Storms and heat in Europe

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:04 PM GMT on January 19, 2007

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Europe's strange winter weather continues to generate headlines, as a powerful low pressure system brought hurricane-force wind gusts to England, Germany, the Czech Republic, and many other European countries on Thursday. The powerful extratropical cyclone, now centered over western Russia, has a central pressure of 960 mb--the kind of pressures commonly seen in Category 1 and 2 hurricanes! At least 41 people have been killed in the storm, mostly motorists in England and Germany. The storm shut down the German train system for the first time in history. The last winter storm with comparable winds in Europe occurred in January 1990. The latest computer forecast models point to the first significant snows and cold for Europe next week, when a major low pressure system is expected to finally tap into some cold Artic air and pull it southwards over much of Europe.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average (in �C) for the week (Sun-Thu). The western U.S. is suffering the worst winter cold of anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Europe and northern Asia continue to feel record-breaking warm temperatures. Note that the area of most extreme below-normal temperatures occurred over San Antonio, Texas, where the world's largest meeting of meteorologists was being held!

Extraordinary warmth in Europe
The European storm was a warm and rainy one, and record warmth continues to affect both Europe and most of northern Asia (Figure 1). January 10, with a temperature of 8 �C, was the warmest in the first 10 days of January in Moscow, Russia, according to the hydro-meteorological bureau for Moscow. Record keeping began in 1870. St. Petersburg reported their warmest January day in 125 years of record keeping the same day, with a temperature of 8.6 �C. Nighttime minimum temperatures in London, England, hit 12.6 �C on January 8, which is warmer than the average July minimum temperature, 12� C. So far, January temperatures in London are the warmest since record keeping began in 1659.

Romanian snowboarders blockade weather office
The lack of snow in Romania has driven snow lovers in that country to desperation. A group of Romanian snowboarders blocked traffic in front of the country's weather institute January 16, and would only budge when weather officials would agree that their complaints of a lack of snow "would be passed on to a higher authority", according to Ananova.

Winter hits the U.S., China, and Bengladesh
Winter cold has hit the western U.S. hard this week, with California suffering a devastating freeze to its citrus crop. Heavy snow has affected central China--the Chinese official state media Xinhua said on January 16th that more than 1,000 houses have collapsed and 2,424 damaged in the weather as snow levels reached 300 millimeters in some regions. Earlier this month, Bengladesh saw temperatures that fell from the daily average of 18 �C to between 5 and 8 �C. The government called on affluent people to donate warm clothes and blankets to the poor, as doctors reported that more than 100 people had died from the sudden cold.

Jeff Masters

12 Bft storm (wsdedolb)
The 12 Bft storm named
12 Bft storm
Vlissingen Storm 10-11 BFRT (jeandela)
Vlissingen  Storm 10-11 BFRT
Storm 9/10 BFRT (jeandela)
Storm 9/10 BFRT

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94. weatherboykris
8:02 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
My forecast is 49/45/3
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93. ryang
4:00 PM AST on January 19, 2007
Hey all.
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92. Thunderstorm2
7:59 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
So it was random
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
91. Thunderstorm2
7:54 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Yes that one was the first one that came into my mind
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
90. weatherboykris
7:53 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Houston Hobby Airport as the observation site?
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89. Thunderstorm2
7:50 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
emmmmm........Houston
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
88. weatherboykris
7:50 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
I'm sorry,I meant pick an observation site,prferrably one with MOS.
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87. weatherboykris
7:50 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Pick a city
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86. weatherboykris
7:49 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
The forecast will be from midnight tonight to midnight tomorrow night.
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84. Thunderstorm2
7:47 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Ok
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
83. weatherboykris
7:48 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
STL,TS2,you in?
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82. weatherboykris
7:47 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
We need to turn in the forecasts by midnight tonight.
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81. weatherboykris
7:44 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
We will pick a city,and the rules are that of the NCWFC:


You must forecast the maximum temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit; the minimum temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit; and the precipitation amount, by category. For the NCWFC, there are six categories, numbered 0 to 5:


0 no measurable precipitation
1 precipitation amount 0.01 to 0.05
2 precipitation amount 0.06 to 0.24
3 precipitation amount 0.25 to 0.49
4 precipitation amount 0.50 to 0.99
5 precipitation amount 1 inch and above

Each category, except for 0, has about the same probability of coming to pass. There's also a special precipitation amount which can be repeated, called a "trace". This means precipitation reached the ground at the observing station, but that less than 0.01 inches accumulated. If a trace happens, then a forecast of either category 0 or category 1 (or, in forecaster lingo, cat 0 or cat 1) are deemed to be correct.

