Has Denmark already seen the end of sub-zero temperatures this winter?

Europe is warmer than usual for the time of year and Denmark’s weather is set to remain mild for the time being.

Has Denmark already seen the end of sub-zero temperatures this winter?
How likely is this scene from Denmark in January 2016 to be repeated this year? Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

January has so-far had a less-than-wintry feel, with no snow or frost temperatures moving above 10 degrees Celsius in Jutland on Wednesday morning.

Although a slight dip with possible frost has been forecast for the coming weekend, the freezing cold generally associated with Danish winters remains somewhere over the horizon.

No forecasts predict temperatures dropping under 0°C within the next 10 days, TV2 reports.

That is due primarily to westerly fronts bringing warmer air and rain from the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea, according to the weather report.

The prognosis for mild weather through the rest of January is supported by national meteorology agency DMI.

On DMI’s website, meteorologist Mette Tilgaard Zhang writes that next week will see “a primarily westerly flow of mild air with fronts passing over from the west”.

Daytime temperatures are forecast at between 3-8°C, with 2-6°C at night.

Although there is some potential for colder air and “some white in the precipitation” depending on wind conditions, any snow will “not be nationwide and won’t settle for long,” Zhang writes.

The following week – January 20th-26th – is expected to continue the mild pattern, with rain, wind and clouds, and temperatures at 3-8°C and “a little colder at night”.

The last week of 2020’s first month, which goes into February, is still uncertain according to DMI’s monthly prognosis. But the meteorology agency states that “most prognoses lean towards the weather type from (preceding) weeks retaining their grip on the country and continuing”.

February – according to the calendar, the last month of winter – has the “highest chance of ending cold and wintry”, DMI long-term meteorologist SteenHermansen writes.

But according to the long-term forecast issued by DMI in December, even February’s weather currently looks “more likely to finish above average in terms of both temperature and rainfall”, with few signs to suggest major changes from January.

“This is based on average weather patterns over several weeks however, and it would be rather surprising if we don’t get a portion of snow and cold at some point,” the agency adds.

“All signs therefore suggest that we will continue to receive air from the maritime western corner, which is most often mild, humid and unstable, with wintry intervals only lasting for short intervals,” Hermansen concludes.

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How much will it snow in Denmark this weekend?

Winter weather arrived in spectacular fashion to coincide with the beginning of December this week. The weekend could bring more snow to parts of the country but probably less disruption than recent days.

Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December.
Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Recent snowstorms disrupted North Jutland in particular and Denmark in general, and more cold weather can be expected this weekend albeit severe, according to forecasts.

“We won’t see the Ragnarok-like weather we’ve seen in some places recently again this weekend, but it’s now winter weather and it has also snowed in several places overnight,” said meteorologist Frank Nielsen of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: Early December blizzards disrupt Denmark

Cold weather on Friday and a low front across the North Sea will bring clouds and precipitation across Denmark from the west, Nielsen said.

That will materialise as cold rain or sleet in many areas but probably snow in North Jutland, he said.

“There could be between five and ten centimetres of snow north of the Limfjord,” the meteorologist said, referring to the waterway that cuts across the northern part of Jutland, including main regional city Aalborg.

“In the southern part of the country, an equivalent five to ten centimetres of rain could fall,” he added.

Friday’s temperature will be between freezing point and five degrees Celsius, with the north of the country falling in to the lower end of that range and the south the warmer end.

Mist and fog is forecast this evening, caused by various weather fronts moving over Denmark.

That could still be felt on Saturday morning, though it is likely to be a little warmer at 2-6 degrees Celsius. Mild winds could make that fell chiller, but snow is unlikely.

Sunday will see the temperature drop again, to 0-4 degrees Celsisu. Snow is possible, particularly on eastern coasts.

Strong winds in the east of the country and along the coasts will result in a “rather cold 24 hours,” Nielsen said.

Nighttime temperatures are expected to drop below zero throughout the weekend. Motorists are therefore warned to be alert to icy road surfaces.