Record high temperatures in several parts of Europe this winter


Ski resorts had to close trails during peak season due to lack of snow

Some countries in Europe started their 2023 with sunny days and clear skies. This January, several countries recorded a record high temperature for this time of year. Some countries that would usually average temperatures around freezing point have recorded a staggering sixteen to eighteen degrees Celsius. 


According to The Guardian, climatologists and meteorologists called it “an extreme weather event”. Robert Vautard told The New York Times that there might be some kind of connection to the extreme weather conditions the United States have experienced. “It’s quite usual that when it’s getting cold in the U.S., we get warm temperatures and vice versa,” he said. Countries that have recorded high temperatures around New Year’s Eve include Poland, the Netherlands, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Belarus and Lithuania. The Guardian reports that in Spain and France people experienced summer temperatures of almost 25 degrees Celsius.

Climate change

Even though the cause of the warm January weather is hard to pinpoint, meteorologist Scott Duncan told The Guardian that the “warming atmosphere and oceans are ultimately making records easier to break.” Dr. Friederike Otto, a senior lecturer at the Grantham Institute, declared in a statement reported by The New York Times: “The record-breaking heat across Europe over the new year was made more likely to happen by human-caused climate change, just as climate change is now making every heat wave more likely and hotter…As long as greenhouse gas emissions continue, heat waves like these will become increasingly common and severe.”

Ski resorts and beaches

Some ski resorts like the ones in the Pyrenees and Vosges, who usually experience their peak season this time of year, had to close some of their trails due to the lack of snow caused by warm temperatures. In Switzerland one resort will host a World Cup skiing event soon and had to bring in fake snow to make sure the event could still take place.

In a town in Spain called San Sebastián, people headed out to the local beach to go for a swim in the ocean just to cool down. A local Spanish man told The New York Times: “This winter is being like summer, suffocating.” In some areas of Spain, the government had issued an alert to warn people of forest fires due to the extreme heat.

Also read: How to deal with slippery roads while going outside in winter

Source: The New York Times, The Guardian | Image: Pexels, Lukas