As the summer solstice approaches this weekend many across the Atlantic Coasts of the northern hemisphere are still waiting for the first breath of summer, with only a flickering moist tongue of warmth to sate them so far. It seems no sooner do the temperatures and humidity rise, then they quickly retreat as cool dry polar air immediately follows behind. Like much of Northern Britain, Scandinavia has also been cool and wet in recent weeks. The warmth of 2014 brought untold benefits, but was anything but spectacular in the British Isles, excepting Halloween, being more notable for the lack of low temperatures than a surfeit of high ones.
This is the Icelandic Met Office’s review of 2014 but it could easily have been for most of Northern Europe. Note the wet and often cloudy weather which inhibited low temperatures.
The year 2014 was very warm, precipitation was abundant and the sunshine duration during most of the summer was considerably below average.
The temperature was unusually high. At the northern coast and in most of the eastern part of the country it was the warmest year ever recorded, e.g. at Grímsey (Northern coast, measurements extending back to 1874) and at Teigarhorn (eastern coast, measurements starting in 1873). In other parts of the country the year was generally the second or third warmest on record.
In spite of the high temperatures the weather was changeable and often dull. The first months of the year were especially wet in the North and East and the weather was difficult. In the west it was very dry at the same time with favorable weather conditions. The summer was warm and considered fine in the North and East but in the south it was very wet and dull. The autumn was fine, November extraordinarily warm, but the year ended with an unruly and rather cold December.
This was the second warmest year in Reykjavík since the start of continuous measurements in 1871, 2003 was slightly warmer. In Akureyri in the North the average temperature in 2014 was 5.3°C, +2.1°C above the 1961 to 1990 average. It was also the second warmest year in Akureyri (since the start of the series in 1881), only 1933 was warmer.
This year things look to be changing. It could well herald the start of a flip from the very warm temperatures experienced throughout 2014 as the atmospheric patterns change once again. The gif image below shows how the column of cold air 1.5 km up seems to have rotated clockwise from the same time last year.
Taking a closer look in the image below the low pressure cells (moving anti-clockwise) off the coast of Northern Norway and over Northern Finland can be seen pulling the cold air (blue) to lower latitudes over Northern Europe. (As an aside the blue swathe looks rather like a map of Viking settlements). The heat (red) can be seen by the Caspian Sea (bottom right corner) and it is this streak of “unusually warm weather” from the Mediterranean into the Black Sea that was responsible for the Georgian floods over the weekend.
The NCEP reanalysis for the past seven days (until 13th) by WeatherBELL’s Dr Ryan Maue shows the contrasting temperatures well.
These are some stories from the last fortnight or so showing how cold it has been around the Atlantic coastal regions (many stories are translated).
First a map of Norway’s regions to get your bearings. I will refer to the numbered regions in squared brackets .
At this time of year tourists usually start flocking to the cabins up in the mountains. This year is different…
As the Arctic Organist based in Lenvik, Norway (Arctic Circle)  put it a week ago
The weather this spring / summer, has so far been rather topsy-turvy in Norway. Here in the north we’ve had quite a reasonable May and June (no more snow, and only a few days of rain, whilst some areas in the south have had blizzards and unexpected unseasonal snow. All the following come from hundreds of miles south of us.
Almost 10 centimeters of heavy, wet snowfall was this morning as a blanket on Sjusjoen . It all looked more like October than summer month June as we soon run into. Several places in height in Inland got sat in a taste of winter.
This is born out by the May summary by the Norwegian MetOffice.
It should also not be so in June as we shall see.
As we move into the first summer month, it is up to ten meters high snow banks between Brokke in Valle municipality in Setesdal  and Suleskar in Sirdal .
It can be snow banks to midsummer. It’s raining I like assuredly, says construction manager Fred Jonny Wikøren NPRA [Norwegian Public Roads Administration] in Vest-Agder.
Huge amounts of snow
The winter closed road would open Whit Sunday [24th May], but it was delayed because of the huge amounts of snow. It is measured both eight and ten meters high drifts in several party of the road. Wikøren states that over a longer stretch is between four and seven meters of snow.– It is unusual lot, but I do not have specific statistics to support me, he says.
Police and rescue personnel also extricated foreigners trapped in western Norway’s Sognefjellet area as winter paid a surprise visit, Monday.
the Foreigner – June snow stranded 39
Folgefonn , one of Norway’s three summer ski areas, had to close after a snowstorm in the first week of June brought remarkable snowfalls that almost completely buried the resort’s drag lift.
