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  1. A major disappointment. Now up to Bust No.24.

    No.21: Sunday 5th June: Failed forecast of scattered thundery showers. One large cell near Wellington, Somerset.

    No.22: Monday 6th June: Failed forecast of scattered thundery showers for local area. Widespread and intense activity over west again, Ireland and Irish sea.

    No.23: Tuesday 7th June: MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT AND LET-DOWN. The last two entries were mildly annoying - today's bust has been the most infuriating event for many years. This could have been the chance to get a major thunderstorm in Guildford. Usual story - storms over the South Coast, Brighton as usual, more develop inland, to the East of Guildford again, typically just too far away to hear the thunder before they are shunted away east. Newsworthy weather for London, again, like the annoyances on 9th June 1992 and 3rd August 2002, to name two, when Guildford misses out by a small margin yet again. This eastward shunting of storms developing just to the east of my locality is sickeningly annoying as this is what made up the entire summer last year. 2016 is another dreadful year for storms and the deprivation and frustration of seeing others gloating IMBY posts is infuriating. NO storms club is no good as that is just inane light hearted banter and does not cater for the seriously deprived and frustrated amateur observer who is stuck in his / her home town due to work commitments and being unable to drive to chase. 

    Also very annoying to have the zonal garbage back at the weekend resulting in more rain in useless and annoying small quantities which will no doubt coincide with outdoor activities like cycling - something to work off the anger after days like Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th June.

    After having to wait for 6 hr from the onset of the London storms - there was SLIGHT thunder at 7:32 pm to 7:48 pm (8 quiet rumbles) resulting in a cycle storm chase to a quieter area away from the incessant traffic. This storm just died off  as it moved S.E.wards. One more quiet rumble at 11:54 pm from cell to north. NO RAIN FELL LOCALLY during this time but colleague cycling home from work got caught in downpour to east of Guildford at 11;30 pm and he estimated 6~8 mm rain fell. There was also a good storm just west of Fleet, Hants where I originally lived.    

    No.24: Wednesday 8th June: Usual story, usual areas get the storms. London, west midlands and Birmingham. Hopeful build up of Cu and Cb to N.E. after 3 pm. This leads to irritating drizzle shower and no thunder.

    Only thunder today was 4 quiet rumbles at 12:37 am to 12:50 am probably to the north. 

    Possibly a more useful way to measure thunder would be in estimated discharges through the months / year rather than days on which thunder was heard - last year had 6 days all with quiet thunder and <10 discharges on each. So far, the 2016 count is 3 days but this includes a total of 14 quiet rumbles and no close discharges. The average number of thunder days in Guildford (1992~2011) was 16 days.

    Not at all happy about zonal dross returning and probably have to wait well into July before another stab at any decent weather. Funny (not) how no surprise thunder events ever develop in situations conducive to such development, or have had a past good history but failing to deliver nowadays, yet other locations seem to do OK. What has Guildford done to deserve all this brain-numbing boring dross all the time? The lack of activity is hardly in compensation for an active period as we suffered the awful years in 2009 (6 days), 2010 (4 days) and 2011 (5 days), which had few but better storms than anything in 2015 and 2016 so far. 2012 (12 days) and 2013 (12 days) also lacked any decent events locally and the thunder in those years was 'single clap wonders' or 'cloud farts'. Only 2014 has been a decent year (20 days) and even then Guildford only really saw 3-4 impressive events, the others being 'slight', GOne are the dasy when thunder was recorded on 5 or 6 days in a month, often 2 or 3 months consecutively such as in the summers of 1982 and 1983. Now those were truly great vintage years, the latter with a good summer too, and also after decetn winters with snow. 

    Feeling VERY DISGRUNTLED at present - how I wish I could just up and leave and go to America and get away form the stuffy UK with its extremely boring weather, ridiculous cost of living and all the infuriating unfair political issues (now don't get me started on the 'I' word - just suffice to say, if we import all that 'stuff' from France, why can't we get French import thunderstorms surviving the channel and making landfall at Southampton - where Guildford has a chance before the ever-present eastward shunt).

     

  2. This is my final blog for Glastonbury 2016; however there will official forecasts appearing shortly on the Net Weather website to keep you all up to date.I will also try to contribute a little to the Glastonbury blog a little over the next few weeks.

    This blog will again feature the NOAA surface pressure charts and the latest ensemble forecast, and while it is still far too early to get any accurate picture, we can perhaps get an idea of the weather leading into Glastonbury.

    NOAA Pressure Charts

     

    6-10 Days

    The trend was for low pressure to start to influence the weather over the UK; however these latest charts suggest more of a dominating pattern as opposed to an influence.

    05 June - 6 to 10 days.gif06 June - 6 to 10 days.gif07 June - 6 to 10 days.gif

     

    8-14 Days

    The trend of the last update was for Low pressure to be in charge over the UK, but there were hopes that the influence of the Low Pressure was starting to reduce, as the deepest of the low pressure moved away to the North West. However the last couple of days show the Low Pressure dominance as much as ever. As these charts now cover the period towards the start of the festival, this is starting to look a little ominous.

     

    5 June - 8 to 14 days.gif6 June - 8 to 14 days.gif7 June - 8 to 14 days.gif

    Ensembles

    Pressure

     

    There is solid agreement in things turning very unsettled into next week and if the Glastonbury festival opened its doors next week, it would most likely be a soggy affair. However is set to rise back to around 1020mb by the start of the festival, so perhaps things turning a little better.

    Somerset Pressure 5 June 06Hz.pngSomerset Pressure 6 June.pngSomerset Pressure 7 June.pngSomerset Pressure 8 June.png

     

    Rainfall

    Into next week, and rainfall amounts are set to rise as mentioned above. As we move towards the Glastonbury festival, things turning a little drier and although not completely dry.

    Somerset Rain 5 June 06Hz.pngSomerset Rain 6 June.pngSomerset Rain 7 June.pngSomerset Rain 8 June.png

    Temps

    The trend is far temps to fall next week, but perhaps a slight signs of things warming up a little before the festival, but no clear pattern as of yet.

    Somerset Temps 5 June 06Hz.pngSomerset Temps 6 June.pngSomerset Temps 7 June.pngSomerset Temps 8 June.png

    Met Office

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/forecast/gcn4fpj2y#?fcTime=1465430400

    Through the weekend (before Glastonbury festival) and into the following week the northwest is likely to see much of any further rain, with the southeast expected to see drier conditions.

    Settled weather is most likely across north and northwestern areas through late June and early July. Southern and southeastern areas are more likely to see drier, warmer and sunnier conditions. Through the period this trend to more settled conditions is then expected to extend to most parts of the country.

     Summary

    The theme is for things to get better closer to Glastonbury, the big question is will things get better in time for the festival, fingers crossed it will, and I hope everyone going to the festival has a great time.

  3. I usually start these off with a recap of last winter, but this year I covered that in a separate blog, so here's one I made earlier:


    Moving onto this winter, there are a number of factors that make this a really fascinating one to watch. I'll go through each of these in turn, explaining what they're likely to do and how that's likely to affect us, before going on to look briefly at the methodology of the forecast, and, finally, getting to the fun bit, where I pull all of this together to make a (still wildly speculative) detailed winter forecast.
    Factors to Consider
    El Nino
    The most influential factor globally at the moment has to be El Nino - temperature anomalies in the central ENSO region are almost 3C above average http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf putting this easily in the top 3 strongest El Ninos on record. The impact in many regions is acute, with well above average Sea Surface Temperatures in the Indian Ocean contributing to an unprecedented two cyclones hitting Yemen in the space of a week.
    However, for Northwest Europe the impact is far more subtle and indirect, with its main contribution being that Sudden Stratospheric Warmings (more on that later) increase in frequency in El Nino years http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00207.1 . Therefore, in isolation, a strong El Nino marginally favours a colder than average winter, although nothing compared to the hype of the tabloids (and even the Sunday Post) who seem to think it guarantees an oncoming ice age. Of course, it's more complex than that, particularly when you consider that there are essentially two types of El Nino - a 'traditional' east based El Nino e.g. the giant red pincer that was the last huge El Nino event back in 1997, the precursor for a mild winter in 1997/98:
    November.97.anomaly.gif
    and an El Nino Modoki, which is a more central-west Pacific based event e.g. in the exceptionally cold winter of 2009/10:
    anomnight.1.4.2010.gif

    This winter's El Nino doesn't quite match either of those, with much weaker warming in the eastern Pacific compared to 1997 and in the central/Western Pacific compared to 2010:
    anomnight.11.12.2015.gif

    This suggests that, while there will be an increased chance of a Stratospheric warming as a result of El Nino, the idea of a winter similar to 2009/10 isn't a firm favourite on the basis of this, at least. However, the sample size with El Ninos of this magnitude is relatively small,
    My model of analogue years weights El Nino in a number of ways: firstly, by weighing the Multivariate ENSO Index to the current value, secondly by weighing towards neutral El Nino Modoki years, and thirdly by considering the joint impact of El Nino and the QBO which I'll get onto in the next part.
     

    QBO
    The Quasi Biennial Oscillation is a measure of the stratospheric wind near the equator. It runs in an approximately 2 year (hence quasi-biennial) cycle, where it reverses from easterly to westerly and back. This winter, we're looking at a very strong westerly QBO bottom graph:

    figt3.gif

    which in isolation would suggest a more westerly dominated winter.
    Last winter saw the strongest easterly QBO in the recorded dataset, which was one of the reasons many people were leaning towards a colder than average winter - an easterly QBO in isolation slows the westerlies at higher latitudes and hence weakens the vortex, leading to increased high latitude blocking and generally colder winters. However, as last winter's failure made clear, taking the QBO in isolation is deeply flawed - in particular, its interaction with both ENSO and the solar cycle complicate matters. In the former case, both El Nino and and East QBO increase the wave activity acting on the vortex, with the East QBO acting to advance the onset of the El Nino forcing on the stratosphere earlier in winter while the West QBO delays this signal, though the difference between the two QBO states in the mid-lower strat. seems to disappear almost entirely by late winter: Calvo paper This would suggest that we're likely to see a strong vortex developing early, but with the potential for more blocking as winter progresses. Thus far, in spite of this weekend's early cold snap, we've seen the stratospheric vortex behave in a manner consistent with this, with stronger than average westerly winds and near record low heights at the pole:
    time_pres_UGRD_ANOM_OND_NH_2015.png


    As (hopefully) an improvement to last winter's forecasting method, the QBO itself is not weighted but rather than ENSO/QBO and Solar/QBO interactions (more on these in the next passage) are, and in addition years with similarly strong early stratospheric vortices are factored in too. These can work both ways - on one hand in the short to medium term they tend to be associated with more zonal, westerly conditions prevailing, but can also increase the likelihood of an SSW further down the line,

    Solar Activity
    This is certainly one of the 'hotter' topics in medium/long range forecasting discussions, and has been since the out of the blue very cold winter of 2009/10 coincided with the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century. The current solar cycle was unusual in two ways: firstly, it was one of the shallowest in a long record, and secondly it had a secondary peak in activity which was stronger than the initial (and what was assumed to be at the time the main) peak. As you can see if you read the recap of last winter's forecast, this secondary peak's emergence during last winter appeared to be one of the main reasons the vortex didn't behave as expected. Anyway, what of this winter? Well, it looks as though we're finally heading back towards solar minimum values (approximately <100 sfu) and if the next cycle plays out as expected it may not get much above that mark for the next 15-20 years:
    solar-cycle-10-cm-radio-flux.gif

    The issue we now have with the solar/QBO relationship this year is that, while last winter solar max conditions acted along with the negative QBO to enhance westerlies, this winter the QBO flip means we're once again at a relative disadvantage when looking for vortex disruption, compared to if only one of these variables had flipped. Nonetheless, the lack of moderate/low solar, WQBO strong ENSO winters in the dataset means we don't have that much to go on, so confidence is pretty low, and low solar activity might at least inhibit subtropical heights from developing too strongly.



    Other SSTs (Atlantic and the PDO)
    The most notable factor this summer for many of us was the Atlantic cold pool, which contributed to a rather wet and cold winter overall, moreso the further north you went:
    anomnight.7.30.2015.gif
    This cold pool remains in place, albeit somewhat less anomalously cold and flanked by record warm tropical waters, and is expected to remain for the rest of winter, again prompting some less scrupulous sources to start ramping about exceptionally cold winters. But is that really the case? Certainly, you would expect Arctic sourced westerlies that are usually heavily modified to be less so, which could potentially mean more cold zonality type outbreaks like we saw last winter. But looking at the area where the cold anomaly was strongest over the winter (15-45 degrees west and 40-55 degrees north) the correlation between SSTs and Scotland's winter temperatures is weak, and in fact weakly negative, although with the coldest SST winters seeing generally below average temperatures, suggesting that it does perhaps have some effect. The main reason for the weak (or perhaps negative) correlation for this region is that it overlaps very strongly with the northernmost of the NAO tripoles - this is the signature SST pattern which indicates the prevailing pressure pattern over the Atlantic.For a -ve NAO signature you'd be looking for colder waters further south, with anomalously warm waters north of 50 degrees e.g. the opposite of this:
    blogentry-9298-0-60395700-1447979109_thu
    Therefore, this is potentially a signal for a +ve NAO/ Low pressure dominating at around our latitude (for early winter at least), but also for those westerlies to be colder than they otherwise would be.
    I've also weighted for the PDO, which has a more significant effect over the US but is another indirect factor, particularly since one of the key features of the SSW loading pattern appears to be the Aleutian Low, which tends to be associated with a +ve PDO:
    blogentry-9298-0-38085600-1448034458_thu
    Coming into this winter we have a positive PDO pattern, although not quite a classical one - the warm anomalies in the Central Pacific are atypical for a +ve PDO set up. While most studies have shown that El Nino, +PDO winters tend to be more associated with displacement SSWs i.e. ones where the stratospheric vortex is displaced off the pole rather than being split in two, the Cohen precursors for each type suggest that this warmer pool, which is likely to encourage higher pressure in the mid latitudes, would be more consistent with a split type SSW later on than a displacement.

    Snow Advance Index + Arctic Sea Ice
    These aren't linked as such but for the purposes of this can be thought of in similar ways. The Snow Advance Index, developed a few years ago by Judah Cohen ( https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiY6Y_aqKTJAhWFgQ8KHTGMC4YQFgggMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aer.com%2Fnews-events%2Fblog%2Fsnow-advance-index-new-tool-predicting-winter%25E2%2580%2599s-severity&usg=AFQjCNF2cjqp4wFUVmmZdXpWEsShHJTBsA&sig2=BvbNGHy0fC49jfGPhAAGoA

     is a measure of the advance of snow cover during October above 60 degrees north, which has been shown to correlate inversely with the Arctic Oscillation, primarily because strong Eurasian snow cover advance in autumn encourages the growth of the Siberian High which is another key feature in the precursor for SSWs, and hence one of the key factors driving vortex disruption. This winter, as in almost all winters I've been on the forum for, this index is strongly positive, hence indicative of a negative Arctic Oscillation. However, it's worth remembering that last winter's SAI was also strongly positive and yet we ended up with an above average Arctic Oscillation.
    Arctic Sea Ice is important because it has been shown that low ice extent, as again has been common in the last few winters for obvious reasons, is correlated with a weaker polar vortex and hence negative Arctic Oscillation. Therefore, weighting for these increases the likelihood of a colder, more blocked winter.
    These are also factors which makes it a bit more difficult to find decent analogue years - both 1998 and 1983 had negative SAI values, and neither had sea ice extent as low as this one either.
    Long Range Models
    [A quick look at what the long range models are showing, given they did pretty well last winter.
    The Met Office's GloSEA model had looked pretty promising in its October update for late winter at least,but November's update is a bit more sobering - low heights to the north, higher heights to the south, indicative of a generally milder than average, and probably wetter than average, winter:
    blogentry-9298-0-64017900-1448211300_thu
    though again there is just a hint of a possibility of a bit of Atlantic/Greenland blocking developing later on:
    blogentry-9298-0-68089800-1448211384_thu
    The CFS has, for a while, been going for a significantly milder than average winter for almost all of Europe, but seems to have toned it down a bit, particularly for December, in its most recent update:
    http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/wwang/cfsv2fcst/imagesInd3/euT2mSeaInd1.gif
    Hints also of a potentially more blocked February after an unsettled December:
    [http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/wwang/cfsv2fcst/imagesInd3/glbz700MonInd3.gif
    http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/wwang/cfsv2fcst/imagesInd3/glbz700MonInd1.gif
    The Japanese JAMSTEC model, on the other hand, is going for a colder than average, drier than average winter for the British Isles, which mostly looks to be driven by the SSTs:
    temp2.glob.DJF2016.1nov2015.gif
    The above factors were weighted and a index of the deviation from this winter was calculated (accounting for the lack of data for SAI and Sea Ice during the 50s and 60s), and used to weight the composites years, with La Nina winters disregarded. 
    The composite years generated are 1995 (x2), 1964 (x2), 2007, 2005, 2003, 1978, 1988, 1993, 1970, 1983, 1987, 1958 and 1998.

    While not perfect (and understandably weaker due to the fact that we're averaging years), the analogue years do pick up some of the key features we're looking for from this November, both at the stratospheric and tropospheric levels:
    blogentry-9298-0-38056500-1448209759_thu blogentry-9298-0-24302100-1448209766_thu

    blogentry-9298-0-30962600-1448209773_thu blogentry-9298-0-60514600-1448209778_thu

    The main exceptions to this are tropospherically upstream, where it has heights much lower over the US than they actually were, and around the Kara Sea in Northern Russia, where there's again a positive anomaly instead of a negative one. The latter is actually quite significant, as autumn blocking in the nearby Taymyr region is shown to correlate with a negative Arctic Oscillation( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.3968/abstract ). Given this is linked to a high SAI and low Arctic Sea Ice, the lack of very recent analogues is probably the reason for this failing, and I will be taking that into account.


