Winter has entered Poland and is not going anywhere for now. It will get colder and you will have to get used to snow and difficult road conditions. The turn of November and December is expected to be particularly cold. Arleta Unton-Pyziołek, a forecaster for tvnmeteo.pl, writes about the latest weather forecasts.
It’s a beautiful winter outside, the temperature dropped below zero degrees Celsius. However, you don’t have to stick your nose outside to feel a chill of cold. Just look at the trajectory of the portion of air that has just reached Poland, and specifically Mazovia. The GFS model analysis clearly shows the Arctic as the source area of the air mass, from the ground to an altitude of about three kilometers. A lot of moist cold, i.e. arctic air with marine characteristics, poured over Poland. It is a mass in which clouds swirl, there are fleeting snowfalls, and even snow storms are possible.
The frost is generally quite light, although when the wind blows stronger the temperature feels much lower. On Saturday, November 25, in the morning it dropped from -1 to -3 degrees Celsius in most parts of the country, but in the north it even reached -9 degrees in Kętrzyn, -6 degrees in Szczecinek and -5 degrees in Toruńand in mountain valleys, in Krosno, Lesko and Zakopane it was from -5 to -7 degrees Celsius.
There will be more snow
The weather is now shaped by the large Niklas low-pressure vortex centered over the Baltic countries. The Olivier vortex from the Balkans and the Christina high from the British Isles are helping. These barometric systems created a convenient route for the cold flowing from the north. In a moist portion of air on Saturday, snow falls from the sea to Tatra Mountains. It is already about half a meter high in the mountains (Kasprowy Wierch – 59 centimeters, Śnieżka – 49 cm). But even on the glacial hills of Pomerania and Warmia, in some places there is quite decent snow cover (Elbląg – 17 cm, Chojnice – 6 cm). Moreover, there is not much of it collected so far – in the center of the country, in Łódź there is 2 cm of it, but in warm city centers only patches can be seen. However, snow is falling and will continue to fall.
In the light of today’s GFS model calculations, winter is staying with us for longer. By St. Nicholas Day, a dense snow cover may form in the south and east of the country, reaching up to 8-10 cm. Such a winter at the turn of November and December is a real treat in our latitudes and times. And it is rare for a long-term atmospheric circulation to be formed during this time, favoring the inflow of cold and moist air masses carrying snowfall, although with interruptions.
The cold won’t let up either
Both the persistently working American GFS model and the European ECMWF model indicate that the current cooling is not an episode, but a longer-lasting trend. On Sunday, November 26, the GFS model shows a beautifully formed tongue of cold up to a height of five kilometers, reaching from the Arctic, through Central Europe, to Greece. And although in the following days, around November 30, the determination of the cold may weaken slightly, in a week, on December 3, the cold will remain good and stay in the region of Scandinavia, the Baltic Sea and Poland.
The European Center for Medium-Term Forecasts calculates a strong cooling. At the turn of November and December it will be much colder than usual from the fjords of Norway to the Carpathians. The deviation of the average temperature from the norm in Poland may be up to 3 degrees Celsius. This is a lot for a period usually characterized by cloudy, rainy and windy weather. This flow of cold air masses is expected to be accompanied by more heavy rainfall, mainly snow, in the south and southeast of the country.
Winter, not the pre-winter anymore
Is it currently prevailing and visible in weather forecasts Can we call it pre-winter or winter? A whole range of meteorological phenomena and temperatures clearly indicate that winter has begun. Well, to talk about a real winter, you need more than just snow. The average daily temperature must remain below 0 degrees for a long period of time, which means only a slight increase in daytime temperature above this limit is possible.
But will it last? Is this just a temporary freak of the weather maturing until the season called winter? In the following days, the Niklas low is expected to merge into one with the Olivier low, predicting an interesting development of the situation. Olivier is expected to rotate north towards Finland, forcing further cold to be sucked in from the north. At this time, subsequent low pressure whirlpools forming over the humid Mediterranean Sea are expected to move towards us. This will favor circulation along the meridians, i.e. north-south. Poland is generally expected to be located in the air masses flowing from the northern sector. Therefore, in addition to snowfall, in some places the temperature will drop below -10 degrees Celsius during the nighttime. On November 30, the temperature may reach -5 to -10 degrees Celsius, after which it will warm up, but only briefly. There is no sign of heavy frost yet.
During the pre-winter period, which in Poland in the last two decades can last for weeks, until Christmas and New Year, the weather changes from winter to spring, but the daily temperature is generally above 0 degrees Celsius. In the second half of the 20th century, as shown According to research by Polish climatologist Professor Alojzy Woś, the share of days with frosty weather types was only 1.2 percent. Nowadays, this share will probably be even lower.
Main photo source: Shutterstock, GFS/tropicaltidbits.com