Monday, February 20, 2012

Weather Anomolies - Winter 2011-12

Europe freezes as America enjoys a mild winter

It’s been a deadly end of January and start to February in Europe, where the cold has killed at least 460 people, according to health officials. The Weather Underground rates it as Europe’s coldest outbreak since at least 1991. The 1,780-mile Danube River — vital for transport, power, irrigation, industry and fishing and nearly as long as the Mississippi River — was wholly or partially iced over from Austria to its mouth on the Black Sea.

Why has Europe been so cold? A large area of high pressure is lodged over Scandinavia and northwestern Russia, allowing the jet stream to flow around its western edge and bring extremely cold, Arctic air down toward the Mediterranean Sea. This cold air has brought snow showers to Rome, frozen Venice’s famous canals and even brought very rare snowfall to northern Africa.

Even as the cold air has invaded Europe, it has remained incredibly warm in the United States, which is having a mild winter. Here’s the contrast on temperatures between the two hemispheres during the first five days of February, from the UK’s Met office:
_________________________________________________________________ Strange Minnesota winter continues MINNEAPOLIS -- Buds on the trees and an overnight grass fire near Hugo and the wild, weird weather trend in Minnesota continues into February. "It's unbelievable," said Lawn Ranger's Todd Dilley.

He chalks this season up as one Minnesota's weather anomalies. His Lawn Ranger snowplows have sat idle for most of the winter.

The greatest snowstorm we've had so far dropped a little over 4 inches back in December. January was one of the driest and warmest on record and despite a cooler temperature here and there, February is on pace for more of the same.


We have had a weirdly warm winter. We got a couple of inches of snow one day, we had some ice another day. But mostly I am thinking that our weather must be more like what northern Georgia normally gets. Daffodils have bloomed (a couple of them - many have been in bud stage for a couple of weeks or so). Willow trees are coming out. The plants seems to be 4-6 weeks ahead of normal. Also - the ticks never went away. Zuma had ticks in December, January and February - normally we get a reprieve of a couple of months. It's very weird.

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