White winter ahead: Meteorologists predict bouts of cold air and snow 

White winter ahead: Meteorologists predict bouts of cold air and snow 

There will be frequent batches of light to moderate snow this winter, according to AccuWeather.

The possibility of a white Christmas is still up for debate but a white winter is looking likely, according to meteorologists.

Weather forecasters from AccuWeather have delivered their winter forecast for the season and Ireland is set to see some cold weather.

The commercial weather forecaster has said that Northern Europe will not face as unsettled a winter as there will be in the south.

“Windstorms are not expected to frequently sweep from west to east this season, which spells fewer impacts for portions of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden”, said AccuWeather’s Tyler Roys, a senior meteorologist.

The winter is also set to be drier for the first half but later this winter, around January or February as meteorological winter begins on December 1, things will begin to change.

AccuWeather is predicting that the opportunity for prolonged bouts of cold air will arrive across Northern Europe, especially across Ireland and the United Kingdom.

"Under a La Niña setup, typically the northern third to the northern half of Europe has an increased chance to encounter cold shots of air,” Mr Roys explained.

La Niña is the colder aspect of El Niño-Southern Oscillation – a climate pattern that produces a periodic variation in winds and sea surface temperatures – and it is expected to be “in the driver’s seat” for Europe this winter. 

Snowfall on some rooftops on the northside of Cork earlier this year. File picture Denis Minihane.
Snowfall on some rooftops on the northside of Cork earlier this year. File picture Denis Minihane.

AccuWeather has predicted that the La Niña phase will increase the opportunity for snow across the United Kingdom and Ireland as well as areas from France to Poland, especially later in the season.

“Snow is not necessarily going to come from any individual big storm, but there will be frequent batches of light to moderate snow that can produce a bit of accumulation,” added Mr Roys.

Cold weather may be a worry for people as energy prices have jumped up in recent months.

Some customers have seen bills skyrocket by as much as €805.

Daragh Cassidy, head of communications at price comparison site Bonkers.ie, told the Irish Examiner earlier this month that it was “not an exaggeration to say we’re in the midst of an energy crisis”.

Windstorms

Southern Europe is expected to see wilder weather with windstorms forecast to dive across Spain and southern France “at a steady clip” this winter.

“Some of the strongest windstorms are most likely to happen somewhere in southern France, Spain or Portugal this winter,” Mr Roys cautioned.

However, southern Portugal and southwestern Spain are forecast to encounter periods of calm weather this winter.

Meanwhile, AccuWeather forecasters say interior portions of Eastern Europe will be in the bull's-eye for unseasonably cold air this winter.

"If a shot of cold air is ejected by the polar vortex, the core of that cold is going to end up settling in over parts of Eastern Europe," explained Mr Roys.

The same active storm track that will heighten the flooding risk across Italy and the Balkans this winter will also bring rounds of adverse weather to Eastern Europe, AccuWeather added.

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