Forecasts are scored by "error points". Each degree off on the maximum or minimum temperatures (or, in forecaster lingo, the max or min) is worth one error point. Each category off on the precipitation is worth four error points. Over a typical two-week period, you'll probably have as many error points on the max or min as you will on the precip category.

I'll score an example forecast: suppose you forecast a high of 59, a low of 42, and a precip category of 2. What actually happens is, the high is 60, the low is 38, and they receive 0.27 inches of rain. (These numbers are known as the "verification".) You would get 1 error point for the max, 4 error points for the min, and 4 error points for the rain (category 3 instead of category 2), for a total of 9 error points. Generally, a total error of 6 or less is very good, but it depends a lot on the weather.



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79. Thunderstorm2
7:43 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Whats the rules if any
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
78. weatherboykris
7:42 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Anyone up for a forecast contest?
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77. weatherboykris
7:38 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Link
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76. Thunderstorm2
7:37 PM GMT on January 19, 2007

... Winter Storm Warning now in effect until 12 PM CST /11 am MST/
Saturday...

Conditions across the far west including the mountains and plains
of southeast New Mexico remain favorable for freezing rain this
morning with ice accumulations near one quarter inch possible
through early afternoon. Farther east into the Permian Basin
a wintry mix of rain... freezing rain... sleet... and snow are
possible through mid afternoon. Accumulations of ice are expected
to remain below one quarter inch through noon. However as the
chance of precipitation increases later in the day more cooling
will occur and the precipitation type is expected to transition to
snow and sleet across all areas. Total snow accumulations of 5 to
9 inches are possible across the Guadalupe Mountains and
southeastern New Mexico plains. Snow totals across the Permian
Basin of 3 to 6 inches will be possible.

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow...
sleet... and ice are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also
possible. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible.
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
75. Thunderstorm2
7:28 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
I think most of the casualties came from people going outside and ignoring the danger. I have seen people riding motorcycles for instance.

People who ride on motorcycles during a hurricane are complete retards because its very common for the wind just to spin the motorcycle out of control and its also very dangerous for any house owners near the road. Just imagine a motorcyclist coming through your front window
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
74. weatherboykris
7:33 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
A LOW IS DEVELOPING OVER THE COASTAL WATERS OF THE
CAROLINAS AND THIS WILL HELP SLIDE THE COOL FRONTAL BOUNDARY SOUTH
THROUGH SOUTH FLORIDA TODAY. SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE RIDGING WILL
MOVE EAST OF FLORIDA INTO THE WESTERN ATLANTIC BY SUNDAY. WE CAN
EXPECT A SLIGHT COOL DOWN BY A FEW DEGREES THROUGH SATURDAY AND
THEN A WARM UP THROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK. EXPECT ONLY MINIMAL POPS
THROUGH MONDAY AND THEN INCREASING POPS TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY (TO
40%) IN ADVANCE OF A SIGNIFICANT COLD FRONT THAT IS DEPICTED BY
THE GFS MODEL. THIS FRONT WILL PASS SOUTH FLORIDA WEDNESDAY
EVENING. ENOUGH INSTABILITY WILL BE PRESENT FOR A POSSIBILITY OF
THUNDER WEDNESDAY. TEMPERATURES WILL FALL DECENTLY THURSDAY AND
FRIDAY OF NEXT WEEK WITH RATHER LOW 1000-850 MB THICKNESSES. A
MAJOR DEEPENING OF A MID TO UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL OCCUR OVER THE
EASTERN U.S. AND WILL CAUSE THIS CHANGE IN THE WEATHER PATTERN.
THIS COOL PATTERN MAY LAST THROUGH ALL OF NEXT WEEKEND WITH
NORTHWESTERLY FLOW.

