Europe on the long term Jan 18th

Sorry for the long wait, but here is my outlook for the long term in Europe. Just for a different touch today, here is a pic from about a week ago in Mittenwald in the Bavarian Alps from my friend Malcolm.

It just shows you how much snow there is, and the Western Alps has received quite a bit of snowfall in the past week as well, so there is snow everywhere. But you can’t cancel the blog, so here we go, with a slightly different approach to the models today.

Feb 1-5

You see a low over Europe, which favours snowfall for the Southern Alps (finally). The general troughing trend, allows Genoa Lows to pop up and generate snowfall for the Southern Alps, with less of the jetstream bringing those heavy Northern Alps falls.

Feb 6-10

That low over Europe is waning and moving west, but you still see a favourability towards Southern Alps snowfall during this period on EPS 46. The jetstream is dragged down and into the Southern Alps around the low.

Feb 11-15

The low has moved out of Continential Europe, bringing a more active low driven setup for the U.K, but bringing more neutral conditions in the Alps.

Feb 16-20

We start to see ridges building in the second half of February, which warms up the Alps and brings dry conditions not favourable to either side of the Alps. CFS sees a similar progression (cold first half, warm second half of Feb).

Climate Drivers

  • I expect the next two-three weeks to see an increase of westerly momentum, and a transition through GWO Phases 5, 6, 7, that all bring troughs to the European region. The way the NWP and climatology places these ideas, we should expect the Southern Alps to get it’s turn with the jetstream bending into the Southern Alps, and propping up lows in there. GWO Phases 5-6 support these ideas, with a moderate lag, as we move through them. And as we head into GWO Phase 7 and 8, we will start to see these lows wane, according to correlation. But in my opinion, in this scenario, given Stratospheric downwelling causing a -NAO, this scenario will be amplified and strengthened, because of this, and will only start to wane around mid-month. So we should see cold and snowfall for the UK and Southern Alps(and a break in snowfall for the Northern Alps).

  • The statistical MJO models (that have handled recent MJO events, better than certain NWP models) show Phase 6-7 MJO by the end of the month. Looking at the fresh Ventrice MJO GEFS chart, they also suggest a move to Phase 6 in the last week of the month, showing positive movements slowly bringing the GWO back down to neutral in Mid Feb, as it moves through a weaker tropical orbit, as forecasted by most models. I don’t think it will be in the COD by the end of the month, unlike those models, predicting a Phase 6-7-8 orbit, but not incredibly amplified. It’s certainly interesting watching anyway. Phase 6 in the MJO correlates with a -NAO with a 10 day lag, so it shows a -NAO in the 5-15 Feb period, which may actually help extend the -NAO into Mid-Late Feb, and assist the continuing of an European Low.

  • GEFS (and EPS) both show the NAM or AO being forecast to turn negative in the next week or so, sending us into a deep negative phase of the AO and NAO, created by the slow downwelling progress of the SSW, that is soon to come to fruition. It will definitely perfectly coincide with the GWO Phases 6-7-8, to help keep a -NAO maintained, and bring cold weather and snow to the UK and the Southern Alps in particular, if you can get lows developing off Italy, based on the flow of the Atlantic jetstream.

  • My overall view is that from the last week of Jan to the second week of Feb, will feature major snow risks for the Southern Alps and the UK. There will be plenty of cold around, but not so much snow for the Northern Alps. We should see a neutralisation in the later stages of the month. I am more confident about this, than I was last update, which turned out quite nicely for the Northern Alps, instead of the South.

Thanks so much for reading. I hoped you enjoyed reading it.

Disclaimer: There is lower skill asssociated with using long range model forecasts to find snow systems.

Thanks again for reading this European long range snow forecast, follow me on Twitter @longrangesnow and subscribe to my email list by clicking on the tab on the main header above.

2 thoughts on “Europe on the long term Jan 18th

  1. Excellent blog Zac. With already superb snow depths in the northern and eastern Alps, and favourable forecast for the southern Alps to join in the snowfest over the next couple of weeks, I think the Alps are now looking good to provide fantastic skiing through to end of season. And once the sun comes out late Feb and into March it'll be a MUST destination. Book your flight! P.S. Thanks for the photo credit.


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