Biting winds and sub-zero temperatures threaten to plunge Europe into an early winter freeze amid predictions Arctic misery could grip the continent as early as October.
Climatic anomalies associated with colder-than-average European winter weather are building across the globe.
One factor is the El Nino warming of the eastern Pacific which is forecast to become fully established by the end of the year.
Even a weak El Nino event drives a trend towards colder weather across Europe.
On top of this we have solar output, which is falling off a cliff.
Past Grand Solar Minimums have resulted in substantially colder than average temperatures across the globe, along with extreme weather events which in turn led to crop loss and famine.
Exacta Weather’s James Madden warned Europe’s freakishly hot summer should not be taken as a promise of a mild winter ahead.
“We should not be lulled into a false sense of security as [the hot summer] does not mean the whole of autumn will be warm nor that this will lead to a milder winter,” Madden said.
“We expect things to turn significantly colder and more wintry during the second half of autumn and we are facing the prospect of an early big freeze this side of the New Year on current projections.”
Winter 2018/19 may also come under the influence of tropical air movements over the Indian and Pacific Oceans — the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO).
Ian Simpson, spokesman for UK weather forecasting service, Netweather said, “The Madden-Julian Oscillation is currently in a neutral phase but the forecast models are suggesting a shift to phases seven and eight into September.
“Phase seven is correlated with above average sea level pressure over the British Isles.
“Phase eight is correlated with a stronger than average Icelandic low, broadly matching the anomaly pattern from the ENSO composites.
“Phases six and seven are associated with enhanced chances of cold wintry spells in November associated mostly with an above average likelihood of northerlies.”
Although it’s currently too early to tell whether this cycle of MJO will last beyond September, models confidently have Phase six as a possibility before the end of the year.
“November is looking about 70% likely to be colder than normal, with frequent northerly and north-westerly winds,” Simpson concluded.
Grand Solar Minimum