Sunday, 14 April 2013

Winter timeline 2012/13

It all started in late October. Snow showers began on Saturday, 27 October 2012 around 7 a.m. and continued until next day’s morning. Over that time ground has been covered with some 10 centimetres of heavy wet snow, while roads got covered with slush. Most drivers were caught naked by the winter with summer tyres on. Those who proved their foresight and changed tyres in time should not have sat behind wheels of other cars unprepared for the winter incident lasted five days. The lowest temperature (-7C) was recorded on 29 October 2012. Snows fully melted on the first day of November when temperature topped +7C.

November 2012 was another one in a row of warm Novembers in recent years (2006: +5.9C, 2008: +5.2C, 2009: +5.7C, 2010: +6.0C). Average temperature in Warsaw was +5.8C (vs. long-term average of +3.1C). After October snows melted in the first two days of the month, no sign of winter was in sight.

1 December 2012 – 5 December 2012
Winter creeping in. Temperature stays below 0C even over the day, snowfalls are meagre – less than one centimetre on 3 December

6 December 2012
A beautiful sunny, uplifting day is followed by frosty evening. On my way home around 7 p.m. car thermometer reads –6C. Forecasters warn of first heavy snowfalls, but I’m sceptical about this…

7 December 2012
It begins to snow around 3 a.m. and goes on for 12 hours. In the afternoon some 4 centimetres of white powder linger on the ground. Road clearance services have risen to the task – this year winter has not taken them aback and roads are clear, what cannot be said about slippery pavements. Around –4C over the whole day.

8 December 2012
Forecasters missed it by a long shot, not –6C at night, not –3C over the day. The temperature in the morning is –8C and refuses to go up over the day. A single sunbeam cannot break through thick fog. Long-term forecasts show snow showers next weekend and a big frost wave starting around the middle of the month and lasting until Christmas…

9 December 2012
Frosty, but beautiful morning. –12C at sunrise and the sun does illuminate swathes of land adorned by hoar frost. By midday it clouds over and beauty of the winter loses it charm. Chilly.

10 December 2012 – 12 December 2012
Three moderately frosty (single-digit below zero) and snow-shower-free days. Bearable winter gloom

13 December 2012
In afternoon sun breaks through the clouds for an hour before sunset. As the skies have cleared up, temperature plummets. Around 7 p.m. it’s –9C. Cold night ahead.

14 December 2012
Right on! –12C in the morning, clear sky. A beautiful scenery to try out a new camera. Only chilly wind takes the gloss off delighting in gorgeousness of the winter. Wind chill of –20C

15 December 2012
Light frost and icy rain mean everything is slippery. Good it’s Saturday and after morning to the shops I can stay at home and focus on pre-Christmas household chores. In the evening it begins to snow

16 December 2012
Temperature above 0C all day long, fallen rain has frozen on the ground and at least by midday most trails for pedestrians and vehicles are treacherously slippery. Besides, we have a mild, short-lasting thaw. Long-term forecasts show a frosty and snowy period before Christmas, followed by annual tradition of Christmas thaw…

17 December 2012
Little frost (range of –5C to –3C), some freezing sleet and in the evening I can indulge in one of my two favourite winter sports – defrosting the car. I’m in a luck – unlike many other vehicles my car does not resist to open.

I don’t know whether anyone predicted it, but I wake up to the sight of over ten centimetres of fresh snow. Half an hour in the morning to clear the drive out of snow and off I go to work. Both ways not that bad on the roads – I must say this time road clearance (on main routes) services are up to the mark again. In the evening I experience a freezing drizzle (rain falling at –5C) – icy.

19 December 2012
No snow today, it’s still icy. First truly white Christmas since 2002 ahead! To the right – unacceptable example of clearing only a small part of windscreen before setting off…

20 December 2012
Kind of frosty morning, -10C, followed by a bright, sunny day

21 December 2012
The world doesn’t end, but it’s –14C in the morning and again we enjoy beautiful clear skies. High pressure system doesn’t let off and temperature doesn’t climb to single digits over the whole day. In the evening –13C

22 December 2012 – 23 December 2012
A lovely weekend, weather is ideal for Christmas – frosty and sunny. Unfortunately I cannot lap it up as I’m down with flu in bed. Chilly, -16C on Sunday morning is this winter’s low so far. (with hindsight – it’s been)

