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Cold weather warning adds to Europe’s gloom as it faces an energy crisis


The European Weather Service could expect a colder winter with less wind and rain than usual, adding to the challenge for governments trying to tackle the continent’s energy crisis.

Florence Rabier, Director-General of the European Center for Mid-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), said early signs for November and December are of a period of high pressure over Western Europe, which is likely to bring high pressures. colder spells and less wind. and rainfall, reducing renewable electricity production.

Forecasts are based on data from ECMWF and a number of other weather forecasting systems including those in the UK, USA, France and Japan, which is a potential problem for policymakers as they attempt to battling rising energy costs for businesses and households due to a sharp cut in gas imports from Russia.

She told the Financial Times: “If we have this model then for energy it is quite demanding because it is not only a bit colder but there is less wind for wind power and less precipitation for wind energy. hydroelectric.

The EU has vowed to phase out Russian gas on its own by 2027 by diversifying into more renewable energy and pursuing gas contracts with other countries. Gas exports from Russia to the EU have fallen from about two-fifths of total supply to 9% since the country launched its invasion of Ukraine in February.

Rabier said recent storms over the Atlantic could cause milder, wetter and windier weather in the short term. But cooler weather later in the year will match atmospheric conditions known as La Niña, a type of weather originates from the cooling of the surface of the Pacific Ocean, leading to changes in wind and precipitation in different regions.

Weather in Europe is often difficult to predict because conditions are dictated by a number of remote factors including tropical stratospheric winds and surface pressure over the Atlantic.

ECMWF, an intergovernmental organization backed by 35 countries, provides short- and long-term forecasts. It also monitors the Copernicus climate change and atmospheric monitoring services that track sea, land, and atmospheric data.

Two new Copernicus satellites to observe carbon dioxide emissions from space will be operational by 2026, allowing countries to improve pollution monitoring and refine their emissions reduction targets. surname.

Rabier said Europe was in a fragile state going through one of the hottest summer on record, with August temperatures 1.7 degrees Celsius higher than the average from 1991 to 2020 and particularly arid soil conditions. Share of wind and hydro power in Europe in power generation refuse this summer due to hotter and drier weather.

One of the hottest summers on record in Europe left rivers like the tributary of the Loire in France almost drying up © Stephane Mahe / Reuters

Than extreme weather events The head of ECMWF said that due to global warming phenomena such as tropical cyclones and heat waves are more difficult to predict.

Claude Turmes, Luxembourg’s energy and spatial planning minister, said on Friday that ministers had called on ENTSO-E, the EU’s network of grid operators, to give an update on the risks risks to winter power supply security in October, a month before. than usual.

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