“‘Old style’ winters are becoming a rarity”

The White Lady will not even be seen on the reliefs. Indeed, it will be hotter on the ridge, with temperatures above the norm, than on the plain. It will be a Christmas dictated by the sub-tropical anticyclone. “The high pressure – Pierluigi Randi, certified meteorological technician and Ampro meteorologist (Professional Meteorological Association) goes into detail – will extend at high altitude from North Africa to the Alpine arc through a large promontory, bringing high stability for Christmas and pushing back north Europe the path of the Atlantic perturbations that until last week managed to penetrate the Mediterranean basin”.

However, Randi points out, “the presence of high pressure in winter is not always equivalent to the occurrence of clear skies and bright days, especially in the plains: often the mild and humid air in the lower layers, attracted by the anticyclonic circulation, favors the formation of low stratified cloudiness or high mists that can obscure the sky. This is what could happen on the 25th, with a slightly gray or sometimes foggy sky mainly on the plains and on the coast, even if temporary clearings will always be possible”.

In short, “it will be a Christmas without snow, also because if there is some sporadic precipitation, we will have the freezing point at very high altitudes (up to 3500 metres), with very mild temperatures, especially at high altitudes. However, we will not have the danger of freezing : the least expected minimum temperatures above zero, both in the plains and on the hills”.

Even Santo Stefano will not see particular variations…

Basically it will be a day almost a photocopy of Christmas day, with the sky soiled by low layered cloudiness or mists, interrupted by brief clearings, and temperatures always very mild, particularly at high altitudes but also on flat areas; no frost risk.

Not even the cold will make itself felt on this festive bridge…

In fact, another characteristic of the meteorological conditions of the Christmas period will be the occurrence of temperatures considerably higher than normal, both in the maximum and minimum values, even up to 6/7°C more, particularly on the hills, both on the 25th that the 26.

What are the first screenings for New Years?

In this case the uncertainty is decidedly higher, but the signal that can be gathered currently shows a greater probability that the situation will change little, with subtropical high pressures still dominant, Atlantic perturbations in transit only over northern Europe, very little rainfall or absent, and temperatures significantly above normal, even if they could slightly decrease in the minimum values, at least in the flat and coastal areas. However, this is a signal that will be confirmed in the coming days.

In a previous interview he announced that the beginning of December would be dynamic. And so it was.…

Basically yes, there was a fair probability of a very dynamic meteorological beginning of winter and in the first half of the month we had the European continent divided in two: very cold in the centre-north; mild but rainy in the south and Mediterranean area. All due to the isolation of high pressure cells at polar/arctic latitudes, however the cold was unable to overcome the Alps except in a marginal and short form between days 12 and 14 and our Peninsula was under fire some Atlantic or Mediterranean perturbations born precisely from the contrast between the very cold air descending from the Pole and the mild one rising from North Africa, but we have always remained under the mild sub-tropical diet.

After the snowfalls of 13 December, the increase in temperatures erased that white Christmas on the peaks, restoring a decidedly autumnal image. When can the White Lady return?

For the moment, the signs are not very encouraging: it seems that the conditions suitable for the arrival of snowfalls of some importance will be unlikely to occur between now and the end of the year, with few opportunities for rainfall and, if necessary, with the freezing level temperature that would remain high. Therefore, to return to the question, at the moment it is not possible to know if and when it will activate the snow; let’s say that for at least 6-8 days it will be almost impossible.

As a trend line, what can we expect for the month of January?

The scenarios indicated by the sub-seasonal models show a greater probability of above-normal temperatures but essentially in the first part of the month and mainly in the centre-south, less so in the north of the peninsula. However, the positive thermal anomalies would not be extreme as has frequently happened in recent years. In terms of rainfall, they could be lower than normal in the first part of the month and then increase later, thus leading to a month with rainfall close to normal. Of course, these are only ever broad scenarios, so let’s take them with extreme caution.

Compared to previous years, will winter be able to play its part also in an “old style” version?

At the moment it seems like a remote possibility, even if the season is long and has just begun. We will probably have a rather “monotonous” phase with a duration that is still difficult to predict and without particular events. Perhaps a few more possibilities can be attributed at a later stage, but we must take into account that, in times of global warming, “old style” winters are becoming a rarity, and therefore less and less likely.


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