24 December 2012
Morning, -6C and freezing rain. Ghastly weather for drivers. First nuisance is clearing your vehicle off ice, but even if you keep it in a garage, you’re not much better off, as roads are very slippery. Over the day temperature soars, breaks 0C shortly before 11:00 a.m. and hits +4C in late afternoon. Annual Christmas thaw begins! Weather never breaks tradition…

25 December 2012
Gloomy Christmas Day. Day-time high of +5C. Snows are melting rapidly… Long-term forecasts say true winter is not expected to return within a fortnight…

26 December 2012 – 28 December 2012
Let it thaw, let it thaw, let it thaw…

29 December 2012
Ooops, -8C in the morning and everything is covered with a thick layer of hoar frost. Nature again shows its beauty. Sunny most of the day, but temperature stays below zero.

30 December 2012 – 2 January 2013
Let it thaw, let it thaw, let it thaw. Above zero almost all the time, and sunny on most days in this period.

December 2012 was cool. Average temperature in Warsaw was –3.1C (vs. long-term average of –0.7C). Much colder than a year ago… Stats:
- month-time high: +8.2C on 26 December 2012 (unsurprisingly, around Christmas)
- month-time low: –16.1C on 23 December 2012 (hey, it’s also around Christmas, how temperature soared)
- the warmest day: 26 December 2012 (daily average of +5.6C)
- the coldest day: 21 December 2012 (daily average of –12.5C)

3 January 2013
Still balmy (+4C both in the morning and in the evening), but rain pours down and chilly wind takes the gloss off the warmth. Frosty winter expected to come in mid-January.

4 January 2013 – 6 January 2013
Hideous, chilly thaw. Barely above zero, windy, with no sunshine. Weather could after all settle for something – either a proper winter with snow and frost, or proper thaw as it was a week earlier.

7 January 2013 – 8 January 2013
Temperature below zero all the time, but weather not typical for winter, ground is free of snow precipitation.

9 January 2013
Little overnight snow plays havoc with traffic. Winter is back for more than a week.

10 January 2013
Heavy, wet overnight snow is much worse than yesterday. It’s much warmer (about –1C in the morning, day-time high of +3C), but driving conditions are dreadful. Slippery roads are not that scary; poor visibility is a more serious problem, the worst thing is when you can’t discern lines marking out lanes.

11 January 2013
Light winter, little snow, more snow showers expected over the weekend.

12 January 2013
Woke up to behold new supplies of fresh snow. This time flurry is beautiful, fluffy and crisp, but falls over the whole day. Instead of forecast –3C some –7C in the early afternoon. Abundant snowfall is much better on weekend than on a business day. I hope snow showers cease by Monday morning…

13 January 2013
Snow showers ceased at night. Morning is frosty (-10C), but sunny and so is the day. To the right – plants in the garden shrouded in white powder.

14 January 2013
The coldest morning in January so far (-12C), another bright and sunny day

15 January 2013 – 16 January 2013
Getting warmer (between –4C and –1C), in return – another portion of nagging flurry, and accompanying nuisances – slush, slippery pavements, etc.

17 January 2013 – 18 January 2013
No snow falling, enough is on the ground, temperatures plunge to range of –10C to –6C. Not very chilly, even despite howling wind.

19 January 2013
TGIS – Thank God it’s Saturday. Snowing begins shortly before dawn and continues for the whole day. –10C when the day is breaking and no warmer than –8C in the afternoon. Snow is crisp and flakes are tiny so clearing it with a shovel is easy, but road clearance services find it hard to keep streets clear of snow. The lower the temperature, the less effective putting down salt and grit is.

20 January 2013
A day of respite from snow, sky stays overcast and it’s chilly – no warmer than –7C.

21 January 2013
Snow showers begin around 6 a.m. During rush hours, morning and evening ones, city road clearance services bugger up all the way, for the first time this winter. –10C in the morning, -10C in the evening, wind chill makes it below –15C. And around 6 p.m. there’s a mini-blizzard that brings traffic almost to a standstill

22 January 2013
After overnight snow main roads are clear. –9C in the morning and not much warmer over the day, wind chill of –18C persists. Snowflakes launch an assault around 10 a.m., here we go again.

23 January 2013 – 24 January 2013
Snows keep plaguing. Road clearances have given up for sure, pedestrians waddle in a slush. Weather station says snow cover reached 26 centimetres in Warsaw – still little compared to 53 centimetres on 16 February 2010, the thickest in my lifetime. Temperature between –10C and –6C. Enough is enough. Thaw on the horizon, but before it happens, a frosty weekend.

25 January 2013
Forecasters get it wrong. Was supposed to be a clear-sky night and temperature was supposed to go down to –11C. In the morning I wake up to find 2 centimetres of fresh white powder and it’s –7C. Over the day – no warmer. Snow cover reaches its peak of 27 centimetres. From now it will subside.

26 January 2013
Forecasters get it wrong. Was supposed to be a clear-sky night and temperature was supposed to go down to –15C. This time there’s little flurry in the morning and temperature dropped to mere –11C. In the afternoon a few hours of glorious sunshine make my day. To the right – big icicles hanging down from my roof Pink glow on the sky signifies a frosty night ahead.

Forecasters… Same old story. Was supposed to be –17C and beautiful sunshine by midday, actually it’s slightly warmer, -16C, 0.5 degrees warmer than on 23 December 2012. The coldest morning this year, but not this winter. In the afternoon it’s sunny, but temperature goes up to –11C, wind chill of –16C, unpleasant. Waiting for the big thaw, expected to commence tomorrow.

28 January 2013
From –11C in the morning, to –1C in the evening, weather walks towards the thaw. Its companions are snow (1 centimetre today) and fog swathing everything from 8 p.m. into the night.

29 January 2013
Temperature turns positive, its snows and then rains, but as the ground is frozen, precipitation freezes on pavements which turn into ice rinks. Beware.

30 January 2013
Big thaw & big melt in overdrive. Temperature tops +7C (at 8 p.m.!!!) and snows melt rapidly. Everything flows. Dull, but relief from snow and chill is pleasurable.

31 January 2013
Thaw continues and is unlikely to give in…

January 2013 was normal. Average temperature in Warsaw was –3.5C (vs. long-term average of –1.9C). Stats:
- month-time high: +7.7C on 4 January 2013
- month-time low: –15.6C on 27 January 2013
- the warmest day: 4 January 2013 (daily average of +5.9C)
- the coldest day: 27 January 2013 (daily average of –13.2C)

1 February 2013 – 5 February 2013
To put it briefly – no true winter, sometimes it feels like late autumn, sometimes like pre-spring. Temperatures slightly above zero, occasional showers, scarce moments of sunshine. May the weather take a turn in any direction…

6 February 2013
Light dusting of snow in the afternoon and –1C. Not a winter though…

7 February 2013
Has anyone predicted several centimetres of wet snow falling today? Day-time high above zero; snow shower begins after midday, an hour after sunset there are more than 5 centimetres on the ground.

8 February 2013
Snowfalls ceased at night and we have more than 10 centimetres of fresh snow. To the right, snow-covered P&R Stokłosy car park. Some of it melts over the day when temperature creeps above zero, in the evening it’s again –3C

9 February 2013
The coldest morning this morning so far –7C before midday and thick fog lingers. What a beautiful winter :)

10 February 2013
Kind of chilly, despite temperature creeping above freezing, yet without flurry. Forecasters envisage mild winter with occasional snow showers over the coming days, but no harsh winter.

11 February 2013 – 15 February 2013
Very busy week at work; from what I notice it’s around zero – slightly below at night, slightly above over the day. Plus it doesn’t snow – we’re on a verge of winter

16 February 2013
Just below freezing and some snow showers…

17 February 2013
Was supposed to be near zero and with sunny intervals, in fact it gently snows and –4C persists…

18 February 2013
Light winter continues, very light dusting of snow over the days and temperature gently below zero. Snow nightmare ahead!

19 February 2013
Not as disastrous as forecasters would scare. Even if those 10 centimetres of snow have fallen, some of it have melted in above zero temperature. Slush, peddles, slippery, grotty…

20 February 2013
Time to speak it out – enough is enough, everyone’s had enough of winter. In the morning again – slippery – what melted yesterday froze over. Over the day still below zero and some little snow into late evening…

21 February 2013 – 22 February 2013
A two-day respite from falling snow. Gloomy, except for one hour of sunshine on Friday morning. Waiting for the spring…

23 February 2013
A few centimetres of heavy, wet snow linger on the ground after the night. Before midday thaw shyly comes over and it all begins to melt. Sleet in the evening.

