Cold weather in Europe and the US

Our meteorologists will be keeping a close eye on the weather in eastern Europe and the USA this week. With high pressure dictating the weather over western Europe, cold air and associated weather systems are being funnelled southwards across eastern Europe, bringing below average temperatures and snowy conditions. Meanwhile, a plunge of cold air will deliver below average temperatures to many parts of the USA later this week.

Pressure chart for midday on Wednesday showing a deep low pressure system moving across eastern Europe

Pressure chart for midday on Wednesday showing a deep low pressure system moving across eastern Europe.

Germany, Denmark and Poland

A deep area of low pressure associated with the fronts moving through eastern Europe will bring a spell of very windy weather across northern Germany, northern Poland and Denmark later today (Tuesday) and through Wednesday. Northwesterly winds will strengthen to severe gale or storm force, particularly near the coast and over sea areas leading to a risk of coastal flooding. Wintry showers may bring disruption to transport with power supplies and communications also possibly affected by the severe weather.

 Central, Northeastern and Eastern Europe

During Wednesday an active cold front will sink southwards, bringing snow to central and eastern Europe with 10-20cm possible in some parts. This will bring welcome snow cover to the ski resorts in the northern and eastern Alps, which so far this winter have received little snow, but the southern parts of the Alps will probably miss much of this snowfall.

The air behind the cold front will be much colder, enveloping much of central and eastern Europe from Thursday, leading to temperatures around 10-15 degrees below the average for the time of year in the east in places like Salzburg, Austria, Athens, Greece and Minsk, Belarus. This could lead to record-breaking minimum temperatures in some locations, however, these should recover towards the weekend. Across northern parts of Finland and Sweden, temperatures could fall as low as -40°C, with daytime maximum temperatures perhaps 15-20°C below normal.

Western and southern Turkey, northern and eastern Greece

Later in the week, the area of low pressure will have moved southwards across Europe to affect Turkey and Greece. Although the winds will not be as strong, there is the potential for some very wet weather with intense thunderstorms and the risk of flash flooding on Thursday and Friday with further unsettled weather forecast for the weekend. In western and southern parts of Turkey and northern Greece 100-150mm of rain is possible each day with snow likely over high ground, leading to further transport disruption.

Northwest, central and eastern US and southern Canada

On the other side of the Atlantic, another push of cold air is expected to move south and eastwards across the US, affecting central parts by Wednesday and reaching the east by Thursday. The cold air will lower temperatures to around 10 degrees below average, with daytime values struggling to reach 0°C and these conditions expected to last until the weekend.

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