Pictures on social media [see original post linked below] showed liftees digging down from the top of snow which had reached the height of the overhead cable, up to 3m/10 feet deep, to reach the individual T Bars.
At the same time the coastal ski area of Voss , which reported one of its snowiest ever winters from November to April, posting images of skiers still on the slopes last weekend (June 6/7) and saying that the start of their mountain biking season is delayed.
The consistently snowy season in Norway was in marked contrast to other parts of Europe, particularly the lacklustre Christmas 2014 in the Alps.
In the Snow – Three Meters of June Snow in Norway
Today there are ‘topsy-turvey’ weather warnings out for Norway
Eastern Finnmark 
It is expected locally heavy rainfall in eastern Finnmark from Monday evening to Tuesday evening. Patches can be 20-35 mm rainfall within 24 hours.
More og Romsdal and Trøndelag 
Local difficult driving conditions in the mountains Monday and Tuesday due to the snow.
It is unusual for snow to be this far south approaching Midsummer. Last year around this time there was Freak snow for Norway but much further North in Troms . The EUMETNET weather warning map for Norway (below) provides perspective for the areas.
This is the flip side of the snow any what some Norwegian reports raised concerns about.
In Municipalities of Sogn og Fjordane , some residents have been told to leave their houses on short notice because of flooding danger after fast melting snow on mountains.
Stryn, Lærdal, Flåm, Odda and Voss are the municipalities where the authorities see a danger of flood.
Temperatures are high in large parts of the county, and snow in the mountains quickly set to melt
The heat spoken of is from the same plume that affected the UK at the start of July. It can’t help but weather the rocks also.
Dynjandi (65N), one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls and the biggest one in the Westfjords region, is still frozen solid due to the cool spring and especially hard winter.
Hákon Ásgeirsson, wildlife ranger in the southern Westfjords region, this week visited the waterfall for the first time this year, after Dynjandisheiði road was snowplowed and opened to traffic over the weekend—though Hákon says the pass is still not suitable for cars on summer tires. Technically, spiked winter tires are illegal after April 15 each year.
The ranger took some magnificent photos of the waterfall, which he says he has never seen frozen like this before during the month of May.
“It was an extremely snowy winter,” Hákon explains about the state of the road. He adds that although it has finally stopped snowing, it is still below freezing most of the time up the mountain and there are snowdrifts in the road. The temperature at Dynjandi waterfall was probably around minus two degrees centigrade when he visited, he estimates.
He told mbl.is that he does not remember seeing so much ice in the waterfall during May before.
“There is always a bit of ice in it at this time but I can’t remember there having been so much ice it in May. And there are eight waterfalls in the river downstream of Dynjandi and that are all frozen.”
Iceland Review – Famous Waterfall Still Choked with Ice
Iceland Magazine – Nine metre high snow wall lines part of Dynjandisheiði mountain road
“What’s going on,” said Sunna, a staff member of Iceland Review, when she arrived at the office, at 8:30 this morning. “It snowed last night. It was all white when I woke up!”
A thin layer of snow covered the capital area early this morning but had disappeared before 9 am.
The temperature in Reykjavík (64N) dropped to 1.2ºC (34.1ºF) during the night but was already up to 3.4ºC (38.1ºF) at peak hour between 8 am and 9 am this morning, according to the Icelandic Met Office. The temperature fell below freezing at many mountain passes around Iceland last night….
…Gleðilegt sumar (‘Happy Summer’) as we say in Icelandic.
Iceland Review – Snow Returns to Reykjavík
Mountain passes and many other roads in the West Fjords (65N), North Iceland (65N) and the East Fjords (65N) were subject to snowfall last night, causing snowy and slippery driving conditions. The Icelandic Met Office has forecasts sleet or rain in North and East Iceland today.
Travellers intending to drive Dynjandisheiði, Steingrímsfjarðarheiði and to Árneshreppur in the West Fjords should be aware of the winter conditions, ruv.is reports.
Parts of Siglufjarðarvegur in North Iceland are icy and there are icy and/or snowy conditions on the roads across Fjarðarheiði, Vatnsskarð eystra, Mjóifjörður, Möðrudalsöræfi, Vopnafjarðarheiði, Breiðdalsheiði and Öxi in East Iceland.
Iceland Review – Snowfall on roads in North Iceland
Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction picked up upon this story (translated)
Average temperature last six weeks stands at 3.0 points. Dull brownish dotted line bisecting the image shows the position. If you look closely you can see that the temperature has not dropped below 4.0 points in early summer since 1995 and not down 3 points since 1989 – he was most similar to now. Also, one can say that he has been similar in 1982 and 1983, but much lower in 1979.