24 February 2013 – 25 February 2013
Pre-spring thaw in its filthiness… Not much above zero, overcast sky, chilly wind and some drizzle…

26 February 2013
The first whiff of spring is felt in the air. Temperature tops +5C, gusty wind has the scent of warm breeze. Around 3 p.m. skies clear up and Warsaw enjoys two hours of sunshine. Spirit-lifting weather.

27 February 2013 – 1 March 2013
Spring still in the air, gusts of chilly wind sometimes take the gloss off it. Not much sunshine though…

February 2013 was normal. Average temperature in Warsaw was –0.4C (vs. long-term average of –1.0C) And numbers below prove weather was far from going into extremes. Stats:
- month-time high: +6.4C on 5 February 2013
- month-time low: –8.9C on 22 February 2013
- the warmest day: 1 February 2013 (daily average of +4.0C)
- the coldest day: 9 February 2013 (daily average of –4.5C)

2 March 2013
Light frost in the morning is a prelude to a sunny, warm day… A great opportunity to take a longer walk

3 March 2013
Very windy today, so day-time high of +5C cannot be felt, unless you find a shelter from the wind. Forecasts of blast of spring have been revoked…

4 March 2013 – 5 March 2013
Two days of gorgeous weather – clear blue skies, about –3C at the crack of dawn, day-time highs of +5C on Monday and +11C on Tuesday

6 March 2013
Light frost (-1C) before sunrise, then temperature soars to +15C in the afternoon. Gorgeous weather – clear blue skies, gentle southerly wind. Probably the last day of such great weather. Weather forecast is mind-boggling. I’m basking in the sun (day off to wash cars after winter) while tells me in five days (on 11 March) it will be –7C and snow…

7 March 2013
The last day of pre-spring episode. Temperature tops +10C, but sun is hidden behind clouds…

8 March 2013
Winter comes back. It begins to snow before midday; during first hours it melts, in the afternoon white powder begins to linger. Ghastly in the evening…

9 March 2013
After overnight snow shower everything is cloaked in over 5-centimetres-thick layer of snow. According to official readouts from W-wa Okęcie weather station temperature doesn’t rise above zero over the whole day, but snow melts… Puzzling…

10 March 2013
Flurry kicks off around 7 a.m., short before I wake up. I hatch the theory why the snow melts despite sub-zero temperature – it’s because the ground is still warmed up after the recent spring spell. No warmer than –2C and gloomy. End of winter on the horizon! (how premature it was…)

11 March 2013 – 12 March 2013
Ghastly, chilly, with light snow showers. Temperature actually hovers between –5C and 0C, but wind chill makes it feel as if it was below –10C. And this late winter spell grossly contrasts with length of day – it’s before in the evening, it’s not yet dark (though no longer light) and it snows. On Tuesday morning I take a walk to Ogród Saski… (to the right)

13 March 2013
New supplies of fresh, crisp snow are dropped overnight, in the morning it’s –7C, snow ceases to fall shortly before midday. Over the day – no warmer than –4C. Amount of salt on roads and pavements is horrifying…

14 March 2013
Really cold, -11C in Warsaw just before sunrise. In some parts of northern Poland temperature drops to –20C, which is atypical for mid-March. Clear blue skies over the whole day. Day-time high of –2C.

15 March 2013
Woken up by the howling… It’s just –5C, but feels like –13C, over the whole it doesn’t get much warmer. Warsaw is spared snow, while south-eastern swathes of Poland are fighting an assault of winter – 20 centimetres of snow & blizzards. Snow happens…

16 March 2013 – 17 March 2013
Large temperature variations are typical for late-winter high-pressure systems. The one which has come over Poland is bringing arctic masses of air. Outcomes: double-digit frost around sunrise and near 0C in the afternoon, cloudless skies, 12 hours of sunshine, chilly northerly wind. Funnily enough, temperature soars on Sunday. From –11C at 5 a.m. to +1C five hours later is a quick warm-up…

18 March 2013
Morning brings slightly higher temperature than yesterday, mere –8C. Clear skies lift spirits by midday, then sky gets overcast, but at least it doesn’t snow. Another winter assault is imminent and watch out, long-term forecasts don’t show spring on the horizon.

19 March 2013
Woke up at 3 a.m., looked outside the window, no snow – what a relief! I rolled out of bed at half past five and by that time snow shower kicked off and didn’t cease for the whole day. Not very frosty – above zero for a few hours over the day…

20 March 2013
Spring creeps up two minutes after midday (CET), greeted by temperature around zero and sleet. Temperature in the afternoon goes markedly above zero, shrinkage of snow cover is then noticeable.

