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An ice wave could hit Europe just before Christmas

There is a good chance Europe will be hit by a cold front before Christmas, according to a new long-range weather forecast prepared by leading international climate bodies, cited by Politico. The warning comes as European countries continue to fill their natural gas storage facilities, hoping to get through the winter heating season without supplies from Russia. Analysts say there should be enough blue fuel for a normal winter, but if temperatures drop then countries may be forced to curb consumption, which will hit industry and jobs.

“We are coming out of a warm summer. We know that

winters are getting milder

So we might be inclined to think that this one will be soft too, and we shouldn’t worry. That may be the case, but the forecast we’re reporting now and our understanding of how the climate system works lead us to believe that there is, in fact, still a chance for a severe cold snap. And that chance of that happening before Christmas is higher than in a normal year,” said Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service at the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. Such cooling is associated with a phenomenon in which persistently high atmospheric pressure brings with it strong easterly winds that cause temperatures to plummet on the Old Continent.

Buontempo clarifies that forecasting winter weather this early in the fall is fraught with uncertainty and key factors that could influence conditions especially in January and February “are not yet in place.”

Experts explain that if the current La NiƱa weather pattern of cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific persists into the New Year, it should generally mean a milder second half of winter.

Buontempo added that it was important for European governments to use existing weather models as much as possible. They should be followed not only for planning a cold, but also for predicting

potential periods of light wind and low rainfall,

which could affect the production of renewable energy.

As winter sets in in the Northern Hemisphere, meteorologists will be keeping a close eye on the Arctic. There’s a belt of winds there called the polar vortex, and if they weaken, the cold air can head south toward the US, Asia or Europe.

However, many climatologists believe that Europeans and people living on the East Coast of the US are more likely to enjoy moderate temperatures than severe winters.

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