Bad weather: up to 10°C above average and heavy pollution throughout the week; speak to the expert
Above average heat and strong smog mosquitoes in January in Italy, minimum 10 degrees and maximum over 20 degrees. The climate of our country is similar to that of Egypt in winter: the night-time values are about 9 degrees above average, during the day we can easily walk around in the mountains with a cotton sweatshirt.
We asked Lorenzo Tedici, meteorologist of the website www.iLMeteo.it, for explanations about this spring and the anomalous situation.
All the fault of the African anticyclone that dominates the European scene: in fact, the abnormal heat dominates not only Italy but all of central-northern Europe, with maximum values that reached 19 degrees in Poland, 18 degrees in Germany and even 15 degrees in Lithuania or 13 in Denmark . In the last few hours, thermal anomalies, ie temperatures above the average for the period, have persisted across most of the continent except for Swedish Lapland, part of Norway and the UK. Unfortunately, the greater atmospheric stability due to the presence of an anticyclone area also affects air quality, favoring the accumulation of smog in the lower layers with a consequent deterioration in air quality, especially around large urban areas such as Milan, Turin. Bologna and Rome. In fact, there are already “very bad” conditions affecting our health: the risk of upper respiratory diseases (especially in frail people such as children and the elderly) should not be underestimated.
Is the cold coming?
The cold in Italy will not arrive before 10 days, also because the frost is not even present in the polar areas: in the North Cape we have rains with temperatures above zero degrees and the thermal anomalies of the arctic areas oscillate to + 3° C over these days the mean.
It seems to be spring despite the fog and low clouds, but is this normal?
No, it’s not normal, but it also happened last year, we’re probably facing more and more widespread climate change, especially when we see the outliers of the arctic areas. For Italy, the African-like winter context is more reminiscent of March than the typical cold January, we could call this month “Gennarzo”.
Perspectives for the coming weeks?
The situation was similar last year, with a warm winter period that did not experience any particular cold shocks in the months that followed. For the next few weeks in early 2023, seasonal and sub-seasonal forecasts predict a period of above average temperatures, with a small possibility of a slight drop in temperatures from mid-month; some colder drafts are expected for the end of winter in March but these trends need to be confirmed.
What will happen in the next few hours, will it still be freezing?
Almost flat, in reality, rapid atmospheric movement is expected: despite the current African anticyclone heat, light rains could hit Liguria, south-eastern Piedmont and the flat and pre-Alpine sectors of Lombardy with the first slight disturbance in 2023; the reason for this rainfall in the next few hours is to be found in the high pressure situation. The anticyclone develops from the southwest to the northeast, in practice from Algeria towards the Balkans and then Ukraine, leaving the western European sector and part of our northwest somewhat uncovered. On these uncovered areas, weak moist infiltrations cause isolated rain showers, while organized disturbances only reach the North Sea from the British Isles.
Finally, can you give us an estimated time for Epiphany?
Gray skies in the Po Valley and on the central Tyrrhenian side, mostly sunny in the south, in the Alps and along the Adriatic coast. In short, the same forecast that we have been copying day by day since December 18: 16 days of copying time, with the only pitfalls between eastern Liguria and upper Tuscany and with the sun setting in many areas of the central-north plain.
However, Epiphany could slowly be taking all the heat away: A general drop in pressure is expected from Sunday 8th January, with the onset of widespread rains. Apparently we’ll have to wait a while for the real cold.