Arctic Europe - winter of 1939/40
autumn 1939 just 19 years had passed since WWI, named the Great War, had
ended. With the end of WWI a dramatic temperature rise had started in
the Northern North Atlantic, generating the expression “Greening of
Greenland” and “Warming of Europe”. The ‘Big Warming’ was most
pronounced at the Norwegian Island Spitsbergen (Svalbard) high in the
North bordering the Arctic Sea. The pre World War II winters were the
warmest for several hundred years. Suddenly, without any geophysical
event, e.g. volcano, earthquake, or meteorite the Northern hemisphere in
general, but particularly Northern Europe plunged to Ice Age conditions.
Not nature had caused weather to change the course but huge naval
armadas going into action on September 1st 1939.
Top Secret - The
commenced with the start of WWII. Weather was given a top-secret place.
Only when Britain plunged into glacial conditions, not experienced for
many decades, His Majesty’s Censor relaxed censorship on weather
reporting and The New York Times was able to report as follows (excerpts):
27 January 1940
Cold Snap Can Now Be Told.
Censorship on the Weather Lifted – Freeze Severest Since 1894.
Low in London.
Has Noted Subzero Spell in Europe Without a word of Arctic Conditions
it can be told. For the first time since the war began, British censors
today allowed that humdrum conversational topic, the weather, which has
been a strict military secret in Britain, to be mentioned in news
dispatches – providing the weather news is more than fifteen days old.
The weather has been so unusually Arctic that by reaction the censors’
hearts were thawed enough to permit disclosure of the fact that this
region shivered since past several weeks in the coldest spell since
1894, with the mercury dropping almost to zero and a damp knife-edged
wind piercing the marrow. While British newspaper readers’ teeth
chattered, the newspapers told them about a cold wave sweeping Europe,
with sub-zero temperature records in Germany, Finland and neutral
countries.” (NYT, 28 January 1940).
reported by NYT are in Fahrenheit.
WWII started during a period of fine
weather. The previous months of 1939 had been entirely normal. Two
decades of global warming had made the late 1930s the warmest period
since the 16th century. Only four months later Northern
Europe became arctic. Since September 1939 the North Sea had blocked
Atlantic cyclones from moving east on common routes via Central Europe.
(A) The reason is obvious. Enormous naval activities stirred and churned
huge seawater areas, due to naval activities (B), which inevitably led
to the North Sea and Baltic Sea cooling. (C)
Lost West Drift, 2_12. (B) Sea war
events, 2_13, Sea mines, 2_14,
Depth charges, 2_15. (C) North Sea cooling ,
2_16; Baltic Sea cooling,
section proposes to concentrate entirely on the ultimate outcome of the
weather conditions in Northern Europe during the first war winter of
1939/40. It will be done mainly by providing a list of significant
events from mid December 1939 until the end of February 1940. These
events will demonstrate in the most convincing manner how extraordinary
and how severe this winter was. It shall particularly raise the
awareness that the arctic winter 1939/40 must have been caused by
something. Much of this information has been mainly compiled from
reports from three newspapers: The New York Times (NYT), the Neue
Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) and the Hamburger Anzeiger. The marvellous
job The New York Times did is highly appreciated. Their reporting was
outstanding, excellent, comprehensive, detailed and prompt.
list will also contain some general information or analysis of events of
particular significance pertaining to the theme “war and weather”.
On the other hand the list does not aim in any way to provide a detailed
or complete account of the situation, but shall only describe, by a
collection of certain examples, the severity of this winter. One cannot
seriously discuss “climatic changes” as long as the reasons for the
icy winter 1939/40 have not been discussed and explained. Nothing
had happened on earth prior to 1 September 1939, respectively January
1940, that could have caused or been linked to the sudden arrival of
this extraordinary cold winter, except that the Second World War had
details: (A) concerning impact of El Niño, see : Lost West Drift,
starting with the historical list of events, a brief climatic assessment
on the severity of the winter conditions in Northern Europe is compiled.
It was the coldest winter for more than 100 years for some countries or
parts thereof, e.g. Sweden, Germany and Holland. The centre of the “cold
pole” in winter the 1939/40 could be located within the triangle
Rotterdam – Hamburg – Koenigsberg/Kaliningrad - Riga – Budapest.
However, for all countries in the Northern European realm relevant
information is compiled in the Chronicle (below, last section), just to
give a basic idea as to the exceptional nature of this winter.
work aims to prove that the war at sea caused this weather anomaly.
