately sent for burning in the furnaces of power plants, and here the gentlemen of the buyers were drawn to the fullest, they simply trampled on LNG suppliers. Due to the summer hype with LNG purchases by the entire EU, the cost of chartering gas tankers shot up 10 times year-on-year, to $400,000 per day on the futures market. nine0003
The “workhorse” in the world of LNG transportation is gas carriers with a tank volume of 70 thousand tons, which, in terms of the normal state of gas, is 100 million cubic meters. We pick up a calculator and see that a day of idle gas carriers off the coast of Europe in anticipation of rising prices cost suppliers $ 250 per 1,000 cubic meters. That’s the whole story. Do you want high prices? Well, stay on the raid for a week, think about life. Suppliers and thought – merged their LNG at the prices that were offered, so as not to go into irrecoverable losses. nine0003
The temporary holiday on the street of European gas consumers cannot be long – as soon as the air temperature drops below zero, it will be necessary to raise the very expensive gas from underground storage facilities. And again we resort to the help of a calculator, bearing in mind that a month of storing 1000 cubic meters of gas at European rates costs an average of 60-70 dollars. Let’s assume that gas was purchased in July at $2,500 per 1,000 cubic meters and plus the cost of storage until, say, December. Four months, $240-$280 top. Further, the gas was most likely purchased using bank loans, even at European rates for a third of the year it will be 1% yes, so that in the end it will turn out to be something around $2,800 per thousand cubic meters. nine0003
Trading without profit is not for this planet. Now let’s evaluate the “ceiling” proposed by the European Commission, since the calculator was not put off far. For those companies that bought gas for $2,500 in the summer – 7%, for those who bought for $2,600 – even 3.5%. All that remains is just to ask: is this really funny?
The heating season will show if today’s European commentators will laugh at gas prices sometime in February.
Temperature in Germany in winter in December, January, February by years and states
§ Air temperature in Germany in winter
The average air temperature in Germany in winter was 3.3 degrees Celsius in 2022.
Average air temperature in Germany in winter in 2022: 3.3 °C
§ Change in mean winter air temperature in Germany by years
The following table 1 presents the average air temperatures during the winter in Germany by year for the last 10 years. nine0003
Table 1. Average air temperatures in Germany in winter by years.
As can be seen from Table 1, over the past 10 years, the highest average air temperature in winter was in 2020 and amounted to
4.2 degrees Celsius.
The lowest temperature was in 2013 and amounted to 0.3 degrees Celsius.
Diagram 1. Change in average winter temperatures in Germany by years
§ Air temperature in Germany in December
The following list shows the average December temperatures in Germany for the last 3 years:
- For 2020 the average temperature of December was 3.1 °C ;
- For 2021 the average temperature of December was 2.6 °C ;
- For 2022 the average temperature of December was 1.8 °C ;
§ Air temperature in Germany in January
The following list shows the average January temperatures in Germany for the last 3 years:
- For 2020 the average temperature of January was 3. 5 °C ;
- For 2021 the average temperature of January was 0.6 °C ;
- For 2022 the average temperature of January was 2.8 °C ;
§ Air temperature in Germany in February
The following list shows the average February temperatures in Germany for the last 3 years:
- For 2020 the average temperature of February was 5.3 °C ;
- For 2021 the average temperature of February was 1.7 °C ;
- For 2022 the average temperature of February was 4.5 °C ;
nine0002 In 2022 in Germany in winter, the maximum average air temperature was in North Rhine-Westphalia and amounted to 4.5 degrees Celsius.
The minimum average air temperature was in the land of Bavaria and amounted to 2 degrees Celsius.