A high-pressure zone over the Mediterranean region and an Atlantic low-pressure system have induced a strong south-west flux bringing warm air from northwestern Africa to middle latitudes, reports the WMO.
The air was further warmed when passing over the North Atlantic due to a higher-than-normal sea surface temperature. In the eastern North Atlantic, sea surface temperature was 1-2°C higher than normal. This all resulted in several European national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHS) reporting record-breaking heat on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Temperatures above 20°C were observed in many European countries, even in Central Europe. Some national and many local temperature records for December and January were broken in several countries from Spain to eastern parts of Europe. Hundreds of weather stations across Europe had their all-time highest daily temperature for December and January.
Broken records include (previous records for all December and January months in brackets):
December 31, 2022:
19.4°C in Dresden-Hosterwitz, Germany (17.7°C, on December 5, 1961)
17.7°C in Prague Klementinum, Czechia (17.4°C, on December 5, 1961)
January 1, 2023:
25.1°C in Bilbao Aeropuerto, Spain (24.4°C, on January 1, 2022)
18.6°C in Besancon, France (16.8°C, January 1918)
18.9°C in Warszawa-Okęcie, Warsaw, Poland (13.8°C, January 1993)
12.6°C in Abed on Lolland, Denmark (12.4°C, January 10, 2005)
Various European NMHS, including AEMET (Spain), Meteo France (France), Deutscher Wetterdienst (Germany) and the Met Office (UK), have already announced 2022 as the warmest year ever in their respective countries.