Sunday, 19 March 2017

Winter Timeline 2016/17

American forecasters claimed in early autumn 2016 this was supposed to be the fourth mild winter in a row in Poland. Although saying the ending winter was harsh would be an overstatement, yet it was colder and snowier and three previous ones.

7 October 2016
First ground frost. Though the formal minimum temperature readout from W-wa Okecie weather station was +0.9C, in most parts of the capital frost was seen on grass and cars.

14 October 2016
First official morning frost this autumn; –0.4C at dawn.

9 November 2016
First snow. Thick, heavy and wet. Falls from early morning until early evening, but does not linger for long since temperatures is just above 0C and ground has not frozen over.

10 November 2016
A sunny, clement day with temperature just above zero.

11 November 2016
Woke up to the sight of snow. This time it does not melt instantly, yet with air temperature near freezing does not accumulate as well. This is definitely the first whiff of winter, but it has not come for good (hopefully).

12 November 2016
Frosty, sunny and chilly. In the late afternoon temperature tops +0.6C, but it feels warmer since the air is still

13 November 2016
It was supposed to be another day with clear blue skies, but it starts with a snow shower lasting from 8:00 a.m. for two hours. The sun attempts to break through the clouds and snows melt, as temperature rises well above 0C.

14 November 2016 – 27 November 2016
Late autumn returns and shows its manifold faces, from nearing winter (sleet, temperatures close to 0C) at the end of month towards balmy and sunny belated Indian summer spell around the beginning of the third decade of the month (up to +13C and sunshine).

28 November 2016 – 30 November 2016
Light pre-winter. Temperatures oscillate around zero. Frequent snow showers bring a light dusting of snow which melts slowly.

November 2016 in terms of temperature was normal; the temperature over the whole month averaged out exactly as much as long-term mean of +3.2C. Stats:
- month-time high: +13.0C on 21 November 2016 (colder than in 2014 or 2015),
- month-time low: –4.5C on 28 November 2016 (quite an ordinary low),
- the warmest day: 21 November 2016 (daily average of +8.7C),
- the coldest day: 28 November 2016 (daily average of –1.5C).

1 December 2016
After an autumnal, gloomy day winter hits after sunset. Blizzard brings thick, heavy and wet snow.

2 December 2016
It snowed all night and ceased early in the morning. Temperature is still very close to zero, so when lots of snow melt and freeze over, roads turn into ice rinks. The layer of white powder is quite thick so that it does not disappear over the day.

3 December 2016
At times sunny, at times sky is overcast but with no snow showers. Though sunrays reach the earth, snow in most places lingers. Temperature barely above zero.

4 December 2016
Night brings another light dusting of snow. Over the day – just above zero. In the afternoon skies clear up.

5 December 2016 – 7 December 2016
Chilly, below zero all the time, wind chill probably below –10C. To make up for it, rather sunny (though not with clear blue skies), except for one snow shower on 6 December morning.

8 December 2016
After a frosty morning it thaws out immediately – temperature soars at the pace of one degree per hour, gusty winds howl.

9 December 2016 – 11 December 2016
Intense thaw with temperatures nearing double digits and rain pouring down. Late autumn gloom…

12 December 2016 – 13 December 2016
Temperature plummets on Monday morning and stays below zero, but not below –5C for two days. Shining sun and brightness make up for chill.

14 December 2016
Snow, sleet, rain. Whatever falls from the sky turns into water on the ground since thaw sets in.

15 December 2016 – 17 December 2016
Near, but rather above zero, little precipitation, hoar frost setting at night. Roads and pavements might be slippery, ye it’s still not the proper winter.

18 December 2016
Little snow falls, little snow lingers, little snow melts. Cause it’s near 0C, the most frequent temperature readout this December.

19 December 2016 – 20 December 2016
Fog, drizzle, gloom and temperature barely above zero. Feels like Christmas…

21 December 2016 – 22 December 2016
Fog gives way to clear skies, sunshine and a little bit of frost. Finally a spirit-lifting, though chilly weather.

23 December 2016
Wake up to freezing sleet. Icy rain or snow sets on roads and pavements and it gets slippery. A little bit of winter just before Christmas. By midday the snow is gone and ugly late autumn returns.