21 March 2013
First day of spring doesn’t give a warm welcome – double digit frost at five in the morning. Some two hours later it’s –7C, but thick fog lingers and limits visibility to less than 50 metres. To the right – can you tell, from the distance of 50 metres, whether the traffic light is green, or red? Foggy spell last half an hour to give way to sunbeams. Around midday sleet takes over, then around 4 p.m. temperature drops below 0C from day-time high of +2C and it simply snows. It snows and won’t cease for hours to come…

Was supposed to snow all day, but forecasters got it wrong. Snow showers (over 5 centimetres of crisp, light snow overnight) give way to sunshine before midday. Cold, no warmer than –1C…

23 March 2013
As for late March, extremely chilly – sky is cloudless and when the day breaks temperature can drop as low as to –13C, over the day sunbeams quickly heat the air up, but just to some –4C. Glorious… but why not spring?

24 March 2013
This time –12C in the morning and the full range of winter moods of weather – moderate flurry which doesn’t linger, overcast skies and sunny intervals… -3C in the afternoon – winter doesn’t ease off.

25 March 2013 – 26 March 2013
Getting warmer – only single-digit frost in the morning, slightly above 0C in the afternoon and clear skies from sunrise to sunset. The last of the winter

27 March 2013
Spring is in the air. It sounds absurdly if you bear in mind morning brings again –7C, which is very cold as for late March and day-time high hits +3C. The sky slowly clouds over. Much of the snows melt.

28 March 2013
Instead of forecast sleet, day full of sunshine, no single raindrop nor snowflake, and on top of this a few hours of positive temperature.

29 March 2013
Blizzard kicks off before midday. It’s just one or two degrees below zero, so the snow is wet and heavy and continues to fall late into the night. Ghastly outside… It’s not just a spell of winter, it’s a proper winter. Only long daylight period signifies something is amiss… To the right – Ursynów, Al. Ken – late afternoon blizzard…

30 March 2013
After a light dusting of snow in the morning, thaw comes over. Gloomy, +2C and feels like late February…

31 March 2013
Clocks go forward overnight… When meteorologists warned of oncoming intense snowfalls I thought this would be harmless as temperature over the day was forecast to reach +2C. In fact temperature was just below zero and precipitation was one of most abundant this winter – some 10 centimetres of heavy, wet snow… To the right – on our way home from day spent celebrating Easter with family. Having dropped off my grandparents in Konstancin, we’re heading towards Piaseczno…

March 2013 was very frosty. Average temperature in Warsaw was –1.8C (vs. long-term average of +2.7C). This month will go down in the history of weather in Poland as extraordinarily chilly and snowy. This was also the coldest March in my lifetime (average temperature in second coldest March 1996 was –1.6C), but the second half of the 20th century saw colder ones in: 1987 (-2.5C), 1969 (-2.5C), 1963 (-3.0C), 1964 (-3.9C), 1958 (-3.9C), 1952 (-4.7C). Stats:
- month-time high: +14.7C on 6 March 2013
- month-time low: –13.1C) on 24 March 2013
- the warmest day: 6 March 2013 (daily average of +5.7C)
- the coldest day: 23 March 2013 (daily average of –8.8C)
Good I’ve cleared the drive yesterday around 5 p.m. Thanks to that prudent move in the morning I need to remove only some six centimetres of wet, heavy, white blanket. It snows all day and the only positive thing is temperature… To the right – the sight I woke up to on Easter Monday, not a laughing matter…

2 April 2013
Most of the day above 0C with some intermittent and harmless snow showers – white powder melts immediately…

3 April 2013 – 4 April 2013
At night – below zero and snow lingers and shovels come in useful in the morning. Over the day – above zero and snow melts instantly. Warsaw road maintenance service has run out of money for snow clearing. Can be felt in the morning rush hour… And this must be the last gasp of winter…

5 April 2013
Breakthrough – little snow at night, night-time low of –1C, proper thaw in the day. Foggy and gloomy…

6 April 2013
Out of line with weather forecasts, temperature doesn’t even reach +2C and no single sunbeam reaches snow-covered swathes of land…

Winter falls back. First sunny day after clocks went forward. After a frosty morning, day-time high of +6C. At last…

And then winter said a long-awaited farewell…

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