End of Winter at Żabików, Poland
April 06, 2010
Photographer: Dariusz Dorosz; Dariusz's Website
Summary Author: Dariusz Dorosz; Jim Foster
The photo sequence above showing winter finally relinquishing its icy grip was taken near Żabików, Poland during the period from March 14-20, 2010. This past winter was cold and snowy across much of the Northern Hemisphere. The stormy weather was partially the result of a pattern known as the Arctic Oscillation (AO). This feature has a positive and negative phase. When in the negative phase, as was the case this winter, the Arctic region is warm and the mid-latitudes are generally colder than normal. In the winter of 2010, the AO was strongly negative; the Arctic was anomalously warm and the mid-latitudes were anomalously cold and snowy.
At the start of this photo sequence on March 14, 2-3 in. (5-7 cm) of snow covered the ground and the maximum air temperature was just above freezing. By March 17 (fourth photo in the sequence), the temperature had climbed to 41 degrees F (5 degrees C), and by the 20th, the first day of spring, the temperature had soared to 60 degrees F (16 degrees C) and all of the snow has melted. Note that in the first two photos the branches of the conifer in the foreground are still cloaked in snow.