Why is it so much colder in this part of Transylvania?

by Paul White

Looking at the weather forecast I can see that it tends to get much colder here during winter compared to the rest of Romania. I wrote to a friend of mine in Bucharest (who knows about such things) to find out why, and this was his reply:-

"The region Paul chose to live in is the coldest area of Romania. The so called North Pole or Cold Pole of the country is only 26 miles south from him.

Paul's village is where I've placed the green place mark. The Cold Pole is represented by the blue pin (3). The (1) and (2) yellow and red pins are another two places where usually the temp drops more than normal.

Why are winters so cold here?

The reason for lower temps is that the circled area is in a corner of a depression in the mountains, surrounded by a chain of over 2000 m mountains to the South and East (green line), so the westerly winds (predominant winds in Europe - red arrows) are deflected upwards and build up a high pressure in the area - that's why there are almost no winds in the area.

Early yesterday morning these were the lowest temperatures recorded this winter in Romania:-
* -31C at the blue pin
* -26C at the yellow pin
* -25 at the red pin (60 miles North from the village)
* -24 where it says Brasov *
whereas in the rest of Romania the temperature was around -10C."

Walking in the Carpathian mountains