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Extreme temperature anomaly contrast: central Europe vs NW Russia

While central and parts of southern and southeastern Europe are getting unseasonally cold weather, parts of northwest Russia will be baking hot this weekend. The contrast between temperature anomalies will be up to 30-35 °C, perhaps even more! Let us take a closer look.

A new outbreak of cold Arctic maritime airmass will push across central into southern and southeastern Europe this weekend and early next week. Temperature anomalies along the cold front and behind it will be up to 10-15 °C below average for this time, very cold indeed. Meanwhile, a strong ridge builds up over extreme NW Russia. Temperatures in this region will be up to 20-25 °C above average for this time.

Ground (2 m) temperature anomaly across Europe on Saturday (May 12th) at 12h UTC. GFS model guidance. Map: Wxcharts.

In absolute terms, daytime highs in the mid to upper 20s are expected on Sunday (May 12th) as far north as parts of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, up to about 66° N, just below the Arctic circle! Meanwhile, daytime highs may plunge as low as only 7-8 °C across parts of Hungary, Croatia and the surroundings at about 46 °N. That is a ~20 °C difference across 20° in latitude, with the northern locations being warmer! But that is only the absolute temperature – the far northern locations would be a priori much colder than the southern ones. So the temperature anomaly needs to be considered: there will be a difference of 30-35 °C in temperature anomaly between the two!

Ground (2 m) temperature across Europe on Saturday (May 12th) at 12h UTC. GFS model guidance. Map: Wxcharts.

This is a major temperature contrast, however, we have been seeing very high temperatures in the far northern parts of Europe for a while – including last year’s heat waves in the extreme north of Scandinavia, where temperatures pushed well above 30 °C far north inside the Arctic circle.

Ground (2 m) temperature anomaly across Europe on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 12h UTC. GFS model guidance. Map: Wxcharts.

This evolution is still 4-5 days away and model guidance may change: stay tuned for updates on this event!

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