Fight brewing between Polish and Russian forecasters over a potentially record cold winter ahead

OK we have competing stories here. Read on, then place your bets.


Russian winter. Image from – click

From the RT News service: Coldest winter in 1,000 years on its way

04 October, 2010, 22:20

After the record heat wave this summer, Russia’s weather seems to have acquired a taste for the extreme.

Forecasters say this winter could be the coldest Europe has seen in the last 1,000 years.

The change is reportedly connected with the speed of the Gulf Stream, which has shrunk in half in just the last couple of years. Polish scientists say that it means the stream will not be able to compensate for the cold from the Arctic winds. According to them, when the stream is completely stopped, a new Ice Age will begin in Europe.

So far, the results have been lower temperatures: for example, in Central Russia, they are a couple of degrees below the norm.

“Although the forecast for the next month is only 70 percent accurate, I find the cold winter scenario quite likely,” Vadim Zavodchenkov, a leading specialist at the Fobos weather center, told RT. “We will be able to judge with more certainty come November. As for last summer’s heat, the statistical models that meteorologists use to draw up long-term forecasts aren’t able to predict an anomaly like that.”

In order to meet the harsh winter head on, Moscow authorities are drawing up measures to help Muscovites survive the extreme cold.

Most of all, the government is concerned with homeless people who risk freezing to death if the forecast of the meteorologists come true. Social services and police are being ordered to take the situation under control even if they have to force the homeless to take help.

Moscow authorities have also started checking air conditioning systems in all socially important buildings. All the conditioners are being carefully cleaned from the remains of summer smog.


From the Voice of Russia

This year’s winter may be the harshest – Polish climatologists

According to Polish climatologists, the Gulfstream- the Atlantic warm current, which protects Europe against the Arctic cold, is cooling fast. It might even disappear completely, they warn.

Russian meteorologists disagree with the pessimism of their Polish counterparts, agreeing though that the speed of the Gulfstream has indeed been reduced two-fold for several years. The Scandinavian countries are already feeling the breathing of the Arctic.

The Polish climatologist, Mikhail Kovalevski [sic] believes that if the trend continues, the climatic zones will move North and Europe will become a permafrost area for ever. But after looking at satellite pictures, NASA officials say that the global warming of the past 18 years has made the Gulfstream stronger and warmer. Russian meteorologists however hold the middle ground, Alexander Frolov, head of the Russian Meteorological Agency says.

The Gulfstream is powerful and is not declining; it warms up Europe, and consequently, it  has a high significance for both Poland and the  Scandinavian nations. But access to the heat might be restricted by the thawing of the ice and the turning of the water fresh – that is cold fresh water may appear on the surface, preventing the heat from going into the atmosphere to have an impact on the climate. We  do not  overestimate such a phenomenon, Frolov says.

He agrees that the Arctic ice is thawing fast, and according to the specialists, the area of the ice is now 4.8 million kilometers-600 thousand kilometers less than in 2007. said Frolov.  That is the third minimum area of ice ever recorded since the beginning of meteorological observation. The Arctic  is indeed very  warn at the  moment, particularly the western part, Frolov  says.

But despite the warning in the North Pole, winter will set in, and according to the preliminary forecast by Russian weathermen, the country will have a normal Russian winter, perhaps not as harsh as last year, Frolov  says.

January will be the coldest and February will produce a mixture of weather, he said. He promised Russians a two-week frost in many regions of the country-most likely in the northern parts.


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“NASA officials say that the .. Gulfstream [is] stronger and warmer…”
Didn’t NASA’s cohort (NOAA) measure various points on Lake Michigan at 444.7°F ?
Must be one of those metric things.

according to the specialists, the area of the ice is now 4.8 million kilometers — 600 thousand kilometers less than in 2007, said Frolov.
Really? According to factual data, it isn’t so.

Mike Edwards

Well, never let a few facts get in the way of a good story.
If the Gulf Stream is so weak, how come the sea surface temperatures for much of the northern North Atlantic are above average?
I’m betting on a mild and damp winter for Britain. Pass me the umbrella and the wellies…

“He agrees that the Arctic ice is thawing fast, and according to the specialists, the area of the ice is now 4.8 million kilometers-600 thousand kilometers less than in 2007.”
This statement is wrong
This comes from the warmist use of “ice loss”, rather than ice extent.
Shows that these guys don’t even pay attention to what is going on ouside their tiny window of “expertise”.


