Meteorologist: The winter 2017-2018 will be one of the extremes, the Government is preparing for a difficult winter because of the “quite tough reality in terms of weather conditions”

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After a summer and an autumn start in which periods with extreme phenomena were not missing, meteorologists foresee a winter that will bring both extremely hot days, especially in the South and South-East of the country, and sudden drops in temperature. Specialists are talking about an increase of the frequency of the severe weather phenomena in Romania, so they estimate the appearance of strong blizzards, and large amounts of snow will fall in short periods of time. Meteorologists’ warnings made the Government to mobilize earlier than usually. Thus, next week, in the Government’s meeting, the winter program, which was drafted on a much pessimistic scenario than the last year, could be adopted, stated the Energy Minister Toma Petcu on Saturday, in a conference held at Alba Iulia, mentioning that all the producers and suppliers of electricity and gas have been notified and prepared.

“In the first month of the autumn, the estimation of the European center was confirmed, anticipating a warmer weather in the first month of the autumn. We are close to the climatological precipitation average, but we have to take into account the water deficit recorded until September 19” stated Elena Mateescu, the Director of the National Meteorological Administration (ANM).

“It seems like the second month of the autumn, in terms of the temperature values in October and November, will bring higher values than usually. However, we are talking about a gradual decrease of the temperature values from one month to another – the average of September will be 14.5 degrees, there will be 9.6 degrees in October and 3.8 degrees in November – a decrease of 5-6 degrees from one month to another” stated the ANM Director.

Asked how the winter 2017-2018 will be, the meteorologist stated: “It’s hard for us to say, but for sure, if 2017 has been an year of the extremes, January being the coldest month of the year, while March was very hot and summer was a summer of the extremes, but with temperatures higher than the climatological standards, we do not exclude that winter 2017-2018 will be a winter of the extremes, with significant alternations, with transitions from very warm days to days in which the atmospheric instability will be significant, being possible to have blizzard phenomena and snowfalls, which are normal in fact, in an extreme weather pattern, from one season to another, or from one year to another”.

 

Energy Minister: We are prepared to function with all capacities this winter

 

Energy Minister Toma Petcu (photo) in Alba Iulia on Saturday said that for the first time in recent years the winter programme will be approved by the Government in September and added that the authorities are prepared for the cold season.

“Last week, on Wednesday, we had a winter task force meeting, although it isn’t winter yet, a preparing winter task force, with all the authorities, institutions and companies involved. Furthermore, we have in the approval circuit and I am positive that next week, in the Government meeting, we’ll approve, for the first time in recent years in September, the winter programme,” Toma Petcu told a press conference.

He mentioned that the winter programme was built on a much more negative scenario than last year, when there was, “a quite tough reality” in terms of weather conditions.

Toma Petcu pointed out that there had been “some emotions” regarding the gas storage area, but, following discussion, “things have slightly entered normalcy there, too.”

In respect to price increases, the Minister brought to mind that in the gas area, household consumption is regulated until 2021 and no major increases would take place.

Regarding electricity, “on the liberalisation calendar, as this is the last year and we’ll move to a total liberalisation of electricity prices, the only regulation and the only adjustment those with the National Energy Regulatory Authority can make is at the end of this year,” the Minister mentioned.

Toma Petcu added that there is estimated a very slight increase, which cannot yet be translated into figures.