Sheep cold

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Schafskälte is a meteorological singularity . Between June 4th and June 20th (maximum frequency around June 11th) there is often a cold snap in Central Europe. Sheep cold does not occur every year. The cool and moist air flowing in from the northwest causes the temperature to drop by five to ten Kelvin within a few hours .

This weather situation bears its name after the sheep , which traditionally had already been sheared by then and for whom the cold snap - especially during summer alpine pastures - can be quite threatening. Mother animals are therefore only sheared after mid-June.


Sheep cold, like any land weather situation, arises from the different rapid heating of land masses and sea water (see also Eisheilige ). While the country is already very warm in June, the sea is still relatively cold due to the high heat capacity and convection of the water. The low pressure area emerging over Europe then brings cold air of polar origin from the west to the northwest. The sheep cold is therefore also associated with a change in the prevailing wind direction from southwest to northwest. Due to similar changes in the large-scale air pressure distribution over the Indian subcontinent , the sheep cold is also known as the European summer monsoon .

The weather situation occurred at least in the past with a relatively high probability. Flohn and Hess (1949) evaluated the years 1881 to 1947 and came up with a probability of occurrence of 89 percent. Modern studies ( e.g. Schönwiese  1986, Malberg  1989, Bisollo  1991) indicate the time June 11 to June 20 for the singularity on average.


In the Alpine region the Schafskälte occurs right to regular. Two advances in the cold can be identified, the first cold snap between June 3rd and 5th and the second between June 15th and 21st. The high areas are particularly affected, for example the alpine farms in Salzburg, Carinthia, Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Amounts of fresh snow up to 50 cm are not uncommon.

For example, the sheep cold 2010 was particularly punctual. The first cold burst came at the beginning of June, followed by the intermittent warming with subtropical hot days (8 to 11 June) and the second cold snap on 20 June with fresh snow up to 1,400 m. In 2018, however, the ingress of cold air did not take place until June 21.

See also


  • Horst Malberg: Farmer rules - from a meteorological point of view. Springer, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-540-00673-7 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Richard Scherhag , Wilhelm Lauer: climatology. (The Geographical Seminar). Verlag Höller and Zwick, Braunschweig 1985, ISBN 3-89057-284-7 , p. 91.
  2. ^ Sabine Meyer: The medieval sheep breeding in Mainfranken. Würzburg 1998, DNB 957598068 , p. 156.
  3. ^ Flohn and Hess: Meteorologische Rundschau. 2nd edition. Stuttgart 1949, p. 258. ISSN  0026-1211 .
  4. ^ Christian Zenkl: Cold relapses in June. Innsbruck 2003.