Weatherwatch: Europe records one of its mildest winters

Climatological winter came to an end last weekend and it was an exceptionally mild and wet winter across north-western parts of Europe. According to the World Meteorological Organization, Germany and Austria had their second warmest winters on record, 3.2C and 2.7C above the 1981-2010 average respectively. In Germany’s case, only 2006-07 had a milder winter. France also had one of its three mildest winters on record and its warmest since 1900.

Further afield, the US had an extreme east-west split in rainfall amounts during February. The south-east had a very wet month with many locations getting more than 25cm (10 inches), with a few places such as Greensboro in North Carolina and Starkville in Mississippi beating their all-time records. The rain lead to floods in places with the River Pearl reaching a level not seen since 1983.

On the other hand, California had hardly any rainfall over the whole month. Many places in the north of the state recorded no rainfall whatsoever, including San Francisco. It is the first time that neither San Francisco airport nor Sacramento, the state capital, have recorded no rain since records began in 1857. February is in the middle of California’s wet season, making it all the more remarkable.


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