Overview (Tuesday PM, April 18th)
A cold wave has hit Europe and it looks like much of the continent will stay well below normal right through the rest of the month of April. In addition to the unusual cold, heavy snow accumulations are likely over the next ten days in many higher elevation locations (e.g., Alps) and accumulating snow is probable as far south as southern Italy and Greece.
Much of Europe is currently experiencing temperatures that are some 10-15 degrees (C) below normal for this time of year and it looks like there will be two or three additional cold air outbreaks during the next ten days or so. The temperature anomaly maps from last night’s 00Z European model for the lower atmosphere (850 millibars) suggest reinforcing cold air outbreaks will prevent any sustained return to normalcy for Europe in the near term. Well below normal temperatures are predicted throughout Europe not only for tonight, but also late in the upcoming weekend with the next cold air outbreak, and then again late next week with yet another cold blast.
In addition to the cold, snow will accumulate to substantial levels in parts of the Alps where skiing will be quite good going well into the month of May. The 00Z GFS ten-day total snowfall map (below) for Europe has more than two feet of snow in some of the higher elevation locations of central Europe and accumulating snow as far south as southern Italy and Greece.
On occasion, the weather pattern in Europe can be a signal for upcoming weather conditions in the eastern US and while there are cold air outbreaks headed this way over the next couple of weeks, it does not look like they will be quite as widespread or sustained compared to what Europe is experiencing.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian