Arctic outbreak across E Scandinavia, eastern and central Europe and the Balkans – Jan 3-7, 2017

A new episode of cold weather and the first arctic blast of 2017 is coming for E Scandinavia, eastern and central Europe and the Balkans. In response to a strengthening upper ridge over the NE Atlantic/W Europe, a significant outbreak of arctic airmass will spread into east-central Europe and Balkan peninsula starting today through Saturday, January 7. In addition, a secondary low should develop over S Italy and far S Balkan peninsula and bring severe storms over the Aegean sea and especially excessive snowfall over the SSW Balkan countries, as well as Adriatic-sea effect snowfall along eastern Italy, including coastal areas.

The airmass over the broad area will be very cold, especially across the white-shaded areas where a few days period of arctic cold airmass with temperatures 15-20 °C below average for this time is expected! Strong snowfall is expected over several areas:

  • Northern Alps: 25-75 cm of fresh snow over the N half of the Alps. Local accumulations may exceed 75 cm. Also up to about 25 cm at higher elevations in extreme SE France, S Germany and NW Czech Republic.
  • Western Dinarides: approximately 25-50 cm of snowfall at higher elevations along the coast of the Adriatic sea and inland.
  • Eastern Italy: very significant Adriatic sea-effect snow as strong northeasterly Bura/Bora winds blow across the Adriatic. Expect locally up to 50 cm of sea-effect snow.

Below is the the animation of the arctic blast at 850 mbar.

This morning’s temperatures clearly indicate the arctic airmass moving south across the northern Scandinavia and northwestern Russia. Clear skies during the past night also produced some very low temperatures in parts of central, eastern and southeastern Europe.

Extremely low temperatures, down to and below -20 °C over south-central Balkan peninsula and below -30 °C locally in some Alpine valleys on January 7.

And the GFS model guidance for 500 mn height anomaly on Thursday (January 5).

Follow snowfall with the following radars: