Saturday, February 27, 2016

Austria on track for second-warmest winter on record

The current winter is set to become the second-warmest in nearly 250 years since Austria began to record temperature, according to preliminary figures released Friday.

The winter, due to end on Monday, is 2.7 degrees Celsius above the long-term average from 1981 to 2010, matching the winter of 2013/2014 and only cooler than the winter of 2006/2007 when temperatures were 3.4 degrees above the long-term average, said the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG).

Last December and this February were particularly warm, with temperatures averaging 2.8 degrees and a preliminary four degrees for each month respectively.

The ZAMG said in a press release that five of the 10 warmest winters in recorded history have occurred over the past decade.

Climatologist Andrew Orlik said that the winter is known as the season with the greatest fluctuations from year to year, but long-term trends have shown changes.

Over the past 40 years, there has been a noticeable shift away from extremely cold winters, and many very mild winters recorded, he said. The average winter temperatures have increased by almost two degrees since records were first taken.

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