Cold German October
Germany’s Deutsche Wetterdienst (DWD) weather service reports the preliminary weather data for October. At a mean of 8.6°C, the month came in 0.6°C colder than normal (compared to the 1981-2010 mean) and even came in 0.4°C colder than the 1961-1990 mean.
The DWD hints that natural variability factors are to blame for the cool month, writing:
An unusually strong high pressure area in October 2016 blocked the train of Atlantic lows towards Eastern Europe.
The October mean was calculated from data collected from Germany’s approximately 2000 weather stations across the country. October 2016 was also wetter and less sunny than normal.
Cold and cloudy in Austria
The situation was similar over Germany’s southeastern neighbor, Austria. The Austrian ZAMG weather service writes here that the Alpine country saw a much cloudier than normal month with a mean temperature 0.4°C below the 1981-2010 mean:
October-2016 temperature anomalies for Austria. Source: ZAMG.
Several cold snaps provided for wintery conditions especially at higher elevations. Austria had experienced a string of warmer-than-normal months, but that streak has ended. Already there are signs that November may be colder than normal as well.
Near record northern hemisphere snow cover
The wetteronline site here just reported that for this time of the year “snow cover in the northern hemisphere reached the second highest level in about 50 years“. Snow cover has extended to 31.48 million square meters. Only 1976 was higher. Over the past few days a vast area of Russia has seen temperatures fall well below normal. Because of the early and widespread snow cover , the air cools and results in significantly colder than normal temperatures.
What does this mean for the coming weeks? Wetteronline reports the massive snow cover will likely have consequences for Europe and North America. Widespread snow cover over northern Asia can lead to the formation of a powerful cold high system over Siberia, which in turn can weaken the polar vortex. The result:
The weaker it becomes, the more probable it becomes that there will be blasts of polar air over Central Europe.”
This was also the case over the past winters, yet Europe escaped with mild winters.
“Snowiest winter on record”
Not only Central Europe could be slammed by cold winters due to massive snow cover over Russia, also Eastern North America could get hit as well according to Weather Underground here. The site writes that some Siberian locations have seen “their snowiest winter on record“. Weather Underground reports that the current conditions for producing a hard winter “are the best they’ve been in years“.