Global Warming and a Mangled Jet Stream: Germany Breaks All-Time Record Highs for Early March, Aswan Egypt Experiences First Rainfall Since 2012

According to reports from WeatherUnderground and WetterOnline, Germany experienced some of its hottest ever recorded temperatures for early March last week.

A large region including a swath of cities stretching from the northern coastline into the heartland and on toward the French border all saw records — some of which had lasted since the 1890s — fall. The heat pulse was enough to push readings into the upper 50s, 60s, and even the low 70s (F) for some regions. A set of highs extraordinary for a Germany that typically sees daytime temperatures ranging from near freezing to the low 40s this time of year.

Such a surge of warm air was enough to shatter more than 20 long-standing records by as much as 5.9 degrees (F). An unprecedented outbreak of March heat which set trees to blooming and spurred Germans on toward local waterfronts.

Germany's March Heatwave

(Germany’s March 9 heat wave set off 22 all-time high temperature records — shown in star pattern outlines. Temperatures shown are in degrees Celsius. Image source: WetterOnline.)

Some of the official new records for early March included:

Munster 22.4°C (72.3°F) former record 19.1°C (66.4°F)

Koln/Bonn 21.1°C (70.0°F) former record 19.8°C (67.6°F)

Dusseldorf 20.9°C (69.6°F) former record 20.2°C (68.4°F)

Aachen 20.8°C (69.4°F) former record 20.2°C (68.4°F) POR back to 1891

Hannover 20.2°C (68.4°F) former record 18.4°C (65.1°F)

Hamburg 20.0°C (68.0°F) former record 17.6°C (63.7°F) POR back to 1891

Bremen 19.5°C (67.1°F) former record 18.2°C (64.8°F) POR back to 1890

Kiel 19.3°C (66.7°F) former record 16.7°C (62.1F)

Bremerhaven 18.7°C (65.7°F) former record 16.5°C (61.7°F)

Helgoland 10.6°C (51.1°F) former record 10.5°C (50.9°F)

Mangled Jet Stream, German Heat, Egyptian Storms

Much of Central, Southern and Eastern Europe has been under the influence of a persistent high amplitude Jet Stream wave pattern throughout late winter. This pattern has consistently dredged warmer air up from North Africa and the Mediterranean and flung it over Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Balkans, Poland and Ukraine. The result has been much warmer than normal conditions for this region.

On Sunday, the pattern amplified pushing a center of much warmer than normal air directly over Germany — setting off new record high temperatures for early March. It is a Jet Stream pattern that remains in place today and one that may amplify with the heat of summer putting Central and Eastern Europe and Western Russia under the gun for potential droughts, heatwaves and fires come summer time. A set of conditions that may further exacerbate already strained global food markets, economic and political tensions.

Jet Stream Germany March 9

(High amplitude Rossby type wave pattern brings record heat to Germany, record rains to Aswan Egypt. Image source: The University of Washington.)

Returning to early March conditions, the front side of this high amplitude wave pushed a deep trough down through Eastern Ukraine and Russia formed a cut-off low over Greece and accelerated the Jet Stream flow to the south. The result was a high amount of atmospheric instability in a rather unusual place.

Moisture flooding in off the Mediterranean flooded into the storm flow that was now centering over one of the driest places on Earth — northern Egypt. By March 9-10, the pattern had erupted into a series of freak thunderstorms that belched thunder, lightning, hail and record rainfall over this typically parched section of Egypt. In total, Luxor, the city of the famed Valley of the Kings, received nearly 1.2 inches of rainfall. This is nearly 30 times the average yearly rainfall for this desert land, which it received in just one day.

Nearby, Aswan received a stunning .6 inches of rainfall, the first rains seen for this region since 2012 and also a new record.

Events Sunday in both Egypt and Germany are not without their broader context in a world shoved toward increasingly severe weather by human-caused climate change. This year, the world over is experiencing a string of highly anomalous storms, heatwaves, droughts, cold snaps and floods. An ongoing occurrence that for some regions has resulted in a 500% amplification of climate extremes.

Unfortunately, with El Nino about to give its dark gift of ocean warming back to the atmosphere and with ice sheets in both hemispheres just starting their cycles of catastrophic melt, the increased intensity of weather and climate anomaly has only just initiated.




University of Washington

Extreme Weather Events Increase by 500%

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob!

Leave a comment


  1. Rob, do you have the data and capability to produce two time-lapse video-graphic sequences of the jet stream map, one to show historical norms and one to show the 2013-2014 conditions? I was thinking that might be useful in illustrating the recent changes happening to the jet stream (i.e. amplitude).


  2. Andy

     /  March 14, 2014

    Here is a map I ran across. It is the delta of wind speeds from normal. You can see the increase over normals in the North Atlantic, as well as the below normals in the Pacific coast of North America.

    What I find curious is the North Atlantic delta being located roughly in the region where we are seeing the increased ice pack melt for the arctic. Unsure if there is anything further than an interesting coincidence.


    • Thanks for this! Excellent help. Those gals and guys at NOAA are spot on.