In other words, we’ll have to wait and see. As usual.


“according to the specialists”
See, that’s the thing. They don’t name anyone but they do make it plural as if to imply that “many” of them believe that. Sort of like US articles that have “scientists say …” or “according to scientists …” without actually telling us who the “scientists” are.
I am sure I can find a “specialist” who will say anything I look for. I thought the article was kinda funny because I thought the whole “gulf stream weakening” thing has been debunked but people hear it at some point and just keep believing it.
I believe it will be cold this year. Oh, and the South islands of NZ have taken a walloping with a six day blizzard and “hundreds of thousands” of new lambs dead. The price of lamb is set to rise, folks.

What a mess :-/
“the Gulf stream has shrunk in half”
“the Gulfstream is powerful and is not declining”
“the area of the ice is now 4.8 million kilometers-600 thousand kilometers less than in 2007… that is the third minimum area of ice ever recorded”
“NASA officials say that the global warming of the past 18 years has made the Gulfstream stronger and warmer”
“Mikhail Kovalevski believes that if the trend continues, the climatic zones will move North and Europe will become a permafrost area for ever”


Lets wait and see what Joe Bastardi has to say.


Hi Antony,
you wrote: “The Polish climatologist, Mikhail Kovalevski”. It should be written: Michał Kowalewski. Here is his report “Winter Millennium”
PS. I’m a Pole who lives in Germany 🙂

son of mulder

Cometh the moment, cometh the man. Piers Corbyn make your prediction.

None of these weather forecasters have a clue about climate even a few months ahead. We may as well go back to voodoo priests reading entrails for all the good these forecasters seem to be.
And as everyone ought to know by now, natural climate variation dramatically increases when considering longer periods (its not white noise – but 1/f type). Basically this means for any uncertainty over short range climate forecasts like this you can magnify this chaos by an order of magnitude for longer forecasts.

Jean Meeus

“according to the specialists, the area of the ice is now 4.8 million kilometers — 600 thousand kilometers less than in 2007, said Frolov.”
Since when is an area measured in kilometers?
It should be SQUARE kilometers.

Rhys Jaggar

Well, it’s certainly a good scare story.
Time will tell as to whether it is true or not………..

Staffan Lindström

…”climatic zones moving north…bla…bla…permafrost…” So the permafrost comes from
Antarctica after all…???…4,8 million sq kms…600.000 sq km … LESS IS MORE…
The importance of the Gulf Stream for Eu heat/warmth just like the rumour of Mark Twain’s death may
be quite an exaggeration… … And OT SMHI : Could you please mention that 24,9C
in Nuuk/Godthaab Sept 2, 2010 was because of “weather doping” aka “foehn, strong”
DMI did, why not you…?? SMHI also baptized “Nicole” BEFORE you could see on the NHC
site…I have proof…That does not mean “Nicole” was not declared a TS, but somebody
at SMHI is mailed/called for a preview… And that piece of news was deleted at the SMHI “news site” when
“Nicole” had a quick death…The devil is always in the details…

When you look at how fast the Arctic sea ice refreeze has started, winter is definitely early this year.

Stephen Brown

According to the IJIS web site there’s substantially more ice now than there was at this time in 2007.

If we get a winter that cold there are going to be a lot of angry people around in northern Europe – hard to scream global warming when you are freezing to death – literally!


Well, the picture tells us nothing about Russian winters. It does tell us a lot about the attitude of their road maintenance workers though, who simply dump the snow on whatever is in their way. 🙂

Alan the Brit

Confused of Devon! I won’t hold my breath just yet!


