February 2021 has seen an increase in both aerial extent and a gradual thickening of the Baltic Sea ice. This is a result of recent extended high pressure blocking funnelling cold Siberian Air over north eastern Europe. The blocking pattern does not allow Atlantic lows and associated warmer temperatures into the region.
Temperatures will hover near freezing over the next few days with another surge of cold air expected to move in across the Gulf of Finland over the days ahead of the weekend. The extent of Baltic Sea ice is nearing climatological norms following a period of several years when it has been well below those levels due to winters with a more westerly warmer air flow.
Comparing the images below for 15th February 2021 to the climatological normal, one can see levels are not far apart.
A more dramatic comparison can be made between this year and last year’s ice extent.
More cold is on the way with temperatures expected to be well below 0 deg C and as much as -25 deg C across the entire Gulf of Finland 17th through 20th February, with temperatures of -8 to -12 deg C extending as far south as the Sea of Azov. Beyond the 20th Feb temperatures are expected rise above freezing.
Stay connected and safe (and warm!).