Forecasting Past Events. Snow Coming to Spain (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

Forecasting Past Events. Snow Coming to Spain (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

Back on  Extreme climatic events in the North Hemisphere outside the EEUU. News from Spain February 2015 (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

The sequence of events seen last year in February seem to gain a high probability to happen again this year for the following days from today 12 Feb 2016.

Last year the events were reported as follows:

3rd of February 2015, a cold front moved into southern Europe generating problems due to heavy snow and floods. Such situation was covered by the news in reports like the following one “Weather Floods deluge western Mediterranean while snow hits Spain”. Flooding submerges parts of the western Mediterranean while 3 metre snow drifts close the border between France and Spain. Click here for more detail.

Spanish emergency services have rescued at least 220 people trapped by snow on roads in northern Spain. Hundreds of cars were stuck for up to 17 hours overnight on roads between Cantabria and the province of Palencia. Local media report temperatures of -15C (5F) and up 40cm (1.3ft) of snow.

A man walks among cars covered in snow in Burguete town, Navarre region, northern Spain, 4 February 2015.

Cars have become trapped in heavy snow. More here

27th February 2015. Meltwater causes flooding in Navarra and the Basque Country.

2nd March 2015. Spanish National Television Report. (click over the image to see the video)

RTVE floods in Spain diegofdezsevilla

The forecast given by the GFS for the next days suggest the high probabilities of seeing similar scenarios being replicated in the following days as a result of a weak Polar Jet Stream:

Europe Forecast Temp 500 Diego Fdez-Sevilla

Temperatures are expected to drop and snow to move south over the European continent.


But, since the volume of air to be contained in the Arctic is limited, when a cold mass of air comes out, another mass of air has to come inside to fill up the gap left. Therefore, it is also expected for mid latitudinal warm air to get into Arctic latitudes over the Atlantic.











The intrusion of warm air from mid latitudes into the Arctic increases the probabilities of seeing precipitation in the form of rain instead of snow out of season. Something which would weaken even further the thermal contrast sustaining the Polar Jet stream.


Is it so different from Last year?

I leave for you to judge how far are the conditions from Feb last year 2015 from this year Feb 2016. And in order to have some visual representation I have looked into the closest images that I have found in time over Temp anomalies at T2, and Precipitation patterns over the NH.

GFS-025deg_ARC-LEA_T2_anom_2015-02-15_0600UTC_init GFS-025deg_ARC-LEA_T2_anom_2016-02-12_0000UTC_init

GFS-025deg_ARC-LEA_PRCP-TCLD-PMSL_2015-02-15_0600UTC_init GFS-025deg_ARC-LEA_PRCP-TCLD-PMSL_2016-02-12_0000UTC_init

Looking at the state of the Polar vortex, the Polar Jet Stream, the anomalies in Temperature and the patterns followed by mid latitude warm masses of air I expect with high probability a similar scenario to what we saw last year Feb 2015 in Feb 2016. Let´s see how far can we “Forecast past events”.

GFS Forecast 12Feb2016 wetterzentralle Diego FdezSevilla

GFS Forecast 12Feb2016 wetterzentralle Diego FdezSevilla

The consequences from repeating Past events.

Throughout the winters of last years 2013/14 and 2014/15 there were already strong variation in temperature over the south of Europe and in particular over the Iberian Peninsula. Those happen with and without the Polar Vortex broken, and with and without the presence of a strong ENSO on its positive phase.

The masses of air moving across the atmosphere are showing to be capable of carrying  opposite contrasts of temperature across latitudes and altitudes from what it is supposed to following a stratigraphic order defined by location. Warm masses of air are not dissipating their energy into the surroundings and neither they are blocked by the Polar Jet Stream. Since they carry the energy absorbed at mid latitudes, they move actively through the atmosphere due to convective forcing favoured by the Coriolis effect displacing in their path cold masses of air low in energy.

The interpretation for such dynamics to occur and the implications from them for fauna and flora is a big concern since the synergies derived from them have links with:

  1. the atmospheric system in itself, as well as,
  2. with the economy sustained by their products (flowering, pollination, fruit growth, …

More discussion on this specific topic can be found in the following links:

2015 vs 2016 Winter Temp variations Europe Diego Fdez-Sevilla

May 2015 vs Feb 2016 Winter Temp variations Europe. GFS wetterzentralle Diego Fdez-Sevilla


PerspectiveSince October 2013 I have been studying the behaviour of the Polar Jet Stream and the weather events associated as well as the implications derived into atmospheric dynamics and environmental synergies.

Many of the atmospheric configurations and weather and climate events we see these days are very similar with the progression followed since 2013. Please take a look at posts addressing those events from previous publications in this blog or look at the categories in the top menu. Also at research-gate. Feedback is always welcomed (d.fdezsevilla(at)


About Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Citing This Site "Title", published online "Month"+"Year", retrieved on "Month""Day", "Year" from By Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. More guidance on citing this web as a source can be found at NASA webpage:! Bachelor in General Biology, Masters degree "Licenciado" in Environmental Sciences (2001, Spain). PhD in Aerobiology (2007, UK). Lived, acquired training and worked in Spain, UK, Germany and Poland. I have shared the outcome from my previous work as scientific speaker in events held in those countries as well as in Switzerland and Finland. After couple of years performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, I find myself in a period of transition searching for a new position or funding to support my research. In the present competitive scenario, instead of just moving my cv and wait for my next opportunity to arrive, I have decided to invest also my energy and time in opening my own line of research showing what I am capable of. The value of the data and the original nature of the research presented in this blog has proved to be worthy of consideration by the scientific community as well as for publication in scientific journals. However, without a position as member of an institution, it becomes very challenging to be published. I hope that this handicap do not overshadow the value of my work and the intellectual rights represented by the license of attribution attached are respected and considered by the scientist involved in this line of research. Any comment and feedback aimed to be constructive is welcome. In this blog I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions. Furthermore, I try to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public. In that way I address those topics which I am familiar with, thanks to my training in environmental research, making them available throughout my posts. (see "Framework and Timeline" for a complete index). At this moment, 2017, I am living in Spain with no affiliation attachments. Free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you feel that I could be a contribution to your institution, team and projects don´t hesitate in contact me at d.fdezsevilla (at) or consult my profile at LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Also, I'd appreciate information about any opportunity that you might know and believe it could match with my aptitudes. The conclusions and ideas expressed in each post as part of my own creativity are part of my Intellectual Portfolio and are protected by Intellectual Property Laws. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial conditions. In citing my work from this website, be sure to include the date of access. (c)Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD, 2016. Filling in or Finding Out the gaps around. Publication accessed 20YY-MM-DD at
This entry was posted in Aerobiology, Aerosols, Biological productivity, Energy Balance, Environmental Resilience, Extreme climatic events, Filling in, Influence of Continentality, Inland Water Bodies and Water Cycle, News, Polar vortex and Jet Stream, Water vapour and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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