Forecasters say this winter could be the coldest Europe has seen in the last 1,000 years, but this hasn’t stopped the global warming Mafia’s propaganda.
Britain’s top-selling paper The Sun has gone all apocalyptic today
BEN JACKSON, Environment Editor
PADDY fields stretch along the Thames outside the Houses of Parliament, while a massive refugee shanty town encircles Buckingham Palace. These apocalyptic-looking images have been described as “postcards from the future”.
In total 14 shocking images of the capital have been created by illustrators Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones. Their aim is to show how the world might look if sea levels rise by 23ft (seven metres) and searing heat devastates large parts of Africa, southern Europe and central Asia.
With the planet’s population squeezed into a smaller area, huge tracts of central London have been taken over by Third World refugees as millions of people flee to the few regions of the world that are still habitable.
Other images show Nelson’s Column rising from the centre of a sea of hastily built shacks and Big Ben and Parliament surrounded by water. London looks so devastated by the flooding it resembles Venice.
Madoc-Jones, who helped create these pictures using digital technology, said the images were made to help people envisage the potential threat of global warming. He explained: “When you describe flooding at a certain level, people don’t understand what it means. But when you show them a picture of London under water, people think, ‘Crikey, that’s pretty bad’. We want people to think.”
But as much as these scenes look like science fiction, some experts believe they have an air of inevitability about them, with climate scientists warning of rises of 3.5 to 4°C in average world temperatures by the end of the century.
Professor John Beddington, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, has already said climate change could destabilise populations across Europe. This would trigger waves of migrants to descend on the British Isles and Scandinavia. The professor says that without major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, average world temperatures could even rise by as much as 6°C by 2060.
This would make most cities unbearably hot in summer, destroying agriculture and turning much of southern Europe into a desert. The increased temperatures would also melt ice across Greenland and this alone would raise global sea levels by 20ft.
If this scenario ever comes true, London, Liverpool and even Cambridge would become seaside towns.
Prof Beddington warned: “It is going to be extremely unpleasant to live in southern Europe and may not be feasible for the current level of population, so many people may need to move. Northern Europe will be a far more attractive place to live.”
Although, judging from these shots, the Queen might not agree.
Slideshow visions:
Full Nelson … shanty town in Trafalgar Square
Totally tropical … palm trees in Hyde Park
Clock that … rice grows in paddy fields in the shadow of Big Ben
Pond life … Piccadilly gives way to water lillies
Desert-ed … camels on Horse Guards Parade
Floody hell … London becomes the new Venice
Have your say

John Marshall

With the refreeze at a record rate the Poles may be right, though with the wretched carbon tax we will all freeze.

RE: “Polish scientists say that it means the stream will not be able to compensate for the cold from the Arctic winds.”
Presumably the raised question could be better assessed if the sudden cooling in the first war winter 1939/40 of WWII would be much better understood. , it had been the coldest in Europe for 100 years.
Concerning general conditions now and the wind conditions in October 1939 are quite different. Since September 1939 very high air pressure prevailed over Scandinavia, changing the wind over Northern Europe from SW to NE, ,
while at the same time the Arctic warming trend since 1919 changed into a cooling phase, which was soon felt globally for more than three decades.


No sunspots today.

Alexej Buergin

“according to the specialists, the area of the ice is now 4.8 million kilometers — 600 thousand kilometers less than in 2007, said Frolov.”
In 2007 Jaxa extent was 4.2; so the “-” sign before the number 600 probably is a minus sign, which makes it “minus 600 less” = “600 more”, and that would be correct. Obviously Frolov is still talking the soviet way.

Baa Humbug

My money is on Nostradamus and the Mayan calendar.


Well, I don’t think the basis of either forecast is correct as mitigation of northern Europe winters by the Gulf Stream is, like CAGW, the climatological equivalent of an urban legend. In reality it is that air circulation provides the majority of heat transport:-
1. The ocean absorbs heat in summer and releases it in winter. Regions that are downwind of oceans in winter will have mild climates. This process does not require ocean currents or ocean heat transport.
2. The atmosphere moves heat poleward and warm climates where the heat converges. In additions, the waviness in the atmospheric flow creates warm climates where the air flows poleward and cold climates where it flows equatorward.
3. The ocean moves heat poleward and will warm climates where it releases heat and the atmosphere picks it up and moves it onto land.
Full paper “Is the Gulf Stream responsible for Europe’s mild winters?” by R. SEAGER, D. S. BATTISTI, J. YIN, N. GORDON, N. NAIK, A. C. CLEMENT and M. A. CANE – Oct. 2002

Stephen Wilde

Can any of our regular contributors provide up to date data to enable us non scientists to interpret this jumbled stuff ?
I wasn’t aware of any substantial change in the Gulf Stream itself although the waters off Western Europe are cooler than they were but I just saw that as a gradual effect from a fading of the past warming of those waters induced by the long run of late 20th century El Ninos.
I could go with the suggestion that those El Ninos resulted in a long spell of Gulf Stream strengthening (18 or so as NASA says) but that it is now in decline (as the Poles suggest). That might square the circle between the reports but, as always, extrapolating a current trend forward indefinitely is just silly.
“the climatic zones will move North”
Surely that is a typo and North should be South ?
Anyway as long as the jets remain equatorward with lots of blocking events then I would expect colder winters in the mid latitudes of both hemispheres just as we have seen.
Attempting to predict the severity and location however remains a mugs game.


