European countries face a blisteringly cold start to the week as temperatures drop below -10C (14F) in parts of Scandinavia and snow grounds planes elsewhere in the region.
Norway, Sweden and Finland are being hit by deep sub-zero temperatures that are expected to remain for at least another week, according to forecaster Maxar Technologies Inc. Meanwhile, rain, sleet and snow are expected across much of Britain and France.
The UK’s Met Office has implemented a yellow warning for rain in the southwest of the country. Much of western Europe is on guard for cold snaps, snow and flash flooding, after air and train services in Germany and the Netherlands were stalled. Temperatures in Berlin are set to remain near freezing throughout the week.
Oslo is forecast to reach as low as -13.5C on Monday, more than 12 degrees below average for the time of year. Wind power output, a key source of electricity in the region, has almost come to a halt, contributing a mere 4.9% of the region’s output.
Sweden, normally a net exporter of power, was importing Monday from Germany and Poland to ensure that supplies meet the increase in demand. A Uniper SE oil-fired plant in the south is also on standby to generate if needed. In relief to the market, Vattenfall AB resumed output at its Ringhals-4 nuclear reactor earlier than planned.
The UK was exporting electricity to Norway, a relatively rare occurrence.
Across Europe, a total of 85.1 heating degree days are forecast in the next 1-5 days, well ahead of the 10-year normal of 66.8, according to Maxar. That’s a key indication of persistent below-normal temperatures.