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WeatherBlog 9 2021/22 | Here's to a new year

New year, new weather?

by Lea Hartl 01/05/2022
2022 began as 2021 ended, namely too warm. Who would have thought? The extremely warm phase, which brought us various new New Year's Eve temperature records, is now history with today's cold front. Until the weekend, the outlook is also quite good for the time of year. Next week everything is still uncertain, with a "mixed" trend and a west-east divide.

Current situation and outlook

Low pressure in the area of Greenland is currently pumping warm air northwards in the north-east Atlantic, causing the Azores High to bulge slightly. Downstream (in our area), there is a balancing movement - the strong westerly current is waving and much colder air from the north can flow in. In combination with a cold front embedded in an area of low pressure with a core over southern Scandinavia, the weather will be quite wintry today. While the northern slopes of the Alps will benefit most in the western Alps, the opposite is true in the east. Here, the area from the Dolomites to the Carnic Alps is likely to get the best deal in terms of fresh snow - more details in the current This somewhat unconventional distribution of precipitation is due to the fact that the trough, which is also carrying the front, makes it as far as the Mediterranean. Extra low pressure will develop there, resulting in a south-westerly flow that will produce congestion effects in the SLO/AT/IT border triangle.

Tomorrow, Thursday, will be quite cold across the board, as it should be in January. The shorts can be stowed away in the closet again. In the south, it will be widely sunny with strong winds (north föhn). In the north, residual clouds will hang around for longer. Friday and Saturday also look relatively calm and cold, but with some clouds and perhaps a few snow showers moving through from W to E. On Sunday, the next disturbance is approaching and it will be more unstable, probably with fresh snow, especially in the northwest

From Sunday, the uncertainties in the forecasts will increase. The trend for next week is not very snow-friendly for the western Alps, in the east it is a little more complicated. A large area of high pressure with a core west of France is expected to form. In this scenario, the Alps will be partly within the high (west) and partly only in the peripheral areas of the high, where a northerly flow will make it rather cool and unstable (east). Tropical heat like recently is not to be expected for the time being.

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2021: The new normal

We've talked about the climate reference periods to which information on climatological deviations refers on several occasions here, but it's worth mentioning it again to mark the turn of the year and the upcoming review of the weather and climate year 2021. References to deviations read as follows: "The turn of the year and the first days of the new year were exceptionally mild under the influence of subtropical air masses. On the mountains and in the east, the temperature was up to 13 degrees above the climatological average."

The main thing that stands out here is the very large deviation. Attentive readers should also note that it is not stated which reference period this refers to (the linked article mentions it a little later). In the case of huge deviations such as New Year's Eve, the differences are not so insanely serious, but with the annual reviews it gets exciting. The ZAMG, for example, writes:

"2021 is 0.1 degrees below the average of the last 30 years (climate period 1991-2020) in Austria's lowlands. Compared to the climate period 1961-1990, which was not yet as severely affected by global warming, 2021 is 1.1 degrees above average."

The Meteo Switzerland also reports that 2021 was 0.2 °C colder than average in relation to 1991-2020. In relation to 1981-2010, however, it was 0.2 °C warmer. In this case, the choice of reference period makes the difference between a "too cold" and a "too warm" year.

Of course, the reference period does not change the absolute values and trends, but the linguistic framework in the media may well change. Graphical representations also suddenly look completely different, see images on the left. So let's remember: "normal" is relative.

Photo gallery

This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

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