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Record frosts in US, warm winter in Russia showings of climate variations

January 10, 2014, 23:40 UTC+3 GENEVA
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GENEVA, January 10, 23:04 /ITAR-TASS/. Natural climate variations are the root-cause of the record-low air temperatures in North America and the simultaneous unusual warmth in Central Europe and in parts of Russia to the west of the Ural Mountains, Claire Nullis, the press secretary of the World Meteorological Organization /WMO/ told a news briefing in Geneva Friday.

She said the so-called Rossby waves, which are a natural element of climatic change, make up one of the reasons for the situation where extreme colds in the U.S. go hand-in-globe with the warmer-than-usual weather in Europe. The case in hand is the planetary low-frequency waves that bring about, among other factors, the emergence of jet streams - the strong high-altitude winds blowing from west to east.

Nullis said that however that this formula is not applicable to all the situations. She recalled the winter of 2010 when very low temperatures were registered all across the Northern hemisphere.

It is not always that frosts in the U.S. automatically trigger warmth in Russia but this is precisely the picture one can see right now, she said.

People in the U.S. have evidenced the harshest wave of frost over the past twenty years in the past few days. The WMO says the so-called Polar vortex brought masses of Arctic air to 48 of the country’s 50 state -- that is, to practically every state except Alaska and Hawaii - and temperatures below freezing point were registered in some places as far south as Northern Florida.

The temperatures sank to almost minus 40 degrees Celsius in some areas along the eastern seaboard. A hitherto unseen record was broken in Illinois where the air cooled off to reach a stark minus 27 degrees.

Some literally chilling achievements have been registered in South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Missouri, and New York.

In contrast to this, the weather on the opposite side of the Atlantic is surprisingly warm. For instance, the daily average temperatures in France were five to nine degrees Centigrade above the norm for January on Wednesday.

Thursday morning, thermometers in Biarritz on the Atlantic coast of France reached 17.9 degrees.

Weather in the western parts of Russia, including the Central Federal District that encompasses a cluster of regions around Moscow, is abnormally warm, too. The 2 degrees Centigrade registered in Moscow City on Thursday was eleven degrees above the January norm for the area, the federal Center for Hydrometeorology said.

Weather forecasts say, however, that the typical Russian winter with frosts of around minus 15 degrees may return already next Wednesday.

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