Where's winter? Western Europe basks in record temperatures

February 26, 2019 by Amélie Bottollier-Depois
Temperatures have soared across much of Northern Europe, leading climate scientists to sound the alarm

As western Europe enjoys record highs for winter temperatures, southern parts of the continent are being hit with snow flurries.

What is going on with the weather, and how closely are the topsy-turvy temperatures linked to climate change?

What's causing the heat?

On Monday Britain saw its hottest winter day on record, with the mercury in the Welsh village of Trawsgoed hitting 20.6 Celsius (70 Fahrenheit).

It was, according to the Met Office, the first time that temperatures had exceeded 20C on the British mainland in winter.

"This is unprecedented... in Wales, 20.6C is like the middle of summer," said Etienne Kapikian, a forecaster with the Meteo-France weather service.

On Tuesday the record was broken again with the Met Office reporting 21.2C at Kew Gardens in West London.

Several other local February temperature records fell in recent days, including 25C in Ourence, Spain, 21C at Pleyber-Christ, France, and 18.8C in Uccle, Belgium.

At the same time, temperatures plunged around the Mediterranean. At Thessaloniki in Greece, it hovered at around 3C and has even had snow. Northwest Turkey also saw wintery flurries.

The culprits, according to Kapikian, are areas of low pressure over the Atlantic and Eastern Europe, trapping warm air over the northwest of the continent.

While countries in western Europe experienced record high temperatures for February, Thessaloniki in Greece saw temperatures plunge and even snowfall
"This low-pressure/high-pressure/low-pressure pattern is accompanied by north-south air mass exchanges," said Kapikian.

As warmer air from southern Europe is dragged northwards, there is a corresponding flow of cold air pulled down from the Arctic, resulting in unusually low temperatures in the eastern Mediterranean.

Kapikian said the near-record warm spell would persist across much of the west of the continent until Wednesday.

Weather, or climate?

But where does weather end and climate begin?

While scientists are reluctant to attribute individual weather fronts such as heatwaves and droughts directly to climate change, there is little doubt that such events are getting more frequent as our planet heats.

"This is one of the clearest signs of climate change that we have seen, that winter temperatures are increasing and the likehood of very warm days in winter has increased quite a lot," Friederike Otto, a researcher at the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, told AFP.

"The fact that spring starts much earlier is one of the very obvious signs of climate change that we see."

The last four years have been the hottest on record, with 2018 ending as the fourth-hottest year ever, according to the United Nations.

Map showing the world's temperature anomalies in 2018, according to data from the Berkeley Earth report

Last year alone saw devastating forest fires in Greece and California, a succession of superstorms in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and record-breaking drought in Australia.

What's the forecast?

While being able to step out in a T-shirt in February might sound nice, scientists warn that the record temperatures might be a dangerous sign of things to come later in the year.

"We had a unusually very late summer last year, and now Spring has started very early," said Dim Coumou, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

"This is related to the warming of the globe which increases the probability of such a warm weather strongly.

"We can find this weather early in the season very pleasant, but if this type of meteorological conditions occur in mid-summer, there can be very high impact on society," said Coumou.

The UN said Tuesday there was a 50-60 percent chance that 2019 would be an El Nino year, which could trigger further rises in temperatures and rainfall.

Explore further: UK Met Office measures warmest February day on record

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aksdad
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 26, 2019
Also known as natural variation.

While scientists are reluctant to attribute individual weather fronts such as heatwaves and droughts directly to climate change, there is little doubt that such events are getting more frequent as our planet heats.

There is no measured evidence of heatwaves or droughts becoming more frequent. For perspective, the increase in average global temperature over the last century is only 1° C. Few people can tell the difference between, for example, 20° C and 21° C.

if this type of meteorological conditions occur in mid-summer, there can be very high impact on society

Yes, winter heatwaves are welcome but summer heatwaves can be potentially deadly for particularly fragile people. So, air conditioning, stay in the shade, hydrate.

However, once again, the average global temperature increase over the last century is only 1° C. The difference between 32° and 33° C in a summer heatwave is indiscernible.
RealityCheck
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 26, 2019
@aksdad.
natural variation
Previous 'human tolerable' range of natural variation is becoming 'human IN-tolerable' range, with larger/more extremes of heat/cold/drought/storms/floods/diseases etc caused by obvious AGW trend. And worse to come.
There is no measured evidence of heatwaves or droughts becoming more frequent.
Come to OZ and ask all those farmers/horticulturists (who PREVIOUSLY were AGW DENIERS) what they NOW think of your above stupid uninformed assertion while they suffer BACK-TO-BACK, EXTREME/UNPRECEDENTED climate-related disasters! From desperation AGW is NOW causing here (and around globe), those same farmers/horticulturists (who not long ago would have 'just believed' your stupid assertion) will NOW have to really try hard NOT to lynch you!
Few people can tell the difference between,.20° C and 21° C.
It's "the EXTREMES, stupid!" :)
air conditioning
More costs/pollution/warming from fossil fuels! Hence why MORE Solar/Wind power needed! :)
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 26, 2019
Some have suggested that the Earth is flipping over to some degree, which would be a Natural Event, and scientists are not revealing the truth about it. It might be worthwhile looking into the possibility.
antigoracle
2 / 5 (4) Feb 26, 2019
OH NOSE!!

