DISCUSSION: Between February 26th and March 4th, Europe will experience an extremely cold snap with temperatures falling way below freezing. This could bring some of the most extreme temperatures since the cold snap back in 2013.
A negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation is an atmospheric pattern where the stratosphere above the North Pole warms, resulting in polar vortex over mid-latitude areas. This pattern is known to create cold temperatures and bring along stormy weather for the affected regions. These patterns are also known to bring strong snowstorms to the East Coast of America as well. The cold air that will flow into Europe allows air to evacuate the Arctic, making temperatures there warmer than normal. This pattern creates a high-pressure system, drawing air clockwise and bringing in cold air from Siberia.
Average temperatures during this time in Europe average from 3 - 16 degrees Celsius, but temperatures are expected to be 10 degrees Celsius below normal. The highs in London are projected to stay around 0 - 4 degrees Celsius, with wind gusts making it feel a lot colder. While most of Europe is already under a yellow warning for snow, places in southeast England are under an Amber warning. A yellow warning just means to be aware that severe weather is coming and an amber warning means to be prepared for the increased likelihood of extreme weather. Furthermore, with this accumulating snow, transportation is expected to be affected during this cold snap.
Europe isn’t the only place experiencing these cold temperatures either. Areas as far south as France are enduring below normal temperatures for this time of year. The increase in internal heating resulted in France’s natural gas levels spiking within the last few days to its highest level since 2008.Temperatures in France haven’t dropped this low since the cold snap back in 2005.
On the other hand, places in the Arctic are experiencing record warmth. In Cape Morris Jesup, the northernmost point of mainland Greenland, temperatures have been above freezing between February 16th- February 25th. The warmth in this area over the Arctic have resulted from the same pattern that is bringing the brutally cold air into Europe.
(Citied: Met Office UK, Washington Post, Climate Reanalyzer)
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© 2018 Weather Forecaster Allison Finch