Spain: First snow now flooding rains to come

It seems Spain its having quite an unusual and prolonged winter 

And now the same system that brought snow on Thursday is to bring floods this weekend;

Residents from Barcelona, Spain, to Nice, France, will face the risk of flooding rain into the start of the weekend.

The same storm that allowed unusual snow to fall in Madrid on Thursday will tap into enough moisture from the Mediterranean Sea to unleash heavy rain in northeastern Spain, the southern coast of France and neighboring coastal northwestern Italy.

A band of rain, heavy at times, will swing across northeastern Spain into Friday evening before targeting southeastern France and the northwestern coast of Italy once again on Saturday.

A total of 25-50 mm (1-2 inches) from northeastern Spain into the western Alps is likely with locally over 75 mm (3 inches),” AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.

[…]

“March is not a month of torrential rains in the Mediterranean, so if flooding finally occurs at this time, it would be an unusual episode,” Gabriel Salvà, a meteorologist at Barcelona’s International Airport, told AccuWeather.

Read more here

http://spanishnewstoday.com/galicia-freezes-in-early-spring-snow_87221-a.html

Bayern joke with Real Madrid as capital hit by snow: We’re going to feel at home.

It is rare for snow to fall in Spain’s capital of Madrid, but football clubs were willing to see the humorous side with the international break currently underway.

See more here

The Russians Hacked the US Winter Weather ;)

From Dr Roy Spencer:

Now that winter has officially ended, I thought it would be useful to address the central role that Russia played in ending California’s drought, as well as in the unusually warm conditions over the eastern U.S. this past winter.
First, let’s address the record California rains and mountain snowpack. While such a wet winter usually requires a strong El Nino, we had just the opposite — a weak La Nina.

So, what happened?

California: The “Atmospheric River” Doesn’t Explain It

Blaming the wet winter in California on the “atmospheric river” effect is, in my professional opinion, rather lame. It’s like blaming a flash flood on “too much water”. Well, duh.

So, what caused the atmospheric river?

A persistent series of extratropical storms (low pressure systems) coming into California.

But what caused the storms?

An enhanced temperature contrast between the tropics and mid-latitudes, always required for the formation of such low pressure systems.

But what caused the enhanced temperature contrast?

It wasn’t El Nino, the usual culprit in stormy California winters, because we had the opposite — La Nina.

It was because our winter was hacked by the Russians

It all started back in October, 2016. (Before the election! A coincidence? I think not.)

October experienced an unusually rapid buildup of the cold season air mass in Siberia, as seen in this temperature departure-from-normal map (all maps courtesy of Weatherbell.com):

Read the rest

Iceland: From Record Heat to Record Snow

Image Gunnar Freyr

One of the misconceptions with the term Little Ice Age is that we will have Dickens Winters. This perception, often portrayed in Hollywood films with snowy Christmases (if only!) is quite wrong.
A meridional or wavy jetstream brings a greater transport of cold and warn airmasses meaning records can go either way;

An Introduction to Satellite Image Interpretation

Eric D. Conway, Maryland Space Grant Consortium

This was something highlighted by Hubert Lamb and was one of the concerns during the Ice Age scare of the 1970’s when the jetstream was more meridional/wavy (emphasis added)

In Europe, there is a curious change in the pattern of variability: from some time between 1940 and 1960 onwards, the occurrence of extreme seasons – both as regards temperature and rainfall has notably increased.

A worldwide list of the extreme seasons reported since 1960 makes impressive reading. Among the items included:

1960-9 – Driest decade in central Chile since 1770’s and 1790’s.

1962-3 Coldest winter in England since 1740.

1962-5 Driest four-year period in the eastern United States since records began in 1738.

1963-4 Driest winter in England & Wales since 1743; coldest winter over an area from the lower Volga basin and Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf since 1745.

1965-6 Baltic Sea completely ice covered.

1968 Arctic sea ice half surrounded Iceland for the first time since 1888.

1968-73 Severest phase thus far of the prolonged drought in the Sahel, surpassing all 20thC experience.

1971-2 Coldest winter in more than 200 yrs in parts of European Russia and Turkey: River Tigris frozen over.

1972 Greatest heatwave in the long records for north Finland and northern Russia.

1973-4 Floods beyond all previous recorded experience stretching across the central Australian desert.

1974-5 Mildest winter in England since 1834.

1975-6 Great European drought produced the most severe soil moisture deficit that can be established in the London (Kew) records since 1698.

1975-6 Greatest heatwaves in the records for Denmark, Netherlands  and England.

1976-7 Severest winter in the temperature records (which began in 1738) for the eastern United States.

1978-9 Severest winter and lowest temperature recorded in 200 yrs in parts of northern Europe, and perhaps in the Moscow region. Snowfalls also extreme in parts of northern Europe.

This shortened list omits most of the notable events reported in the southern hemisphere and other parts of the world where instrument records do not extend so far back. Cases affecting the intermediate seasons, the springs and autumns, have also been omitted.

These variations, perhaps more than any underlying trend to a warmer or colder climate, create difficulties for the planning age in which we live. They may be associated with the increased meridionality of the general wind circulation, the greater frequency of blocking, of stationary high and low pressure systems, giving prolonged northerly winds in one longitude and southerly winds in another longitude sector in middle latitudes.

In Iceland February appears to be replicating such patterns;

There was unseasonably warm air over Iceland yesterday, according to meteorologist Trausti Jónsson’s blog.

Heat records for February were broken at many weather stations in East Iceland, and, surprisingly, the highest temperature readings came from the mountains.

One came from Brúðardalur in East Iceland, from an elevation of 300 m (984 ft). The weather station’s high yesterday was 17.8˚ C (64˚ F). It was not a national record, but an amazing number nonetheless. At Eyjabakkar, an automated weather station at an elevation of more than 650 m (2,133 ft), north of Vatnajökull glacier, the thermometer registered an incredible 19.1˚ C (66˚ F), albeit for only two minutes, shortly before 2 pm. That number remains to be verified, but if it’s accurate, it would break the national record of just over 18˚ C, set in 1998, according to RÚV

http://icelandreview.com/news/2017/02/13/record-heat-east-iceland-yesterday

However two weeks later we see snow in Iceland followed by a new record;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39104230/iceland-gets-record-breaking-snowfall-and-the-pictures-are-amazing

There remains a possibility that due to the lying snow from this late February storm, this could create a new March record also. 

Trausti Jónsson

Mark Vogan has some great images and looks at the pattern here.

It is the climate changing but it has little to do with humans as it’s certainly not unprecedented to see these records.

Watch: California Gets Slammed Again

Published on 23 Feb 2017

This visualization combines precipitation data from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission’s Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals (IMERG) and water vapor data from the Goddard Earth Observing System Model (GEOS). These datasets show the extreme rainfall that occurred in California during the first three weeks of February 2017 and the atmospheric rivers that transported the rain to the area. Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio