After a relatively mild start to winter, an unsettled and potentially colder weather pattern is expected to emerge across Europe throughout next week.
Warmer-than-normal temperatures have encompassed much of the continent since Nov. 1 despite plentiful rainfall across Ireland and the United Kingdom. Farther east, the milder air has been accompanied by dry conditions in areas from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Romania.
A trend toward cooler weather should unfold throughout next week across the northern half of Europe, especially from Germany and Poland.
Meanwhile, after a dry weekend, a return to showery and breezy conditions will occur for the UK and Ireland. To the south, a sluggish storm system will crawl across Italy and into southeast Europe, spreading rain along its path.
Recent heavy rainfall over the U.K. and Ireland have brought some flooding over parts of the area. The worst of this was over Scotland and Ireland.
The coldest air in Europe has been bottled up in Scandinavia over the last several weeks. By the middle of next week, that cold air may seep southward on the east side of a high pressure system centered over Sweden.
While specifics are hard to pinpoint at this time, temperatures may fail to climb above 0 C across northern Germany and much of Poland and the Czech Republic Wednesday and Thursday.
With cold air in place, moisture streaming northward may set the stage for some snow from Germany through Poland. While a major winter storm does not look likely at this point, it will be a taste of winter for many places that have been spared thus far.
Across the UK and Ireland, the cold air will have a much harder time making progress due to a milder flow of air from the southeast, off the Atlantic Ocean. This should allow persistent showers for the region through much of the week.
Many places in southeast Europe have only received half their average rainfall since the start of November. A similar situation has unfolded in portions of France. In Germany and Poland, temperatures have run a couple degrees C warmer than normal while the warmth has been even more impressive in Romania where some spots are around 4 C above average.
A woman strolls through the fog on a snow-covered field near Isny, Germany, early Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/dpa, Felix Kaestle)
Story updated by Meteorologist Alan Reppert
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