Naval aspects during the initial war period of a couple of months are
given in the three papers. (A) These analyses are also part of the wider
investigation to prove that the five years’ war at sea during WWII
caused the biggest man-made global climatic disaster in the last century,
starting with the first war winter of 1939/40 and lasting for four
Further details: (A) Sea war
events, 2_13, Sea mines, 2_14,
Depth charges, 2_15. (B) Oceans at war,
4_11, Ocean system affected,
Severity of the winter
1940 had the lowest mean temperature over Britain. The mean
temperature at sea level was 33’0°F over Scotland, and 31’7°F
over England and Wales,.
1940 was probably the coldest for 100 years.
(Kew Observatory)/London: January 1940 was the coldest since 1791;
(Kew Observatory)/London: January 1940 had the highest percentage of
‘frost days’ (87%) since 1854, and registered 84% morning frost;
of the whole winter (December-February) 58% were ‘frost days’
and 13% were ‘ice days’;
As regards mean temperatures at Greenwich in January the figure was
the lowest recorded during the past one hundred years, it being
30.8° F, which is 7.8° F below normal and 0.9° F lower than the
mean for the long – remembered January 1881;
Kilmarnock (ca. 35 km south of Glasgow): on January 22, 1940
the temperature deviated by minus 25.3° F from average, the highest
Durham: January mean temperature (34.8°F) was the lowest of a table
1901-1940; the February temperatures correspondingly were the lowest
winter of 1939/40 ranks as No 8 in the list of the coldest winters since
1706, and was the coldest since 1845.
record winter conditions were reckoned immediately:
meteorologists say that last month has been colder than any January
in the last one hundred years, with mean daytime temperatures of 23
degrees Fahrenheit (-5°C). (NYT, 1 February 1940).
has not yet reached January’s disagreeable record but during the
last two days has not been far away”. (NYT, 15 February 1940).
coldest winter since 1830.” (NYT, 20 February 1940).
mercury dropped to 54 degrees below zero Fahrenheit at Tynset, in
Eastern Norway. (NYT, 18 January 1940).
the basis data for four months i.e., December – March, the winter of
1939/40 ranked 9th in the list of the coldest winters since
1757, trailing behind only the winters of 1880/81 (rank 6); 1837/38
(rank 5); 1808/09 (rank 2). On the basis data for three months the
winter is ranked No.10., succeeding the winter of 1892/93 (rank 9).
Sweden all cold records were broken in the last twenty-four hours, the
coldest since 1805.” (NYT, 21
on a list taken from ten observation stations from 1906 to 1941 the
amount of cold in winter of 1939/40 was by far the severest at any of
the places observed. The figures available, with the mean data in
respect of the 10 coldest years since 1906 in brackets, are as
–378.5 (204.0); Fanø – 349.9 (208.2); Hammershus - 305.6 (176.4);
Bogø – 438.0 (235.0). The lowest winter temperatures noted had been
for December(-22.2°C); January(-24.3°C); February (-27.4°C); March
is Denmark’s worst winter since 1860”. (NYT, 15 February
1940). The Chronicle (below) provides further information on the
severity of the situation in Denmark.
lowest temperature in seventy years was reported at Riga, Latvia, with a
reading of 47.2°F degrees below zero (-44°C); (NYT, 18 January 1940).
Information on the weather situation during the WWII war winters in the
Baltic countries is rare, if existed at all. Presumably, Tallin, Riga
and Vilnius experienced the same glacial war winters as Stockholm,
Copenhagen, Rotterdam, and London from 1939 to 1942.
Berlin and Halle it was the coldest winter in 110 years. The assessment
is based on the ‘summary of the daily mean data from November to March’.
For Berlin (correspondingly for Halle), the data noted for 1829/30 is
the ‘cold sum’
figure -791°C, for the winter 1939/40 the figure is -736°C.
These data are confirmed by other researches as well.
coldest January months with respect to Berlin since recording started in
1719 are: 1823, 1838 and 1940. With regard to the winter of
1928/29, February (-10.4°C) was colder than February 1940 (-7°C), but
as January 1929 is not among the 20 coldest winter months, the winter
1939/40 ranks higher on the list of cold winters16For
Dresden the winter of 1939/40 (December-February) was the second coldest
in the 115 year record, only surpassed by the winter of 1829/3017.
recorded the coldest January ever measured since observations started,
with minus 9.1°C from average, while the previously lowest figure for
1838 was minus 8.2°C. It was the coldest January for at least 112 years18.
