Unseasonably warm weather reinforces Europe in energy war with Russia

Europe is in the throes of a late-autumn heat wave, easing pressure on gas stocks as the bloc braces for its first winter without Russian fossil fuels.

Though Europe has seen milder-than-average temperatures for much of October, the late-autumn heat wave peaked this weekend, bringing temperatures as high as 35 degrees above normal to parts of the continent.

In many parts of Europe, highs climbed this weekend into the 70s and 80s, more like summer than the end of October.

In France, Saturday was the hottest day ever measured after Oct. 20, French meteorologist Etienne Kapikian noted on Twitter, with temperatures reaching 87 degrees Fahrenheit in the country’s southwest.

Belgium also saw “unprecedented” high temperatures of roughly 77 degrees this weekend.

Temperatures are expected to remain milder than usual for the start of November, too.

WIND FARM SET TO BE DESTROYED AND CONVERTED INTO COAL MINE

Long-range outlooks from forecasters Maxar Technologies and Marex do not show any cold spells on the horizon for Europe in November, Bloomberg reported, a welcome sign for the European Union, which has raced to fill its gas storage tanks ahead of winter.

Russia has steadily throttled its natural gas deliveries to the EU since its February invasion of Ukraine. Since then, Russia has cut gas deliveries to the bloc by 88% and has threatened to halt deliveries completely in response to EU sanctions imposed in response to the war.

Maxar reports “strong above-normal” temperatures expected through early November, with mild weather expected to persist through the rest of the month.

Other forecasts suggest temperatures could return to normal for the second half of November.

Gas storage tanks in Europe are roughly 95% full heading into the winter season. And Germany, which previously relied on Russia for roughly half its natural gas imports, has filled its storage tanks to 99% capacity.

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European gas prices have fallen due to the mild temperatures, with benchmark futures for Dutch TTF dropping Tuesday by as much as 5.5%.

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