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Unseasonably warm winter hits the Balkans in 2024

Unseasonably warm winter hits the Balkans in 2024

Region is experiencing spring weather

BELGRADE, 19 febbraio 2024, 08:46

Redazione ANSA



In places where winter was once associated with months of bitter cold, thermometers dropping far below zero, and heavy snowfall, a different scene is unfolding in 2024. Instead of the usual frigid temperatures, the Balkans are experiencing almost late spring weather. Daytime sees open windows inviting in a warm breeze, heavy coats languish in closets for weeks on end, and there is a conspicuous absence of both snowfall and rain, even at higher elevations.
    This departure from the historical norm, characterized by a continental climate featuring scorching summers and unforgiving winters, is underscored by temperatures. A notable instance occurred on the night of February 10th in Belgrade and Zagreb, where temperatures soared to 12.6 degrees Celsius, establishing an all-time record. Meteorological institutes across the region, including the Serbian RHMZ, report temperatures in January surpassing the average by 0.7 degrees in the renowned ski resort of Kopaonik, and an even more remarkable +2.4 degrees in Cuprija and Leskovac.
    "Very mild February in Serbia, temperatures up to 22.6 degrees in Negotin, 21.5 in Nis, warmth also in the ski resorts of Sjienica, Crni Vrh, Zlatibor, and Kopaonik," noted meteorologist Milos Milic in early February on X. Similar statistics have been reported in Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo, and other countries in the region. Snowfall and true cold appeared only briefly in January.
    Snow is currently a rare sight, according to the Windy portal, which reports snow only in isolated areas of the Dinaric Alps, between Kosovo and Montenegro, Albania, and North Macedonia. According to EU Science Hub data from January, limited precipitation is not currently causing a severe drought.
    However, there are exceptions in Croatia, Bosnia, and western Serbia, where there is a soil moisture deficit, which is expected to worsen due to the lack of rainfall in recent weeks.
    Certainly, the region is having an unusual winter experience.
    The situation may worsen in the future, as most available studies predict a temperature increase of around 3.5 degrees by the end of the century. The World Bank has identified the Balkans as a "hotspot" for global warming in the coming decades.


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