    As for December, my analogues set up a somewhat drier month than might be expected given the current modelling. The low heights over Greenland remain, but with a positive height anomaly over Scandinavia there's at least some scope for drier, frostier interludes between more Atlantic driven spells.
    blogentry-9298-0-40848000-1448213351_thu
    Taking the Temperature and Precipitation data would point towards a month of around average rainfall, with temperatures around 0.5C-1C above average for Scotland, and similar for the CET zone.
    Overall, I'd perhaps lean on it being a bit more Atlantic driven, with a bit more of a north south split temperature-wise, but certainly a signal there for a quieter period of weather at some point, which will come as a contrast to the last two Decembers.
    As for the stratosphere, the general picture is of a still strong vortex being squeezed from East Asia:

    blogentry-9298-0-02346500-1448234504_thu
    For January, a more interesting month if you're interested in cold weather - signs of somewhat above average heights towards Greenland, with low heights to our east, hinting at the prospect of a more northerly driven regime.

    blogentry-9298-0-51408300-1448220498_thu

    However, there's definitely a lot going on there - firstly, the block has a chance of setting up too far west for us to benefit greatly. There's also some danger from the anomalous heights to the south - while the Labitzke QBO-solar linkage would suggest that the best chance of blocking heights would come from increased solar activity in the next month or so the flipside of this might be a rise in heights to the south, as we saw occur during 2012/13, somewhat hampering what could've been a very cold winter here. The main factor affecting temperature here though is SSWs - when these occured in January the mean Scottish temperature was 0.8C below average, but above average without.
    Rainfall from these analogue years is again around average, but with some huge variance. The common factor in most of the wet months is a cold Atlantic, which suggests that perhaps we're more likely to be above average on rainfall this winter, particularly further south.
    The composites suggest that any Stratospheric Warming is most likely to result in at least a chunk of the stratospheric Polar Vortex ending up on our side of the NH (and most likely from the analogues a displacement rather than a split) :

    blogentry-9298-0-91082700-1448220498_thu

    However, given some of the specific factors at play this winter I feel a split is on the table more than usual. My own feeling is that we'll come close to a proper split quite early, not quite achieve it but eventually end up with something close to a technical SSW but more likely a displacement, and likely to be a bit of a mess all round until we eventually get the vortex properly cleared out by late February/March.
    For what it's worth, here are the February composites:

    blogentry-9298-0-50269600-1448220536_thu blogentry-9298-0-89665000-1448220536_thu

     This comes out as the coldest month for Scotland with a mean of 2.3C, and as you might expect the driest month too, slightly drier than the average. These are the kinds of composites we were looking at for last winter, albeit a bit more toned down, but it does give the impression that blocking to the northwest may become a bit more central Greenland based the deeper into winter we go. On the other hand, the threats of both a west-based NAO and height rises from the south remain. Given all of that, there's definitely enough there to cheer a 'coldie', but it doesn't quite look like one of the classic deep freeze months either.
    March could be interesting too though:

    blogentry-9298-0-55715700-1448246580_thu







    2015/16 Winter Forecast
    December
    Now we get to the fun bit - the actual forecast. Again, it's worth a health warning that the predictions in this section are pretty speculative.
    December is likely to start off in familiar fashion - unsettled, with a familiar train of low pressure systems making their way past. Expect high winds and very heavy rainfall to be a bit less of a factor than the last two, but still quite a wet and windy opening week, with the potential for at least one transient snowfall for Scotland from a backedge cold front. High pressure will make multiple attempts to build in from the south, resulting in generally mild and less cold conditions for the south and southeast, and eventually I'd expect mid latitude heights to develop by around the 10th. The most settled conditions, and potentially the most frosty, will again be in the southeast of England, with low pressure not too far from the north of Scotland, but in between a mix of mild drizzly days and colder, clearer days, but overall temperatures are likely to be generally above average. However, this will see our first attempt at 'proper blocking', as heights build towards Scandinavia and a continental flow develops. I expect this to fail, and for a more cyclonic regime to assert itself by the 20th, but there's a small possibility things click into place by this point and we end up with a more substantial cold spell to end the month. Even without this, though, I'd still expect there to be a reasonable shot at a white Christmas Manchester northwards, with deep low pressure to the northwest combined with a bit more amplification developing upstream giving the potential for some cold zonal setups like we saw for much of last winter, with this type of pattern holding until the end of the year.
    Temperature wise, I'd expect a CET of around 4C, with a Scottish temperature mean of 3-3.5C - a cold mid month for England being offset by a milder start and slightly above average finish, with temperatures for Scotland generally highest mid month, particularly further northwest. Rainfall will mostly be average but with big regional variations - quite a bit above for northwest Scotland and Northern Ireland but quite a dry month for the east coast and the southeast in particular. Snowfall is unlikely to feature for southern England (unless the easterly mid month can develop into something more substantial), will fall a few times but unlikely to lie in northern England and could be relatively frequent other than mid-month in Scotland but away 2from altitude it'll be pretty transient, though maybe an outside chance of a more prolonged spell of snow on the ground between Christmas and New Year.
    Similar months you might remember: early December a bit like any of the last 3-4 Decembers but with less wind, mid month similar to Decembers 2002 and 2006, late December similar to Christmas 2004, last January.

    January
    A tough month to forecast, as ever, but even moreso this year. In the analogues we have some of the mildest Januaries on record, one of the coldest spells in the entire 350 year CET dataset, and a few average to moderately cold months thrown in for good measure too.
    The month may well start in similar fashion to December - with a cool unsettled regime giving way to pressure rising from the south. This could be a particularly mild spell, with a Euro High and low pressure to the northwest giving a mild southwesterly regime, with significant rainfall for northern and western parts. Hemispherically, however, the signs of a big change should materialise around the same time, with the vortex being shunted off the pole, and by the latter 3rd of the month a genuinely cold north/northeasterly regime is likely to have set up. This pattern change is likely to dominate the rest of winter, however where the UK lies in relation to the main blocks is hard to pin down, but the prospect of at least one prolonged cold spell is pretty reasonable.
    Overall, January is likely to sit around average temperature-wise, though perhaps a little above depending on just how long and mild the mild spell is (if it does occur at all of course) with the Scottish temperature likely to come in around 2.5C, the CET maybe more like 4C. Similar to December, a northwest/southeast precipitation split could be the main feature, with the first snow of winter potentially not until mid-late January for central/southern England. However, when it does arrive it does at least give the potential for some more significant falls, with slow moving troughs in the vicinity once cold air gets embedded.
    Similar months: first half of month similar to very mild mid January 2005, second half a slightly toned down second half of December 2009.
    February
    As the forecast goes on it gets a bit sketchier, however hemispherically again there are decent reasons to believe that February gives the greatest potential for a more blocked pattern to become established.
    Starting off from cold late January, we are likely to be very much on the edge of the cold for most of the month. Troughing is likely to cycle between Scandinavia and the northwest Atlantic, giving the potential for some big snowfalls inland, but also for quite a wet month, particularly for Wales and southwest England, with lows stuck out to the west for days at a time. By month's end high pressure is likely to made a reappearance in some form, which depending on the positioning could either herald an early spring or the first proper easterly of the winter, but with the potential for a cold March the former would likely be premature and short lived...
    On balance, this is likely to be the coldest month of the winter, with Scottish temperatures of around 2.2C and a CET around 3.1C (though potentially significantly lower if the early spring doesn't materialise). Rainfall, above average in the south but below further north, with snow totals generally largest down the spine of the country from frontal events, but with the threat potentially shifting more towards northeastern areas at times. 
    Similar months: February 1978 (not that I'd remember that), February 2010, if we're particularly unlucky then February 2014.

    I hope you've enjoyed the forecast, let me know if there's anything that needs clarifying, or if any of the images that seem like they should be there aren't.

  4. [size=2][b][color=#000000]Winter 2014/15 Oldham East[/color][/b][/size]
    [size=2][b]none event​[/b][/size]

    [size=2][color=#000000][b]Winter 2012/13 Snow Days and Accum's[/b][/color]
    [b][color=#696969]5th Dec 2012:[/color][color=#0000FF] [/color][color=#0000FF]Light covering :)[/color]
    [color=#696969]6th Dec 2012:[/color] [color=#0000FF]Sleety snow showers 12pm onwards 1-2cm accumulated.[/color][/b][/size]
    [b][size=2][color=#696969]13th Jan 2013:[/color] [color=#0000ff]2cm [/color][/size][/b]
    [b][size=2][color=#696969]14th Jan 2013:[/color][/size][color=#0000ff][size=2] 3cm top up[/size][/color][/b][color=#0000ff][size=2] [b](approx 2-3 inches acc)[/b][/size][/color]
    [b][size=2][color=#696969]15th Jan 2013:[/color] [color=#0000FF]Light showers and snow cover still there as of 17/01/2013[/color][/size][/b]
    [size=2][b][color=#696969]17th - 21st Jan 2013:[/color] [color=#0000ff]Light to moderate snow showers albeit fine, heaviest fall of winter on 21st[/color][/b][/size][size=2][b][color=#0000FF] - Total 5+ inches plus drifting[/color][/b][/size]
    [size=2][b][color=#696969]25th/26th Jan 2013:[/color][color=#0000ff] Heavy snow evening through till the early hours of 26th. Aprox 7-8 inches of extra snow, bringing cover widly to 1ft lying plus the huge difts. Classic![/color][/b][/size]​

    [size=2][b][color=#000000]Winter 2011/12 Oldham East[/color][/b]
    [b][color=#696969]18th December 2011:[/color][color=#0000ff] 3" - 2 days lying [/color]
    [color=#696969]27th January 2012:[/color] [color=#0000ff]2" - 2.5 days lying[/color]
    [color=#696969]4th February 2012:[/color] [color=#0000ff]10-15cm - Still a good covering as of 10th Feb 2012 (10+ days snow cover)[/color][/b][/size]​
  5. Friday 13th November - Wet snow shower from the west in the morning - no lying snow
    Friday 20th November - Snow from a band from the north late in the day - Lying snow of a brief dusting
    Friday 27th November - Snow shower from the west late in the day - no lying snow
    Sunday 29th November - Snow showers from the west late in the day - no lying snow

    Thursday 10th December - Snow shower from the west late in the day - no lying snow

    Thursday 31st Decenber - Snow shower from the west late in the day - Lying snow of a dusting

    Friday 8th January - A band of snow from the south in the evening - no lying snow

    Sunday 10th January - snow from a front from the south - no lying snow

    Wednesday 13th January - Heavy snow from a band from the south - no lying snow

    Thursday 14th January - Snow shower from the NW - no lying snow

    Saturday 16th January - A band of snow from the west - Lying snow of 5cm

    Sunday 17th January - Snow from a front from the west late in the day - Lying snow of 5cm

    Monday 18th January - Snow from a front from the west in the early hours - Lying snow of 4-5cm

    Tuesday 19th January - No falling snow - Lying snow of a covering

    Saturday 30th January - Snow showers from the west - Lying snow of a covering

    Tuesday 2nd February - Snow shower from the NW - no lying snow

    Saturday 13th February - Snow showers from the east - Lying snow of a cover

    Wednesday 17th February - Back-edge frontal snow from the west in the early hours - Lying snow of a covering 

    Thursday 18th February - Snow shower from the west in the evening - no lying snow

    Sunday 6th March - Snow shower from the north late in the day - no lying snow

    Saturday 16th April - Snow flurry from the north - no lying snow

    Monday 25th April - Snow flurries from the north - no lying snow

    Tuesday 26th April - Snow showers from the north - no lying snow

    Wednesday 27th April - Snow showers from the north - no lying snow 

    Thursday 28th April - Snow from a band from the west - no lying snow

    Friday 29th April - Snow from a band from the north in the early hours - no lying snow

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    So I have finally been able to go out in the field. My first trip was to Tempelfjorden tidewater glacier. This glacier has the highest surge rate in the Svalbard region. Sadly we could not get close, for obvious reasons; calving. When arriving I was lucky enough to witness a carving event, although not of great magnitude. I have attached a few images of the calving front, which was several hundred meters. Not the englacial feature in the zoomed picture.
    [attachment=257846:P8070012.JPG][attachment=257847:P8070013.JPG][attachment=257848:P8070014.JPG][attachment=257850:P8070019.JPG]
    We later docked on the adjacent beach. The aim was to reach a local mountain glacier. This involved crossing very rough pro-glacial deposits (and moraines). One particular feature stood out (2nd picture). Uncertainties exist as to the cause of such feature, although note the roughness of the surrounding terrain in comparison to the rounded rock. It is thought this is a feature of moulon and subglaical channel. Although of course the glacier must have been in position for considerable time to cause such rounding. I also attach a picture of ground water. Was amazing how clear the spring water was.
    [attachment=257843:Glacial sediments.jpg][attachment=257849:P8070016.JPG][attachment=257845:Groundwater.jpg]

    Sadly when reaching the glacier terminus we where halted by a powerful pro-glacial river. Ice melt has been high in recent weeks, making a crossing dangerous.
    [attachment=257852:Pro-glacial river.jpg]
    Although disappointing, see a calving glacier more than made up for it. I shall be on the ice Monday. I hope to update then!

    Oh, and here is a mini iceberg
    [attachment=257853:Iceberg.jpg]

    As a side note, I have some video of the calving front, maybe i could try an upload?
  6. So this is the final full blog for Glastonbury 2015, ahead of the gates opening tomorrow.

    [b]Daily forecasts [/b]

    [size=3][b]Wednesday 24th June[/b][/size]
    [attachment=253786:GFS 23rd June 12Hz + 24.JPG]
    Mostly Fine and Dry with a small ridge of High Pressure over Southern parts of the UK. Sunny to start, a bit more cloudy in the afternoon. Temps low 20s,

    [b][size=3]Thursday 25 June[/size][/b]
    [attachment=253785:GFS 23rd June 12Hz + 48.JPG]
    Very similar conditions to those of Wednesday a ridge over Southern UK, and Low pressure still away off in the Atlantic. A but warmer than Wednesday with temps low 20s but perhaps hitting 22/23c by mid afternoon, cloud amounts possibly a bit more than Wednesday.

    [size=3][b]Friday 26th June [/b][/size]
    [attachment=253782:GFS 23rd June 06Hz + 72.JPG] [attachment=253784:GFS 23rd June 12Hz + 72.JPG] [attachment=253798:ECM 23rd June 00Hz + 72.png]
    As has been suggested for a number of days turning a little more unsettled with some rain edging in during the morning and this continuing through the afternoon. However not likely to be that heavy, but enough to wet the ground. 2mm currently suggested. Sunshine is set to be very limited, with temps high teens/low 20s.

    [size=3][b][size=3][b]Saturday 27th June[/b][/size][/b][/size]
    [attachment=253781:GFS 23rd June 06Hz + 96.JPG] [attachment=253780:GFS 23rd June 12Hz + 96.JPG] [attachment=253797:ECM 23rd June 00Hz + 96.png]
    Unsettled for Northern parts of the UK with Higher Pressure for the south of the UK, so a bit mixed with a risk of some showers at times, but with some sunny intervals likely as well. Temps 19c/20c again.

    [b][size=3]Sunday 28th June[/size][/b]
    [attachment=253778:GFS 23rd June 06Hz + 120.JPG] [attachment=253779:GFS 23rd June 12Hz + 120.JPG] [attachment=253796:ECM 23rd June 00Hz + 120.png]
    A little more unsettled again, as some rain/showers spread in from the west, current indications show not that much rainfall however some ensembles make it that little bit wetter. Again with the chance of some sunshine at times, temps a bit cooler into the high teens.

    [b]Ground Conditions [/b]
    Currently not many problems at all, the rain on Friday and perhaps Sunday may dampen the ground a little, and some prone spots may see some mud, but no huge problems are currently expected.

    [b]Rainfall Totals [/b]
    [attachment=253806:Total Rainfall.gif]
    The latest GFS suggests a total of 4mm of rainfall for the festival. Although some ensembles are a bit higher, perhaps as much as 10mm but even that is not too bad.

    [b]Ensembles[/b]

    [b]Pressure [/b]
    [attachment=253794:Ensemble Pressure 23 June 06Hz.png] [attachment=253804:Ensemble Pressure 23 June 12Hz.png]
    The pressure drops a little Friday and then again for Sunday and more especially into Next week.

    [b]Summary[/b]
    [b]Temps [/b]
    [attachment=253792:Ensemble Temp 23 June 06Hz.png] [attachment=253805:Ensemble Temp 23 June 12Hz.png]
    The temps rise steadily until Friday and then drop back somewhat over the weekend.

    [b]Rainfall[/b]
    Some rain expected for Friday and perhaps a little over the weekend, more especially for Sunday, some runs showers some moderate/heavy rain into Monday
    [attachment=253793:Ensemble Rain 23 June 06Hz.png] [attachment=253803:Ensemble Rain 23 June 12Hz.png]

    [b]Summary[/b]
    Hopefully it will be a great Glastonbury for all of you lucky people going. To answer the obvious question to anyone asking do I take my wellies, off course you do, but also takes your suncream to cover all eventualities.

    If I could be a little self indulgent If you have enjoyed these blogs, please click on the like button below.
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  7. Here are some pictures of what the weather looked from space during the winter. Of course most of the time the UK was covered in cloud but here are the rare few moments when it was clear enough to see.

    [b]18th March 2015[/b] - Snow over the very top of the Scottish Highland mountains can be seen.

    [attachment=247548:18thmarch.png]

    [b]9th March 2015[/b] - Storm passing over the NW of Scotland bringing gusts over 90mph.

    [attachment=247544:9thmarch.png]

    [b]17th February 2015[/b] - Most of the UK was cloudy but the SE escaped with sunshine.

    [attachment=247547:17thfeb.png]

    [b]14th February 2015[/b] - Excellent clear view of the West of Scotland with snow on the hills over the Highlands.

    [attachment=247545:14thfeb.png]

    [b]29th January 2015[/b] - Another storm brings gusts over 90mph again to the NW of Scotland.

    [attachment=247553:29thjanuary.png]

    [b]19th January 2015[/b] - Just the NE of Scotland got away from the cloud allowing us to see the snow.

    [attachment=247549:19thjanuary.png]

    [b]2nd January 2015[/b] - Most of Ireland, Wales and England got seen.

    [attachment=247543:2ndjanuary.png]

    [b]28th December 2014[/b] - Snowfall moved further South across the country. Wales had some snow on the hills.

    [attachment=247551:28thdecember.png]

    Also on the same day Southern Scotland and Northern England had snow on the hills.

    [attachment=247552:28thdecember2.png]

    [b]16th December 2014[/b] - Snow over the Scottish Highlands.

    [attachment=247546:16thdecemeber.png]

    [b]2nd December 2014[/b] - Really good clear day for Ireland.

    [attachment=247542:2nddecember.png]

    [b]23rd November 2014 [/b]- Cloud to the SE while sunnier elsewhere and a low pressure system giving unsettled weather for the NW this image alone sums up the large difference in weather the UK can experience in a single day.

    [attachment=247550:23rdnovember.png]
  8. [color=rgb(0,0,0)][font=Helvetica]

    [b]Headline: Mostly dry and quite mild Monday/ Tuesday; cold and often windy with wintry showers and some longer spells of sleet or snow Wednesday onwards[/b]

    [b]Last weeks highlights[/b]

    Quite a cold week just gone, the coldest of what has been quite a mild Winter to date, however only a few areas saw much in the way of snow: hard frost across Wales last Sunday night lowest readings -7.6c Llanwnnen, -7.5c Sennybridge and -5.6c Trawsgoed followed by a lovely sunny Monday bar some wintry showers over Pembrokeshire ('Dangler'). The Midlands was colder on Monday night, many spots getting to -5c, including -5.2c at Coventry. Snow in places Tuesday into Wednesday. although WW missed this, even over the Midlands it was a fleeting affair, only the north of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire seeing appreciable falls, the Peak District as so often getting locally deep accumulations of over 6 inches. A sharp frost Thursday night, especially parts of the Midlands, -6.8c Pershore and -6.1c Hereford. Friday did end up mild at above 9c over WW by evening. Overall it was a fairly dry week with precipitation amounts generally low (weekly totals under 10mm)).

    [b]The week ahead[/b]

    After the cold weather last week the start of this coming week is generally mild, and there will plenty of dry weather during Monday and Tuesday. Big changes from Wednesday however as we are plunged into a cold and quite windy NW flow bringing showers and some longer spells of wintry weather, most of us should have seen at least some snow come next weekend.

    Sunday is a mostly cloudy and mild day, a few sunny intervals are possible, mainly Midlands. WW will be seeing a little rain or drizzle at times as the day progresses. Highs Sunday 9 to 11c, with a moderate SW breeze. Staying cloudy and mild tonight with a little light rain or drizzle at times, then with a band of more persistant and moderate rain affecting all parts later in the night. No lower than 7c excepting NW Wales where skies clear by dawn. Any rain clears the South Midlands by midday and with a ridge of high pressure over Ireland it should be a mostly dry afternoon with some sunshine. Sunny intervals from the off for most of WW, just the odd light shower possible here afternoon. Highs Monday 7 to 9c with a moderate to fresh NW breeze. Clear spells overnight leads to a fairly widespread but slight frost, minima between -1c and +2c inland.

    The ridge is over sourthern Britain during Tuesday which is another largely dry day with sunny intervals and a brisk westerly breeze, highs 6 to 8c about average for the end of January. Probably clouding over during the afternoon for WW as fronts approach, these bringing a little rain or drizzle during the evening. Cloudy and mild for Tuesday night with rain at times, some heavy bursts for WW, and a strong SW to west wind. We will be in a warm sector on Tuesday night so one of those nights when it turns milder, temperatures up to around 10c after midnight. A pronounced cold front in total contrast swiftly moves through all parts during Wednesday morning with a band of heavy rain and gusty winds along it before it clears. Much colder air for Wednesday afternoon, sunny intervals and showers these turning increasingly wintry especially for high ground. Temperatures that were close to 10c at dawn Wednesday will be down to just 2 or 3c by mid afternoon! Feeling bitter in the fresh to strong WNW wind and by the end of the afternoon showers may well be falling as sleet or snow even to low levels. Remaining quite windy with wintry showers through Wednesday night too, most of the showers affecting WW, snow and hail featuring in these showers with a clap of thunder possible, and by morning there will be a covering of snow in places. In spite of the wind there will be a frost with temperatures down around -2c away from coasts.

    By Thursday a large complex area of low pressure area has become situated between the UK and Scandinavia and controls our weather for the remainder of the week. Winds right through to the weekend predominantly coming from a cold NW to north direction and with the quite deep low so close by it will prove interesting weather too! A wintry mix of showers for Thursday then driven by a fresh west to NW wind, snow could fall in the showers virtually anywhere but more especially over hills, some heavy showers putting down a fresh covering - again this possible almost anywhere. Maxima of just 2 to 4c Thursday so a cold and wintry day! A longer spell of sleet or snow may move down from the NW later Thursday or during the night, and if so may give appreciable falls particularly to higher ground. A low may be centred over eastern England during Thursday night meaning lighter winds by this stage and so with clear intervals between the wintry showers a widespread frost will develop along with icy stretches, minima 0 to -3c.

    A similarly cold and wintry picture seems likely for Friday too with low pressure just to our east and north, further showers or longer spells of sleet or snow, this settling particularly over high ground. Note: any snow accumulations to lower ground may well come and go as temperatures rise enough during day time to permit thawing, and in any case perhaps fewer showers getting across the Midlands with some places here having a mostly dry, bright day. Highs Friday between 2 and 5c with a cold NW wind. Next weekend and the cold and unsettled weather with showers and possibly a longer spell of wintry conditions looks like lasting. The details modelled vary obviously at this range ahead, but there is the risk of some more widespread snowfall at some stage next weekend as we remain locked into this cold pattern, no higher than 4 or 5c by day and there will be frosts by night. As with Friday WW most prone to wintry showers with the SE Midlands more sheltered and so may escape the worst.
    [attachment=241293:PPVG89 Mo m dry bright breezy.png][attachment=241294:PPVJ89 dry TU clouds over WW pm.png][attachment=241295:ecmt850.072 rain wind Tu night.png][attachment=241296:PPVL89 marked CF am colder wintry showers pm WE.png][attachment=241297:ecmt850.096 windy wintry showers We night.png][attachment=241301:PPVO89 cold wintry showers poss longer spell TH.png][attachment=241307:viewimage wintry showers TH.png][attachment=241298:ecm500.120 cold wintry TH FR low UK.png][attachment=241299:ecmt850.168 cold further wintry showers WEND.png][attachment=241300:viewimage cold unsettled wintry weekend.png][attachment=241302:viewimage cold from later WE.png][attachment=241303:viewimage precip most days bar Tu.png][attachment=241304:viewimage unsettled wintry from mid week.png][attachment=241305:mgram_Birmingham.png]
    [/font][/color]
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    [b]DECEMBER... [/b]A close to or slightly below average month with an unsettled and changeable first half with active weather fronts sweeping the country and areas of low pressure often close by to the north, delivering frequent windy and blusetry conditions, occasionally turbulent and it will be predominately below average in the north with intermittent wintry precipitation, slightly milder and calmer further south with some settled intervals from the SW introducing a few frosty nights. It should remain unsettled into the first part of the second half of the month, with a change to a more pronounced spell of milder weather before becoming colder again with an anticyclonic period preceeding a cold and wintry spell to end the month with an Arctic sourced airmass. Temperatures 0.25C above to 0.75C below average, most likely to below average further north. CET 5.2C. Rainfall 90-100% of the average in the south, 95-110% of the average further north and west. Precipitation coming in the form of rain from active weather fronts and proceeding some blustery and unstable airflows with some intervals of wintry precipitation in the north west and potentially significant totals of snow on the Scottish high ground. Sunshine 5% on either side of the average.

    [b]JANUARY... [/b]Colder or significantly colder than average with a return to unsettled and potentially stormy weather for a time after New Year with temperatures generally around or just above average prior to colder, anticyclonic conditions before mid month, heralding a risk of harsh frost and dense patches of fog. It should turn significantly colder for the latter half of the month, with increasing chances of snow in most places but especially in eastern and southern areas with the possibility of some significant snowfalls. Generally drier and more settled further north. At times turning less cold in the very SW but generally very cold, at times intensely cold elsewhere, with widespread and at times severe frosts. Temperatures 2.0C to 0.5 below average. CET 2.2C. Rainfall 90-110% of the average in the east and 75-85% further north and west. Sunshine 5-10% above average in the north and west, 5% below average in the east.

    [b]FEBRUARY... [/b]Colder than average, especially in the first half of the month with prolonged and at times intense cold pesisting into the new month. It may become more anticyclonic at times with high pressure close to the north and snow showers becoming lighter and infrequent. However, there may be a few attempts of the Atlantic making enrodes, resulting in a few oppurtunities for battleground snowfall. Eventually, the atlantic should win resulting in milder and changeable conditions from the west, perhaps the risk of a wind event or two before becoming much milder to end the month. CET 2.9C. Rainfall 65-85% of the average in the south, 75-85% further north. Sunshine 5-10% above average.
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    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3][center][b]2014/15 Winter Forecast [/b][/center][/size][/font][/color]

    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3][center]My attempt at a winter forecast. Some of the theory is taken from a previous project i undertook at University. I have attached references that i have used/think may be of interest. Apologies if it does not flow well. Apparently i am dyslexic although i've read over it a few times and i think its devoid of mistakes![/center][/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [b]Factors considered[/b][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [font=symbol]· [/font]QBO[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [font=symbol]· [/font]October snow cover[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [font=symbol]· [/font]Autumn sea ice extent[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [font=symbol]· [/font]ENSO[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [font=symbol]· [/font]Solar output[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [font=symbol]· [/font]Long range models[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [font=symbol]· [/font]OPI (briefly)[/size][/font][/color]

    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3][center][b]QBO[/b][/center][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) is a quasiperiodic fluctuation of the equatorial zonal wind in the tropical stratosphere between the westerlies and easterlies. In westerly phase stratospheric warming events during winter occur less frequently. Last winter theQBO was in westerly phase, contrasting to this winter, where it is in easterly phase. Stratospheric warming events are more common in this phase. I’ll not bog down with the physics and processes, so will leave it at this. The current phase of the QBOfavours a colder than average winter. See further information if you wish to read more on the QBO. [/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [url="http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/en/met/ag/strat/produkte/qbo/"]Current/past phases of the QBO (note shaded area equates to westerly winds)[/url][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [img]http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/met/ag/strat/produkte/qbo/qbo_wind.jpg[/img][/size][/font][/color]