      I was just going through the mangled Jet Stream posts and was trying to figure out if I could highlight weather events and co-locate them on the Jet Stream map for the past few years. This seems almost at the level of a scientific report. Might be worth the heavy lifting!

      Oh we will certainly see more of that as ice pack melts. The polar vortex moves to Greenland as the central and southern Atlantic warms and the North Atlantic near Greenland cools. Very bad combo.


  3. Andy

     /  March 14, 2014

    I found this set of graphs all on one png. I thought it was very handy.


  4. appaling

     /  March 14, 2014

    Some really striking temperature maps for Sweden:

    It is in Swedish, but Google translate is your friend 🙂 But the graphs speak for themselves.

    In any case, the top left blue box with the drop down for year is daily anomalies, the box to the right is “average this month so far”, “average previous month”, “average this year so far” and “average 2013”.

    Looking at the daily and monthly data so far it is pretty scary, with lots of areas at +10C over average for a most of this year.

    Spring came about a month early.


  5. Andy

     /  March 14, 2014

    I was looking at the daily ice extent at (I do this daily)….

    …and noticed 2 things.

    First of course it looks like the peak extent may have been reached.

    The other is the ice pack between Greenland & Canada. If you look at the St Lawrence confluence with the Atlantic up past Newfoundland it appears that there is ice growth. However, is there a possibility that lower salt content in the sea there due to outflows from glaciers on Greenland in 2013 have made it simply easier to freeze in that area? Thus in fact, if the salinity was in line with the Atlantic, the extent would be lower. This “extra” extent may just be a lost leader. From my understanding this is in line with projections.

    Happy Friday.


  6. Andy

     /  March 14, 2014

    Watch out for food inflation to hit within a few months as these commodity increases work their way through manufacturing and the distribution channels, this looks very scary.

    This may overwhelm those at lower incomes, and especially those that received extra assistance which has been cannibalized (more for the lobbyists interests, . less for those that can’t buy advertising for your re election campaign).

    This may result in further petty crime (people will do what they can to eat), incarcerations (a self perpetuating cycle), income gap strain (class warfare), social strain (family stress due to income shortfalls), wealth gap (someone is making a killing on those commodities, and not the farmer), stealth inflation (smaller packages, larger “air bubbles” on the bottom of containers). Those on the edge have already performed their “substitution” (fed term for hiding inflation), they will now face raw hunger. That is just in this country.

    Overseas with the net importers, this will result in political instability (someone must be blamed), crime (yes, people need to eat), wealth gap (someone makes a killing importing), graft (greasing the wheels to make that killing), regional conflict (you have food? I don’t but I’ll take yours), inflation (fiat currencies will be debased to buy dollars to buy commodities), social upheaval and devolution to some degree (we are animal after all, and prove it when we are in a fight/flight reflex mode).

    If the fed is scared, then this bodes poorly.

    I have stated in the past that I saw strains reaching breaking points in extreme net importer countries in 2015, I suspect that those with higher imports are facing problems starting in the 2nd/3rd quarter 2014.

    If we look at import/export balances versus local production (small scale as it goes into the local populous, large scale is driven by commodity prices and may get exported), we can calculate the “strain” on a nation / region as well as the susceptibility to political unrest and social deconstruction.

    I might do this (depends on what the wife has planned this weekend).


    • This sounds like an excellent project. Certainly worth a shot if you have the time. I’ll probably cite your report in my next food post if you put it together. 🙂


  7. Mark Archambault

     /  March 14, 2014

    Co2 back over 400 ppm again at Mauna Loa:


  8. Steve

     /  March 15, 2014

    I’ve heard about California in the news here, but drought is already more widespread then we are led to believe.


    • Lots of hot spots. I’ve done a lot of research RE the current drought situation. Just a massive number of regions affected. The increased rate of evaporation is causing droughts to come on with more velocity that typically experienced. So there’s less time for prep.


  9. Science Graphic of the Week: Bombogenesis, the Most Extreme Weather This Winter

    Released by NOAA on March 11, the image depicts average global wind speeds during January and February. It’s color-coded: Dark blue is 12 mph above the 30-year historical average, brown is 12 mph below, and white is average. Winds in the North Atlantic are clearly blowing hard; more than a dozen storms underwent bombogenesis during the months analyzed. (The flip side of this effect is slow winds in the Northeast Pacific, which have allowed warm weather patterns to settle in, fueling the epic western drought.)



    • Pretty clear validation of the work of Dr Francis and of Hansen too.


    • This is just horrific. Now imagine that storm track cycling over the Arctic Ocean and the continents as well. That’s the storms scenario once the Jet re centers to Greenland.

      We’ll see this pattern emerge more frequently and intensify as the Arctic continues to warm.


  10. “It is a Jet Stream pattern that remains in place today and one that may amplify with the heat of summer putting Central and Eastern Europe and Western Russia under the guy potential droughts, heatwaves and fires come summer time. ” I believe you meant “under the gun with” ?


  1. In total, Luxor, the city of the famed Valley of the Kings, received nearly 1.2 inches… » Why Aren't You Outraged?

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