This shows clearly how much “shock” in the spring of 1949 was for those who knew nothing but warmth in the preceding years. This picture began a period in 1925 – the spring 1934, however, nearly as cold and now, in 1949 and 1979 are specialties – along with so even older years. The coldest was the first six weeks of the summer in 1882 – and little warmer 1906.
Someone asked about the differences between years. The difference between now and the spring of last year is -3.8 points, the image he has twice been greater between years 1882 and 1979, and once equal (1906). Alternatively, the difference was greatest in 1888 and 1889.
Trausti Jónsson – Six weeks of summer
Bloomburg – Ocean off Iceland Unusually Cold, No Mackerel
This was taken earlier in May
The snowplough was called out on Thursday morning following calls from several drivers who were stuck in snow.
“Several cars were stuck and they were very grateful that I came and helped them escape. They had been stuck for a while,” said snowplough driver Jimmy Johansson to P4 Jämtland (63N).
The road in Klimpfjäll (65N) had only been free from snow for a couple of weeks. Jimmy Johansson said that he had not counted on being called out again a week Before Midsummer.
Radio Canada International – Snowploughs out in North Sweden week before Midsummer
Note – Jämtland borders Trøndelag (63N) in Norway [16+17]
Cold and warm Arctic conditions in spring 2015
The anomalously cold conditions over much of Greenland, including some record low temperatures for May in north-east Greenland explain the late start to the melt season this year. Conversely Siberia and Alaska (see below) have seen some record breaking high temperatures this spring, and even the North Pole saw a “heatwave” in April. The cold conditions in Greenland therefore appear to be the result of a see-saw oscillation across the Arctic also related to the extreme cold conditions experienced in Canada and the US.
This has led to a record late ice melt
“According to our calculations, the last few days (June 6-7) have had 4% of the ice sheet area melting, so we have not yet reached the threshold in our definition. The previous record-latest melt onset was June 5 (in 2013) and we are now beyond this date and will be setting a new record.”
However, the melt now appears to be finally underway
As in Norway, May was a very cold month (via Google Translate)
In Greenland – and particularly the northeast corner – was May colder than normally found in these parts. Debt can greatly slid on the polar front location.
Climatologist John Cappelen have looked through the numbers. In Denmark Harbour DMI has registered the coldest May since measurements started back in 1949th
“Denmark Port ends with record low -11.1 ° C degrees below zero as mean. It should be hung up on the normal calculated in the period between 1961 and 1990 of -6.5 ° C, “says John Cappelen and continues its cold history:
“In Daneborg (74N) Sirius Patrol belong, it was also a cold month with a mean temperature of -9.0 ° C. This was the second coldest May registered here since 1958. “
Due to the polar front
It was not only in Northeast Greenland (72-81N), the cold had taken over. In the rest of Greenland was also colder than normal. The reason for the cold weather can largely be found in the polar front location.
Polar front separates the cold air mass over the North Pole with the warmer air mass above the Equator. It is not stationary, but the waves back and forth. In May was mainly the south of Greenland, and thereby Greenland lain in the cold air mass with high air pressure.
Often the low pressure up along the coasts of Greenland and the low pressure acts as heat pumps. The stodgy cold, however, kept extratropical cyclones distance.
Not only in Greenland was May, a cold pleasure. Also in Denmark we saw for the first time in 22 months that a month was colder than the climate norm. Here was May bargain [sic] the second wettest since 1874
DMI – Greenland Shelved in May
The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) has announced that the month of May was cooler than usual in southern and western Finland, despite the fact that temperatures have not been abnormally low. The same goes for the beginning of June.
That is to say that the start of the season has not been unusual in terms of mean temperatures – but no spikes in warm temperatures have been clocked at all. The go-to high of 20 degrees Celsius has not been recorded so far.
“It has been at least 50 years since Finland Proper (60N), Uusimaa (60N), Häme Proper (61N) or Pirkanmaa (61N) have had to wait this long for the 20-degree mark,” says meteorologist Pauli Jokinen.
Finland in midst of low pressure fronts, winds chilly
The warmer air has stayed in the south of the country for a long time, while colder air has been concentrated in the north.
For many weeks, Finland has been stuck on the routes of several low pressure fronts. Heat wave fronts have only skirted the Finnish border, as low pressures have waved the fronts over to Russia at the last minute, the FMI says.