24 December 2016 – 25 December 2016
A general thaw, with intermittent yet intense rainfalls and some sunny moments. Gloom is overwhelming…

26 December 2016
It gets really warm for just one day, temperature tops +10C. Windy…

27 December 2016
A windstorm hits Poland. Gusty winds blow at speeds reaching 100 kmph and play havoc with electricity supply and bring intense rain showers.

28 December 2016 – 31 December 2016
Weather gets rather clement, with no precipitation, light frost at night, slightly above freezing during the day. And forecasts warn winter will hit in early January.

December 2016 was slightly warm. Average temperature in Warsaw was +1.2C (vs. long-term average of –0.7C) Stats:
- month-time high: +9.9C on 26 December 2016 (somehow it does not take me aback the warmest day befell around Christmas),
- month-time low: –6.7C on 12 December 2016 (so far double-digit frost escaped Warsaw),
- the warmest day: 10 December 2016 (daily average of +8.3C, as warm as in mid-October),
- the coldest day: 13 December 2016 (daily average of –4.1C).

1 January 2017
Blue skies cloud over. Gloomy day heralds oncoming actual winter.

2 January 2017 – 3 January 2017
Intense snow showers come and go in temperature close to 0C. Snow falls faster than it melts, hence layer of white powder slowly accumulates.

4 January 2017
Blizzard that commenced the evening before lasted all night but has not brought lots of snow. Over the day it thawed out, so next snow showers turn into water as they reach the ground.

5 January 2017
Now it’s getting serious. Overnight snow was crisp and light, but temperature in the morning dropped to –6C. By the evening it declines, for the first time this winter, to –10C. In such cold salt does not help keep roads and pavements clear of snow. Winter is about to stamp its foot, but not for long! Snow cover has reached five centimetres.

6 January 2017
Sunshine and clear skies from dawn to dusk. When the day breaks temperature is –13C, then despite sunlight air gets no warmer, while in the evening thermometers in Warsaw show –16C.

–19C just before sunrise and this stands a chance to be the coldest morning this winter. This is the first such temperature drop since February 2012… Not sunny all the time, a little snow shower leaves some white powder shortly before midday. Day-time high of –11C in the afternoon.

8 January 2017
With day-time low of –16C and day-time high of –7C temperatures take a turn for the better. If you add cloudless skies, you get the recipe for perfect winter wonderland. Three days ago weather forecasts said thaw was due today. Today they say sunny and frosty weather should continue for three coming days.

Should be a glorious winter, but it is not. Smog, felt by nostrils, throat and lungs, lingers in the air. Obnoxious particle hamper visibility and at times occlude the sun. The air is still, temperature between –14C and –3C.

12 January 2017 – 13 January 2017
On the edge of thaw – just below zero at night, just above freezing in daylight. Depending on time of day snow showers linger on the ground or turn into slush, freezing treacherously on cool ground.

14 January 2017
A one-day thaw, with maximum temperature barely above zero little of the snow disappear.

15 January 2017
The events of the day is are intense snow showers between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., then between 1:00 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. which bring some two centimetres of crisp white powder each. Besides, just below freezing and with spells of sunshine. In the afternoon temperature creeps above zero for the last time before winter returns for good.

16 January 2017 – 17 January 2017
Gloomy, with light frost and sparse, yet abundant snowfall. In a word a mild winter before temperature declines into double-digits below zero and skies clear up.

18 January 2017 – 19 January 2017
A harsher face of winter manifests itself. Near –10C before sunrise, below zero in the afternoon. No new snow at all, yet little sunshine. Smog has returned?

20 January 2017
Freezing drizzle, not as wreckful as exactly three years ago (taki mieliśmy klimat), yet when it rains at –4C, walking and driving is damn risky. Especially the former. Pavements are dreadfully slippery. Foggy (or smoggy).

21 January 2017
After a spell of frost at night it thaws out. Icy pavements become a thing of the past. Gloom does not let up.

22 January 2017 – 28 January 2017
I’m taking a week-long break from Polish winter and spend it in Spain where the weather is like in late March in Poland. In the meantime in Warsaw there is little new snow and temperatures swing from –10C before sunrise to slightly above zero on afternoons.

