Friday, January 25, 2013

Europe May See Brutal Cold in Coming Days

It is becoming apparent that Europe may intercept a batch of brutally cold air in coming weeks as a result of the collapsing polar vortex.

Shown above is the European model's potential vorticity (PV) forecast for 10 days away at the isentropic level of 380 K. The isentropic level is a fancy name for just another layer of the atmosphere. 380 K translates to roughly 200 millibars- essentially the jet stream. In areas of heightened potential vorticity, low pressure centers are found. These charts are useful in identifying pieces of the polar vortex in the wintertime when they can split, like this situation.

The above image portrays a solid piece of the polar vortex journeying south into Europe in the 10 day forecast in time to introduce potentially harmful cold. We aren't talking about some stronger than normal low pressure system, this is a piece of the polar vortex here. If we do see it come south, temperatures could go down well below 0 (Fahrenheit) in many locations across the continent.

Now, depending on how long this vortice stays in place, which I don't believe will be a long time due to a more progressive atmospheric pattern, the intensity of the cold could grow. However, as a result of that progressive-ness and the fact that the vortex is too weak to hold any bone-shattering cold, this should not be as harmful as it comes across to be. However, the elderly and young may need to be watched during the 10-14 day period if this does come to fruition, because cold is cold, and serious cold can be harmful.



Anonymous said...

hey so are you saying that Charlotte NC will not have a cold February because in your older posts you said that it looked like February would be colder? and if you do think that it will be colder do you think that Charlotte NC might see some snow in February thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew
Will this hit the UK? And how bad if it does?

Thank you

snake said...

hola andrew,el proximo febrero mas frio en spain?

Andrew said...

Anonymous at 9:12: I think it will be colder, no comment on the snow because it is TBD.

Simon: It could hit the UK, and it could be mighty chilly if it does.

Snake: Si- posiblemente muy frio en febrero para Spain.

snake said...

hola de nuevo otra vez :),yo vivo en spain y yo pense que posible ola de frio muy riguroso y nieve en espaƱa para mes febrero,y tu opinas que lo dices?
un saludo desde spain

Andrew said...

Snake: No se si sera una sola ola, los detalles tecnicos exactos estan aun por determinar. Debemos saber en la proxima semana o asi.