2016 Europe summer forecast: Heat to bypass UK; storms to batter areas from France to Poland
By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
May 26, 2016, 9:08:58 AM EDT
Bouts of rain will suppress heat in the United Kingdom and Ireland this summer, while rain and thunderstorms frequent areas from Paris to Berlin and Warsaw.
Meanwhile, dry and hot weather will settle in across Italy and the Balkans, leading to drought conditions, poor crop yields and wildfires.
JUMP TO: Limited heat, bouts of rain forecast for UK and Ireland| Frequent storms, occasional heat to stretch from Paris to Berlin and Warsaw | Dry, hot summer in store for Italy and Balkans | Warmth to prevail over Iberian Peninsula; Frequent rain to fall in Scandinavia
High pressure sitting to the west of Ireland and the U.K. will keep extreme heat at bay and also direct Atlantic depressions between Iceland and the British Isles.
While the center of the depressions will often pass near or north of Scotland, rain will frequent much of the U.K. with the heaviest falls expected in Northern Ireland, western Scotland and northwest England.
“After a wet start to 2016, the unsettled weather will continue into the summer months, which means there could be enhanced localized flooding, especially in areas that are trying to still clean up from the floods in early winter,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.
Frontal boundaries accompanying the depressions will sweep through the U.K. and Ireland, ending any warmth and resulting in seasonable temperatures for much of the summer months.
The frequency of these fronts and a flow off the Atlantic Ocean for much of the summer will result in no extended heat waves for the Isles.
These fronts will also bring occasional thunderstorms with downpours, lightning and small hail.
The predominant storm track for the summer months will send storms from the north Atlantic Ocean eastward into Scandinavia and the Baltic states.
The result of this pattern will be occasional heat building northward and interacting with cold fronts racing eastward across western and northern Europe.
This interaction will result in numerous episodes of rain and thunderstorms from France into Germany, Poland and the Baltic states.
Some of the storms will be severe with the greatest threat for damaging storms in eastern France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, western Czech Republic and western Poland.
The strongest thunderstorms will produce damaging winds, hail and even isolated tornadoes.
Flash flooding will also be a concern due to slow-moving thunderstorms, with the greatest threat stretching from eastern France into southern Germany and western Czech Republic.
While extended heat waves are not expected, one to two days of intense heat are possible ahead of each cold front.
While storms bring relief from any intense heat in western and northern Europe, southern Europe will be sweating this summer as long stretches of above-normal temperatures and dry weather dominate.
The core of this heat will build from central and southern Italy into the southern Balkans and expand northward in July and August.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert, “The heat in the southern Balkan Peninsula could result in the warmest summer in recent years.”
The heat will be felt over northern Italy, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Slovakia in July with the hottest days of summer occurring in August across Ukraine and Belarus.
Along with the building heat, drought will be a concern from southern Italy into Greece and the southern Balkans.
Drought will bring an increased risk for water shortages, poor crop yields and wildfires. The greatest risk will be from July into August when the drought worsens and lightning from isolated thunderstorms can trigger fires.
“This will be the second straight year with a hot summer that will feel unbearable at times. People need to stay hydrated and watch after the elderly and young, especially in the afternoon,” Roys said.
The drought is expected to build into Serbia and southern Romania during the second half of the summer. Thunderstorms caused by weak frontal passages will bring some beneficial rains to areas from Austria to northern Romania and Moldova.
Overall, a summer with near-normal temperatures and precipitation is expected across Spain and Portugal. While there will be heat, the summer will be cooler compared to last summer when Madrid experienced 72 days with temperatures 32 C (90 F) or higher from June through August.
“Mild nights are expected across the Iberian Peninsula this summer, resulting in above-normal temperatures overall,” Reppert said.
Following a wet pattern during the spring, conditions will turn drier in June with occasional light rainfall, especially in northern Portugal and northern Spain.
During the months of July and August, drier overall weather is expected with isolated thunderstorms. Most of these storms will occur in the higher terrain during the afternoon and evening hours. A few of the storms will drift into the lower elevations and will bring beneficial rainfall.
“The drought that has impacted parts of the Spain the past several years will plateau or even improve slightly in some areas,” Roys said.
A few of the strongest fronts expected to pass through northern Europe will reach northern Spain, triggering more widespread showers and thunderstorms and bringing the threat for downpours and flash flooding to the Pyrenees.
Meanwhile, areas from Scandinavia to the Baltic states will experience a wetter-than-normal summer as frequent storm systems pass through the region. These storms will bring rain and occasional thunderstorms along with cooler-than-normal air to the region.
The high frequency of wet and cool days will result in below-normal temperatures for the summer months and also keep any intense heat from building into the region throughout the season.
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