    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3][center][b]October Snow cover[/b][/center][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    October Eurasian snow cover anomalies have been correlated with the wintertime AO (see Cohen et.al., 2011 at the end). Cold and dense air associated with snow cover promotes high-pressure formation, whereas warmer buoyant air over ice-free landmass promotes lower pressure formation. More expansive and stronger Siberian high-pressure systems are therefore favoured during years of greater autumn snow cover. Cohen and Entekhabi, (1999) first proposed a strengthened Siberian high leads to increased atmospheric wave breaking into the stratosphere. Such events can in turn lead to a phenomenon known as sudden stratospheric warming. Preceding sudden stratospheric warming events atmospheric waves propagating into the stratosphere decelerate upper westerly zonal winds (e.g. Martius et al., 2009). During strong atmospheric wave breaking events, found to be associated with a stronger and more expansive Siberian high, mean zonal winds may reverse (become easterly) and thereafter sudden stratospheric warming occur (Martius et al., 2009). This prevents further atmospheric wave breaking penetrating into the stratosphere, causing downward propagation of stratospheric easterly winds and warming into the underlying troposphere. Zonal wind reversal in the troposphere leads to disruption of the polar vortex and formation of positive height anomalies (-AO). Colder air is thereafter displaced into the mid-latitudes by -AO[/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    The recent Eurasian October snow cover extent was amongst the highest on record. I reconstructed 1000mb Geopotential heights for the lowest/highest October snow cover years. For the highest snow cover years I narrowed down to those months that occur within the easterly phase of the QBO (n at end of section). [size=4]A strong signal for positive height anomalies across Greenland is present during high snow cover years that occur in the easterly phase for the QBO (+SC/easterly QBO). In contrast a strong signal for lower than normal heights is present for years that occur during low snow cover years and the westerly phase of the QBO (-SC/westerly QBO). A greater southerly track of the jet stream is also found.[/size][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [size=4]Left: [/size]-SC/easterly QBO Right : [size=3]+SC/westerlyQBO[/size][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [url="https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-92671400-1416177202.png"][img]https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-92671400-1416177202_thumb.png[/img][/url] [url="https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-45118800-1416177203.png"][img]https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-45118800-1416177203_thumb.png[/img][/url][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [size=4]Left: [/size]-SC/[size=3]easterly[/size] QBO Right : [size=3]+SC/westerlyQBO[/size][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [url="https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-90194500-1416177205.png"][img]https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-90194500-1416177205_thumb.png[/img][/url] [url="https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-42269200-1416177206.png"][img]https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-42269200-1416177206_thumb.png[/img][/url][/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    An stronger signal for positive height anomalies occurs in January during +SC/easterly QBO years. In contrast, lower than normal heights (i.e. +AO) occurs during -SC/westerly QBO. The mean jet stream position during +SC/eastly QBO years is south of the UK, which contrasts to -SC/westerly QBO years, where it is across the UK (i.e. a wet and often mild winter results!)[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [size=4]Left: [/size]-SC/[size=3]easterly[/size] QBO Right : [size=3]+SC/westerlyQBO[/size][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [url="https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-89726700-1416177204.png"][img]https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-89726700-1416177204_thumb.png[/img][/url] [url="https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-41892000-1416177205.png"][img]https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-41892000-1416177205_thumb.png[/img][/url][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [size=4]Left: [/size]-SC/[size=3]easterly[/size] QBO Right : [size=3]+SC/westerlyQBO[/size][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [url="https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-90012200-1416177206.png"][img]https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-90012200-1416177206_thumb.png[/img][/url] [url="https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-40162000-1416177207.png"][img]https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-40162000-1416177207_thumb.png[/img][/url][/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    Similarly a strong signal for positive height anomalies during +SC/easterly QBO years is found in February. In contrast, lower than normal heights (i.e. +AO) occurs during low snow cover/westerly QBO years. I forgot to reconstruct mean jet stream position, however it is clear that during +SC/easterly QBO years that the jet stream is to the south of the UK based upon the 1000mb geopotential height anomalies.[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [size=4]Left: [/size]-SC/[size=3]easterly[/size] QBO Right : [size=3]+SC/westerlyQBO[/size][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [url="https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-91645300-1416177203.png"][img]https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-91645300-1416177203_thumb.png[/img][/url] [url="https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-40788300-1416177204.png"][img]https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-40788300-1416177204_thumb.png[/img][/url][/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    The mean index value for the AO during +SC/eastly QBO years is; -1.01 December (n12); -0.97 January (n12); -1.44 February (n10). No strong signal for the NAO exists (albeit a weak negative signal for December and February); -0.31 December; 0 January; -0.33 February.[/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    In summary a clear signal for -AO during winters that occur in +SC/easterly QBO years is present. However, there is no strong temperature signal for the UK (also note a weaker forcing on the NAO). Despite that, -AO will support greater periods of prolonged cold across the UK, should the segments of the PV fall into the right position (which is most important, and crucial to recognise despite great AO forcing, stratospheric warming evetns DO NOT automatically result in UK cold). To conclude; this year’s snow cover, accompanied by the phase of the QBO, is supportive of atmospheric conditions (i.e. -AO) conducive to a colder than average winter.[/size][/font][/color]

    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3][center][b]Autumn sea ice conditions[/b][/center][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    During low sea ice years higher geopotential heights over the Arctic occurs (see Jaisor et.al., 2012). This is attributed to an increase in the temperature of the lower troposphere (via an increased transfer of heat from the open ocean). Warmer air is less dense and therefore forms an area of increased geopotential thickness. Greater geopotential heights oppose the normal polar vortex Arctic westerlies, and instead favour meridional flow, supporting -AO (note other feedbacks exist; see attached literature). Others (e.g. Liu et al., 2012) have noted that a decrease in Arctic sea ice is associated with an increased occurrence of winter high-pressure blocking systems in the high latitudes, most particular in Eastern Europe, Siberia, Alaska and the North West United states. Recent studies have noted that sea ice anomalies around the Kara and Laptev sea have a strong forcing on the AO (e.g. [size=3]Baek-Min et.al., 2014[/size][size=4]). This year sea ice extent was negative, however not as low as years previous. Sea ice extent was also higher in the aforementioned regions, thus it may be expected that this year’s sea ice anomalies potential to force -AO may be less strong than previous winters. Despite this sea ice extent is still at record lows, and based on other climatic feedbacks, I’d suggest is still supportive of a colder than average winter.[/size][/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [url="http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/"]October sea ice extent[/url][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [img]http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/files/2014/11/Figure1-350x417.png[/img][/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [size=4]Seasonal anomalies in 1000-500 hPa thicknesses (m) north of 40 N for 2000–2010 (years of low sea ice) relative to 1970–1999 (years of high sea ice): a) autumn; b) winter. White crosses indicate statistical significance. Reproduced from Franics and Varvus, (2012). Lower sea ice correlates strongly with increased [/size]occurrence[size=4] of winter [/size]blocking[size=4] systems[/size][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [size=4][url="https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-33543400-1416179707.png"][img]https://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-6181-0-33543400-1416179707_thumb.png[/img][/url][/size][/size][/font][/color]

    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3][center][b]ENSO[/b][/center][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    Recent work has shown that ENSO, when close to neutral, has a minimal impact on the northern hemisphere mid-latitude weather patterns. Some such as Cohen suggest that ENSO, unless strong, is relatively useless in winter forecasting. Weak to moderate El Ninos have however been correlated with colder than average winters across NW Europe (although not strongly). At present El Nino is weak, and is not predicted to gain significant strength during winter . The current ENSO pattern therefore favours a colder than average winter. Unfortunately I am unable to cover ENSO in the depth [size=3]of [/size][size=3]snow [/size][size=3]cover [/size][size=4]and [/size][size=3]sea ice[/size][size=4], mainly as the charts posted are being used as part of my research project.[/size][/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [url="http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/tools/briefing/sstaa.gif"]E[/url]NSO long range prediction[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [img]http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/tools/briefing/sstaa.gif[/img][/size][/font][/color]


    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3][center][b]Solar output[/b][/center][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    Increased solar output favours milder than average winters. Currently solar activity has picked up, although is not notably strong. No strong winter signal is favoured from current solar activity.[/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [url="http://www.climate4you.com/Sun.htm"]Current sun spot activity[/url]. Note the increase since 2010[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [img]http://www.climate4you.com/images/SIDC%20DailySunspotNumberSince1977.gif[/img][/size][/font][/color]

    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3][center][b]Long-range climate models[/b][/center][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    A number of long range forecast models are/where predicting a milder than average winter (e.g. CFS). Long range forecast models may not take into account snow and sea ice feedbacks. Often, long-range forecast models turn out to be wrong (e.g. CFS). Although not discounted, little emphasis is placed on these models. To summarise, the output from long range climate models favours a milder than average winter.[/size][/font][/color]

    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3][center][b]OPI[/b][/center][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    Not really got time to cover this so I refer everyone to OPI thread where there has been some excellent analysis by the likes of Steve Murr and others. A relationship between the OPI and AO has been noted, with correlations as strong as 0.9. Further to this a good relationship between the OPI and CET is noted (-OPI correlates with below uk temps). The final OPI figure was amongst the most negative of those recorded. This would add further support to atmospheric conditions (i.e. -AO) conducive to UK cold winter! [/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    [url="http://app.til.it/opi/"]http://app.til.it/opi/[/url][/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3][center][b]Summary[/b][/center][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    I favour colder than average winter with at least one month to return a notable -AO figure. At present I favour January with a significant stratospheric warming event to occur during late December/early January based on the strats present situation and a gut feeling, but also Cohens work on when warmings are most likely to occur (see strat thread). February may produce the greatest -AO return based on snow cover analysis. December may prove to be mildest month, although with a disrupted PV, colder spells would seem likely, as shown by the reanalysis. Thank-you for reading [font=wingdings]J[/font][/size][/font][/color]

    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3][center][b]Further information[/b][/center][/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    Some useful papers for further reading. Or try googling, tons will come up![/size][/font][/color]
    [color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    An overview of the QBO at Richter et.al., (2011) 'Influence of the quasi-biennial oscillation and ENSO on the frequency of sudden stratospheric warmings' Or see this [url="http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/en/met/ag/strat/produkte/qbo/"]link[/url][/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    A good paper where the snow cover/AO linkages are first noted. 'Eurasian snow variability and northern hemisphere climate variability' by Judah Cohen and Dan Entekhabi (1999) [/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    The snow cover theory has been developed by Judah Cohen. See - 'Eurasian Snow Cover Variability and Links with Stratosphere-Troposphere Coupling and Their Potential Use in Seasonal to Decadal Climate Predictions' for more information'[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    See Martius et al., (2009) 'blocking precursors to sudden stratospheric warming events' for an good overview on the strat and conditions that can cause warming events [/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    See Jaiser et al. (2011) for sea ice feedbacks with the stratosphere. ‘Stratospheric response to Arctic sea ice retreat and associated planetary wave propagation changes’ [/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    See Liu et.al., 2012 for a good overview of arctic sea ice and the influence on blocking patterns/winter snow fall. 'Impact of declining Arctic Sea ice on winter snowfall'[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    See Francis and Varvus (2012) for an overview of sea ice and its influence on seasonal atmosphere circulation. 'Evidence linking Arctic Amplification to extreme weather in the mid-latitudes'[/size][/font][/color][color=rgb(40,40,40)][font='Open Sans'][size=3]
    See Baek-Min et.al., (2014) for a recent study on regional ice loss and the impact on the AO 'weakening of the stratospheric polar vortex by Arctic sea-ice loss'[/size][/font][/color]
  9. [size=6]Barry's December Forecast[/size]

    As I am bored, I thought for a bit of fun I would make a December forecast - not to be taken seriously! although I'll try and make it as accurate as possible!
    Having read through some of the posts from the experts over on the stratosphere thread, I believe the Polar Vortex will continue to be attacked throughout December, and although this doesn't necessarily mean cold for the UK, I think we will get a bit of luck and it will effect the conditions positively - if your after cold for the UK. I don't see a repeat of December 2010 - far from it. But I do believe December will be a below average month for the UK.


    [size=5]December:[/size]

    In the first week of December, I can see signs starting to show in the operational models of our first proper cold period. During the end of November, most of the Polar Vortex will have moved east over to Siberia. I think the Sceuro block we currently have, will transfer more to a Scandinavian block in the first week of December. The block will begin to get more robust and the Atlantic will start to lose the battle against the block and will be repelled back. Winds will veer from the South-East to begin with, this will be a fairly cold flow as the continent has started to cool from the end of November onwards. Temperatures will begin to creep below the average, for the south of the UK temperatures will range from 6-7C, and for the North of the UK temperatures will range from 3-5C. Precipitation over the south will be as rain, in the North with altitude the rain will gradually turn to snow. Snow in the North at low levels will be mostly of rain, although I wouldn't discount snow getting to lower levels at times, but it will be a brief affair.

    Into the second week of December, winds will veer from a more Easterly direction, and as a result temperatures will fall. Temperatures will range from 4-6C in the south of the UK, In the North temperatures will range from 2-4C. The snow/rain line will get down to a lower altitude, snow will probably fall above 200/300m, but below that and especially at sea level precipitation will continue to fall as rain for both the south and North of the UK. The NE of Scotland may be the the only exception to this. Temperatures will fall widely below freezing under clear skies, and hard ground frosts will be a common feature.

    Week 3-4 will follow later...

    :)
  10. Ahem, I believe it has now been 5 years between Blog entries, Daniel is almost 6 and Jacob, oh yes, we had another boy, is 3 and a half.

    I am not sure if 5 years is a record between posts but I gather most of my followers have either passed on to pastures new, have passed into the blue yonder or have dropped me as a friends for being the most un-active and boring NW member.

    We had a storm today.....

    That's all I have to add.

    Thanks for listening, see you in 5.
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    Recent Entries

    Skullzrulerz
    Latest Entry
    Well its been a long netweather since a made a post or blog I think the last post I did was back in february And that was back then when all those storms hitting the uk.

    So then where have i been?

    Well I decided to go on the sidelines and a long time and even left netweather for a few week's without even saying goodbye.

    So eventually I decided to come back and do this blog and because there some interesting weather may be coming up soon.

    I did not leave because winter was over or because there was no more interesting weather,I just wanted a break from posting and other things.

    But now I am back.

    By skulltheruler.
  11. Now we are down to the last 8 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup - the business end where the best teams are looking to create history. And as it's been a marvellous World Cup so far, I would presume that we will see some classic quarter-final drama, exciting and memorable matches and moments as we watch the World Cup history being made. The last 8 has a nice variety. We have 3 from South America and 1 team from Central America and 4 european sides. We have the usual suspects in Brazil and Germany and not to mention the Netherlands, Argentina and France. We have quarter final debutants in Costa Rica and Colombia. In terms of competing for the title, it is very open. In the Americas we have the hosts Brazil looking for a 6th title, Argentina are aiming to win a third title. Colombia have been the most entertaining team and despite having little history at this stage in a World Cup, they will want to make history to become the 4th South American nation to win the World Cup. Costa Rica are the least likely side to win, but they are one of those less fancied teams who have punched above their weight and deservedly earned their place at this stage in the World Cup. In Europe, Germany are searching for a 4th and first title since 1990, France after having 8 years in the international football wilderness are looking to win a second title. The Dutch, 3 time finalists are hoping to win the World Cup for the first time and Belgium's first tournament with their golden generation have reached a stage in the World Cup which justifies the quality and potential their side possesses and they will be looking to add their name to the list of World Cup winners.

    The first quarter-final is an eagerly anticipated tie between european sides France and Germany. Two former champions, this fixture has provided classic World Cup matches in the past.

    Germany have reached the last 8 for a 16th consecutive time and the side ranked second in the world are aiming for a 12th and 4th consecutive semi final. In the group stage they defeated Portugal 4-0, drew against Ghana 2-2 and won 1-0 over the USA before defeating Algeria 2-1 in extra time in the last 16 - scoring 9 goals (4 from Thomas muller, 1 from mario gotze, mats hummels, mesut ozil, Andre schurrle and miroslav klose), conceding 3. Germany were impressive in their 4-0 victory against Portugal but since then their intensity and level has dropped and some weaknesses have been exposed which had made Germany's performance so far, to be one of their poorest in a major tournament for a while. Defence has been a weakness, with Lahm playing in midfield which had meant that they have a back four made up of centre backs. It's not the quickest or most skilful defence and their organisation has been pretty poor at times which has resulted in some really shaky defending. And against Algeria, with hummels missing, Germany's defending was almost disastrous. They played a very high line which wasn't organised, slow and was very vulnerable to counter attacks and manuel neur had to get Germany out of trouble on numerous occasions. Germany's shape and balance was far better when Lahm played ad right back. They were far more organised, less shaky defensively and having a world class rb meant that Germany were a little more potent going forward on the right wing. Lahm could be a decent midfielder but Germany have never really set up like that before and it was easy to tell that team wasn't really used to it. Going forward, sometimes the attacks breakdown, some players are not in form and a few injuries to crucial players haven't helped but Thomas muller is a goalscorer. Despite the problems Germany have had, they've survived the tough moments have shown resilience, and combined with their experience this could see Germany through against France. But if they play like they did against Algeria then they would lose the quarter final.


    France have been a surprise at this World Cup. Following a humiliating elimination in South Africa four years ago, the 1998 Champions and 2006 finalists have reached the last 8 for an 8th time. The team ranked 17th in the World, reached the last 8 by defeating Honduras 3-0, Switzerland 5-2 and drew 0-0 with Ecuador before beating Nigeria 2-0 in the last 16, scoring 10 goals (3 from Karim Benzema, 1 from Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba, Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Valbuena), conceding just 2 goals. Going into the tournament, Franc were seen as dark horses and were generally expected to reach the quarter-finals, but the way they've played (especially in the first two group matches) has been impressive. They've scored many goals and look like a very well balanced, settled and organised side -solid defensively, creative in midfield and dangerous going forward. They have important players in goalkeeper Lloris, centre back Varane, playmaker Cabaye, holding midfielder Pogba, winger Valbuena and striker Benzema. Their form dipped slightly in the final group game and in their last 16 tie with Nigeria. Nevertheless, they've reached the quarter-finals for the first time in 8 years which is a positive milestone after a bleak period in recent times. A lack of experience could be their short coming, but certainly France do have the quality to contain and attack the Germans.

    This will be the 26th meeting between the two sides with France having won 11 and Germany 8 with 6 draws. This will be th 4th meeting in a World Cup, a 6-3 victory for France in a 3rd place play-off in 1958, 3-3 semi-final in 1982 with Germany winning the first ever World Cup penalty shootout, and 4 years later at the same stage a 2-0 victory for the Germans. Germany are looking to reach a 4th consecutive World Cup semi-final and they are unbeaten in their last 15 internationals.

    My initial prediction was 2-1 Germany and I'm sticking with it. As good as France have been and as shacky and at times unconvincing Germany have been, I think Germany's experience in terms of players and history will prevail. And I presume that they will be set up a lot better than they have been of late. If Lahm plays as RB, with Hummels as CB and Schwienstiger and Khederia in midfield, then Germany should have the shape to contain the French and score a few goals themselves. However, despite Germany's efficiency, if they play like they did against Algeria, then France have the weaponary to expose Germany's high-line and France could find themselves in a semif-final. Germany should win and play Brazil in the semi-final and to reach a fourth consecutive semi final would be some achievement.

    The next quarter-final is an intriguing tie between South American sides Colombia and Brazil.

    Brazil, ranked 3rd in the world, have reached the last 8 for the 16th time in their history and are looking for their first semi-final since 2002 - which would be the 10th in their history. They finished top of Group A by defeating Croatia 3-1, drew 0-0 with Mexico and won 4-1 against Cameroon before beating Chile in a penalty shoot-out in the last 16. Brazil have scored 8 goals (4 from Neymar, 1 from David Luiz, Oscar, Fred and Fernandinho) and conceded 3 goals. Obviously, Brazil have done some things right to reach the quarter-finals, but they remain unconvincing and not particulary likeable. Certainly, Neymar is crucial going forward with 4 goals, they have some solid central midfielders and of course captain Thiago Silva holds the defence together. However, despite some flashes of Brazilian brilliance, Brazil have evolved into a far more physical side. They are erratic, which makes them unconvincing and not too pleasing on the eye, however, they are physical and powerful enough to stifle and disrupt their opponents and they are a dangerous side from set-pieces and on the counter-attack. But it does seem that this team isn't the best in the world, and are a shadow of their brilliant teams and players from the past. But playing at home is a huge advantage and this should ultimately see them progress to the semi finals and I expect them to win the World Cup. However, they could be regarded as one of the poorest sides to ever win the World Cup.

