Sunday, 27 March 2016

Winter timeline 2015/2016 (being the 500th post on PES)

According to long-term predictions issued in autumn 2015 by several forecasting bureaus, winter 2015/16 was supposed to be one the mildest ever in Poland… It turned out to be one of milder…

1 October 2015
First ground frost.

9 October 2015 – 11 October 2015
First whiff of winter – wave of Arctic air is blown in over Poland. Mornings bring regular sub-zero temperatures, down to –2C. Hard to believe just a few days earlier temperature topped at +22C.

12 October 2015
Wet, heavy snow covers south-east Poland for a few hours, yet flurry does not reach Warsaw.

Thereafter autumn returns.

First two decades of November 2015 were more than balmy, yet there were followed by rather chilly third one. All in all, the temperature over the whole month averaged out +5.3C, vs. long-term mean of +3.2, so November 2015 was categorised as warm. Stats:
- month-time high: +15.8C on 8 November 2015 (more than 3 degrees short of the record from 2001),
- month-time low: –5.9C on 27 November 2015 (could have been much worse),
- the warmest day: 11 November 2015 (daily average of +13.8C, as warm as in September),
- the coldest day: 27 November 2015 (daily average of –2.8C, as cold as in January).

1 December 2015
First snow in the morning. Temperature positive, +2C, but precipitation is dense enough for the thick, wet white powder to linger for a while. By midday it melts…

2 December 2015 – 14 December 2015
Late autumn lasts. Temperatures oscillate in single-digit positive territory, with frosts haunting only when it’s dawning. At times sunny, at times rainy. At times windy, at times foggy.

15 December 2015
Flurry comes out in the afternoon, +1C. After sunset temperature drops below zero, snow begins to linger on the warm ground. Its layer is thin and it will soon perish… By the next morning it disappears…

16 December 2015 – 28 December 2015
Extraordinarily warm late autumn, with temperatures ranging from 0C to +15C. All spells of weather are witnessed, except for signs of winter.

29 December 2015
One day it has to begin. –2C in the morning and light dusting of snow which melts only where sunbeams reach (daytime high of 0.0C, cloudless skies). Farewell to temperatures above freezing for a while.

30 December 2015 – 31 December 2015
A snow-free winter. Single-digit frost, moderate wind and sunshine from dawn to dusk.

December 2015 was anomalously warm, the warmest since records began. Average temperature in Warsaw was +4.7C (vs. long-term average of –0.7C and breaking the previous record of +4.0C set in 2006) Stats:
- month-time high: +14.4C on 23 December 2015 (warmer than on 19 December 1989 when temperature soared to +14.2C, yet still cooler than on 5 December 1961, when post-WW2 record for December of +15.0C was set; it needs to be emphasised there were 11 days in December 2015 when temperature peaked at double-digit Celsius degrees),
- month-time low: –8.3C on 31 December 2015 (the balmy month had a chilly ending),
- the warmest day: 23 December 2015 (daily average of +11.6C, as warm as in early October),
- the coldest day: 31 December 2015 (daily average of –5.6C).

Sunny and chilly. Slightly below –10C at dawn, near –8C in the early afternoon. Looking outside, seems spring is in the offing. Going outside, wind chill of –18C makes you change your mind. Few folks dare to venture outside.

3 January 2016
The coldest morning this winter so far, –16C . By midday skies get overcast and little snowflakes begin to fly around. Over the day unpleasant feeling of chill absent in earlier days… And no warmer than –13C in the afternoon.

Again –16C while the dawn is breaking. This time sunnier and temperature goes up to –11C in the second half of the day to drop to –14C in the evening.

5 January 2016
Was supposed to get warmer… Outturn: –17C just before sunrise, not above –10C in the afternoon, –13C in the evening.

6 January 2016
How lovely. Temperature rises overnight to –7C and light dusting of snow covers the frozen ground. The missing piece of winter gently falls into place.

7 January 2016
Noticeably warmer, around –6C and gloomy.

8 January 2016
Another snow shower, yet the one which does not play havoc with those in need to get about. Two centimetres do not impress Warsaw. From –6C in the morning into +2C in the evening.

9 January 2016 – 10 January 2016
Gloomy thaw, or actually temperatures hovering around 0C. No sun, no rain, no new supply of snow, but the ground is frozen up, so the old snow melts really slowly.

11 January 2016 – 12 January 2016
Light thaw continues. Dark, rainy, foggy days. Depressing weather.

13 January 2016
Overnight flurry melts quickly over the day. Rain in the evening. Last hours with positive temperatures before veritable winter commences for more than a week (unless forecasters get it wrong).

14 January 2016
Bleak, winter day. Just below freezing…

Has anyone warned of intense snow showers? It begins to snow around 2 p.m. and does not cease into the night. Upshot – more than 10 centimetres of thick, wet white powder. Winter brings road clearance services to their knees in afternoon rush hours. Precipitation is quite heavy and for many is a nuisance, but for the first time since late January 2014 winter wonderland impresses with its timeless beauty.

It ceased to snow late in the evening yesterday. Skies clear up and bear testimony to winter’s magnificence. Only those in need to move about are worse off. Thoroughfares have been cleared off snow overnight, but many other roads are full of slush, or simply icy… Shame! Around –5C.

17 January 2016 – 21 January 2016
Generally speaking the same weather pattern: single-digit frost regardless of time of a day, sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy, sometimes foggy, sometimes a light dusting of snow. Boring winter.

Light, yet intense snow shower leaves two centimetres of fresh white powder and then gives way to sunshine for the whole day. –2C in the afternoon. A chilly night ahead and thaw in the offing.

