Airport Climatology/Northern Europe

Airport Climatology/Northern Europe

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:

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°C or colder, especially when the aerodrome is in mountainous terrain e.g. northern Norwegian coast in winter.

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