Europe seen headed for cold early winter: meteorologist

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 28, 2011 8:08 AM
Europe seen headed for cold early winter: meteorologist

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The first parts of the coming winter may be cooler than average but later on, the winter season is likely to show changeable, possibly milder weather than average, German meteorologist Georg Mueller said on Friday.

"The second half of November and the first half of December could be cooler than normal," said Mueller, based in Baden Wuerttemberg state, who works for Point Carbon, which provides information for the power, gas and carbon markets.

He stressed that this was just a tendency forecast, while detailed predictions cannot be made further ahead than two weeks.

Mueller is due to update his forecast at the end of November with a wider-reaching analysis.

Slides provided by Mueller showed that the early winter could be slightly below normal temperatures and rather dry.

From January onwards, the weather could be more unsettled, wetter and milder than normal especially in northern Europe while central Europe could trend toward a high pressure influence and calmer weather, they showed.

His findings were in line with other weather watchers which in recent weeks pointed to quite cool conditions on the cards for the region, if less extreme than experienced in the last two winters.

Providers of power and gas for heating and lighting need to factor in likely weather patterns as they drive consumer demand and utility buying of energy commodities such as coal or gas.

Power in Europe's single biggest economy, Germany, is hardly used for heating but in France whose prices move broadly in tandem with the neighbor, it plays a big role in providing short-term heat during cold snaps.

Householders' use of gas heating during cold periods can compete with gas consumption for industrial processes, especially in markets like the UK, where coal and gas can be used alternatively for power generation.

(Reporting by Vera Eckert; editing by Keiron Henderson)