Towards a colder winter than before? 11/15/2022

Meteorological winter is only two weeks away. Where is the cold front in the Northern Hemisphere and should we expect colder winters than previous ones?

Cold and snow are advancing in the Northern Hemisphere

In America

Winter is not long in North America. Much of the United States is currently affected by the polar air current, resulting in well below normal seasonal and winter temperatures in many states. As shown in the map below, temperatures were below zero in three-quarters of the United States on the morning of Tuesday, November 15, 2022.

Temperatures in the United States on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 – via

This flow of polar air is also accompanied by snowfall. In the next few days, impressive snow accumulation is expected in the Great Lakes region of the northern United States. Cold air moving over the still mild lakes will help produce numerous heavy snow showers Thursday through the end of the week. By Sunday, November 20, 2022, models are predicting up to 31 inches of snow in Buffalo, New York, which equates to over 78 centimeters of snowfall!

Snow accumulation forecast near Lakes Erie and Ontario through November 20, 2022 – via @EricSnitilWx

in Europe

While the west and center of the European continent is still bathed in fairly mild oceanic air, cold weather is becoming more and more noticeable in Russia, and the first polar flow extends to Kazakhstan, where the temperature is now negative. In some regions of northern Russia, the thermometer drops between -20 and -30 ° C (although this is not an exception in November). This very cold weather threatens Eastern Europe for the next few days.

Temperatures in the United States on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 – via

The shift of the anticyclone towards Scandinavia will allow this polar air to dry up towards the countries of Eastern Europe in the next few days. Thus, the first winter attack is approaching the Baltic countries, Poland, but also the whole of Ukraine. The country, which is still at war, is preparing for the sudden and significant arrival of winter in its territory. Arctic air will descend on the country this Thursday, November 17, 2022. Positive at the beginning of the week, in the second half of the week the temperature in Kyiv will be between -2 and -8°C and the landscape will be covered with snow. from Thursday.

Air mass 850 hPa (about 1500 m) over Eastern Europe from Wednesday 16 November to Saturday 19 November 2022 – via

It should be noted that this cold is not expected to reach Western Europe. For now, no winter attack is seen in France until the end of November 2022…

What are the trends for winter 2022-2023?

European scenario

The European model predicts a mild anomaly weakening during December compared to autumn. The temperature will be slightly above normal. The landing will be confirmed in January 2023 if no anomalies emerge. Therefore, January can be the coldest winter month with overall seasonal values. The mild trend will then return in February 2023 and may mark the most sensitive thermal anomaly of the winter.

Monthly temperature anomalies for winter 2022-2023 – European model via ECMWF

After an unstable second half of November, high pressure may again gain the upper hand from early December 2022. The latter may be dry over much of France, and this lack of precipitation will remain significant throughout January 2023. sectors bordering the Mediterranean Sea may experience more significant rainfall. Wet weather near the Mediterranean is modeled for February 2023. Elsewhere, precipitation may be normal.

Monthly precipitation anomalies for the winter of 2022-2023 – European model via ECMWF

American scenario

The American model also predicts a relatively modest mild anomaly for December 2022. On the other hand, it departs from its European counterpart for January 2023 by proposing a soft scenario for France. This mild anomaly will continue and even confirm itself during February 2023, which is still considered the mildest anomaly of this winter.

Monthly temperature anomalies for winter 2022-2023 – American model via

Like its European counterpart, the American model scenario also places a significant dry anomaly for December 2022. High pressure will prevail in this last month of the year. On the other hand, he suggests a different scenario for early 2023. January will be fairly wet and this trend will continue into February 2023, although the anomaly will be more limited towards the south of France.

Monthly precipitation anomalies for the winter of 2022-2023 – American model via

summary, it is clear that a dry trend is emerging for December 2022 with slightly milder than normal temperatures. On the other hand, the models disagree in January 2023, which will be relatively cold according to the European model and mild according to the American model. The two then agree on a mild February 2023. Therefore, we cannot say that the signals for a cold winter are clear, but it should be noted that the moderation seems less obvious than in recent winters (especially if we refer to the European model)…

There has been no real cold winter for 10 years

The last four winters in France (1991-2020) have been milder than normal, reaching an exceptional and unprecedented peak in the winter of 2018-2019. The winter of 2017-2018 was normal. Between the winters of 2016-2017 and 2014-2015, a very mild winter of 2015-2016 recorded a slight (non-significant) deficit. To find a lack of heat worthy of the name, we have to go back almost 10 years ago, to the winter of 2012-2013! We even have to go back to the winter of 2009-2010 when France had a winter heat deficit of over -1°C!

Thermal anomaly in the winters of 2004–2022 in France – Weather cities

If we still find some cold and snowy sequences in recent winters, the last winter that can be considered really cold in France is the winter of 2012-2013. Ten years ago, France experienced a truly winter season in January and February 2013, and in February the monthly deficit in the east of the country fell to -3 ° C. This winter was also marked by frequent snowy episodes in the plains. Most regions were affected, some repeatedly. In Lille, snowflakes were observed for 26 days, and in Roissy, the snow reached 43 cm all winter!

Excerpts from the press about the snowy episodes of January 2013 – Weather Chronicle of Cities

We recommend that you consult our article reviewing winters in France since 2009-2010 >>>

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