As a follow-up to our mild European winter forecast of November 10 we feel obliged to keep a close eye on the weather horizon – stretching models as far as they go [of course hoping to be at least a little wrong, because what fun is a snowless winter?]
After a very mild Christmas weekend nothing much changes about general weather patterns. Low pressure prevails over Iceland and northern Europe and high pressure systems reach no further than the south of France. In between a west circulation blows in mild Atlantic air, that even keeps the frost out of parts of Russia.
Even the special seasonal forecasting models seem to get the hang of it – as they now show relatively high reliability for a 5-week period ahead – that includes all of January 2012. For North-western Europe both the NCEP forecasts for temperature and precipitation now pass the skill mask test – and point to continuation of Atlantic weather:
That means Spain will have dominant high pressure influence and a markedly drier winter than last year [and drier than average too] whereas further to the north many regions in West Europe are in for wetter than usual weather, most likely in the form of rain, as temperatures will be somewhat on the high side – especially further to the east.
NCEP now predicts as much as a 2 degrees Celsius positive temperature anomaly for the Baltic region and as much as +4C for parts of Russia – all passing the model’s skill test.
© Rolf Schuttenhelm | www.bitsofscience.org