The fearsome and gigantic ‘Russian Bear’ is coming to Europe. Or perhaps it would be more correct to say that it is taking shape, but the substance does not change: it is an atmospheric figure capable of influencing the climate in Europe and therefore there are also risks for Italy in the next few hours.
Mattia Gussoni, site meteorologist www.iLMeteo.it, explains what happens with this Russian Bear: in meteorological jargon it is called in this way the Russian-Siberian Anticyclone, which is one of the main baric figures that decisively conditions the rigid winters both in Asia and in our continent. In the last few days the expansion of pellicular freezing air, associated with this figure, has reached Poland, Germany and Scandinavia from the far North-East with intense cold and snowfalls in the plains: temperatures locally dropped even 10°C below the average of the period.
Confirmations also come from Siberia of an exceptional snow cover extension, never so important since the beginning of the surveys (1967) if we consider the entire Boreal Hemisphere. In summary we have lots of snow, a very strong Russian-Siberian anticyclone and an icy tongue moving towards Europe.
A ‘scratched’ by the Russian Bear is therefore also expected in Northern Italy in the next few hours with snow locally in the plains in Lower Piedmont and at hilly altitudes in the rest of the North. The Alps will protect us from the extreme cold beyond the Alps but they won’t prevent this scratch: in simple words, today we will have winter-like bad weather in the North with lots of snow in the Alps especially above 800 meters, even 30 cm of fresh snow for ski enthusiasts. Precisely today that numerous ski areas are opening, in the name of good prospects after last winter which we remember was very dry.
The scratching of the Russian Bear will be fast as from tomorrow the cold is expected to retreat towards the North: in England and northern France, between Germany and Poland, and certainly from Scotland to Scandinavia, the thermometers will remain freezing for a long time, perhaps even until Christmas.
In Italy, on the other hand, as early as tomorrow, with the return of the Bear to the North, Scirocco currents will begin to blow with a gradual increase in temperatures: more snowfalls will arrive in the Alps but at altitudes above 1200 metres: at the end of the weekend we will have local accumulations maximum of 50 cm of fresh snow, even on the dry North-West.
Also noteworthy over the weekend are the intense showers expected in the Center-South, in a context of milder temperatures: we therefore pay attention, especially in the areas affected in the last week, Ischia and Ionian Calabria.
The new week is expected to be less cold but still a bit unstable: Monday we will have residual rain in the Centre-North, followed by a couple of days of dry weather. If the prediction were 100% confirmed, unfortunately the curse of the weekend would join the Feast of the Immaculate Conception bringing scattered rains from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 December, and more snow on the Alps.
However, it must be said that, during this unstable semi-holiday period, we could have a fairly good Saturday and record large sunny spells in the South and on the lower-middle Adriatic. We just have to wait for confirmations, in the meantime let’s get ready for the fast but intense Bear scratching.
Saturday 3. In the north: gradually more widespread rains, snow above 800 meters on average, until the morning even on 300 meters in Piedmont. In the centre: increasingly widespread and heavy rains on the Tyrrhenian Sea, snow at 1500 metres. In the south: even strong showers on the Ionian and Campania especially from the afternoon.
Sunday 4. In the north: cloudy with snowfall above 1200 metres. In the middle: scattered rains on the Tyrrhenian Sea. In the south: a little unstable in Campania and Salento.
Monday 5. In the north: some residual phenomena especially in the north-west. Middle: unstable with showers then improves. In the south: clear.
Trend: new deterioration for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, to be confirmed also for the following days.
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