A vicious cold blast is about to invade Europe from the Russian Front and shock freeze the continent:
#kältewelle #dauerfrost #windchill
Der Fröstelfaktor ist ab sofort deutlich erhöht. Hier mal animiert die gefühlten Temperaturen bis Anfang März. Es drohen Erfrierungen bei ungenügendem Schutz. Bitte auch an die obdachlosen Menschen denken! ❄ pic.twitter.com/J5i4ppspPS
— Dominik Jung (@WetterExperte) 23. Februar 2018
Above chart shows wind-chill temps for Europe over the coming days…meteorologist Dominik Jung warns homeless at serious risk.
Interestingly some people – meteorologists among them – have been poking fun at the “hype” or even have blasted media outlets and other private meteorologists for “sensationalizing” the forecast Cold Beast from the East.
Sure, a number of locations over Germany for example may not even see temperatures drop below -10°C. What’s the big deal? It’s winter after all, they are saying. Just put on an extra coat. Some of these critics have even called the loud warnings of the Siberian cold “shrill, dumbass, click-baiting headlines“.
But at his wetter.net German meteorologist Dominik Jung warns against such complacency and dismissive attitudes:
The icy cold, also called the Russian Whip, is really going to hit starting on Sunday. Foremost nights are going to be especially cold. Low temperatures are expected to fall under double-digits below zero. Over snow covered ground minus 20 or minus 25°C are possible. Even lower temperatures are possible directly at ground level.”
Cold’s hidden danger
The hidden danger is that this is extreme cold (factoring in the wind) and it is not the sort of thing someone expects for early March, or especially in an environment where the public is incessantly bombarded by exaggerated warnings of a planet that is “rapidly heating up”.
A big problem will be the icy east wind. It will make the cold temperatures feel even colder than they actually are. In some places gusts of between 30 and 45 km/h will be reached. At 45 km/hr and a measured temperature of -8°C, the air feels like -20°C.”
Contributing to dangerous complacency
Unfortunately the critics (some meteorologists included) who sniff at the cold alarm are underestimating or ignoring these risks, and thus could be unwittingly leading authorities and the public to not take the situation as seriously as it needs to be taken. One problem is that the wind-chill will make it be much colder. Heat loss when exposed to wind is far faster than in still air. Scientific studies show that cold is far more dangerous than heat, killing up to 20 times more people.
Homeless and elderly especially vulnerable to cold
The hazard is especially high for homeless persons, or the elderly who venture outdoors to run errands. One false step could easily end up being fatal; a homeless person could freeze to death. Jung advises:
Homeless people will especially be at risk over the coming days. The authorities should now be quickly implementing precautionary measures.”
Also more people will be using extra heating units to stay warm…some likely being defective and thus poisonous. Public awareness is key.
Authorities cannot delay in times of killer cold
The authorities need to be readying for the severe cold now, advising the public through the media to take precautions and making sure the homeless and vulnerable have adequate shelter.
Acting slowly deadly
Over the years authorities have been criticized for not taking forecasts seriously enough. For example is October, 2013, when powerful autumn storm St. Jude (dubbed Christian in Germany) swept across northern Europe, leaving a path of destruction and killing 14 people.
Unfortunately, the authorities in Hamburg did not issue a storm warning until AFTER the damage had been inflicted, even though they had been warned days in advance.
Jung later commented that the inaction was “amazing and unacceptable“.