Articles | Volume 4, issue 4
Research article
06 Nov 2023
Research article |  | 06 Nov 2023

Cold wintertime air masses over Europe: where do they come from and how do they form?

Tiina Nygård, Lukas Papritz, Tuomas Naakka, and Timo Vihma

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Cited articles

Afargan-Gerstman, H., Polkova, I., Papritz, L., Ruggieri, P., King, M. P., Athanasiadis, P. J., Baehr, J., and Domeisen, D. I. V.: Stratospheric influence on North Atlantic marine cold air outbreaks following sudden stratospheric warming events, Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 541–553,, 2020. 
Alexander, L. V., Uotila, P., Nicholls, N., and Lynch, A.: A New Daily Pressure Dataset for Australia and Its Application to the Assessment of Changes in Synoptic Patterns during the Last Century, J. Climate, 23, 1111–1126,, 2010. 
Anagnostopoulou, C., Tolika, K., Lazoglou, G., and Maheras, P.: The Exceptionally Cold January of 2017 over the Balkan Peninsula: A Climatological and Synoptic Analysis, Atmosphere, 8, 252, 2017. 
Ayarzagüena, B. and Screen, J. A.: Future Arctic sea ice loss reduces severity of cold air outbreaks in midlatitudes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 2801–2809,, 2016. 
Barnston, A. G. and Livezey, R. E.: Classification, Seasonality and Persistence of Low-Frequency Atmospheric Circulation Patterns, Mon. Weather Rev., 115, 1083–1126,<1083:csapol>;2, 1987. 
Short summary
Despite the general warming trend, wintertime cold-air outbreaks in Europe have remained nearly as extreme and as common as decades ago. In this study, we identify six principal cold anomaly types over Europe in 1979–2020. We show the origins of various physical processes and their contributions to the formation of cold wintertime air masses.