Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Medindia
Advertisement

European Winter Weather Harder to Forecast in Certain Years

by Kathy Jones on May 17, 2013 at 8:33 PM
 European Winter Weather Harder to Forecast in Certain Years

Researchers at National Oceanography Center revealed that weather forecasters often find it difficult in predicting winter conditions in Europe during some years compared to others.

The study revealed that the relationship between our winter weather and the strength of the airflow coming in from the Atlantic - one of the factors used by forecasters to predict the weather - is stronger in some years than others. The results were recently published in the Royal Meteorological Society publication Weather.

Advertisement

Co-authors Drs JoŽl Hirschi and Bablu Sinha from the National Oceanography Centre explain: "There are two major atmospheric pressure systems centred around Iceland and the Azores that are very influential for the weather in Europe. Air flows between these two systems, bringing mild air from the North Atlantic to Europe. The pressure difference between the two pressure systems - and the corresponding airflow - fluctuates and scientists call this phenomenon the 'North Atlantic Oscillation', or NAO, which is by convention positive when the pressure difference is a stronger than average and negative when it is weaker than average."

"When there is more air coming from the Atlantic, we get milder, wetter winters, as in 2007 and 2008. And when the airflow is weaker, our weather is influenced by air masses from Siberia and the Arctic, bringing colder and drier conditions."
Advertisement

But the scientists wanted to know how reliable the relationship is between the pressure systems over Iceland and the Azores, and European weather. The results show that when the airflow is weaker - due to a smaller pressure difference between the two systems - European weather is harder to predict than when it is stronger.

"It's like a guitar string," says Dr Hirschi. "When there is tension in the string, it stays straight. If you slacken the tension enough, the string goes wobbly."

"So when we have a vigorous airflow driven by a large pressure difference, it tends to stay straight and the weather is easy to define. When weaker, the airflow meanders, leading to more complicated weather patterns. You get big differences in weather over Europe, switching between cold Arctic/Siberian air masses, and milder subtropical air masses. This is why in December 2010, the UK suffered from low temperatures and heavy snowfall, while other European regions such as the Balkans experienced warm and wet conditions."

In this study, the researchers looked at the strength of the NAO during each year between 1880 and 2009 and compared this with observations of winter weather conditions over the same period.



Source: Eurekalert
Font : A-A+

Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended Readings

Latest Environmental Health

Is Climate Change Impacting Brain Function?
The latest study underscores the significant influence that an individual's environment can exert on their brain.
How Soap Help Combat Malaria-Spreading Mosquitos?
The efficiency of pesticides was improved by adding small amounts of liquid soap, that tackles malaria-spreading mosquitos resistant to current pesticides.
Climate Change Drives Bat Expansion and Rabies Risk in the US
A new study links vampire bats' range expansion to climate shifts and potential implications for rabies transmission.
How Rush-Hour Air Pollution Raises Blood Pressure?
There are high amounts of ultrafine particles in unfiltered rush-hour air, which significantly elevates the blood pressure of the passengers.
Coal Particulate Pollution's Death Risk Doubles PM2.5 from Other Sources
Exposure to fine particulate air pollutants, particularly coal-based PM2.5 emanating from power plants, poses more than double the mortality risk
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
×

European Winter Weather Harder to Forecast in Certain Years Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests