The winter of 1941–42 is known as the coldest European winter of the 20th Century. The temperature was much below normal from the beginning of January until the end of March 1942. Blockings and cut-off lows were frequent, particularly during January and February 1942.
The role of quasi-stationary waves during this winter has been studied by decomposing the 500-mb geopotential height data in a low-pass, filtered, quasi-stationary part and a traveling part. The phase of the quasi-stationary wave was such that a ridge was present over the eastern Atlantic and a trough over western Russia throughout most of the winter. As a result, the majority of migratory cyclones that approached Europe from the west were steered either south toward the Mediterranian or north of Scandinavia.
The synoptic course of events during an outbreak of unusually cold air from the northeast at the end of January 1942 is described in some detail. Some comments are given on how the severe winter weather affected the war in the USSR.