December in Ljubljana one of dreariest on record

Ljubljana – 2021 made for a quite dry, sunny and warm year in Slovenia but the month of December in Ljubljana was one of the dullest on record with only 18 hours of sunshine. New Year’s Day hit a new temperature high.

Over the past 50 years Slovenia warmed up by just over 2 degrees Celsius and it now has about 200 more hours of sunshine a year than half a century ago.

Last year was the 17th warmest in 60 years with temperatures roughly 0.7 degrees above the average for 1981-2010, Gregor Vertačnik, a climatologist at the Environment Agency (ARSO), has told the STA.

2021 was also the 12th driest and the 7th sunniest over the past 60 years with about 11% more sunshine than in an average year.

Ljubljana residents may well disagree with that as the months of November and December in particular saw the Slovenian capital shrouded in fog or low cloud.

The city had 48 hours of sunshine in November, which compares to the average of 66 hours for that month. December was even worse with only 18 hours of sunshine, compared to the average of 55 hours in 1981-2010.

Otherwise, February and June were one of the warmest on record in the country with temperatures exceeding the long-term average by more than 3 degrees Celsius.

By contrast, the month of May was 2 degrees below the long-term average. Temperatures were also below average in April and October.

Some of the freakiest weather events include a record high of 25 Celsius measured in the western Vipava Valley in February and 20.6 degrees below zero in the Bloke area in south central Slovenia in April.

Several metrological stations recorded all-time highs for the period around New Year’s Day with temperatures above 15 degrees.

The record high temperature for 1 January was recorded in Godnje near Sežana in Kras where the mercury hit 19.1 Celsius this 1 January, said Vertačnik, noting the record for January is just over 21 degrees.

Only a week later, temperatures dropped to below -20 on Saturday morning. Data from Neurje.si and ARSO shows the lows falling to -5.6 Celsius in Ljubljana, -3.4 at the seaside airport of Portorož, -21.4 in Bloke and the cold spot called Mrzla Komna measured 36.8 Celsius below zero.

One peculiar feature of 2021 was the record amount of snow in spring. The thickest blanket at Kredarica, Slovenia’s highest mountain weather station, measured 510 centimetres on 26 May 2021.