Heat Wave in Western Europe tied to Sea Temperatures?

temp anomaly

2m Temperature Anomaly Forecast

Another heat wave is currently developing over Western Europe and the media are pointing the finger at climate change but more likely is a result of a growing area of negative sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly that has developed over the eastern North Atlantic that is enhancing undulations in the jet stream.


Currently below normal SST anomalies have developed over the eastern North Atlantic with the greatest negative anomaly between the Azores and the coast of Portugal while positive anomalies remain over the western Mediterranean, Bay of Biscay, English Channel and Baltic Sea. 

Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly (C)



These conditions tend to favor upper-level troughs to develop over the eastern North Atlantic with ridging building over western Europe, and in fact is the current situation.  As the upper-level ridge builds over western Europe, the air temperatures at the surface increase accordingly.  Over several days the ridge will drift eastward spreading the heat into central Europe. 

250 mb Wind Forecast


Whether or not the SST anomalies are associated with climate change is open to debate.  

Ref:   Impact of North Atlantic SST and Jet Stream anomalies on European Heat Waves,  Julian Krüger et al.  


About Fred Pickhardt

I am a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade after graduating from State University of New York Maritime College. I have extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, optimum ship routing, vessel performance evaluations and forensic weather event reconstructions. I founded Ocean Weather Services and as Owner and Chief Consultant currently provide optimum ship routing services and forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
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