Germany’s December 2010 Coldest in 41 Years – Snowiest Ever in Potsdam

Record German snow in December. (Stefan Rahmstorf behind all that snow)

Michael Krüger at Readers Edition has already crunched the numbers for December 2010 in Germany. It was the third coldest on record, and the coldest since 1969.

The average temperature in December 2010 was -3.5 °C, which is -4.3°C under the 1961-1990 average of 0.8°C.

So much for warmer winters with increasingly rare snowfalls. Speaking of snowfalls, for many locations in Germany it was also the snowiest on record. Krüger writes:

DWD [German Weather Service] experts recorded new monthly records for ‘maximum snow heights’ at many stations: for example 70 cm at Gera-Leumnitz on December 26.”

The snow and cold have been especially embarrassing for the alarmist Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. It’s famous Potsdam-Telegrafenberg weather station smashed a number of December records.

On December 28, 2010 a snow depth 41 cm was measured in Potsdam. Never has there been that much snow in the month of December since records began in 1893. That’s 18 cm more than the previous record of 23 cm, which was measured on 31 December, 1913.  At -4,4°C it was also the second coldest December in Potsdam since records began in 1893.”

The following chart shows snow cover for Potsdam, home of the PIK(Source: Meteorological Station Potsdam Telegrafenberg) .

diagram depth of snow cover

All that snow and cold fly in the face of German “climate experts” who not long ago projected warmer winters for Germany. Okay, one winter does not make a trend. Well, how about three of them in a row? Krüger writes:

 The winter before last year was -0,4°C below average and last winter was -1,5°C below the longterm average.

December 2010 is the third coldest since 1900. Colder were only December 1969 and December 1933.”

And adds:

Not only December was too cold, but also the entire year 2010 in Germany was too cold. The first time in 14 years (since 1996) that a year has been colder than the long-term average (average of the years 1961-90 is 8.2°C). In 2010 the average temperature was 7.9°C.”

And finally, as Krüger’s chart at his site shows, Germany’s annual temperature trend has been cooling over the last decade.

16 responses to “Germany’s December 2010 Coldest in 41 Years – Snowiest Ever in Potsdam”

  1. Casper

    I afraid Rahmstorf’s photo will soon disappear under snow 😉

  2. R. de Haan

    Piers Corbyn makes use of Pierre Gosselin’s “Stalingrad” heading to announce a cold and snowy Januari for the UK and Western Continental Europe

    Isn’t it great?

  3. Ike

    well, lets see what Rahmstorf has to write about this winter in Potsdam:

    nothing worthy to commentate! 😉

    1. DirkH

      One thing: The esteemed high priest of the AGW cult, Mr. Rahmstorf, uses as source for “2010 is warmest year ever” a Focus report from the 27th of Dec 2010 (in other words, before said year ended); and that report uses as its source NOAA and GISS – NOAA probably meaning only the US; GISS, well we know how they do their numbers.

      Given the delays in this chain of publication, the numbers surely can’t include December. Mr. Rahmstorf is, in other words, using speculation and Yellow Press as his source when it fits his cause.

      1. DirkH

        Well – okay; he doesn’t explicitly say “2010 is the warmest ever” so he COULD say he means the “meteorological year”. Ok. He’s intentionally unclear. Smart dog.

  4. R. de Haan

    Yes Pierre, I share your surprise.
    Temps in Ireland are 7 degrees above normal now.

    Experts are predicting the cold snap that has crippled much of Europe could continue well into the new year, but compared to 1740 the temperatures are almost tropical.
    Back then the cold snap hit Ireland the worst – up to 500,000 people died during the Great Irish Frost which lasted an incredible two years.
    The bitter weather led to food riots, famine, epidemic and ultimately death. The causes of the extreme weather remain a mystery.
    New book Arctic Ireland by Trinity College history professor David Dickson explores the ‘the longest period of extreme cold in modern European history’.
    Mr Dickinson said the Great Frost was ‘without known precedent and defied conventional explanation’. It started on December 29, 1739, and ‘introduced a cold so penetrating that liquids froze indoors and ice floes appeared at the river mouths’.

    Read more:

    1. ArndB

      1740 – Why going back so far. After all the most surprising shift of winter weather conditions since the end of the Little Ice Age happened in winter 1939/40, which became the coldest in Northern Europe (NE) for 100 years (in the range of Postdam, Prag and Warsaw, for more than 110 years), see the paper “Extreme Winter 1939/40” at (left column).
      Although the December 1939 saw neither so low temperatures, nor so much snow as this December 2010, there had been significant events as well, for example:
      “Dresden reported heavy snowfall lasting 36 hours on December 6 and 7, corresponding to 50 litres per square-metre, with a decrease in temperatures to minus 7°C. Some thing similar had happened 57 years before, in 1882”. Naegler, W.; ‚Grosser Schneefall und Schneebruch im December 1939’, in: Zeitschrift fuer angewandte Meteorologie, 57. Jahrg., 1940, p. 30-31.

      Even though Europe was at war, there is a great amount of data available, but science has until now not shown any interest in investigation the three extreme war winter 1939/40, 1940/41, and 1941/42, which would offer a lot of clues about the making of extreme winter in the NE region and beyond. My contribution in this respect is here:

      Conclusion: If the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research want to advise on climate change matters, they should in the first place prove their competence by explaining thoroughly why NE was suddenly plunged into a row of extreme winters (with a subsequent global cooling which lasted from 1940 to the 1970s),
      AND for all those not happy with IPCC, Rahmstorf and consorts should require from AGW supporters (science and politics) that they have to ensure that the change of weather conditions that happened 70 years ago is thoroughly understood and explained in the first place.
      It would – IMO- result in a better understanding that it is the ocean and seas that matter. My slogan in this respect is: “CLIMATE is the continuation of the ocean by other means”,
      Regards Arnd Bernaerts

  5. R. de Haan

    I suspect a volcanic eruption to be the culprit of the 1740 cold.
    This could be the one:

  6. pyromancer76

    Happy New Year. Thanks for keeping us, especially your readers from WUWT, informed re the German warmists who soon will be eating crow. I just hope they also will be losing their jobs. Let some real scientists take over. In spite of the incompetents, I cannot wish cold on anyone, so I hope the prediction of continuing freezing weather is wrong Best wishes for your efforts in 2011.

  7. Mas

    You know, there really is only one cure to get rid of all this economy (and people) destroying snow and ice for all time and that is to burn all those pesky fossil fuels so let’s not miss a drop now ;-).

    “Humanity has to date burnt about 300 Gt C of fossil fuels. This work suggests that even if only 1000 Gt C (gigatonnes of carbon) are eventually burnt (out of total reserves of about 4000 Gt C) then it is likely that the next ice age will be skipped. Burning all recoverable fossil fuels could lead to avoidance of the next five ice ages.”

    1. DirkH

      The research is based on a model run in 2007… What assumptions did he use for CO2 sensitivity, what assumptions for feedbacks, what assumptions for the carbon cycle etc etc… This kind of paper can be made to show any result you need. Computer Aided Confirmation Bias.

      As much as i’d liked to skip an ice age.

  8. DirkH

    BTW, the Petoukhov conjecture – that global warming causes more snow – brings the warmists another dilemma: Negative feedback through increased albedo, as Pielke points out here.

    Of course, they need to keep negative feedbacks out of their house – it destroys the catastrophic prophecies… (my opinion, not Pielke’s). So Petoukhov is a mixed blessing for the warmists even if he were right.

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