Temperatures were slightly above the average of previous years in Europe this winter, according to figures from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) on Monday.
The period from December 2020 to February 2021 was on average 0.6 degrees warmer than between 1991 and 2020. Temperatures did remain lower than in the same months of the previous year, with an average of 2.3 degrees lower, but the winter of 2019-2020 was the warmest ever recorded on the continent.
The last time Europe experienced a colder than average winter was in 2016-2017. The penultimate one was in 2011-2012. Over the last 30 years, the coldest was the winter of 1995-1996, with temperatures 2.1 degrees below average.
At a global level, the largest departure from average temperatures was recorded in northeastern Canada, Greenland and the Arctic Ocean. In Europe, it was mainly in the southern regions that temperatures rose above average.