29 January 2017 – 31 January 2017
Rather cold nights with temperature falling near –10C, sunny days with day-time highs near 0C. Actual winter about to recede in a few days…

January 2017 was normal, yet it needs to be noted the categorization is due to large standard deviation from mean temperature recorded in Warsaw over years (I would classify it as slightly cold). Average temperature in Warsaw was –3.7C (vs. long-term average of –1.9C), but over most of the month actual temperature was nearing the average –2C. Stats:
- month-time high: +3.9C on 1 January 2017 (quite chilly, compared to double-digit month-time highs record in recent years),
- month-time low: –19.3C on 7 January 2017 (the coldest since February 2012),
- the warmest day: 1 January 2017 (daily average of +1.6C, mere +1.6C),
- the coldest day: 7 January 2017 (daily average of –15.6C).

1 February 2017
The last day of rather sunny mild winter (between –5C and the freezing point).

2 February 2017
The day begins with rather intense snow shower, but white powder melts quickly when temperature inclines above 0C. In the afternoon it gets foggy and freezing drizzle hampers moving around.

3 February 2017 – 4 February 2017
Just a bit above 0C, gloomy and no snow showers. Clouds occlude the sun, but days are visibly longer, especially in afternoons.

5 February 2017 – 6 February 2017
Around –4C, overcast skies and odd tiny snowflakes falling on the ground. A cold snap ahead!

7 February 2017
It snows, all day long. The snow is soft, crisp and does not fall in abundance. Hour by hour it gets colder, from –4C in the morning towards –9C late in the evening.

8 February 2017 – 9 February 2017
Snow showers cease, but sun does not break through the clouds. Temperature hovers between –10C and –5C but wind chill makes it feel like below –15C. The windy weather has one upside – moving air blows away the smog.

10 February 2017 – 11 February 2017
Finally sunshine takes over. Mornings are cold, around –10C, afternoons not that warm, since despite day-time highs near –3C, wind takes the gloss off warmth. Sunlight reveals how much salt has been put down on roads and pavements – they are virtually white.

12 February 2017 – 14 February 2017
Above –10C night-time lows, below 0C day-time high. Sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy yet without precipitation. Thaw fails to take over, yet after six weeks of full- or half-blown winter, a proper thaw would be welcome.

15 February 2017
Sunny, yet with hovering smog. Temperature in the afternoon for the first time since nearly two weeks rises above zero.

16 February 2017
Frosty morning (-5C) comes ahead of the first whiff of spring in the afternoon. Sunrays heat the air up to +8C, however air quality in Warsaw is horrid.

17 February – 23 February 2017
Gloomy pre-spring takes over. Sparse moments of sunshine, gloomy with rain showers, downpours, drizzles or fog. Temperature above zero all the time. The ground is frozen solid, hence it takes a few days before quite thin snow cover disappears.

24 February 2017
All of the sudden in begins to snow in the afternoon. The wind is gusty, so Warsaw witnesses a veritable blizzard. Temperature falls near zero, so the snow melts slowly.

Snows have not melted overnight. Besides, fresh supplies of white arrive around 9 a.m. when another blizzard hits. Despite temperature topping +3C and several spells of sunshine snow lies on the ground by evening.

26 February 2017
A light dusting of snow in the morning… Melts instantly. Temperature reaches +6C, but outside it is unpleasant in drizzle and chilly wind… Two-week forecast say today’s snow shower could be the last one (in 2014 the last snow was witnessed in the first decade of February).

27 February 2017 – 28 February 2017
Beautiful ending of February, sunshine and double-digit temperatures in the afternoon. Next whiff of spring is foreseen for the weekend.

February 2017 was normal. Average temperature in Warsaw was –0.8C (vs. long-term average of –1.0C). Stats:
- month-time high: +13,7C on 27 February 2017 (short of record-high +17.2C measured in 1990),
- month-time low: –10.9C on 10 February 2017,
- the warmest day: 27 February 2017 (daily average of +8.3C, as warm as in mid-April),
- the coldest day: 8 February 2017 (daily average of –8.9C).

March 2017 had a very pleasant beginning. Noteworthy events were first spring storm on 2 March 2017 and remarkably balmy first weekend of the month when temperatures peaked near +15C (in full sunshine it felt much warmer). Though later the weather resembled rather pre-spring (single-digit above zero, gloomy), no trace of winter was in sight.

1 comment:

Michael Dembinski said...

I love these summaries! Thank you for keeping a close watch on our changing climate each winter - future generations will find this extremely useful.