Strong and gusty winds have also caused conditions to feel colder than usual, with more gusty days recorded than on average. The last summer with similar wind frequency was recorded eight years ago, in 2007.
Thankfully the Finns had a brief dalliance with the weekend plume, just in time for National Sauna Day.
Hopes were raised in southern Finland today that the temperature may have risen above 25 degrees, meaning the weather would officially be classified as “hot” by Finland’s Meteorological Institute.
However by 6pm on Saturday the highest temperature was 24.9 degrees, recorded in Kouvola (60N), southeast Finland. The temperature gauge also rose above 24 degrees in Mikkeli (61N), eastern Finland, and Lahti (60N), in the south.
Southern Finland typically experiences 15 officially “hot” days per year, on average, while the average in the southeast is 18. Residents in northern Lapland, however, can only expect two or three days every year on average on which temperatures reach 25.1 degrees or higher.
Hot or not?
In a reflection of Finland’s relatively cool climate, meteorological institutes in some other countries have a higher boundary for classifying “hot” weather. In Spain, the mercury must rise to 30 degrees, while the temperature in the US must hit 32 degrees before a day can officially be called “hot”.
Cold May, the seventh lowest highest maximum temperature since 1874. Næstvådeste [?] since 1874 and solfattigste [?] since 1996. The first cloudburst the fifth
May 2015 ended with an average temperature of 9.7 ° C at the national level, which is 1.1 ° C below the 1961-90 normal of 10.8 ° C and 1.7 ° C colder than the last 10 years of decade-value of 11 , 4 ° C calculated on the period 2001-2010. Not since May 2010 has there been such a cold May. It ended at 9.4 ° C.
At the same time it can be stated that in May 2015 ending a period of 22 consecutive months since July 2013, when the temperature in Denmark each month has been above the climate norm for the period 1961-1990.
The record for the hottest May, 1889, an average of 13.8 ° C warm. The coldest May, 1902 by 8.1 ° C. The nationwide temperature measurements started in the 1874th
Warmest it was in the region of West (55N) / South Zealand (54N) / Lolland (54N)/ Falster (54N) and Copenhagen (55N)/ North Sealand (55N) with 10.3 ° C on average, while the region Nordjylland (57N) was coldest with 9.1 ° C.
The lowest temperature of -4.2 ° C was measured at Billund (55N) in Jutland on 3 May and the month’s highest temperature of 23.1 ° C was measured just two days later on May 5 near the barrels and the Danish-German border in southern Jutland . Thus, there was no summer day in May 2015 (when the temperature somewhere in the country exceeds 25 ° C). Normal 1961-90 is 0.2 summer days for the country as a whole.
23.1 ° C is the seventh lowest highest maximum temperature in the May 1, since the nationwide temperature measurements started in 1874. The bottom 11 in the May months are given below.
1) 19.6 ° C (1962)
2) 21.0 ° C (1965)
3) 21.4 ° C (1983)
4) 22.3 ° C (1874)
5) 22.4 ° C (1927)
6) 22.6 ° C (1898)
7) 23.1 ° C (2015)
8) 23.3 ° C (1973.1987)
10) 23,5 ° C (1877.1994)
There was frost in the beginning of the month. Number of frost days was 0.5 for the country as a whole (normal 1961-90 is 0.7 days).
The DMI classes summer a little differently
When the temperature somewhere in the country exceeds 25 ° C, we call it a meteorological summer.
There is great variation in when the first summer fall from year to year. The earliest first day of summer, DMI ever recorded, is April 17, but here we are back to 1964. The most recent was July 30 in 2004.
Earliest first day of summer Latest first summer 1964 Apr. 17 2004, July 30
Summer seems to have finally arrived…just…
Summer Day had a very narrow window to realize themselves. A low pressure with showers passing Saturday afternoon the country from the west, and on the other hand, the temperature drops and in the coming period, we should not expect summer temperatures.
Just before 12 o’clock the thermometer reached up to 25.1 ° C – and thus was the meteorological summer day a reality.
First summer day in 2014 was incidentally also registered by Abed Lolland – just three weeks earlier.
The Dutch seem to have been experiencing what Ben Davidson terms Climate Extremes.
Saturday night was a record cold night for both Twente(52N) and Eindhoven (51N). But despite this brief bout of cold, warmer weather is expected for later this week.
Twente measured -2.2 degrees on Saturday night, the Gelderlander reports. The measurement was done at 10 centimeter height from the ground. According to the newspaper, the cold weather can partly be attributed to the cool sea air from the Northwest.
