What cooled Europe winter 1939/40 – Naval War  

Post 28th January 2018

Watch Europe's Temperatures in March 2018First there had been the extreme cold wave east of the Rocky Mountains around New Year’s Day few weeks ago. “This cold wave was exceptional,” said Gabe Vecchi, a geoscientist at Princeton University, “for being 7°F to 11°F Cold paralyzes Northern Europecolder than the coldest two weeks in recent decades and for occurring so early in the season, especially in light of the decrease in intensity and frequency of cold waves over the past century.” A study by the World Weather Attribution group analyzed weather records dating back to 1880 and found this cold weather snap that hit a swath of the U.S. from Maine to Minnesota tends to happen once every 250 years”  (Source).

Also Siberia is much colder than normal. The average temperature has run below the norm at 8-16 degrees, meanwhile stretching westwards to the Balkan with temperature dropping below -20°C in Central Ukraine, in Romania below -17°C, and in Bulgaria below -13°C (Details at IceAge). Some time ago US-TODAY reported  (16.Jan.2018) that in Oymyakon/Russia temperature sank to a mind-numbing (and body-numbing) 88F below zero (-66.7C) which  isn’t far from minus 89.9F, the coldest-ever officially recorded for a permanently inhabited settlement anywhere in the world and the frostiest in the Northern Hemisphere. So far – so cold, and is remotely a situation

Forecast from winter 2017 to 2018 Northern Hemisphere high above mean winter temperatures

somewhat similar situation as in winter 1939/40 as outline in our previous post HERE. But the difference was The two coldest winter in context with the previous decadeEurope (Fig. 2a / 2b). Than it was the coldest winter for more than 100 years und in some location diminishes other records; in Berlin the coldest January since 1709 (Fig. 3), in Moscow ever.    

In winter 1939/40 an Arctic cold also reached the United Kingdom in January 1940. According “harrogateadvertiser”   was the coldest – at some places -since 1838 and the paralysis of life was virtually complete by the development of an exceptional ice storm on January 28. Previously, the U.K. had been overrun by a Siberian current of air battling against the North Atlantic – the combative mood of the weather in keeping with Hitler’s European advances. January 20 to 21 had been the coldest night of the 20th century up till that time, with temperatures widely down to 0 F (-18 C) with deep snow cover the length and breadth of Britain. On the night of the 23rd, a minimum of -23.3C was recorded in Wales at Rhaydaer(Powys) a record low for that date. The month was the coldest month in England (-1.4C) since February 1895. The most alerting aspect is that the cold was man-made. Only 150 days of war theatre into WWII was needed to impel Europe into ice-age condition.

Newspaper article related to climate weather conditions Harmless to climate? Article from the New York Times related to climate weather conditions

But climate research shows no interest to understand why. Neither the Met-Office is able to explain the extraordinary event, although January 1940 offered more than low temperatures, but will always be remembered for the Snowstorm and Ice-storm that struck the UK.

Bodendruck from 16th of January 1940

Bodendruck from 27th of January 1940


The North Sea Area and Arena of Sea and Air from the New York Times on 21st of January 1940One month Outlook from January 2018Other lows include -20°C at Canterbury, Welshpool, Hereford and Newport in Shropshire. The Thames was frozen for 8 miles between Teddington and Sunbury and ice covered stretches of the Mersey, Humber and Severn. The sea froze at Bognor Regis and Folkestone and Southampton harbours were iced over. The Grand Union Canal was completely frozen over between Birmingham and London. Central London was below freezing for a week and there was skating on the Serpentine on 6″ ice. (MORE)
However January 1940 will always be remembered for the Snowstorm and Ice storm that struck the UK.

Situation on the ocean

World War II began in an article about weather climate conditions

A convoy at sea as seen from a Coastal Command aircraft

SNOWSTORM On the 26th, two occlusions were moving up from the SW engaged the cold air over the UK. At the same time, the anticyclone over Scandinavia was intensifying blocking the fronts from pushing through the UK, they became stationary over Wales and SW England. This resulted in a great snowstorm across many northern and eastern areas. Vast areas of northern England reported between 30-60cm of level snow, the higher parts in excess of 60cm+. The snowfall lasted to the 29th of January

January 1940 - Early Cold Records Across Europe Ship attack on ocean during WWII  Cold greater foe than Germans foe French Army in Front Lines

ICESTORM Ice storms are rare in the UK, but the worst incident was in January 1940, It was the coldest winter for a century when, on January 27, a savage ice storm swept much of southern Britain. The landscape seemed to be encased in glass, trees looked like frozen waterfalls, and the ice weighed them down until they broke and smashed Ice halts shipping of Swedes in Balticto the ground. (The Times, 2007). Precipitations fell as freezing rain, which is reckoned to be the severest that has struck the UK in recorded history. The duration of the storm was remarkable lasting up to 48 hours in places. The effect of this prolonged ice storm was severe and damaging.


The climatic down-fall in the U.K. and Europe in winter 1939/40 is mainly, at least partly, the Cold Wave in South - Newspaper article from the New York Times on 19th January 1940result of an intensive war at sea. Due to huge naval activities the reginal seas lost too much of their summer heat too early. The cold from the East cold easily reach Great Britain an exceptional ice storm. Now, in winter 2017/18 the opposite occurs. Various activities at sea, including the installation of huge off-shore wind farms ensure that the sea surface supplies a steady heat flow to the atmosphere, and is kept free from freezing. A better understanding and recognition of the physical abilities of regional sea and wider ocean areas would greatly help understanding climate change issues.

Exploding sea mine during World WarAdded: 15 Feb. 2018 The Royal Navy has blown up a German bomb from World War TwoAdded: 15 Feb. 2018

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