January 30, 2015
Translated by Krisitna Rus
There is intense fighting around Debaltsevo, the initiative is with the militia, Ukrainian military is taking losses and giving up positions. It is cold to sleep in the trenches. For snipers and artillery fire spotters visibility is important. But there is almost no visibility – fog…
I am joined by a head specialist of the Weather Center Fobus, Vadim Zavodchenko.
Is the weather not on the side of the Ukrainian army?
Alexey, it will be difficult for everyone, but Ukrainian military is surrounded, on foreign land, and the atmosphere will create additional problems for them. And this is what I am going to talk about.
Of course near Debaltsevo, one is not likely to freeze during active fighting, but if the siege is prolonged, the weather factor will play an important role and will further demoralize Ukrainian soldiers.
Let’s look at the meteo-conditions in the area of the clashes.
The average temperature in Ukraine is weakly positive. This is much warmer then normal.
Most of the country has little snow, and only Eastern regions have snow banks over 10 meters.
Such warm scenario produces a lot of thick fog. I want to remind you, while covering with a fog curtain, Ukrainian troops just recently attempted their attacks on Donetsk.
In South-East Ukraine one may count on one hand the number of sunny days in January. The climatic norm for fog is doubled, and they stick around a lot longer then usual. Record darkness descended on Volnovakha on January 27. Imagine the visibility of 100 meters in the city for more then 80 hours in a row.
Foggy conditions exclude the use of aviation, military, as well as transport. Therefore one cannot expect any support from the air.
In the next few days the flow of moist and warm air towards the South-East Ukraine will keep increasing. The region will be in the sphere of influence of an active Balkan storm system. This cyclone will increase the discomfort. The fog will be aided by a storm wind and precipitation.
Please note, in just two weekend days the Mediterranean air mass will pour more then 30-35 mm of precipitation on South-Eastern regions. This is a monthly norm. And the worst weather will be on February 1st. The roads will turn into mud. Even in peaceful times this paralyses transport, not to mention a zone of military operations.
And although the storm will come to Ukraine from the south, it will not seem warm.
In meteorology there is a concept of comfortable temperature. When one goes outside, a person dressed for the season may feel the surrounding air warmer or colder then it is in reality.
High humidity along with strong wind significantly lowers the perception of real temperature.
While blowing at the skin such flows cool down the body.
Look, tomorrow in Debaltsevo – rain, strong wind, +4′ C, which will feel like -2’C
On Sunday the rain and wind will strengthen, although the air warmed up to +7’C will get into the city, it will feel like 0’C.
Imagine the condition of thousands of Ukrainians surrounded in the open fields.
And only in the beginning of next week the weather will improve and the difference between the real and perceived temperature will begin to shorten.
Alexey, we should hope that along with fog and bad weather, the tension in the region will dissipate as well!