AccuWeather 2019 Europe spring forecast
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 19, 2019, 8:00:12 AM EST
Spring will arrive early for some parts of Europe, while cold and snow linger on for others.
The spring will also feature the risk for flooding rainfall and damaging winds for some, while others can expect a change to prolonged dry spells with the risk for a building drought.
Frequent warm spells from United Kingdom to France
An early switch to spring warmth will be felt across parts of western Europe with prolonged spells of mild weather from France into southern parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Unlike last March, which featured multiple days of accumulating snowfall in London and Paris, milder weather will prevail limiting the threat for any snowflakes this year.
“High pressure will set up over western Europe and the Bay of Biscay for much of the season providing stretches of dry weather to much of France and the Iberian Peninsula,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.
Multiple stretches of 16 C (60 F) or higher temperatures are expected during March in Paris, Nantes and Lyon.
Come April, the same cities will have the potential to reach 27 C (80 F) on multiple occasions.
This weather pattern will also result in higher-than-normal temperatures across Ireland and the United Kingdom; however, much of the warmth will be spoiled by frequent wet weather as storms from the Atlantic cross near or just north of Scotland.
“Above-normal rainfall is expected across much of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Northern England for the season as a whole,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.
"The most likely time for an lengthy period of dry weather in these areas will be during the month of May," added Reppert.
These Atlantic storms will also bring the threat for locally damaging winds with the greatest risk across Northern Ireland, Scotland and Northern England during the months of March and April.
Netherlands to northern Germany, Scandinavia set for wet spring
Wet weather is set to dampen outdoor plans this spring from Netherlands into northern Germany and much of Scandinavia.
“An active storm pattern from the Atlantic into the North Sea and Scandinavia is forecast for much of the spring season,” Roys said.
While each storm will result in a brief period of above-normal warmth, finding the opportunity to enjoy outdoor actives will be difficult due to the frequency of rainfall.
The wetter-than-normal pattern will also increase the risk for flooding across Norway and Sweden as the rain combines with melting snowfall.
Another concern as these storms race eastward will be locally damaging winds. The greatest risk for this will be from Denmark into Norway and southern Sweden.
Drought fears to rise across Iberian Peninsula, central Europe
While wet weather and the risk for flooding affects some parts of northern Europe, drier-than-normal weather is forecast across the Iberian Peninsula to Italy and central Europe.
Along with the prolonged periods of dry weather, above-normal warmth is likely for much March, April and May.
While the dry, warm weather will allow people to enjoy more time outdoors, it will come at a long-term cost.
The prolonged dry weather throughout the spring will not be a problem initially; however, as the season winds down and shifts into summer, concern for a long-duration drought will build across the region.
AccuWeather meteorologists are also concerned about the risk for drought conditions to begin building across central Europe from Italy into southern Germany late in the spring.
“The dry weather will initially be beneficial for farmers as it allows for early planting of crops,” Reppert said.
But the condition of crops will become more of a concern during the summer months if the dry weather continues.
Meanwhile, skiers will benefit from lengthy dry spells across the Alps following a winter which provided well above-normal snowfall.
The spring ski season is expected to last longer than normal; however, there will be an elevated risk for avalanches due to the deep snow pack and transition to higher temperatures as the spring progresses.
Anyone planning a skiing trip should closely monitor the conditions of slopes in their area.
Cold, snow to linger into spring across eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is also set to experience spring warmth - though it will arrive later than in most other other locations.
Areas from Moldova into Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states will all have to endure some additional cold and snow during the months of March and April.
“As high pressure sits over western Europe, cold air will be able to remain entrenched across eastern Europe,” Roys said.
The presence of this cold air will raise the risk for snow as storms arrive both from the Balkan Peninsula and northern Europe.
The cold and snowy spring may delay the planting of crops in some areas.
Elevated risk for March snowfall, flooding across the Balkan Peninsula
Some of winter’s chill will also linger across the Balkan Peninsula during the month of March setting the stage for some early spring snowfall.
High pressure over western Europe will allow cold air from Russia to filter all the way to the southern Balkans.
As storm systems dive from northern Europe southeastward and collide with the cold air, there will be an increased risk for snow and chill across the region.
The wintry temperatures will ease during the months of April and May, limiting the threat for snowfall to the highest elevations.
While the cold air is replaced by more seasonable conditions, the weather will remain unsettled with frequent rainfall.
“Flooding will be a concern, especially during April as snowmelt combines with the continued wet weather,” Roys said.
Areas of rugged terrain will also be at risk for mudslides due to the continuous wet pattern.
As May arrives, the unsettled pattern will continue with the main threat shifting from flooding to severe thunderstorms.
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