Bogus from the start. The Gulfstrem isn’t slowing. That report was superseded by another study which said there’s too much error in the measurements and too short a data span to draw any conclusions. May be cold in Russia this summer, but I don’t believe anyone who bases that on the Gulfstream.


Lessee here: The Russians and the Poles both say the Gulf Stream is cooling, but NASA says it’s warming, and getting more so.
Where doth the truth lie?
Aside from prognostications and predictions, and the fact that the Arctic ice is shown to be increasing at a rather fast clip (recent post here at WUWT on ice extent), then NASA seems to be in err.


Trade Winds are weaker during the El Nino event on Pacific. The same weakness of Trade Winds also causes similar event on Atlantic. During this event the Gulfstream is also weaker, but as soon as Trade Winds blow faster, Gulf stream also speeds up.
It might be so that Polish have measured correctly the slow speed of Gulf Stream during the last El Nino event, but they didn’t notice that its all past now.
The warm water from last “Atlantic El Nino” has passed to north Atlantic by now and north Atlantic is everything but cold right now.
This is not to say that next winter would not be cold; it will due to strongly negative AO.


Nice one Matt lol


@ Baa Humbug
my dear fellow, your faith in me is quite touching, but speaking as a doddery old codger, semi-retired and partially retarded from an un-distinguished career in the NHS, you would be wise to go solely with the Mayans. My great uncle told me, way back in the late 40’s that the Mayans had pretty much experienced all there was to experience politically, agriculturally and climatically [ the latter by inference ] and they coped very well – up to a point. So an in-depth study of their cultural records and coping mechanisms wouldn’t go amiss.
Perhaps we could re-institute a few Mayan and Inca tactics by reviving the ancient religious art of human sacrifice. Please forward your candidate lists to me and I’ll see what I can do – I still have some contacts in the murky world of ‘medicine’. Perhaps a grand sacrifice on a grand, global scale would appease the “Weather – no! – Climate – no! – Weather – no! – Climate Gods”!
Yours etc


Baa Humbug;
Love it! Best summing up yet!
Don’t know the odds in a two horse race but put ten each way for me!


Gulfstream is not slownig and polish meteorologists are not the source of this information. All start with italian physicist – Gianluigi Zangari:
First “shocking” news comes from this site (conspiracy theories etc.):
Then the same information appeared in polish site (conspiracy again):
and “wolnemedia”.
So, please don’t say that the polish meteorologists, forecasters or scientists says that “a new Ice Age will begin in Europe. “. They don’t.

Leon Brozyna

Russia? Poland? Scandinavia? Who cares!
If the jet stream keeps messing around along the east coast of the US this winter like it’s been doing the past couple weeks, there’ll be heaps of snow to shovel this winter, especially in the northeast.


Methinks those Polish scientists have “shot their bolt” a little too early. Ice Age for Europe scares are unlikely to gain traction for another 10-20 years or so.
Surely if the Gulf Steam had indeed slowed by half then we in the UK and Ireland would know all about it by now. Also, with 50% less warm water heading in, Arctic ice
would be growing at an ‘alarming’ rate.
“The Polish climatologist, Mikhail Kovalevski believes that if the trend continues…”. Careful with those trend lines Mikhail.
Looking at some of the long standing thermometer records on the (Atlantic) gateway to the Arctic (Nuuk, Reykjavik) and using them as a proxy for sea temperatures, I’m also going with a rapid growth in “Ice Age Europe” scares (to more than 2 sd above the 1980-2010 average) in the coming decades.

Ken Hall

I am expecting a mild winter. Not because of climate change warming us up, but because I have seen several of these predictions of a deep winter cold recently.
In my experience, seasonal forecasts are often opposite what actually happens. I think a mild but wet winter is on the way.

Chris R.

