Record warmth spread across Europe in the first half of January. Temperatures in the energy-stricken continent felt more like spring as several metropolitan areas recorded the warmest temperatures on record. Now a pattern shift is underway as parts of northwest Europe brace for a cold snap starting Monday.
The latest runs for global weather models, including GFS Operational and ECMWF Operational, show what appears to be a downward shift in temperatures for northwest Europe. Average temps are expected to average in the low 30s degrees Fahrenheit this week, below 5,10, and 30-year averages.
GFS and ECMWF models show temperatures in London could decline to the low 30s by tomorrow — well below average for this time of year.
A similar cold spell in Paris is slated for early this week.
As well as colder temperatures in Berlin.
Freezing temperatures across northwest Europe for the second half of the month will push up heating demand.
Mild temperatures curbed heating demand and allowed for injections into natural gas storage at a time when supplies should be drawing. But that could change with the return of winter.
The return of freezing conditions did very little to boost EU nature gas prices, which fell to the lowest level since September 2021 as the supply outlook remained robust.
“There currently appears to be no end to the losses on the European gas market,” analysts at trading firm Energi Danmark A/S wrote in a note. They added:
“The panic-like situation from last year has been replaced by confidence that Europe will get through this winter without any supply issues.”
Still, some are warning winter isn’t over:
Weather models are cooling by the day. European snow cover is forecast over half of Europe including Greece, Italy, Turkey, even Lebanon and North Africa reaching 3 foot of snow. #natgas pic.twitter.com/L5hjnXWgbW
— Heinrich Leopold (@LeopoldHeinrich) January 16, 2023
— PV-Forecast (@PvForecast) January 16, 2023
To the astonishment of weather forecasters models (Jan17,23,31) are becoming colder and colder in Europe. This is exactly what the weakening of the polar vortex suggests. This will intensify as an historic strong vortex has accumulated a record amount of arctic cold air. pic.twitter.com/jI9txxPD8n
— Heinrich Leopold (@LeopoldHeinrich) January 15, 2023