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Winter weather : back Comes the beast from the East?

With a white Christmas it hasn't worked out this year again. Nevertheless, the Winter might show in the coming weeks, of course its icy claws. So could start to lag, for example, more than 20 kilometers of altitude above the North polar sea, a vortex with extremely cold air and temperatures below minus 70 degrees Celsius, two vortices split or even collapse. This, in turn, could pave the way for the Siberian cold that flows from the East, or from Scandinavia to Central Europe. "The dramatic effects of such a cold-air intrusion has shown the late winter of 2018," explains the meteorologist Andreas Friedrich by the German weather service (DWD) in Offenbach.

then, Too, the polar vortex weakened in the stratosphere, high above the North polar sea, similar to that already in the late winter of 2013, dramatically. As a result, the cold was awakened-beast in the East. The "Beast from the East", so the cold air push into the UK at the time, called the end of February in Scotland and the South East of England with heavy snow, as well as the 2 was. and 3. March 2018 in the South of Ireland and Wales and in the South West of England a full-blown snow storm with up to half a Meter of new snow. In Scotland, no trains ran, and the British government had to deploy the army to rescue trapped motorists or transport paramedics to their places of use.

memory of a late-winter calamity

The Snow had reached the North of Spain as well as the Alps, the Côte d'azur, Corsica and the Adriatic region. Heavy snow was also in Rome and Naples, in Algeria and Tunisia, as well as in Croatia. In Germany, up to 25 centimetres of snow fell, mainly on the Baltic coast, while the Rest of the country bibberte in the case of very dry air and duration of frost. In Paris, large icicles from the walls of some of the metro stations saw temperatures of minus six degrees Celsius. In the night of July 28. February 2018 fell, the temperatures in the middle parts of Norway up to minus 42 degrees Celsius. Between Romania, Spain, the UK and Sweden, 95 people were at the time of the beast from the East to the victim.

the trigger for this late winter disaster at the end of February and beginning of March 2018, the Weakening of the air swirl was high above the North polar sea. "This polar vortex is formed every Winter, because in the high North for months and months the sun is not shining and the air is extremely strong of course", explains the climate scientist Felix Pithan from the Alfred-Wegener-Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven. In 20 or 25 kilometers of altitude, the temperatures decrease to values of around minus 70Grad Celsius. At the same time, the air up there, the pressure and the height of a low-pressure area. Further South, the temperatures and the air pressure are higher. From there the air flows, therefore, to the North, and is deflected by the rotating earth to the East. In the stratospheric vortices in the polar winter, the air masses, therefore, from West to East and, thus, counter-clockwise to the cold air around.

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hit rate of 60 percent

Sometimes, however, the air heats up in these altitudes, rapidly and strong. "As a result, the differences between the North and the South, driving the polar vortex in the stratosphere, usually decrease with the temperature and air pressure," explains AWI scientists Felix Pithan. The polar vortex weakens in such cases, shares may be in two vertebrae, may come to a Standstill or is rotating even. This development proposes up to the earth's surface. There West usually winds relatively mild and moist air from the North Atlantic to Central Europe. Exactly, these air currents have brought the rainy weather, which has brought us in December, many cloudy and grey days. Vortex is weakening in the Arctic, in the stratosphere, it can change the weather radically. "Then a high pressure area over Scandinavia, the blocked mild westerly winds and cold air from Russia and Scandinavia to Central Europe has formed under the circumstances," explains AWI scientists Felix Pithan. Such a weather situation had woken up at the end of February 2018, the beast in the East and snow storms up to the UK worn.

The "Beast from the East" strikes in very irregular intervals maybe five or six times in a decade. Whether that will happen this Winter, however, is in the stars: "We can look at the development only for the next seven to twelve days," says DWD meteorologist Andreas Friedrich. "Until then, however, we see no signs of a collapse of the polar vortex in the stratosphere."

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the current DWD-prediction of the times of the year for Central Europe, temperatures are suspect, right up until March of around 0.5 to a degree on the values between 1990 and 2017 is usual at this time. This does not exclude, however, that the beast from the East comes this year to us. Finally, the hit ratio is times of this year to predict, with perhaps 60 percent, is relatively low. On top of that, they give only the average values for a quarter of a year. Even if the Season holds to the forecast, could be, for example, the January and March respectively, two degrees warmer than in the past, while the "Beast from the East" could press in February, the temperatures below the average. On the question of whether now is the Winter its icy claws still extended period of time, Andreas Friedrich, therefore, the answer is: "Wait and drink tea."

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