Eindhoven measured 0.2 degrees overnight on Saturday, also a record for this time of year. “For this time of year this is very exceptional”, Dana Woei of Weerplaza said.
These cold records follow an extremely hot day on Friday, when temperatures reached above 30 degrees in some places in the Netherlands. Temperatures dropped again on Saturday, with some places not even reaching 20 degrees for maximum temperature.
NL Times – Record Cold Night for Twente and Eindhoven
Although the meteorological summer long and wide started, we note that in the weather picture still precious little of. Last night it was freezing on the ground locally even 4.1 degrees. A record!
Twente weather station at the record temperature of -4.1 degrees was measured.Never before was it as far as we know the middle of June still so cold. Also in other eastern parts froze the light to the ground.Normally, no more after it freezes late spring (11 to 15 May).
De Telegraaf – Record measured with summer in sight
Of course where cold air descends down the latitudes, so it must ascend up else where else in the hemisphere, as can be seen by in temperature anomaly map for May from WeatherBell Analytics, below. Looking at the Northern Hemisphere, there are two main thrusts of cold over the Atlantic and over eastern Russia; the warm plumes are over Siberia and Alaska (see below). Note the green patch over northern Greenland.
Despite record-breaking high temperatures across much of the state in May, parts of Interior Alaska received warning of below-freezing temperatures Monday morning, which even included an inch of snow falling in the communities of Salcha (64N) and Delta Junction (64N).
But many parts of the state — including Delta Junction – just recorded their warmest May on record. That also included the Interior community of Eagle, which saw a high of 91 degrees on May 23, marking the earliest point on record a temperature of 90 degrees or warmer was recorded anywhere in the state.
Interior Alaska wasn’t the only region to see record-breaking temperatures. The Southeast Alaska communities of Juneau (58N) and Haines (59N) also recorded record temps.
Even the northern communities of Kotzebue (66N) and Bettles (66N) had their warmest May. The nation’s northernmost community, Barrow (71N), tied its record with the help of a 47-degree high May 21. The weather service noted that Barrow normally expects highs around 28 degrees in the middle of May.
Fairbanks recorded its second-warmest May, while Anchorage had its fifth-warmest.
Rebecca Duell, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage (61N), said a persistent high-pressure system [blocking?] “parked” itself over much of Alaska last month, causing the warmer weather to linger. High-pressure systems are common in spring, she said, but the above-average temperatures fit the overall trend of warmer weather in Alaska this year.
Alaska Dispatch News – Alaska Records Temp Hotter Than Arizona Thanks To A Crazy Heat Wave
World’s coldest region defies its stereotype.
Some parts of Siberia were warmer than usual by 6C, with a host of anecdotal examples of normal meteorological rules being turned on their head. For a few days in late April, for example, the city of Irkutsk (52N) boasted higher temperatures than Madrid (40N).
The ice on vast Lake Baikal (53N) was too thin or non-existent even in February and March, forcing the cancellation of a number of events.
In the past, it was safe to drive cars across the frozen lake, the deepest in the world.
In the Far East, in Sakhalin (51N), bears woke earlier than usual, fooled by the early heat. The same happened thousands of miles to the west in Tomsk region (56N).
Wild fires were engulf large tracts of Siberia and the Russian Far East as early as March.
By 25 March, a state of emergency was imposed against fires in the Transbaikal region (53N).
Worse came in the Republic of Khakassia (53N), and across both regions more than 30 people were killed, along with 3,200 domesticated animals.
In late May, forest fires in the parched Republic of Buryatia (53N) and Irkutsk Region (52N) were 2.6 times larger than average.
Climate monitoring by the Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia indicates spring 2015 was the warmest in the entire 125-year history of regular meteorological observations.
Siberian Times – Siberia registers its warmest recorded spring sparking new fears for rapid climate change [see Paul Homewood’s comments below).
Ireland – Extremely wet, cold and dull in places [pdf]
During the research for this post I read far too many desperate alarmists blaming Arctic amplification, citing Jennifer Francis theory of CO2 warming in the Arctic for causing a sticky jetstream. The only problem is these patterns existed several times before. As Paul Homewood explains
Francis’ theory might hold a bit of credibility, if the same sort of jet stream meridionality had not been responsible for a greater frequency of such “weather blocking” in the 1960’s & 70’s, when the Arctic was getting much colder and Arctic ice was expanding.
The list Paul provides from Hubert Lamb’s “Climate, History & The Modern World” amply demonstrates these previous precedented great climactic swings which resonate today.
It ain’t CO2.