Mild Europe winter weather more likely - German forecaster

Reuters News

11/8/2012 10:30:20 AM - Reuters News

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European weather in the coming winter now looks more likely to be mild than in previous studies, German meteorologist Georg Mueller said in a monthly report on Thursday.

"The latest runs are generally in favor of a milder than normal winter, especially over northern Europe," wrote Mueller, who regularly monitors energy weather on behalf of Point Carbon, a Thomson Reuters company.

"Especially January and February could get quite wet, windy and mild over Scandinavia and parts of northern Central Europe," he added, concluding that no major cold episodes were likely.

December should be the coolest month, he said.

Another energy specialist, Weather Services International (WSI) last month also said it expected mild conditions in western Europe between November and January.

Providers of power and gas for heating and lighting need to gauge likely weather patterns, which drive consumer demand and utility buying of commodities such as coal and gas, and thus fuels prices.

As Europe nears its peak winter period, the power market is particularly vulnerable this year, due to shifts in weather and demand, because supply is tighter than in recent seasons.

This is because Germany has taken a large chunk of nuclear capacity out of operation, and France and Belgium are struggling with aging reactors.

(Reporting by Vera Eckert;)