Europe experiences exceptionally warm winter

GrapesImage source, EPA
Image caption,
The German Wine Institute said 2019 was the first year in which the "ice wine" harvest had failed nationwide

The 2019/2020 winter has been the warmest on record for Europe, with average temperatures 1.4C above the previous high of 2015/2016.

Winter is defined as the months of December, January, and February.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) says the warmth was very evident in the north and east of the continent where a number of local temperature records were being broken.

Last month was also the second hottest February on record globally.

It was cooler by only 0.1C compared with the previous high of 2016.

The C3S reports the numbers in its latest climate bulletins.

It said the mild conditions this winter led to a number of impacts across Europe, including "difficulties for reindeer herding in northern Sweden, failure of the ice-wine harvest in Germany, and having to import snow for sporting events in Sweden and Russia".

The December-February average was 3.4C above the 1981-2010 norm. This made 2019/20 by far the warmest European winter in the data records from 1979 on which the service's climate bulletins are based.

Image source, C3S/ECMWF