The winter of 2009/2010 was characterized by record persistence of the negative phase of the North-Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) which caused several severe cold spells over Northern and Western Europe. We show however that the cold European temperature anomaly of winter 2010 was (i) not extreme relative to winters of the past six decades, and (ii) warmer than expected from its record-breaking seasonal circulation indices such as NAO or blocking frequency. Daily flow-analogues of winter 2010, taken in past winters, were associated with much colder temperatures. The winter 2010 thus provides a consistent picture of a regional cold event mitigated by long-term climate warming.
The source article Winter 2010 in Europe: A cold extreme in a warming climate was published Oct. 22, 2010 by Geophysical Research Letters .