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Airport Climatology/Northern Europe

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Category: Weather Weather
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Tag(s) Climatic Phenomena

back to Airport Climatology

The Climate of Northern Europe

The climate of Europe is of a temperate, continental nature, with a maritime climate prevailing on the western coasts (Köppen climate classification Cfb), and a mediterranean climate in the south (Köppen climate classification Csa), while eastern Europe is continental and dry (Köppen climate classification Dfb).

The climate is strongly conditioned by the Gulf Stream, which warms the western region to levels unattainable at similar latitudes on other continents. Four seasons occur in western Europe, while southern Europe experiences a wet season and a dry season. Southern Europe is hot and dry during the summer months. Prevailing westerlies (conditioned by the Azores High), bring rain from the Atlantic ocean to the west, while the Siberian High brings colder, drier weather from the east. Eastern Europe experiences a two-season, hot and cold cycle.

Tornadoes occur within Europe, but tend to be weak. The Netherlands and United Kingdom experience a disproportionately high number of tornadic events.


The following map shows the Köppen climate classification (KCC) for aerodromes across Northern Europe which are listed on SKYbrary: {{#compound_query: AirportEmpty;?Airport_Name; | Concept:Northern EuropeAf;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Af.png | Concept:Northern EuropeAm;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Am.png | Concept:Northern EuropeAw;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Aw.png | Concept:Northern EuropeBWh;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=BWh.png | Concept:Northern EuropeBWk;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Bwk.png | Concept:Northern EuropeBSh;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Bsh.png | Concept:Northern EuropeBSk;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Bsk.png | Concept:Northern EuropeCsa;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Csa.png | Concept:Northern EuropeCsb;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Csb.png | Concept:Northern EuropeCwa;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Cwa.png | Concept:Northern EuropeCwb;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Cwb.png | Concept:Northern EuropeCwc;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Cwc.png | Concept:Northern EuropeCfa;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Cfa.png | Concept:Northern EuropeCfb;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Cfb.png | Concept:Northern EuropeCfc;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Cfc.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDsa;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dsa.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDsb;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dsb.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDsc;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dsc.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDsd;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dsd.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDwa;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dwa.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDwb;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dwb.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDwc;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dwc.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDwd;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dwd.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDfa;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dfa.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDfb;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dfb.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDfc;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dfc.png | Concept:Northern EuropeDfd;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=Dfd.png | Concept:Northern EuropeET;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=ET.png | Concept:Northern EuropeEF;?Coordinates;?Airport_Name=;?KCC;icon=EF.png | format=googlemaps | width=950 | zoom=3 | center=62.063611° N, 7.276944° W }}

   Af: equatorial climate
   Am: monsoon climate
   Aw: tropical savannah climate
   BWh: warm desert climate
   Bwk: cold desert climate
   Bsh: warm semi-arid climate
   Bsk: cold semi-arid climate
   Csa: warm Mediterranean climate
   Csb: temperate Mediterranean climate
   Cwa: humid subtropical climate
   Cwb: temperate China climate
   Cwc: cool China climate
   Cfa: warm oceanic climate/ humid subtropical climate
   Cfb: temperate oceanic climate
   Cfc: cool oceanic climate
   Dsa: warm continental climate/ Mediterranean continental climate
   Dsb: temperate continental climate/ Mediterranean continental climate
   Dsc: cool continental climate
   Dsd: cold continental climate
   Dwa: warm continental climate/ humid continental climate
   Dwb: temperate continental climate/ humid continental climate
   Dwc: cool continental climate/ subarctic climate
   Dwd: cold continental climate/ subarctic climate
   Dfa: warm continental climate/ humid continental climate
   Dfb: temperate continental climate/ humid continental climate
   Dfc: cool continental climate/ subarctic climate
   Dfd: cold continental climate/ subarctic climate
   ET: tundra climate
   EF: ice cap climate

Climatic and Weather Phenomena Affecting Aviation in Northern Europe

  • Fog - Northwest Europe is prone to Fog in the late Autumn/Fall and early Winter.
  • Low Temperatures - Pilots should remember to apply Altimeter Temperature Error Correction when the aerodrome temperature is 0°C32 °F
    273.15 K
    491.67 °R
    or colder, especially when the aerodrome is in mountainous terrain e.g. northern Norwegian coast in winter.