Darmstadt (near Frankfurt a. M.) the winter was the severest since
1837/38 and 1829/30 accompanied with abundant snowfall19.
winter 1939/40 ranked 6th among the 115 year record, and
occupied third place in the list of frost days, after 1829/30 (84),
1890/91 (82), and 1939/40 (76); while the coldest February in the last
115 years occurred during the winters of 1929/30 and 1939/4020.
observed by Groissmayr in 1947: “In contrast to Germany, Austria and
Hungary, the winter of 1939/40 in Switzerland was short, the February
was close to normal”21 while
by comparison the difference in mean temperatures was -8.2°C in
Koenigsberg, and -6° to -8°C in Hungary (compared with Switzerland’s
experienced some cold from the end of December 1939 to mid January 1940.
record low had been measured in Modena with 13.8°F (-25 °C) on 15th
February 1940. (NYT,
16 February 1940).
further details concerning the weather conditions in the Mediterranean
from end of December 1939 to mid January 1940 (see: Turkey quake,
(Black Sea - Rumania, Bulgaria)
assessment concerning the earthquake in Turkey on 27th
December 1939 is given in: Turkey quake (A). Further details: (A) Turkey
months October to December 1939 had been very dry all over the US, (A)
which may have some connection to the military activities in Europe and
Asia in autumn 1939.(B) January 1940 was cold, followed by a mild
February23 Due to above normal
average temperatures over the arctic (and Siberia), the cold pole over
Canada has moved south towards the US in January 1940. According
to Scherhag24 January 1940 saw the
‘typical picture of a weakened sectional circulation’. Brooks
observed that most of eastern Canada north of latitude 48°N was above
normal in January 1940, with deviations running up to more than 25°F
above normal north of latitude 58° N and 18°F above normal in the
interior of Alaska. Missouri was actually as cold as the Hudson Bay
region for the month25.
December 1939 to February 1940
The temperatures reported by The New York Times are always in
Fahrenheit; some of which have been converted to Celsius (in brackets).
December 1939; Snowstorm at the Petsamo (Arctic) Front in Finland with
minus 30°C to minus 36°C (Frankfurter Zeitung, 23 Dec.39).
22 December 1939; A very
severe snowstorm brought shipping in the Black Sea and the lower Danube
river to a standstill on Thursday (21 December 1939). At the coast the
temperatures dropped to 15°C below zero.
stormcaused considerable damage in Bucharest. (Hamburger Anzeiger, 23/24 December 1939).
also fell all over Bulgaria on 21-22 December, starting a new cold
weather episode (down to -16°C), 24th in Northern Bulgaria
-20°C, (according to Bulgarian newspaper ‘Zora’; by personal
December 1939; Heavy snowstorm reported from Latvia (Hamburger
December 1939: Baltic countries temperatures: In the Eastern parts of
the Baltic countries (Russian West border) the temperatures fell to
minus 17°C from the 24th to 25th, and below 20°C
one day later, extending to the Baltic coast, with minus 14°C in
Klaipeda and minus 17°C in Gdynia (Bight) on 27th December26. (Newspaper
December 1939; Snow storms sweep Denmark (Frankfurter Zeitung, 29
December 1939; Ice closes Danube to German supplies; Rail traffic
expected to be hampered by snow (NYT, 30 December 1939); “Cold winds
recently have been blowing westward from Russia and the constantly low
temperature in the river valley indicates a general freeze will set in
soon.” (NYT, ditto).
December 1939; From Agram in Yugoslavia temperature of minus 32°C is
reported. (Neue Zürcher
Zeitung, 31 December 1939).
December 1939; Cold wave over the Riviera. In Genoa a rapid fall of
temperature was followed by an extensive snowstorm. Trieste reports
heavy winter storms. Milan had minus ten degrees Celsius during the
Saturday night. (Neue Zuercher
Zeitung, 31 Dec. 1939).
December 1939; “An unprecedented and severe snow storm in Naples
region today indirectly caused a train wreck in…”. “Rome’s
heaviest snowfall in recorded history - six inches - made the Romans
feel as New Yorkers did in the 1888 blizzard. There had been nothing
close to this as snow fell for three days continuously from December 16
to 18, 1846. (NYT, 31 December 1939), (so also: Neue Zürcher Zeitung (2
Jan. 1940), but snow fall lasted only for eight hours. The snow melted
away in a few hours on 1st January 1940).
