Vinson Kurian
Vinson Kurian

Marvelling at how the Elements refuse to be cowed down by geographical boundaries. Not for nothing that monsoons (southwest and northeast), western disturbances, easterly waves and the 'Big Dry' should lend themselves for focused watch here.

Vinson Kurian

Late-winter snowstorm in Northwest Europe

| Updated on March 14, 2013

The Arctic cold wave has made a late-winter dip towards far south of the normal to trigger the latest snowstorm across Northwest Europe, which is on a roll even as one is about to post this blog . This is akin to early-February freaky weather brought about by southward-dipping western disturbances (which are eastward-perturbations of the cold waves striking Northwest and South Europe)over Central and adjoining Peninsular India.

The spring has only flattered to deceive! And how!

Western Europe suddenly has turned blustery and frosty as a late-winter burst of Arctic cold caught it unawares. This happened as the weather-decider Jet Stream (an atmospheric river of high-speed wind moving from one high-pressure into a low-pressure area in high altitudes) wavered from its usual west-to-east track and dipped south over Northwest Europe to push cold, snow, ice and rain into the mainland.

Why we are discussing the cold weather in Europe here is because of the freaky weather in February that Northwest India and adjoining Central India experienced under near-similar circumstances - not least because the causative wave (western disturbance) is the eastward-propagating perturbation of the 'European waves'. The western disturbances too happened to dip south of their assigned paths and ventured into peninsular India to bring a welter of thunderstorms that lined up the landscape covering this landscape, even pushing the odd hailstorm down into Vidarbha and Telengana areas!

But unlike the monsoon season, weather patterns during winter and early spring can be picked up early and alerts issued of in advance. Which is what India Meteorological Department did too. The upshot was that the two near-identical deep western disturbances and the third that followed, only slightly less intense, dropped a lot of rain over entire Northwest India, parts of Centra India and even in the peninsula. This has helped the recorded rainfall scenario and bring it into the surplus category - except, once again, in the three Met subdivisions in the east (Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand) and the entire Northeastern States.

The east of India and the Northeastern States which have been experiencing disastrous monsoons over the past few years continue to puzzle weather watchers. What bears watching is how the Nor'westers (Kal Baisakhi) would pan out this season (late March and April) ahead of the onset of the southwest monsoon.

Published on March 14, 2013

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