Great chance for a white Christmas: It will be mid-winter - minus 15 degrees possible

The polar vortex is out of shape - and that has consequences.

Great chance for a white Christmas: It will be mid-winter - minus 15 degrees possible

The polar vortex is out of shape - and that has consequences. In the coming days, winter will settle over the country. The temperatures sometimes drop significantly into the frost range. Up to 20 centimeters of snow fell in places. Especially the next ones will be bitterly cold. It is also conceivable that winter will last, as ntv meteorologist Björn Alexander explains.

ntv: How much winter does the weather situation give us in the coming days?

Björn Alexander: It's going to be wintry to mid-winter in Germany. Because in addition to low pressure areas, which can cause snow and ice, arctic cold air mixes with it. It is true that the influence of high pressure also makes itself known in between. All in all, however, we have turbulent times ahead of us. At the same time, the race for the White Christmas 2022 is and remains more exciting than it has been for many years.

Will it also be the coldest December in years?

That is very likely. We are currently more than one degree below the average for the December months of the past 30 years. And because it will continue to be wintry until at least next week, the trend is also pointing downwards.

Which years were particularly cold in December?

With that we are at least going towards December 2012, December 2009 or December 2005. However, it remains to be seen whether it will be enough for what is by far the coldest December month of the 2000s (December 2010). For that to happen, it would have to be really icy throughout the second half of the month. But that cannot be completely ruled out.

Why is it so cold anyway?

Currently, the polar vortex, which usually protects us in central Europe from the air from arctic latitudes, is quite out of shape - mainly in the lower atmosphere. At the same time, this disturbs the mild westerly current and repeatedly sends us air from a northerly or easterly direction. In the further course of the meteorological year-end rally, it will be decisive how the large cold poles are distributed. The fact is, however, that such constellations are often quite tough and that they can therefore ensure longer cold sections. In other words: the right winter weather could have staying power as early as December.

What does that currently mean for the question of questions: Will we get snow for the festival?

In principle, the eastern half continues to rank ahead of the west. And the higher mountains are ahead with 70 to 80 percent. The middle and lower mountain locations in the east are around 60 to 70 percent. To the west it is about 50 to 50. In the eastern half, the lowlands follow with 30 to 50 percent for the White Christmas, while the friends of ice and snow have to keep their fingers crossed for the festival. However, this year it is much more promising than in previous years.

From the Christmas weather to the weather in Advent. Looking at the slickness, what prospects await us now?

Black spots on Friday night are the eastern low mountain ranges with partly freezing rain or snow. Later, snow showers will also reach the southwest. In the rest of the country it is mostly dry and partly foggy and frosty cold, so that you also have to reckon with slippery weather due to freezing wetness or frost. And even on Friday during the day, snow and ice can still be expected in the south-west and in the east.

At what temperatures?

On Friday we can expect a maximum of minus 2 to plus 4 degrees. But the wind usually makes it feel chilly. At the weekend it will be even colder with daily highs between minus 5 and plus 3 degrees. It feels like it's freezing, especially on Sunday, due to the sometimes brisk wind. Especially sensitive children's skin should be protected accordingly during the Advent walk. In addition to scarves and hats, it is best to use so-called wind and weather creams.

What's the snow doing at the weekend?

In the south and east there are always snow clouds on the road, which can cause wintry road conditions. On Sunday there could also be enough snow in the west. So the winter services have their hands full here and there. This applies in particular to the clearing services in the south, where 20 centimeters of fresh snow and more can come together from the Allgäu to south-eastern Bavaria by the beginning of next week.

And on Monday? Key word: rush hour.

For rush-hour traffic, it is important to keep an eye on the weekend forecasts. Because the weather computers still evaluate the development for Monday differently in detail. According to the current status, the north-west is most likely to be left out when it comes to snow. Meanwhile, the south-east and the east will have to be fairly certain of regional snow conditions. The west and south-west are particularly vulnerable, as there could be an explosive mix of snow and freezing rain.

How are the temperatures developing?

On Monday it will remain similar with minus 5 to plus 3 degrees; it is mildest on the Rhine, coldest on the Ore Mountains. However, due to the wind, it is felt that permafrost prevails. Tuesday and Wednesday will be colder again. Even with the measured temperatures of minus 6 to plus 2 degrees.

How cold does it get at night?

The nights are also bitterly cold with minus 8 to minus 15 degrees, especially over snow and during longer clearings - sometimes even lower. And by the end of the week, there will probably be little change in the winter to icy temperatures. In addition to friendly sections in a varied weather week, we have to be prepared for snow, sleet or black ice with the corresponding traffic delays.