Once in a generation extreme weather events or the new future?

Storm Elliott in North America between 21 and 26 December 2022 was characterized as a “once in a generation storm” due to the adverse weather conditions and most importantly, the extremely cold arctic air masses that reached the subtropics.

A week later and the weather pattern has already changed in North America, and Europe is still under the influence of unusually strong anticyclones that promote high temperatures. The map shows the departures of temperatures at ~1500 m altitude (height where we study the air masses) from the climatic values of the last 30 years. We have never seen such high temperatures in so many parts of the North Hemisphere this time of the year.

During the last decades, several studies on the future climate have given us an idea of what the weather will be like, but we are already experiencing so many weather extremes that even the most pessimistic studies did not predict. Yes, we had cold outbreaks, severe floods and heatwaves in the past, but now these happen every year and not once or twice in a generation. In France for instance, there have been 12 heatwaves in 2022, and it is by far the warmest year since the beginning of records.

Data4Risk team wishes you all a Happy New Year and we promise to serve you with additional high-quality services in 2023.