December 1939; Roma covered by 25-30 cm snow; Venice minus 5°C; Finland’s
Arctic Front minus 48°C; record cold in Sweden and Norway with
40°C (earlier severest in January 1914 minus 50°C); severe cold in
with minus 23°C (Frankfurter Zeitung).
December 1939); cold wave in Bulgaria, the lowest at Rustschuk at the
Danube river with minus 20°C. Banja Luka/Westbosnia minus 27°C; in
Slovenian cities minus 26°C. (information by personal communication)
Dec. 1940; The Atlantic island Madeira reports a violent storm on Sunday
(31 December) with heavy flooding. (Neue
Zürcher Zeitung, 2 January 1940);
31 December 1939; Thin ice reported at Briala, River Danube – 11°C27
January 1940; All navigation on Danube stopped owing to ice28.
January 1940; Heavy snowstorms reported again from Denmark and traffic
at Jutland is affected. (Neue
Zürcher Zeitung, 03 Jan. 1940).
2 January 1940; Weather
curtails West Front Action. (G.H. Archambault reporting) With the
cold becoming keener and much snow under foot, activity on the Western
Front is best described as relatively – very real to the men who must
continue to patrol, but virtually insignificant from a military point of
view. Rain and mud are bad enough; snow and ice are even worse. (NYT, 3
January 1940; A record frost today covered Northern and Central Russia,
with the thermometer at 31 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-35°C) and
affected normal activity. (NYT, 9 January 1940). Sport events have been
cancelled. Twelve persons with frozen legs – the majority intoxicated
– were picked up by ambulances. (NYT, 11 January 1940).
January 1940; Cold weather, worst in Hungary since 1929, is expected to
break all previous records. Already the Danube is a solid sheet of ice.
(NYT, 11 January 1940).
January 1940; Rumania. Temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero
Fahrenheit (-40°C); Bulgaria was reported to be suffering under the
worst cold in the memory of living persons, with scores of villages
isolated by snow. (NYT, 12 January 1940)
January 1940; Sea freezing near Odessa. Very low temperatures over the
Black Sea. Rumania caught in minus 33 °C cold,(according to Bulgarian
newspaper ‘Zora’; by personal communication).
January 1940, Berlin: Mercury dropped to about four degrees below zero,
Fahrenheit (-20°C), in the capital and to about five below zero in the
suburbs. (NYT, 12 January 1940).
January 1940; Riga –41° C; Budapest -26° C (Neue Zürcher Zeitung,
11 January 1940).
January 1940; Budapest –26, Vienna -25, Sofia –22; heavy and
icy storm over North Italy; shipping halted in The Netherlands by frozen
rivers; icing between the Danish islands (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 11
January 1940; Amsterdam. Floating ice is halting traffic on the rivers
Rhine, Maas and Yssel. The ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam are being
kept open with considerable difficulty. The cold increases losses
already caused by war conditions. For instance, the number of ships
calling at Rotterdam has dropped from 1,300 per month before the war to
380 now. (NYT, 13 January 1940).
January 1940; From the lowland of Rumania a severe cold of minus 35° C
flows to Besarabia. The ice in the Danube becomes more firm and has
already reached a thickness of 35 cm at some places. (Neue
Zürcher Zeitung, 13 January 1939).
January 1940; The temperatures fell to 25.6 degrees below zero
Fahrenheit (-31.5°C) in Northern Rumania, and many villages in Dobruja
were snowbound. (NYT, 14 January 1940).
January 1940; Riga/Latvia; The bitterest cold wave for years, which sent
temperatures in the Baltic countries down to as low as 40 degrees below
zero Fahrenheit, ended here abruptly today. The mercury rose rapidly to
a few degrees below zero. Parts of the Baltic Sea have frozen over and
floating and pack ice are likely to interfere with shipping for some
time. (NYT, 14 January 1940).
January 1940; In the Soviet Union, extreme cold, particularly at the
Don, temperatures on Friday,12 January
was minus 38° C. (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 14 January 1940).
January 1940; Amsterdam. A break in freezing weather supplemented by
rain, fog and melting ice (came). (NYT, 15 January 1940). At least two
ships were crushed in ice packs on the Rhine and Ijsselmeer Rivers and
thirty others were damaged severely. (NYT, 14 January 1940).
January 1940; Temperatures of 40 degrees below zero Fahrenheit reported
from Warsaw, and the Danube frozen solid, there is no doubt that Eastern
Europe is in the grip of an icy winter which is made doubly hard by the
war. (NYT, 15 January 1940).