Cloudless night followed by a frosty morning. Temperature drops to –14C shortly after sunrise. The chill is compensated by beautiful sunshine and diamond dust falling. Probably the last day (before thaw comes over) to cherish the magnificence of winter.

24 January 2016
Gently falling tiny snowflakes are probably the last seen during this January. Sky is overcast. Freezing drizzle in the afternoon, temperature rises above zero in the evening and will not drop below freezing by the end of the month.
Exactly ten years ago was the coldest morning in Warsaw in my lifetime – temperature fell to ghastly –27.1C.

25 January 2016
Thaw commences for good. Not more than +2C and drizzle.

26 January 2016
Temperature goes up to +5C. Drizzle at times turns into downpour. Snows melt quickly. Ghastly greyness takes over.

27 January 2016
Temperature increases to +8C. Snow, except for heaps, disappears, greyness is overwhelming. No winter on the horizon!

28 January 2016 – 31 January 2016
If the spell of warmth in the third decade of December 2015 was the lat gasp of autumn, these days bring the first whiff of spring. Temperatures above freezing, yet not hitting double-digits, sunny intervals each days. Long-term forecasts do not foresee winter by mid-February.

January 2016 was normal, although mean was featured by large positive and negative deviations. Average temperature in Warsaw was –2.9C (vs. long-term average of –1.9C) Stats:
- month-time high: +11.2C on 28 January 2016 (double-digit highs have not been so unusual during recent Januaries),
- month-time low: –17.1C on 5 January 2016 (a typical winter-time low),
- the warmest day: 28 January 2016 (daily average of +7.5C, as warm as in late October),
- the coldest day: 3 January 2016 (daily average of –15.0C).

1 February 2016 – 9 February 2016
Gentle pre-spring with no signs of winter, except for short hail shower on 4 February…

10 February 2016
After a rainy day in the evening it gets cold and rain turns into wet, dense snow. By midnight it covers the ground despite temperature above freezing.

11 February 2016
It snowed all night… Had it not been for the above-zero temperature, layer of snow would have reached even ten centimetres. But as the air and the ground were warmer, most of the snow melted. Result? Slush, a mixture of water, snow and ice all around, pedestrians have to wade in it. By the evening only big puddles remind of heavy snowfall.

12 February 2016 – 19 February 2016
Continuation of dull pre-spring. Not much above zero, usually cloudy with intermittent moments of sunshine and rain showers. Days are visibly longer…

20 February 2016
Little snow in the morning. Some one centimetre, precipitation which brings London or Paris to standstill and does not impress Warsaw at all. By early afternoon the white powder is gone…

21 February 2016 – 23 February 2016
Dull pre-spring goes on and on… I bet one month before first signs of proper spring come into sight (time proved me right!)

24 February 2016
An intense blizzard hits southern districts of Warsaw just after sunset. Temperature suddenly drops to –1C, but the heavy snowfall lasts no longer than twenty minutes and soon all traces of it are gone.

25 February 2016
Balancing between winter and pre-spring. A frosty morning gives way to a sunny, yet not really balmy day.

26 February 2016
Another morning with sub-zero temperatures, followed a cloudy day with intense, yet short snow showers. The fallen snow does not linger for long.

27 February 2016
Same pattern as two days earlier. By midday temperatures rises above zero, remnants of snow melt, sun breaks through the clouds…

28 February 2016
This time not a trace of winter… For a while only.

29 February 2016
The day sets off with a little blizzard. Snow melts quickly, but then comes another snow shower… Near zero.

February 2016 was very warm. Average temperature in Warsaw was +3.6C (vs. long-term average of –1.0C). It was the fourth warmest February since records began, after February 1990 (+4.6C), February 1991 (+4.1C) and February 1989 (+3.9C) and equally warm as February 2002. Stats:
- month-time high: +12.5C on 22 February 2016 (not extraordinarily warm),
- month-time low: –5.6C on 27 February 2016 (a similarly high low as in 2015),
- the warmest day: 2 February 2016 (daily average of +9.5C, as warm as in late April),
- the coldest day: 27 February 2016 (daily average of –1.7C, one of two days in February 2016 when mean temperature was negative).

1 March 2016 – 2 March 2016
Ghastly clash of winter and spring continues. Sleet and snow (melting quickly) keep being obtrusive. The recent abundant precipitation is a step towards solving the problem of long-term drought in Poland.

3 March 2016 – 12 March 2016
Dreary pre-spring with temperatures above freezing, infrequent rainfalls and not a single sunbeam reaching Warsaw. Depressing

13 March 2016
Sunshine! Clear blue skies. Slightly below +10C, but the gusty wind makes it still pre-spring.

14 March 2016
Yesterday’s weather turned out to be misleading for those hoping one sunny day was the first intimation of spring. Cloudless sky send temperature falling and before sunrise it dropped to –4C. A sunny morning followed by dull afternoon and in the evening it begins to snow heavily. Temperature hovers around zero so the snow lingers...

15 March 2016
By sunrise much of the snow fallen overnight melted; remnants disappear by midday. Dull and barely above zero.

16 March 2016 – 17 March 2016
Two sunny, yet definitely not balmy days. Some time will have to pass before spring takes over.

18 March 2016 – 20 March 2016
The last of the dull pre-spring. Unpleasant weather with little sunshine, chilly wind and intermittent showers.

21 March 2016 – today
The weather takes a turn for the better. Except for rainy Tuesday and Saturday, days are full of sunshine and getting warmer. Clear skies bring a price to pay, night-time frost! But since forecasts do not foresee even a short-lasting relapse of winter, time to sign off the timeline.

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