All those poor people, suffering out in the sunshine, enjoying music.
Oh the humanity!
cantdrive85
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 26, 2019
Nice weather, bad weather, drought, or floods. Hot, cold, just right, rainy, snowy, or sunny. Big storms, little storms, lots of storms, no storms. Doesn't matter what it is, it is because AGW...
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 26, 2019
And in other news, Mount Lemmon, near Tucson in the southern part of the State of Arizona had about 3 feet of snow at ~5000 feet. Tucson is home to the University of Arizona where the HiRise Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter division is located. The students at UA built snowmen and had a grand time before and after classes. The snow was deep enough for skiing and snowboarding.
It wouldn't be too surprising - after all, it IS winter - except that southern Arizona has palm trees and Saguaro cactus in desert areas, most often hot and dry climate even in winter. So the students welcomed this climate change, however temporary.

https://tucson.co....html#39
RealityCheck
3 / 5 (4) Feb 27, 2019
@antigor.
OH NOSE!! All those poor people, suffering out in the sunshine, enjoying music.
Oh the humanity!
You left out lack of rain causing unprecedented drought; extreme storms due to the increased water vapour diverted to regions which don't need any more because they are now increasingly inundated by rainstorms dumping a year's rain in one week; and killed-off livestock, livelihoods, infrastructure and transportation systems for weeks/months/years for repair/recovery. You insensible Russian/GOP/Fossil lobby/troll-factory meme-whore.

@cant.
Nice weather, bad weather, drought, or floods. Hot, cold, just right, rainy, snowy, or sunny. Big storms, little storms, lots of storms, no storms. Doesn't matter what it is, it is because AGW...
Yes, as the scientists WARNED and PREDICTED would happen when extra water vapour, destabilised air/ocean currents/vortexes create unseasonal/extreme/persistent/widespread AGW exacerbated disasters. Get objective/informed mate.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2019
@antigor.
OH NOSE!! All those poor people, suffering out in the sunshine, enjoying music.
Oh the humanity!
You left out lack of rain causing unprecedented drought; extreme storms due to the increased water vapour diverted to regions which don't need any more because they are now increasingly inundated by rainstorms dumping a year's rain in one week; and killed-off livestock, livelihoods, infrastructure and transportation systems for weeks/months/years for repair/recovery. You insensible Russian/GOP/Fossil lobby/troll-factory meme-whore.

You left out, a reference to a single pal reviewed study, which conclusively show that anthropogenic CO2 was responsible for any of that doom and gloom, anywhere on the planet.
You ignorant, braying jackass.
RealityCheck
3 / 5 (4) Feb 27, 2019
@antigor.
You left out lack of rain causing unprecedented drought; extreme storms due to the increased water vapour diverted to regions which don't need any more because they are now increasingly inundated by rainstorms dumping a year's rain in one week; and killed-off livestock, livelihoods, infrastructure and transportation systems for weeks/months/years for repair/recovery. You insensible Russian/GOP/Fossil lobby/troll-factory meme-whore.
You left out, a reference to a single pal reviewed study, which conclusively show that anthropogenic CO2 was responsible for any of that doom and gloom, anywhere on the planet.
You ignorant, braying jackass.
Oh, nose!...the @antigor troll-factory stooge tries that long-failed attempt at denying the evidence under his own...oh nose!

Just ask the (no longer) AGW-deniers here in OZ/around globe experiencing unprecedented and now-obvious AGW-EXACERBATED 'back-to-back' disasters first hand. Just as AGW climate science predicted.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2019
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
HAWW...HAWW...HEEE...HEEE...HAWWW..HEEEE
Bray jackass....braaay
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2 / 5 (4) Feb 27, 2019
@RealityCheck
We thought that you were busy with your ToE. Is this the real RealityCheck or an imposter? If you're the real RC, when did you become a big fan of "human-caused global warming"?
Personally, I think that this weather anomaly might be an indication that the Earth may be about to flip over where North becomes South and a massive continental shift might happen in your lifetime. I think that the magma under the surface of Earth may be in flux - moving into and under volcanos where they will become active. I find that more worrisome than cars using petrol.
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2019
@antigor.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
HAWW...HAWW...HEEE...HEEE...HAWWW..HEEEE
Bray jackass....braaay
Is that it, mate? My, but the 'quality' of GOP/Russian/Fossil lobby/troll-factory 'meme-stooges' seems to have plummeted since the AGW science and the reality it predicted has come back to bite the exposed butts of AGW-denying trolls and crooks. Just come to OZ now, and go into farmer/horticulture country with your AGW-denying 'memes', mate; they have a few obvious AGW-reality-bites to set you straight on before they Lynch you for lying o them for the 'thirty pieces of silver' you earn in your (in)capacity as Russian/GOP/Fossil lobby/troll-factory STOOGE. Your poor, insensible, humanity-betraying, blood-money-taking, cheap whore, @antigoracle. You should be ashamed of yourself, betraying your intellect, your family/finds, future generations for all this time just to make a buck. You have no principles worth a damn, and no conscience worthy of that label, you sick miscreant.
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2019
@S_E_U.
...busy with your ToE.
I am; hence why I comment much less often now. Besides, it's good to keep abreast of developments in science/humanity discourse; it helps keep the wider picture clearly in mind.
Is this the real RealityCheck or an imposter? If you're the real RC, when did you become a big fan of "human-caused global warming"?
Yes, it's the real RC, and, alas, I am not the stuff that "fans" are made of. :)
the Earth may be about to flip over where North becomes South and a massive continental shift might happen in your lifetime. I think that the magma under the surface of Earth may be in flux - moving into and under volcanos where they will become active.
The point is: any warming/de-stabilizing 'natural input' effects are EXACERBATED by AGW due to CO2/atmospheric 'lag' effects.