Frankly, Anthony, I am surprised not to have seen you covering the “Gulf Stream cut in half” story. Considering how that plays a prominent role in the silly movie “The Day After Tomorrow”, anything stating that the Gulf Stream is slowing, stopping, coming to a halt, etc., cries out for debunking.

Got an email yesterday…….Richard, I went to your website for the first time and found it fascinating but some of your forecasts for snow in the NE (I live in North Jersey) in April and May, 2011 and 2012, seem extremely unlikely to verify. Are they real forecasts made using your system, or are they some type of website error? If they were to verify, goodbye interglacial, hello Ice Age!
Look forward to hearing back from you on this.
my reply;
The data used to form the maps is derived by pulling up the daily data from the same dates (within 11 to 14 days of the same as the julian date of the forecast) from past cycles from 19, 37, and 55 years before the forecast date. In these past years these actual amounts of snowfall occurred and most likely will again. However given that the solar activity was higher then, than it is projected to be for the next 10+ years.
When these cyclic patterns return I expect to see the temperatures to be running as much as 3 to 6 degrees colder, which in the past two springs allowed the snow, and freezing rain line to drop a couple hundred miles further South into the rain I had forecast. For an example look back at the forecasts maps that are still posted for the massive freezing rain caused power outage in the Tennessee, and Kentucky area the last two years. It was verified the last two years, and I expect it will again.
Welcome back to the good ole days your parents speak about.


“That is the third minimum area of ice ever recorded since the beginning ofmeteorological observation satellite monitoring.”

BBC March 2010
Gulf Stream ‘is not slowing down’
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News
Data came from the global network of Argo floats in the oceans
The Gulf Stream does not appear to be slowing down, say US scientists who have used satellites to monitor tell-tale changes in the height of the sea.


Caleb says:
October 5, 2010 at 1:50 am
No sunspots today.

More NASA Omega blockers as things continue to stall out.
At least that data I can see.
Wherever data is to be found on the speed and temp. of the Gulfstream, I have not been able to find. Just a bunch of statements and opinions.

Michael D Smith

Do I see a WUWT gulf stream page in our future?

UK Sceptic

Oh no, not again…


well, so far it has been cold here – colder than climatic norm (as given in wikipedia =) by approx. 4C, or even more, granted that norm is averaged for October, and it has just started. Compared to a string of warm autumns we’ve been having during ’00s, it feels.
What strange is the wind patterns – we’re having north-easterlies again, except in summer they were hot and now they are cold.
Now, it is just a personal, so i may be wrong. But it is common to think that autumn brings endless rains – weak but prologned, it is nothing like that this year… just yet. Well, we’ll see

Wilson Flood

Re Kate, 1.38 am, the photos were in the Sunday Times also. I am not sure how many believe this stuff any more. Sea level at London is rising due to land sinking. Britain is tilting due to post glacial rebound.
West Arctic was warm because of a blocking high in the Atlantic diverting dying hurricanes over W Greenland rather than over W Europe giving UK a fine September. This high has gone for now and W Greenland is cooling and we in UK are getting wet again. I am afraid that these climate “scientists” are of a poor calibre. Everything is attributed to AGW even although the theories would not predict rapid and large warming in W Greenland as we have seen in recent weeks.
Voice of Russia totally wrong on ice areas.

Frank K.

crosspatch says:
October 5, 2010 at 12:10 am
“according to the specialists”
“See, thats the thing. They dont name anyone but they do make it plural as if to imply that many of them believe that. Sort of like US articles that have scientists say or according to scientists without actually telling us who the scientists are.”
This is a common device used by the American MSM. For example, they take flimsy poll numbers and state “…the American people say…” which, of course, is complete BS.
As for this winter, I’m going with colder and snowier than normal up here in New Hampshire. Accordingly, I’m need to order two tons of pellets for my pellet stove today :^)


Lets see now, Europe is the object that continues to complain about global warming but is dependent on the Gulf Stream to remain warm. They are willing to pay oodles of money for “carbon credits” so that they do not get warmer. The US is running a huge budget deficit. This suggests an obvious solution. Build a large dam that stops the Gulf Stream from getting to Europe and charge them to let any water get through. Then they can pay us all the money that they waste on their fool carbon credits. They get their desired temperature, we get our desired money. Problem solved. /sarc (In case there is an AGW person reading this.)