January 1940; Headlines: Snowstorm eases anxiety in West. German Attack;
Dependant on Machine; Held Unlikely in Present Weather. No Visibility
for Planes. Snow has been falling steadily all day long after a night of
heavy thaw. (NYT, 17 January 1940).
17 January 1940; Cold
paralyses Northern Europe. The unexpected swiftness with which
temperatures fell was featured in almost all weather reports. After
comparatively warm weather over the weekend, the temperatures suddenly
began dropping towards the bottom of the thermometers. A typical report
from Riga said that the temperature was at freezing point on Monday
morning (15 January) and at 22 degrees below zero Fahrenheit yesterday
morning. Then it tumbled to 47.2 degrees below zero – a drop of 79.2
degrees in about thirty-six hours. (NYT, 18 January 1940).
January 1940; In Copenhagen: 14.8 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-26°C)
was registered early today; there was no sign that the cold wave would
abate soon. Heavy snowstorms accompanied the cold, and traffic in many
parts of Denmark was impeded or brought to a standstill. (NYT, 18
January 1940; Moscow. Severe cold continued in Moscow today, the average
morning temperature being 49 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-45°C). (NYT,
18 January 1940).
January 1940; Helsinki. “Pitiless, deathly cold laid a glacial hand on
Russian’s war machinery tonight… near Salla, above the Arctic Circle.
Phenomenal 54-degrees-below-zero Fahrenheit temperature (-48°C)
restrained the Russian air forces, …and apparently immobilised Russian
ground forces, which have been attacking on the Karelian Isthmus.
(NYT,18 January 1940, front page). At Viborg the thermometer registered
54.4 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, while at Helsinki the temperature
sank to 23.8 below zero Fahrenheit. (NYT, 18 January 1940, inside
Remark: As both cities
are less than 200 km apart the difference should be seen with suspicion.
Tallin, just opposite the
Gulf of Finland reported 14.8 degrees below zero. On the other hand Riga
reported 47.2 degrees. (ditto). In Berlin the temperature tumbled 40
degrees, but the exact reading could not be transmitted abroad ‘because
of military reason’. (ditto).
January 1940; Budapest. The Danube is entirely frozen over. About 1,200
tugs and barges fully loaded have taken refuge in Hungarian ports. About
85 per cent of the transport is destined for Germany. Of these, 200 are
oil tankers and 400 carry grain. (NYT, 18 January 1940).
21 January 1940; “The
cold polar air remained stagnant over vast areas of Europe and North
America. Result: One of the coldest weather in half a century. In
Mos-cow the tempe-rature dropped on Wednesday (January 17) to 49 degrees
below zero Fahrenheit (-45°C), in parts of Finland to 58 below zero.
Such temperatures can be measured only on alcohol thermometers, as
mercury freezes solid at 38 below. (NYT, 21 January 1940; Weekend in
Review, ‘War in the Cold’).
January 1940: -23C was recorded at Rhayader (Wales).
January 1940; Severe snowstorms swept Europe from the Adriatic Sea to
Scandinavia. (NYT, 23 January 1940).
January 1940; Headline: Cold Greater Foe Than Germans For
French Army in Front Lines. Most
Severe Winter in Generations Taxes Troops’ Endurance to the Limit but
Test Is Met With Courage (NYT, 27 January 1940). It has been freezing
for six weeks. Everything is frozen – the bread in the sling bag, the
wine in the canteen. (ditto).
January 1940; In the close vicinity of London the river Thames has
frozen for the first time since 1814. (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 29
January 1940; Icy Storm Hits Britain; London Has Heavy Snow (NYT, 29
January 1940). Heavy snow paralyses Britain; Transportation is badly
affected. Trains from Scotland fail to reach London. The united Press
said that snow was falling over most of the country yesterday and that
the cold broke a forty-six-year record. Snow still was falling heavily
over most of the country today and there were three inches of snow in
the centre of London. (NYT, 30 January 1940).
January 1940; Crawford/Scotland had been cut off by a blizzard raging
over the British Isles last Saturday (27 January). Newspapers permitted
to publish the first details of the blizzard, called it the coldest
weather in a century. (NYT, 01 February 1940).
February 1940; Activities increase on Western Front. French send out
four patrols as cold moderates. With the cold becoming less bitter on
the Rhine-Moselle front, more activity is developing. …Once again
casemates along the Rhine have exchanged shots. After months of complete
calm such exchanges are becoming more frequent. (NYT, 2 February 1940).
