In a month that has featured mainly above normal temperatures and dry weather across central Europe, wet and cooler weather is expected for the next several days.
A storm moving into France and Germany will stall out over the area early in the week and remain over the center of Europe for much of the week ahead. This will help to bring some welcome rainfall and even snow in the higher elevations of the Alps.
Parts of France and Germany have seen little in the way of rain and cool weather this month, and for the entire winter, some locations have seen temperatures well above normal. Paris, France, has seen temperatures nearly 6 degrees F (3 degrees C) above normal since the beginning of January. In fact, Paris has only seen 3 days average below normal for the entire year, including Sunday when the cold air arrived.
Berlin, Germany, has seen temperatures similar to that of Paris, with just a bit cooler weather for the end of January and some much warmer conditions the rest of the year. Temperatures have average 6.5 degrees F (3.6 degrees C) above normal. Normal highs are 47 degrees F (8.3 degrees C), and on Friday they climbed to 71 degrees F (21.7 degrees C).
This cooler weather will accompany a series of storms that move through the region. Saturday was the first of these storms, which brought some rainfall to France and Germany, but the truly colder air will wait until the middle of next week to move in. This colder air will also bring the threat for rain with it.
A strong storm will sit over France and Germany, which will cause the pattern for storms to shift over Europe. Temperatures will be several degrees below normal from France, through Germany and even into Italy. Some areas of southern Germany and France may be upwards of 6-10 degrees F (3-5 degrees C) below normal with this stormy pattern around.
Snow covered Alpine Mountains, Zirmbach, Austria, courtesy of Thinkstockphotos.com
Rainfall will be somewhat spotty with this storm system, and the heavieset rainfall looks to be centered over southern France through Italy, though even northern France into Germany will see welcome rainfall with this storm. Snow will also be another issue with this system as snow levels in the Alps will drop to around 4,000 feet (1,200 meters). Snow in some of the higher elevations of the Alps could accumulate over two feet with this series of storms.
High pressure will eventually build back over central Europe late this week resulting in drier weather with temperature returning to seasonable levels.
Meteorologist Eric Leister contributed to this story.
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