The weather records were falling Europe at an alarming rate in the past few days, say meteorologists.
The warmest January day was recorded in at least eight European countries including Poland, Denmark and Czech Republicand the Netherlands, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia, according to data compiled by Maximiliano Herrera, a climatologist who tracks extreme temperatures.
in korbelov, Poland, the mercury was 19°C (66°F) – a temperature a Silesian village is most used to in May, and 18°C above the annual average of 1°C for January. In Javornik in the Czech Republic it was 19.6C, compared to an average of 3C for this time of year.
temperatures in visokage, Belarus, usually hovering around zero at this time of year. On Sunday, they reached 16.4C, surpassing the previous record set in January by 4.5C.
Elsewhere on the continent, local records were broken at thousands of individual measurement stations, with nearly 950 falls. Germany Alone from December 31 to January 2, Herrera said.
Northern Spain and South France Enjoying beachy weather, with a high of 24.9°C in Bilbao, the hottest day of January on record, records are being broken at stations in Cantabria, Asturias and the Basque Country. Only Norway, Britain, Ireland, Italy and the southeastern Mediterranean have no records.
“We can consider this event the most dangerous in the history of Europe,” said Herrera. Let’s take the case of an extreme heat wave in July 2022 in the UK and spread that sigma (magnitude) over a much larger area, encompassing about 15 countries.
“We can say that this is the first time that an extreme weather event in Europe (in terms of extreme heat) is comparable to the most extreme event in North America.”
Alex Burkill, chief meteorologist for the Met Office, agreed that this was an extreme weather event. “It was very hot over a vast area,” he said, “which, frankly, is almost unheard of.”
Burkell said that a warm air mass that originated off the west coast of Africa moved northeastern Europe from Portugal and Spaindue to the high pressure over the Mediterranean Sea.
“It was widespread. DenmarkThe Czech Republic, as well as pretty much all of Germany experienced record-breaking temperatures for January.
“And it’s also worth noting, the weather was exceptionally warm in the south of England. New Year’s Eve, I think seven locations in the south of England recorded their warmest New Year’s Eve on record.”
Meteorologist Scott Duncan said temperatures across Europe were staggering. “It was a very warm last year, but this got that out of the water,” he said. “We’ve seen long-standing records broken by large margins in many countries.”
It’s been hard to ascertain the causes, Duncan said, as La Niña and anomalously warm sea surfaces play a role. “None of the above is new though, so what made the record-breaking case so extreme? A warming atmosphere and ocean is eventually making record-breaking easier.”
Professor Bill McGuire, who has written about the consequences of climate collapse, said higher temperatures bode worse for the future.
“The most worrying thing about this is – the speed of global warming – it simply isn’t surprising anymore,” he said. “It’s a small glimpse into a future that will see winter reduced to two months of dreary, wet and mild weather, with little to no frost, ice or snow.”
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