Climatologist: Such temperature fluctuations in one week are strange | iRADIO

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Temperatures in the Czech Republic during the last weeks often attack historical records. In addition, unusually warm days often alternate with colder ones. A new March record for more than 170 years of temperature measurement was also set on Sunday. “Extremes are more frequent, higher and more intense than twenty or forty years ago. This is a consequence of global warming,” explains climatologist Radim Tolasz from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute for iROZHLAS.cz and Radiožurnál.



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Prague
19:41 April 2, 2024

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The weather in the Czech Republic is now like on a swing. Some days it is hot, some days significantly colder (illustrative photo) | Photo: René Volfík | Source: iROZHLAS.cz

After the first “summer” day on Monday, it will now be ten degrees lower. Can it be explained why such temperature jumps are occurring now?
There is no simple explanation. Temperature jumps have also occurred in the past. First of all, they were not that frequent. And secondly, temperatures in February or March were not as close to historical records as they are now.

It’s not that we’ll ever get a higher temperature than we’ve had in the past, but we’ve had a lot of days where we’ve been close to all-time records. And that’s the strange thing about fluctuations at the moment. There are significantly more days when temperatures are quite a bit higher, and then suddenly quite a bit lower, than there were in the past.


The Czech Republic is experiencing a temperature jump. After the first summer day, it will be ten degrees lower, then it will warm up again

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When we watched the Sahara sand, we thought that the temperatures were lower than they would be without it. But we completely missed the fact that we surpassed the highest average daily temperature ever in March. It was 18.9 degrees measured in Mělník, and now in Bohumín and Frýdek-Místek we measured 19.8 degrees on Sunday. The average daily temperature thus increased by almost one degree Celsius in the March record.

Even when the Sahara sand appeared, the temperatures were extremely high. Not in extremes, but in duration both during the day and over several days in a row. That was interesting.

How long has this record been broken?
It is a historically measured record. In northern Moravia, we have measurements from the century before last, sometimes from 1850.

So such fluctuations are not usual?
No, especially not in February and March. In February, we had several days of exceptionally high temperatures. And it was also like that in March. We have had several times in a row temperatures that were much higher than average. These are not one-off fluctuations that normally happen in Central Europe. Three or four days in a row is a very high temperature, which does not exceed the maximum measured temperatures, but lasts for several days in a row. And that’s unusual.

Warm weather (illustrative photo)


The Czech Republic has had its warmest March since 1961. Temperatures were 3.8 degrees above average

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If we’re expecting up to 27C this weekend, how hot can it get this summer? Can a temperature shift be expected?
We have to realize that it’s April, and those days tend to be hot and tropical. The temperature can be 30 degrees Celsius and more. It happens only in the second half of April, but 27 degrees for April is not an extraordinary temperature.

But the extraordinary thing is that in the course of one week we have 26 degrees on Monday, now we are suddenly 10 degrees lower, it lasts for two or three days and then it starts to warm up again. We will have this reversal both up and down over the course of a week. It is strange. That we approach 30 degrees in April is not so strange in recent decades. And it is impossible to judge from what it will be like in the summer.

Higher and higher temperatures

You said that temperature jumps have no simple explanation. Can the climate phenomenon El Niño or other phenomena have an influence?
I wouldn’t look for El Niño for the fluctuations we’re experiencing now. This phenomenon mainly affects the Southern Hemisphere and the tropics or subtropics in the Pacific Ocean, which is the other side of the globe. We cannot say that it directly affects the course of the weather in Central Europe.

Flowering trees on Petřín


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But the truth is that the temperature is slightly higher globally than when the opposite La Niña state is. And the fact that the global temperature is higher, of course, also affects the weather in Central Europe. But it’s complicated by the fact that we’ve generally had a higher temperature in recent decades. And the fact that it’s going up a tenth or two by being El Niño isn’t that noticeable.

Just like when we go into a La Niña phase and it should cool globally, by being on an upward trend of higher and higher temperatures, we won’t experience global cooling. At most, the temperature increase will slow down slightly for a few months.

So it is not clear why such temperature fluctuations occur in one week?
We have to realize that we are in a time when we have higher temperatures. When the temperature is higher, there is more energy in the atmosphere. And because there is more energy, we have more extremity. Therefore, higher and lower temperatures alternate more often. This is a direct result of us experiencing higher global temperatures. I don’t mean this week, but in these decades.

The consequence of this is what we have been saying for thirty years, that the extremity of climate and weather will increase. And we note that it is so. Extremes are more frequent, higher and more intense than twenty or forty years ago. This is a consequence of global warming, which has been talked about for a long time.

Weather sensitive people

What can be the consequences of such an alternation of temperatures, when it is once ten degrees and soon 25 degrees?
There may be people who take it hard. These are so-called weather-sensitive people. These tend to be elderly people or people with chronic illnesses. They may feel worse these days.

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Regarding the landscape or agriculture. If it’s not fluctuations above zero, that frost would often alternate with warmer days, which is not the case in this case, then it doesn’t bother the landscape that much. If it is accompanied by rain here and there. At the moment when we are not in a dry season and the landscape is not broken in terms of health, which we do not have in these months, the landscape can handle it.

You mentioned weather sensitive people. Is there anything they can do to better accommodate these fluctuations?
If someone knows that they are sensitive to weather changes, they should moderate their activities. If I know it’s not good for me, I won’t go jogging or go to Lysá Hora in the Beskydy Mountains to prove to myself that I can still climb there. If I’m healthy, I don’t need to limit myself.

Anna Jadrná

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