ps: A reminder: To be able to walk and chew gum at the same time is not an impossible feat for intelligent, healthy, objective, advanced human mind-body "lifeforms". :)
granville583762
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 27, 2019
It's Febuary in winter and the Heat is already on

It's been reaching 20°C all week, summers arrived early in these Shires
even though 2018 reached 40°C
at this time in Febuary in 2018 it was snow and freezing temperatures
not so this year of our lord, 2019 it has reached 20°C
this bodes well for the forecast
this fortunate forecast
fore told of last year
that in theses Shires
All records of last year
by this year's record heat in winter
this year, 2019 is well on its way to break all records in this desert that is East Anglia
as the glass nudged past 40°C in 2018
towards that record in 2019
This forecast of 50°C in this desert of England
antigoracle
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2019
AGW science and the reality it predicted has come back .......

LMAO.
The RealityChit jackass keeps braying on about AGW Cult "science". Yet, when I ask it to provide a single pal reviewed study, that conclusively show anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for any doom and gloom, anywhere on the planet, all I get is -- HAWW...HAWW...HEEE...HEEE...HAWWW..HEEEE
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2019
@S_E_U.

Further to what I said earlier, please see this study:

https://phys.org/...ide.html

From the above linked study:
The Arctic Ocean could become ice-free in the summer in the next 20 years due to a natural, long-term warming phase in the tropical Pacific that ADDS TO HUMAN CAUSED WARMING, according to a new study.


That is just the latest example of the kind of increased CO2/AGW effects EXACERBATING 'natural input' effects, as I earlier pointed out to you:
the Earth may be about to flip over where North becomes South and a massive continental shift might happen in your lifetime. I think that the magma under the surface of Earth may be in flux - moving into and under volcanos where they will become active.

The point is: any warming/de-stabilizing 'natural input' effects are EXACERBATED by AGW due to CO2/atmospheric 'lag' effects.
As you will have by now realised, its a complex situation EXACERBATED by AGW.
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2019
@antigor.
The RealityChit jackass keeps braying on about AGW Cult "science". Yet, when I ask it to provide a single pal reviewed study, that conclusively show anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for any doom and gloom, anywhere on the planet, all I get is -- HAWW...HAWW...
You fail to realise that the transition is occurring now, in reality, under the noses of even the most gullible (but now very wised-up and no longer) AGW-DENIERS here in OZ and around the globe; who (used to) fall for your sick-stupid propaganda and delay tactics straight from the playbook of the Russian/GOP/Fossil lobby/troll-factory and their paid-for 'farmed stooges' (like yourself, @antigor). If you tried that here in OZ now with those (former) AGW-denying multi-generational farmers/horticulturists, you'd probably be lynched or 'politely asked' to pay for the extreme/unprecedented damage/loss they keep suffering 'back-to-back'; just as the AGW climate science predicted, you incompetent loser troll.
granville583762
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 27, 2019
This Winter returneth tomorrow 28-02-2019

As we suffer this summer heat in the middle of winter
fear not
one and all
the BBC has doom and gloom forecast
for tomorow
this winter heat be gone
replaced by single figure temperatures
more fitting
of winter cold
This Winter Cold
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2019
@S_E_U.

Further to

https://phys.org/...ide.html

From the study:
The Arctic Ocean could become ice-free in the summer in the next 20 years due to a natural, long-term warming phase in the tropical Pacific that ADDS TO HUMAN CAUSED WARMING, according to a new study.


That is just the latest example of the kind of increased CO2/AGW effects EXACERBATING 'natural input' effects, as I pointed out to you:
the Earth may be about to flip over where North becomes South and magma under the surface of Earth may be in flux - moving into and under volcanos where they will become active.

The point is: any warming/de-stabilizing 'natural input' effects are EXACERBATED by AGW due to CO2/atmospheric 'lag' effects.
As you will have by now realised, its a complex situation EXACERBATED by AGW.

So is this why laws were passed in NY and Virginia and possibly other States pro-Infanticide to enable the killing of babies?
snoosebaum
3 / 5 (4) Feb 27, 2019
Where's winter ? lol Here you can see for yourself ;;

https://www.windy...pressure

there u go confusing weather and climate again eh ?

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