A icy winter looms – the forecast says.

Posted: 16 October 2010

Forecasters warned snow is due in Scotland and possibly northern England before the end of October 2010, with frost as far south as southern England. Is Great Britain up to another winter as the last one, which was the coldest for 31 years. The Weather Outlook, which has an accurate seasonal forecasting record, warned the UK is now being gripped by a bitter series of winters comparable with the harsh 1939-42 winters which made conditions so horrendous during the Second World War, reports the TELEGRAPH. In Germany snow is possible in low-lying mountains even sooner on the 16th October already (Here).

No wonder that web-logs have picked up the issue quickly. P. Gosselin comments: __”A number of scientists, yet a minority, have been warning of this leading to decades of harsh winters for some time now.” (Here)
(Fig. 1; September 2010)

Fact is that the last winter had been very cold 2009/2010, similar to 1939/1940, which was actually significant colder. However the autumn season now (2010) and then (1940) seems to have been different. Now the claim goes that the winter will come early to Britain as snow is forecast for the north while the south will shiver in frosty sub-zero nights.
(Fig. 2; Autumn 1940 (S/O/N)

For Britain the weather analysis for autumn 1940 states: “….after a cool and showery July, in August and early September, terminated by a cool and moist period after which conditions were not far from the average until the end of the phonological season (end of November)[1].

For Germany the rain was a significant feature in autumn 1940, much less then one year earlier but still with the double amount in September and November, but below average in October.

__The September was cold and wet in North-Germany, in South-G warmer.

(Fig. 3, December 1940)

__The October was generally colder and dryer then the mean.

__The November was to warm and in the western region to wet.

__The December was to cold and with the exception of NW and Mid-Germany to dry.[2]

Also Sweden did not experienced any surprises in autumn 1940, which had been only remarkable by very lively cyclonic activities in October and December with unusual storminess.

___The September had many lows, with most remarkable crossing S-Sweden on 27/28th succeeded by a 11mb drop in air pressure in 3 hours.

___Since the 10th October the air pressure was fairly high,

___until 10th November, and again after the 28th, while low pressure prevailed during mid November.

___After some lows in early December, a strong low reached Gotaland on 5th and strengthened, with heavy precipitation all over the country, followed by a very high pressure system, lasting until month end, when a low pressure reached mid Sweden (29 Dec) bringing a very high snow fall to the southern part of Norrland.(Statens Meteorologisk-Hydrografiska Anstalt, Arsbok 1940)

In Conclusion:

The weather services for Britain, Germany, and Sweden do not indicate -on first view- any serious deviation from normal weather pattern in autumn 1940. Only since December 1940 the conditions turned into a very cold mood (Fig.3). The winter reached not the strength of the 1st and 3rd war winter, but surely the severity roughly about the last winter (2009/10), as indicated in Figure 4, showing the anomalies during the winter season (DJF) 1940/41.    

ArndB/16 Oct.2010


Figure source:

__Sources and parameters: GHCN_GISS_HR2SST_1200km,  ___http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/,
___Anomaly vs. 1900 to 1940

[1] Quarterly Journal of R.Met.S., Vol. 67, No 289, p.67f. (by Major H. C. Gunton)

[2] “Deutscher Witterungsbericht 1940-1944”, Teil I, Bad Kissingen 1947. (Deutscher Wetterdient in der US-Zone).