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Significant cold outbreak hits Europe, two more waves expected

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Forecast models have come true and Europe is now experiencing an unusually significant cold outbreak. Two more cold waves are expected before April ends, posing a significant threat to agriculture.

After very warm March and the first half of April in which temperatures across Europe rose well above normal, signaling spring has arrived in full effect, Europe is now experiencing a significant cold outbreak with huge amounts of snow already falling on the northern side of the Alps.

On Monday, April 17, near freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, and traffic chaos were reported in central Europe. This is expected to continue through the rest of the week, with subfreezing temperatures and high frost danger by Thursday, April 20.

On Tuesday, April 18, snow is falling as far south as mountainous Croatia where temperatures dropped to near 0 °C (32 °F), prompting authorities to warn drivers to use extreme caution.

Strong winds are expected across the Alps, eastern Austria, and WNW Hungary tomorrow, April 19 as a result of tightening pressure gradient between deep low over Hungary and strengthening high pressure over Germany. Wind gusts could locally reach 100 – 120 km/h (62 – 74 mph), Severe Weather Europe warns. The next 3 days will be very cold and well below average for this period.

GFS model calls for two more cold waves before April ends. The first will affect central Europe and Balkan Peninsula again while the second is expected to primarily affect the United Kingdom, France, Portugal and Spain. Below average temperatures are expected in northern Africa, too.

Featured image: GFS temperature anomaly model for April 21, 2017. Credit: TropicalTidbits

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