Record low sea ice extent on a global scale
Typically, the lowest sea ice extent is reached in the Arctic in mid-September, while the highest is reached in the Antarctic. This time is therefore particularly suitable for taking stock of the past northern summer or southern winter.
Extremely mild first half of February!
The first half of February was extremely mild, with an excess of between around 3 and 7 degrees and an average of more than 5 degrees across Switzerland. In the second half, the excess dropped slightly, but it was clearly the mildest February for the whole of Switzerland since measurements began in 1864! Temperatures were quite widely higher than the average for March! There was sometimes too little precipitation in the north, but clearly too much in the south. Finally, the sun shone about as often as normal on the Swiss Plateau, but less frequently in other areas.
Unspectacular week in the north, greater amounts of precipitation in the south
The last week of February and, from a meteorological point of view, the last week of winter is not very spectacular in the north. Clouds often dominate, but there is little precipitation. The situation is different in the south. After a wet start to the week, the weather only calms down briefly in the middle of the week and the next congestion situation is already on the horizon for the coming weekend.
No stable weather in sight
Stable weather is not in sight in the coming days, with the most sunshine likely on Saturday. It will also be occasionally wet, especially with a warm front today (Thursday) and a cold front tomorrow night (Friday) and tomorrow morning in the south and Graubünden. There will also be intermittent precipitation, especially in the south and west on Monday. Maximum temperatures will mostly be in the single digits in the north from tomorrow, but at just under 10 degrees it won't be very cool and will still be slightly above normal for the time of year.
Lots of warm water – a snapshot
Last year, sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic and globally were already at record levels. There can be no talk of a trend reversal or stabilization, on the contrary. In this respect, 2024 is once again in a league of its own!
An ever earlier spring – good or bad?
One of the mildest winters on record is having an impact on nature: As has often been the case in recent years, nature has woken up very early, which is also reflected in the fact that hay fever symptoms have been on the rise for some time now and many spring flowers are already blooming in gardens and parks. Winters are becoming milder and milder as a result of climate change, which means that nature is waking up earlier and earlier and the growing season is being extended. This has a variety of effects, both positive and negative.
This week will be quite varied in terms of weather and has a lot to offer, but undisturbed sunshine will not be one of them on the northern side of the Alps. The air pressure in the Alpine region is still relatively high, but in the second half of the week we will come under the influence of an extensive low pressure system.
Still too mild for the time of year
After the first half of the month was massively too mild compared to the long-term average (more on this tomorrow), the coming days will continue to be milder than average, although the temperature level will be slightly lower from Saturday. In addition, the weather will be quite mixed and occasionally wet, especially at the beginning of the week. The weather conditions for the two women's World Cup downhill races tomorrow (Friday and Saturday) and the super-G on Sunday in Crans-Montana should be quite good overall.
Polar vortex and first spring trend
Something is happening in the stratosphere over the polar region, another "major warming" is looming. With a delay of a few weeks, this could also have an impact on our weather patterns. We are therefore taking a cautious look at the long-term models for the coming spring.
AMOC – the heating of Europe
Global flow patterns exist not only in the atmosphere, but also in the oceans. These span the entire world and connect all the oceans with each other. In addition to winds and the Coriolis force, thermohaline circulation is the main driving force behind this. A new study on the possible overturning of the AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) means that it is now back in the headlines. But what exactly is this about?