The current cold snap in Europe will persist this week as high pressure continues to stall in western Russia. The cold weather is linked to a weak and split polar vortex in the stratosphere, which allowed high pressure to build up in Greenland last week. This, in turn, caused arctic air to flood the south of the UK with northerly winds. The polar vortex is expected to strengthen which will eventually help end the cold snap and the low pressure in the west of the UK will become dominant.
Much of western and central Europe, including the UK, will consistently stay around 5°C below typical values for this time of year, with many places struggling to get above freezing even during the day. However, change is on the horizon as low pressure systems begin to encroach on Europe towards the weekend. The latest forecasts show that temperatures in western Europe will return to average early next week, although in central and northern Europe the extreme cold will persist for a little longer. By contrast, Spain, which has experienced an unprecedented hot and dry autumn, will finally have recognizable winter temperatures.
At the other end of the weather spectrum, what about the temperature in Qatar? When the country was chosen to host the World Cup, there were concerns about heat: in June and July, the average daytime temperature in Qatar is 40-45°C, and the hottest day on record was 50, 4°C, set at Doha airport in July 2010. with temperatures at night only dipping to 30-35C. So FIFA moved the competition to winter. But how has it worked?
Pretty good, in fact, with temperatures at or slightly above average for this time of year, peaking at just above 30C on some days. While it’s a bit warmer, it compares well to previous tournaments: daytime temperatures were consistently in the 20-30C range in Sochi, Russia, in 2018, and in Brazil in 2014. And while temperatures in Qatar will rise over the next week, the forecast for Sunday night’s final looks to be around 20C, although the relatively high humidity will mean it feels warmer.