What will winter 2021-2022 be like in Ukraine?

What will winter 2021-2022 be like in Ukraine?

What will winter 2021-2022 be like in Ukraine?
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The preparation of long-term meteorological forecasts is one of the most important tasks of meteorology, which, unfortunately, has not been definitively resolved to date. There is still no generally accepted methodology for their preparation and those that have already been created are unreliable. And yet, the use of the latter gives some practical results. Forecasts for the season are quite popular and relevant, especially when it comes to winter.

What should Ukrainians expect from next winter? According to the calculations of most modern numerical climate models, the winter season 2021-2022 in Europe and especially in Ukraine is expected to be quite mild. Thus, according to the European Center for Medium Forecasting (ECMWF), from December 2021 to February 2022, a positive anomaly of air temperature is expected in most of Europe, especially in its eastern part. It is clear that in all three months Ukraine is in orange shade on the map, which corresponds to anomalies of +1 … +2 ° С (the differences are calculated in relation to the basic climatic period 1993 – 2016). At the same time, the amount of rainfall will be close to the norm and only in the north of the European continent is expected excessive rainfall due to the active western transport and cyclonic activity. Snow cover is likely to be unstable. At the same time, in the eastern Mediterranean and in Turkey, there is a high probability of anti-cyclonic activity, which may lead to a lack of rainfall in these areas.

The forecast values ​​of the surface pressure field in the northern hemisphere for the next 3 months also testify in favor of a mild winter in Ukraine. The map shows a prediction of multiple models (a set of forecast data from various global centers) of the surface pressure field. It can be seen that lower pressure is expected in the region of Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard, which will manifest itself with quite active cyclonic activity and stable western transport. This nature of traffic will mean for Ukraine frequent thawing and alternating rainfall in the form of snow and rain. In addition, a positive phase of the so-called Arctic Oscillation is predicted. Without going into details, in case of a positive phase, the winter in the territory of Ukraine is usually warm. But this does not preclude episodic cold invasions, which are usually short-lived and do not affect the final state of affairs.

There is another statistical sign that winter in Europe will be warm. In climatology, the distant mechanisms of interaction between the global ocean and the atmosphere are commonly referred to as climate signals or oscillations (oscillations). One of these signals, which is the most important for the Northern Hemisphere, is the Arctic Oscillation, mentioned above. However, less popular, but quite applicable in practice, the oscillations are also open. For example, the tropical North Atlantic (NTA) oscillation, which characterizes the surface temperature of the tropical part of the Atlantic Ocean and is expressed numerically by the NTA (or TNA) index. It turns out that there is a good correlation between the values ​​of the index in July – August (the period of maximum warming of the water in the Atlantic) and the surface air temperature in Europe in January and February. Last summer, the TNA index was significantly lower than in many recent years and since the correlation for our region is negative, it means higher temperatures in January and February (see map).

In addition, with a probability of 40-60%, the development of a warm winter is predicted by experts from the Earth Institute of Columbia University (The Earth Institute, Columbia University), see map.

Summarizing the above, we can conclude that according to various long-term forecasting methods (including numerical modeling, statistical approximation and the beginning of the whole), the winter in both Ukraine and most of Europe is likely to be warmer than normal. The amount of rainfall in this case will be within the normal range, but in some places there may be a deficit (for example, on the left bank of Ukraine according to Columbia University). The snow cover is expected to be intermittent and intermittent throughout the area. Throughout the winter, rainfall will fall in the form of snow and rain.

Note! It is important to understand that the warm winter scenario does not cancel out the episodic periods of Arctic cold invasions, unusually low temperatures and heavy snowfall. This forecast is indicative and is for informational purposes only. It gives a general idea, first of all, of the average temperatures and the prevailing form of circulation in the Atlantic-European sector, based on the real indicators in the Ocean-Atmosphere system of the Northern Hemisphere.

Prepared by Igor Kibalchich, Candidate of Geographical Sciences, Meteorologist.

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