Weather conditions on the day of signing the Act of Independence of Lithuania

The month of February 1918 began, albeit in overcast, but warm weather – the maximum air temperature often exceeded 0 ° C (the highest was recorded on February 9, +3.7 ° C). Such weather was caused by cyclonic circulation, which brought mixed and rain-like precipitation. The snow cover that formed in January melted as early as the first decade of February and only resumed in the middle of the month after the weather had cooled. The cold started on February 14, when the air pressure started to rise due to the arrival of a powerful anticyclone (the highest atmospheric pressure recorded in Vilnius was 1043.5 hPa). On 14 February, the minimum air temperature had already reached -6.3 ° C and continued to cool.

The morning of February 16 in Vilnius started with a real cold – the minimum air temperature had dropped to -17.0 ° C, there was fog, and a little later – fog, and frost was noticeable. There was not much snow that day, only 3 cm thick paving the ground. Still, the weather was calm, tease prevailed. As the noon approached, the air temperature rose slightly and at 2 p.m. the thermometer column already showed -8.2 ° C, the fog dissipated and the Sun appeared, which delighted even 6 hours that day. No precipitation was recorded during the day, a light (about 1 m / s) northeast wind was blowing. The average daily air temperature on February 16 was -13.3 ° C, which is even 9.4 degrees colder compared to the current climatic conditions (with the standard climate norm of February 16 (1991-2020 average air temperature).

Photo of the Lithuanian National Museum / Council of Lithuania – Signatories of the Act of Independence

According to historical sources, the meetings of the Council of Lithuania were usually held in J.Basanavičius’ office (Lithuanian Science Society, Aušros Vartų St.), but it was no longer possible to choose there because it was almost cold, as the doctor almost did not heat the stove. It is believed that the non-hated members of the Council decided to meet at the Committee’s premises on Pilies Street. According to the historian R. Klimavičius, if not cold and the basics of J. Basanavičius, perhaps today we would call the House of Signatories a building located not in the current Castle, but in Aušros Vartų Street.

Thus, in 1918. On February 16, two meetings of the Council of Lithuania took place in the House of Signatories, to which the future signatories moved frozen: one of them around noon, the other in the evening. The Act of Independence was adopted at the first sitting, at about 1 p.m.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of February 16, 2018, the LHMT published an overview of the weather prevailing on this day since 1918. The review is available here.

What weather to expect this festive Tuesday?

After a softened cold on the weekend, it’s time to settle for gradually cooling weather. The next night there will be a slight cold of 10–15 degrees, in places up to minus 18 degrees, the closer to the sea, the milder the cold and the minus 5-8 degrees will remain on the seaside. With light southerly winds, the air temperature will depend heavily on clear spells – there will be more of them in the northern and eastern regions, and the night will be colder here. In some places there may be a little drizzle, in some places there will be fog. The festive February 16th will be cold, but there will be no lack of sunny weather, so it will be fun to cool down from 1 to 6 degrees during the day, only where the night was colder or where the clouds will get a little snow, the day is expected to be a little colder.

February 17 the wind will turn southeast, similar weather will remain at night, and colder air will start to flow during the day and the air temperature will hardly rise above the 3-8 degree cold. The intensifying high-pressure area from Scandinavia in the second half of the week will push Arctic air into the Baltic countries and winter will entertain at full speed. We can expect a change of weather towards the heat only on the weekend.

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