February 1940; Copenhagen. Temperature is still dropping today and is
between 7 degrees above and 5 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in Denmark.
Due to energy shortage the government ordered drastic restrictions
forbidding the use of hot water, geysers and kitchen pipes until 1
April, getting the whole of Denmark splashing in bathtubs to get its
last hot water bath for some time to come. (NYT, 12 February 1940). ).
Similar shortages had been reported in Germany three weeks earlier:
Nazis Tighten Water Ban. Berlin Heating Plants to Issue it Only Twice
Weekly. (NYT, 20 January 1940).
February 1940; Sweden. Stockholm set a lowest record with 13 degrees
below zero Fahrenheit (-25°C). (NYT, 12 February 1940).
February 1940; Europe suffered tonight …in the cold wave, which
extended from the Arctic fringes of Norway and Finland…the Baltic
countries, to the Netherlands and Hungary. (NYT, 14 February 1940).
February 1940; Amsterdam. Europe suffered tonight in the paralysing grip
of the bitterest cold in more than 100 years. Hundreds of persons
abandoned their homes in the face of crushing ice packs boiling up from
ice-locked canals, rivers and seas.
Bureaus here recorded the lowest temperature ever recorded in this
country, 11.2 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-24°C). To the Netherlands,
which has a rather mild climate, this is more severe than the lowest
temperatures recorded in Minnesota. The average for the whole country
was 1.4 degrees above zero (-17°C). Water transportation in the
Netherlands has been completely paralysed. The canals have been covered
with thick ice for more than six weeks, while the traffic on the Rhine
and Waal stopped on January 11. (NYT, 14 February 1940).
February 1940; Copenhagen. The temperature has dropped to 13 degrees
below zero Fahrenheit (-25°C). (NYT, 14 February 1940).
February 1940; Baltic countries. In Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania more
than 10,000 persons suffered severe frostbite. At least five persons
froze to death in the three Baltic countries, where temperatures reached
54 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-47,7°C) recently for the first time
in 160 years (NYT, 14 Feb. 1940). Baltic Sea frozen over. (ditto).
February 1940; Hungary. The most severe snowstorm in memory has been
raging over Hungary all evening. The whole country is covered with snow
several feet deep. (NYT, 14 February 1940).
February 1940; Romania. Romania reported heavy snowfall particularly in
Bessarabia. (NYT, 14 February 1940).
February 1940; All records for cold in Europe were broken last month and
just when it was hoped the worst was over, another cold wave has bound
the whole continent. (NYT, 15 February 1940).
February 1940; Budapest suffered today from the bitterest cold for sixty
years, 28 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-33°C). (NYT, 16 February
February 1940; Ice-locked canals and rivers and snowbound trains made it
impossible to transport coal. New blizzards, with snowfall heavier than
any in Germany for decades, caused delays for hours in all
transportation. Snow was three feet deep in the streets of Berlin’s
February 1940; Italy is undergoing a new period of exceptionally severe
cold with temperatures several degrees below freezing in some northern
towns. The record low today was held by Modena with 13.8 degrees below
February 1940; In France canals that had been icy for weeks had scarcely
been opened when the new cold wave bound the broken ice blocks again,
immobilizing barges everywhere. (NYT, 15 February 1940).
February 1940; Slovakia. Cold cripples Slovakia. Following two
days of snowfall and a period of bitter cold, Bratislava was largely cut
off from the outside world. (NYT, 18 February 1940).
February 1940; Holland/Amsterdam. The
coldest winter since 1830. (NYT, 20 February 1940).
February 1940; In Sweden all cold records were beaten in the last
twenty-four hours with 32 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-35,5°C), the
coldest since 1805. The previous record in Stockholm was 22 degrees
below zero F. Copenhagen
tonight 2 degrees above zero Fahrenheit. (NYT,
21 February 1940):
February 1940; Berlin had a sudden thaw today after two months of cold
and snow such as the city has not seen for decades. At Warsaw workers
clear away nearly three feet deep snow. (NYT, 23 February 1940).
25 February 1940; Danube
river is still ice-choked. (NYT, 26 February 1940).
Chronicle is self-explanatory. The extreme conditions were not mere ‘natural
variations’ but caused by the war at sea. (A)
details: (A) North Sea cooling,
2_16, Baltic Sea cooling,