I am always interested in snow and cold getting across the warm Mediterranean to North Africa, as my over-active imagination likes to create a blooming Sahara.
This is the second time in two years they’ve had the rare snows down there. I haven’t heard whether it snowed on the pyramids again, (which resulted in a wonderful hoax and Photoshopped picture, last year.)
Apparently there were reports of snowflakes in the air on the island of Malta, right out in the Mediterranean, which would have been a first. The Malta weather bureau couldn’t confirm it.
This first Siberian blast is pretty much over. The high pressure which had freezing east winds to its south side had milder west winds bringing Atlantic air east on its north side, and for a while it was warmer in Sweden than in Sicily. Some good reports are in this post from Watts Up With That:
Here’s a brief video of snow in Palermo. For some reason pictures from this video which appeared around the web have vanished. Likely it is some copyright fuss.
Even up in Scandinavia, where the milder Atlantic air came in from the west, it was cold enough to cause so much snow they had to plow the slopes to keep skiers from getting caught up in the workings of the lifts and ground into hamburger.
The mild air over Scandinavia brewed up a sizable gale up there, but now that gale is sliding east, and absorbing a lesser storm to its west, and it looks like that, behind the two storms, a northerly flow will come down over Europe tomorrow. What is interesting is that it is almost immediately followed by a southerly flow as the next Atlantic storm moves in from the west.
These back and forth surges of air have been interesting to watch. The computer models can’t seem to handle them very well beyond a few days into the future, for some reason.
What I am watching to see is if a pattern repeats. If it repeats the mild air will surge up towards the Pole, but then low pressure will collapse down into Siberia, and the north side of that low pressure will bring a new wave of Siberian air west into Europe. However that is a big “if.”
UPDATE —January 6—
Even as milder air has surged up towards northern Norway, and milder Atlantic air has brought above freezing temperatures nearly to the towns in 24-hour-darkness upon Svalbard, what is left of the last European Cold-wave has sagged south and now is bringing snow-warnings to the Holy Land, as Joe Bastardi noted on his blog at Weatherbell today:
If it does get above freezing in Svalbard, it will be warmer there, well north of the Arctic Circle, than where Arabs ride camels under date palms. That just shows you how amazingly topsy-turvy and loopy a “meridianal flow” can get, in Europe and western Asia.
By the way, before babes in Sweden send their muffs and mittens to Palestine, it should be noted that the Canadian model is showing another Siberian invasion hitting Scandinavia in around six days. (See my January 6 post on cross-polar-flow for more details.)