AccuWeather's 2020 Europe spring forecast
The Fastnet Lighthouse off the coast of Ireland appeared to wobble in this video on Feb. 16. The wobble was actually caused by the camera lens battling Storm Dennis' winds.
The wait is over. AccuWeather's annual spring outlook for Europe is here. The widespread lack of cold air across Europe this winter will continue into the spring, as much of the continent faces above-normal warmth.
Severe weather, building drought and periods of stormy weather will also be in the cards for many countries from March through May.
Windstorms are not expected to be a major concern as the storm track shifts farther north, with only glancing blows for Ireland and northern parts of the United Kingdom.
Warmth to maintain a firm grip on Europe
Following a winter that featured no widespread lasting cold weather, spring is set to continue that trend across Europe.
While near- to above-normal temperatures are predicted for the continent as a whole, the most frequent and longest-lasting episodes of warmth will be felt from the Iberian Peninsula into Germany and southern parts of the United Kingdom.
The frequent warmth will be accompanied by abundant sunshine, allowing people to spend more time outdoors than in recent years.
"Those who are spending time outside will have to endure an early start to allergy season as the prolonged warmth causes early budding and an increase in pollen," AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.
Agriculture may also benefit from the warm and largely dry weather as farmers will be able to plant crops quicker than normal.
People cool off in the fountain of the Trocadero, as the Eiffel Tower is visible in background, in Paris, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
The warmth may turn into uncomfortable heat for some before the end of the season.
"I expect parts of Portugal and Spain to feel more like summer at times during the month of May," Roys said. "Interior locations can expect multiple days with temperatures near or above 32 C (90 F)."
The hottest locations in Spain may see temperatures reach 38 C (100 F) in late May or early June.
In London, highs are likely to reach 27 C (80 F) before the end of May.
"High temperatures may make a run at 30 C (86 F) from Paris to Berlin during the second half of May as well," Accuweather Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.
Lightning is seen over the city of Stuttgart, southern Germany, early Saturday, July 27, 2019, as the heat wave in large parts of Europe gives way to storms and heavy rain. (Simon Adomat/dpa via AP)
Severe weather to threaten France to Poland with damaging winds, hail
While the warmth will be welcomed by most people during the upcoming spring, it will increase the risk for severe weather.
Overall, a wet and stormy spring is forecast, but when occasional storms do move across western and central Europe, there will be an increased risk for severe weather.
Locations from France to Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and northwest Poland will be at greatest risk for damaging thunderstorms.
Damaging winds, hail and flash flooding will be the most likely risks from these storms, but a few of the strongest may also produce tornadoes.
Strong winds from these storms may also lead to significant travel delays and and power cuts.
This risk will be highest during the months of April and May from Paris to Berlin.
"One positive from the occasional stormy weather will be rainfall that aids in soil moisture and also keeps river levels from dipping ahead of the summer months," Roys said.
However, any severe thunderstorms can pose a risk to crops in the form of flooding and damaging winds.
A tractor plows the land near Valea Seaca, Romania, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. After the harshest winter in decades, the Balkans region in the southeast of Europe is now facing the worst drought across the area in nearly 40 years, officials said. The record-setting average temperatures have ravaged crops, vegetables, fruit, and power production in a region that already is badly hit by the global economic crisis.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Drought fears to rise amid dry spring in eastern Europe
Warmth is set to prevail throughout the season from Poland into the Baltic states, Belarus and Ukraine.
Multiple days with temperatures at or above 27 C (80 F) are possible from Warsaw to Minsk and Kyiv during the month of May.
Locations in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will also experience temperatures well above normal for lengthy spells from March to May.
Dry weather will accompany the frequent warmth. Following a mild and drier-than-normal winter, these areas will be at an increased risk for drought conditions as the season progresses.
This could turn into a severe drought by the summer months if sparse rainfall becomes the theme of the season.
Even though agriculture may get a boost from spring's dry and mild start, there will frequently be the risk for cold mornings with frosts and freezes possible, according to Roys.
Damp start to spring from Italy to Balkan Peninsula
One of the few parts of Europe expected to have normal or slightly above-normal precipitation this spring is the Balkan Peninsula.
The wettest part of the season is expected to be from March into early April as storms cross the Mediterranean and bring bouts of rainfall.
Localized flooding will be a concern; however, the rainfall will be largely beneficial ahead of the summer months which may be even drier than normal.
High-elevation snowfall will also be possible during March which may lead to travel disruption across the region.
Any storm systems that do cross the region from late April into May will have an increased risk of producing severe thunderstorms.
These storms will generally pose the risk for flash flooding and locally damaging winds.
A trend to drier conditions is expected during the second half of the season along with above-normal temperatures from Italy into Romania and Greece.
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