Big winter snows in the North could be fueled by Arctic sea ice loss
A new study finds a direct link between an extreme snow event in Europe and declining Arctic sea ice—and suggests it could be part of a pattern.
In mid-February 2018, a strong high-pressure weather system slid over Scandinavia, bringing cold easterly winds that plunged Europe into a historic deep freeze. Arctic temperatures gripped the continent for weeks; snow fell as far south as Rome. In the British Isles, early March blizzards produced 25-foot snow drifts.
New research suggests that this astonishing cold wave, dubbed the Beast from the East, was supercharged with snow thanks in part to a dearth of sea ice in the Barents Sea, off the Arctic coasts of Norway and Russia. It points to a different and poorly studied way in which declining Arctic sea ice can impact the weather further south—distinct from