That was before the 12z GFS came out.I'm eagerly awaiting the afternoon discussion.It'll probably be late.
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73. orionRider
19:25 GMT le 19 janvier 2007
I think most of the casualties came from people going outside and ignoring the danger. I have seen people riding motorcycles for instance. I guess nobody in Florida would do that during a hurricane.
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72. Thunderstorm2
7:25 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
im back cause there is nothing to do
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
71. orionRider
19:25 GMT le 19 janvier 2007
This is so uncommon here, we are not prepared for that kind of weather.
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70. orionRider
19:12 GMT le 19 janvier 2007
fire16,

You bet!
Last night, I have seen my front window (double glass, 8x7 feet) bulge with the wind. The reflection was clearly distorted by each gust. In the middle it did move more than an inch. I was really afraid it would shatter. Didn't know glass could be that flexible...
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69. Skyepony (Mod)
7:18 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Orion~ you feeling a little jumpy today?
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 38106
68. Skyepony (Mod)
7:16 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Glad ya'll are doing okay in Europe there. I was suprised to see the death toll go up so much from 27 last night when I posted some news on it.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 38106
67. hurricane23
2:17 PM EST on January 19, 2007
NWS discussion from earlier this morning out of MIA.

A LOW IS DEVELOPING OVER THE COASTAL WATERS OF THE
CAROLINAS AND THIS WILL HELP SLIDE THE COOL FRONTAL BOUNDARY SOUTH
THROUGH SOUTH FLORIDA TODAY. SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE RIDGING WILL
MOVE EAST OF FLORIDA INTO THE WESTERN ATLANTIC BY SUNDAY. WE CAN
EXPECT A SLIGHT COOL DOWN BY A FEW DEGREES THROUGH SATURDAY AND
THEN A WARM UP THROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK. EXPECT ONLY MINIMAL POPS
THROUGH MONDAY AND THEN INCREASING POPS TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY (TO
40%) IN ADVANCE OF A SIGNIFICANT COLD FRONT THAT IS DEPICTED BY
THE GFS MODEL. THIS FRONT WILL PASS SOUTH FLORIDA WEDNESDAY
EVENING. ENOUGH INSTABILITY WILL BE PRESENT FOR A POSSIBILITY OF
THUNDER WEDNESDAY. TEMPERATURES WILL FALL DECENTLY THURSDAY AND
FRIDAY OF NEXT WEEK WITH RATHER LOW 1000-850 MB THICKNESSES. A
MAJOR DEEPENING OF A MID TO UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL OCCUR OVER THE
EASTERN U.S. AND WILL CAUSE THIS CHANGE IN THE WEATHER PATTERN.
THIS COOL PATTERN MAY LAST THROUGH ALL OF NEXT WEEKEND WITH
NORTHWESTERLY FLOW.
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66. fire16
7:06 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Orion
It is a big difference from reading and discussing those winds and experiencing them, isn't it?
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65. hurricane23
2:10 PM EST on January 19, 2007
weatherboykris check your mail...
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63. orionRider
18:54 GMT le 19 janvier 2007
Hi everybody,
Recovering from the hurricane here in Belgium. Nothing broken in my house, but I found parts of my neighbor's roof in the garden. It seems Germany has had the worst of it, with up to 200kph winds.
Now I understand better what you mean when talking about hurricanes and devastation.

[in China] 1,000 houses have collapsed and 2,424 damaged in the weather as snow levels reached 300 millimeters

If it never snows, there is no need to build strong roofs. Also, when it snows at near freezing temperatures, the snow tends to be very wet and sticky. Much heavier than very cold 'dry' snow.
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61. weatherboykris
7:00 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
bye
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60. Thunderstorm2
6:58 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Im away till later,bye
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
59. weatherboykris
6:56 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
thanks.Hve you seen my blog on EWRC?
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58. hurricane23
1:55 PM EST on January 19, 2007
Weatherboykris here is a website i use alot...

IPS Meteostar
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57. Thunderstorm2
6:52 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Hi Patrap
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
56. weatherboykris
6:49 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
and how are you doing?
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55. weatherboykris
6:49 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
That's from last night,Patrap.The 12z run changed a lot.
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54. weatherboykris
6:49 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
anyone still here?
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53. Patrap
12:47 PM CST on January 19, 2007
CONUS look from the 10-Day GFSx...Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128617
52. weatherboykris
6:40 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
thanks
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50. weatherboykris
6:34 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Although sometimes a hard freeze is worse than a frost.
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49. weatherboykris
6:33 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Notice the dewpoint depression on that night in Orlando,no frost will form.
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48. hurricane23
1:22 PM EST on January 19, 2007
7 day GFS Rainfall forcast...

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
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47. Thunderstorm2
6:31 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
Thanks STL
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 129 Comments: 7608
46. weatherboykris
6:31 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
STL,where'd you get that?
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45. weatherboykris
6:31 PM GMT on January 19, 2007
no problem,882mb
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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