An investigation of the main features of large-scale synoptic patterns over Europe and the adjacent areas for extreme winter periods during 1980-1995 over the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) is performed. The NASA reanalysis data set is used to investigate composite sea level pressure (SLP), geopotential height of the 500 hPa surface (H-500) and precipitation-wet, normal and dry patterns for each month during the period October-March. It is found that the wet and dry cool seasons in the EM are associated with distinct SLP and H-500 anomaly patterns over Europe and the adjacent regions. During the dry spells large-scale positive SLP/H-500 anomaly areas prevail over Eastern Europe. A negative SLP anomaly is normally found during these periods over southwestern and Western Europe. During the wet cool seasons in the EM there are mainly negative SLP/H-500 anomaly areas over Eastern Europe to the north east of the EM. Positive SLP/H-500 anomalies are found over Western Europe. During wet months a trough zone between the Siberian and the Azorean Highs is positioned over the eastern part of the Mediterranean. During dry months the Siberian anticyclone is more intensive and the zone with low surface pressure is diplaced to the central part of the northern Mediterranean.