In late 2022 and early 2023, Europe experienced its warmest start to winter ever, with temperatures unprecedented for the month of January. Indeed, the second month of the meteorological winter has already shattered hundreds of records between Saturday 31 December 2022 and Monday 2 January 2023.
In Spain, it reached 25.1 °C, making it the warmest day ever in January. In France, it was close to 25 °C, while in Ohlsbach, Germany, 19.4 °C. In Poland, the town of Glucholazy in the southwest of the country recorded a temperature of 18.7°C at 4 a.m., which is higher than the average low in midsummer, before rising further over the course of the day.
Europe just experienced the warmest winter ever
French climatologist Nahel Belgherze said: "Temperatures, which have soared to spring-like levels, are exactly the kind of event that is progressively rewriting global climatology: one of the most severe winter heatwaves in Europe's modern history." Maximiliano Herrera, a climatologist who follows global weather extremes, told: "The temperatures of the last few days are the most extreme event ever seen in European climatology." In the Mediterranean, the average temperature increased by 0.5°C, with levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere, respectively increased by about 15% and 9%, together with the frequency and intensity of heat waves.
In Italy, the persistence of the African anticyclone, associated with high pressure and completely anomalous air masses for this season, has led to an exceptionally mild climate and the absence of cold and frost waves, making 2022 the warmest from 1800 to today.
The flowers bloomed early, the mountains are without snow. Last year was the warmest since the 1800s. The freezing temperatures of the first days of December that had descended on us from the Russian Arctic lands are already a memory.
First of all, the mountains and glaciers suffer. For example, the lack of snowfall has forced the closure of ski resorts in various Italian areas of the central Apennines. Even water reserves, in anticipation of a summer of 2023 which, according to meteorologists and experts, should be even more extreme than the previous one, are at risk.