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Solar Minimum: A cold snap on the way

by Luis de Sousa Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 06:40:37 AM EST

The temperatures forecast for Lisbon by the Meteorology Institute for the next few days are as follows:

Min (C)84-2-3-12
Max (C)12 11 6 7 6 9

An audio version of this log entry can be downloaded here.

If memory serves, the last time Lisbon underwent similar events was in 1985 or 1986 when the mercury dropped to -1 C. Negative temperatures are indeed uncommon for the riverside city, but even more strange are maxima of 6 or 7 degrees; most winter days go by with minima above that. I can't recall of anything like it in my life; hopefully the media will clarify how long it hasn't been like this in coming days.

This cold event won't be hitting solely Lisbon. MeteoGroup publishes charts with 3 hours intervals up to a week ahead. Here's Western Europe, Thursday at 6 a.m.:

24 hours later, Friday:

And to clear any shadow of doubt, this event is as usual caused by an Anticyclonic Agglutination that will gather over Central Europe about two days from now. Following is an animated pressure chart with 6 hour intervals up to Saturday:

A new polar high is ejected out of Greenland (not far from that place that should have been ice free last Summer) merging with the high that is now presently over Britain. This strong agglutination then slowly moves south-eastwards, over Germany towards Turkey.

I'm filing this note under the Solar Minimum series more as a thought provocation than anything else. Local Weather shouldn't be confused with Global Climate. But with solar geomagnetic activity setting a new record low, one is left wondering how regular can become events like these in the following decade.

Let's hope this turns out to be the coldest event of this Winter, and that the present stress on the European energy systems eases down.

I note that you haven't responded to any of the questions asked in comments to your previous diary.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 07:18:26 AM EST
Or hardly in another earlier one.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 08:56:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Though even dumb ones like me can begin to discern a particular train of thought.  Which you're welcome to dispel, Luis, as you've been asked before.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 05:13:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
South East Europe shivers as Russia cuts off gas

Just as Europe is experiencing a particularly cold winter, all Russian gas supplies to Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia were halted overnight (6 January) following a row between Moscow and Kiev over pricing, reports Dnevnik, EurActiv's partner in Bulgaria.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 08:47:10 AM EST
See FT Op-Ed: The battle of the oligarchs behind the gas dispute.

By the way, is there anything more than journalistic bluster in the "shivers" or "freezing in their homes"?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 02:11:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Weatheronline, actual measured daily maximums and minimums:

Turned out less extreme. Records are harder to come by, but just looking at Weatheronline's records back to 1996, I find:

  • January 2003: max below +10°C for 3 days in a row (min below +2°C on 3 days)
  • 1 March 2005: min below 0°C
  • 29 January 2006: max just below +7°C
  • 28 January 2007: max c. +6.5°C

(I find that prior to 2006, the last time it snowed in Lisbon was 1954, but it snowed much more frequently prior to that.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 07:38:10 AM EST

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