Seasonal forecasts are iffy. Right now, however, there are strengthening indicators showing winter brutality in the pipeline for Europe rushing at us like an express train.
Don’t let the current relatively benign autumn conditions fool you. I’ve been following all of this over the past couple of weeks, and as a result decided last Friday to get the winter tires installed! The trend has crystalized and solidified.
It doesn’t look good if you’re hoping for a mild euro winter start – like the one we really had last year.
German weather and climate site wobleibtdieglobaleerwaermung here provides some background on what is in store in the latest analysis titled:
Winter is coming early to Europe – polar vortex splits!”
Right off the bat the site provides the latest ECMWF analysis of the geopotential 150 hPa (approx. 14 km altitude, lower stratosphere) from 28 October 2016, writing:
The polar vortex for this time of the year is unusually powerful and has expanded far to the south. It has two partial vortices over Siberia and Northern Canada (polar vortex split), whereby the polar vortex over Siberia is stronger. A powerful cold trough of the partial vortex over Siberia (Rossby waves) is positioned over North and Eastern Europe and feeds cold polar air downward. Source: www.geo.fu-berlin.de/met/winterdiagnostics.html.”
The German site also points to the QBO, quasi-biennal ossillation in September 2016 has flipped in favor of powerful easterly winds:
In the easterly wind phase (negative QBO) the Arctic polar vortex can collapse (negative AO), and then with high probability lead to a cold winter.”
Bastardi: “vicious” conditions for mid November
Meanwhile 40-year veteran meteorologist Joe Bastardi further solidifies the early winter European trend with his addictive weekly Saturday Summary at WeatherBELL Analytics site here:
At the 12:45 mark Joe presents a chart of the forecast model 11-16 days out for the northern hemisphere (above), calling the Russian-European situation “vicious”, exclaiming that he is “in awe of that”. Note the vast swath of cold extending all across Siberia, Russia, China, India, Europe and beyond.
Keep in the back of your minds, however, that the atmosphere is chaotic, and thus surprises are always in store. There’s no 100% certainty in these forecasts. Still, the probabilities for colder than normal conditions over the weeks ahead are strong – likely much stronger now than Clinton winning the presidency.