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Fig.1: Temperature curve in February 2021 at the DWD station in Garsebach near Meissen


Fig.2: Sahara dust clouds the sun on February 24, 2021 also in Steinhausen/Baden-
Württemberg (Photo: Martin Küchler)

- Wilfried Küchler

Review winter 2020/2021


How you determine the first day of winter depends on whether you focus on the
astronomical or meteorological winter. Usually use
however, let us consider the meteorological definition of the seasons. According to the meteorological
Calendar, the first day of winter is always December 1st; it ends on the 28th (or 29th in
a leap year) February. The last winter season 2020/21 consists of the
December 2020 and January and February 2021 together.

The winter of 2020/21 was over compared to the international reference period 1961-1990
1.3 degrees Celsius warmer. He has not taken a top position and ranks with one
Average of 1.5°C in 22nd place in a row from 1934. The largest deviation from the
We observed mean values of +2.7 in December; the smallest deviation in
February with + 0.2 degrees. The two warmest winters to date were in 2006/2007 with 4.6 degrees
and in winter 2019/2020 with 4.4 degrees. Regarding assessment of the possible
The extremely cold winter should also be used as a range of fluctuation at this point for comparison
1962/63 with an average temperature of -6.2 °C should not go unmentioned.

The consideration of average values alone would not go far enough in our overview,
because then one would have to observe the extraordinarily contrasting warm and
hide cold extremes in February. With a difference of 42 degrees Celsius in ours
Region set a new record for the observed differences between peak and
Low temperatures to report (DWD station Garsebach near Meißen / Fig.1). the
Air temperatures rose within a few days from -21.6 °C to +20.5 °C on February 24 -
there has been such a significant increase of 42 degrees Celsius in our region since the beginning of the
Weather records never.

This winter, only January was wet above average. The extremely critical
The drought of the last 3 years continued unabated in deeper soil layers - the
the aforementioned precipitation in January did not change this situation.
As a result of pronounced southern currents from North Africa in higher layers of the atmosphere
Saharan dust was a remarkable, interesting phenomenon in the month of February;
either as "blood snow" in the 1st decade of February or as a strong clouding of the
Atmosphere (Fig.2) in connection with the extraordinary warm period in the 3rd
February decade.

Last but not least, we had 39 hours more sunshine in winter 2020/21
than the long-term mean 1961-1990.

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