    Colombia have reached the quarter-finals for the first time in their history, which is a magnificent achievement - considering how this is their first World Cup appearance since 1998 - and they've deserved it. The side ranked 8th in the World have won all of their matches, beating Greece 3-0, Ivory Coast 2-1, Japan 4-1 and Uruguay 2-0. Certainly, given how they've won all of their games and scored 11 goals (5 from James Rodriguez, 2 from Jackson Martinez, 1 from Pablo Armero, Juan Cuadrado, Teofilo Gutierrez), conceding twice, they have been the most entertaining team so far. I still think they lack a liitle bit of strength and depth, physicality, experience and other factors to go from being the best team after 4 matches to become World Champions, but they have enough flair and qualities individually and collectively to have a say in the World Cup - if they can get past Brazil. They haven't played a really top team yet and given their inferior record to Brazil, then I think it is a really tall order for Colombia to get past the quarter-finals - but a suprise isn't completely impossible. Colombia have adapted very well to the injury of star striker Falcao. James Rodriguez has been absolutely tremendous and in my opinion, he has been the best player of the World Cup. He's the top goalscorer with 5 goals, having scored in every game, and probably scored the best goal of the World Cup against Uruguay. H has shown a lot of quality with his technique, vision and positioning. If he has a very good match against Brazil, then he could be the difference. Colombia have other quality players, but I do think their effectiveness going forward as a team can be a little inconsistent. Defensively, they haven't really been tested and they've seemed okay so far, but it is well-known that despite their experience, defence might be an issue with a lack of pace. Brazil will have too much for Colombia, but a quarter-final exit for Colombia is still an excellent achievement for a very decent and entertaining international side who have lit up the World Cup.

    In 25 encounters, Colombia have only won twice. The last time Colombia won was a 2-0 victory in the Copa America in 1991. The last 4 meetings have all been draws and i's been 11 years since Brazil last beat Colombia. Brazil have only lost once in their last 25 games (a defeat to Switzerland last August) and they are unbeaten in 41 successive home matches, last losing to Paraguay in 2002. A 3-1 defeat to Peru in th 1975 Copa America was the last competitive home defeat.

    I'm going for a 2-0 victory to Brazil. Colombia have a greatly inferior record against Brazil, and despite their flair and the performances of Rodriguez, they haven't come up against a side like Brazil. I think Brazil will be able to stifle Colombia's attack with their physicality, and Brazil should get a couple of goals out of Colombia's not particularly strong defence. The atmosphere should also be a factor. This should be a competitive match and Colombia should play their part in the tie and it isn't entirely impossible that they can win - but a lot of factors are stacked in Brazils favour and this should be the end of the road for a Colombia side who've had a fantastic World Cup and have displayed their qualities and justified themselves as one of the best international sides despite having not quite enough to go all the way.

    The third quarter final is a fascinating match up between Argentina and Belgium.

    Argentina, ranked 5th in the world, have reached the last 8 for the 8th time and are aiming to reach the semi finals for the first time since 1990. Argentina have reached the last 8 by winning all their group games by defeating Bosnia 2-1, Iran 1-0, Nigeria 3-2 edged past Switzerland 1-0 after extra time in the last 16. They've scored 7 goals (4 by Lionel Messi, 1 from Angel di Maria and Marco Rojo) and conceded 3. Like Belgium, despite the players on show Argentina have been unconvincing and lack cohesion. They've been one of the poorer South American sides on show as their attacking players have failed to gel into a collective unit and they look more like a bunch of individuals who've never played together. So a lack cohesion in the team and some off-form players has been a problem for Argentina as they look to win their first World Cup since 1986. However, generally, the Argentinian squad is pretty average with the exception of their best players and they have their weaknesses defensively. Lionel Messi, despite being in and out of the games, has carried Argentina by scoring 4 goals and setting up the decisive goal against Switzerland. Without him, Argentina won't win the World Cup, but with a player like him and playing in South America, Argentina have some advantages over Belgium which should see them progress but if Argentina play like they've done so far, then there is a real chanc that they could be going out at the quarter-final stage for the third time in a row.

    Belgium, ranked 11th in the World, have reached the last 8 for the second time in their history and are looking to match the performance of their previous golden generation in 1986 who reached the semi-finals. Belgium won all of their group matches by defeating Algeria 2-1, Russia 1-0 and South Korea 1-0 before defeating the USA 2-1 in the last 16 - scoring 6 goals (1 from Kevin de Bruyne, Marouane Fellani, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens, Divock Origi and Jan Vertonghen), conceding twice. In their first major tournament since 2002, a young, inexperienced and emerging Belgian side (who haven't played to expectations) reaching the quarter-finals is a fantastic achievement and being in the last 8 as one of the 4 remaining European sides, justifies why Belgium are one of the best teams in the World and how far they hav emerged from reforming the national game over 8 years ago. But despite justifying the hype in terms of the golden generation reaching the quarter-finals, Belgium's performances haven't been great - but perhaps this is part of being a team that's still emerging and evolving. And the lack of experience could be what ultimately curtails this group of Belgian footballers. In the group stage, they were efficient as they won all their games without playing well - scoring late goals. And they are a very difficult team to beat with a strong, physical and generally well-balanced side. They are strong in defence, pretty well organised and they can hurt teams on the counter-attack with pacey wingers. The problem Belgium have is goal scoring - as they missed a lot of chances against the USA - and perhaps creativity behind the striker. But despite their qualities, the biggest problem for Belgium is a lack of cohesion and consistency, which is perhaps down to a lack of experience. This could be Belgium's downfall against Argentina, but both teams are struggling to find cohesion, and Belgium will be difficult to beat and man for man, Belgium probably is a stronger side. It's an intruiging tie, but I suspect Argentina will go through, but the quarter-finals is a decent achievement for a team who's announced themselves on the international stage.

    In the 4 prvious occasions the two teams have met, Argentina have won three and lost one. The most recent meeting was in Mexico 86 semi-final with a virtuoso performance from Maradonna.

    I'm going for 2-1 Argentina. It's a fascinating match between two teams who have got something to prove as they've both been inconsistent and incohesive. Argentina are a bigger name, on South American soil with the best player in the World up against a physical, slightly better team man for man but an emerging side in Belgium. And despite the unconvincing elements of both teams, whoever wins will be a very dangerous team in the competition. Both teams are pretty equal, bt despite Belgium being a strongr side, I fancy the experience of Argentina, South American advantage and Lionel Messi to be the deciding factors, but Belgium are capable of beating Argentina.

    The final quarter-final is a meeting between the Netherlands and Costa Rica.

    The Netherlands, ranked 15th in the World rankings, have reached the last 8 for the 6th time and the 2010 finalists are aiming to reach a 4th semi final. In the group stage they thrashed Spain 5-1, defeating Australia 3-2 then Chile 2-0 before edging past Mexico with a 2-1 victory in the last 16, scoring 12 goals (3 from Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, 2 from Memphis Depay, 1 from Leroy Fer, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Wesley Sneijder and Stefan de Vrij), conceding 4. The Netherlands have been surprising as they brought a squad which was incredibly inexperiencied and probably a poor one by their standards. However, they finished top of their group and have won every match to reach the quarter-finals and presumably reach the semi-finals. They have an excellent manager and terrific and inform footballers in Robben and Van Persie and for me, it seems that their philosophy at youth level in the Netherlands creates a cohesion that brings the National side above the sum of their parts. On paper, they aren't a great side, but as unit and under Van Gaal, they have been very efficient and have played to their strengths and combined to protect and reduce their weaknesses. At times, inexperience or vulnerability has been evident in the Australia and Mexico games, but they've still managed to get a victory. I think the Netherlands will win against Costa Rica, van Gaal will set them up properly and their star players should make the difference, but if the shortcomings of the Dutch team are exposed, then Costa Rica could sneak a way into the last 4.

    Costa Rica, who are ranked 28th in the World, have reached the quarter-finals for the first time in their history, having avoided defeat against opponents who are all ranked in the top 15 in the World. They finished top of their group by defeating Uruguay 3-1, Italy 1-0 and drew with England 0-0 before beating Greece on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the group stage - scoring 5 goals (2 from Bryan Ruiz, 1 from Joel Campbell, Oscar Duarte, Marco Urena), conceding just twice. Although Costa Rica are not considered to be one of the favourites to go on to win the tournament, reaching the quarter-finals has been well deserved for a side who have been excellent as a unit, incredibly organised and have played to their strengths and above the sum of their parts, and they have deservedly earned a place in the quarter-finals. They have only conceded twice in the World Cup and a lot of credit should go to the manager. They are a very well organised side who are hard to beat and they are capable of snatching a goal themselves, so they could be a real tricky obstacle for the Netherlands. They have an excellent goal keeper and a defence that works very well as a unit and they have a few individuals who can come up with something going forward. In just about every World Cup, there is a team who goes quite far despite not being major contendors, and Costa Rica's journey is one of the most remarakble in the history of any World Cup and their resiliance has quite rightly taken them further than they have ever been in a World Cup. And if they go out as I expect them too, then they can be incredibly proud of what they've achieved and they have exhibited that you don't need to be a illustrious, highly populated nation with big name players playing in big leagues to be a success. However, I do think that their effectiveness and energy could run out of steam after what they've done and the Dutch should find a way past them, though it won't be easy.

    I'm going for 2-0 Netherlands. The two sides who have never played each other and I think that this could be a fairly close match, but once tiredness becomes a factor, then I think the Netherlands fitness and quality will prevail with a goal or two. Arjen Robben and Van Persie should have enough to be a deciding factor. However, Costa Rica are very well organised and have an excellent goalkeeper and I don't think the Netherlands would enjoy playing against a team they are expected to beat. The Netherlands seem to be most effective when counter-attacking but against Costa Rica, they should have plenty of possesion. The Netherlands themselves aren't the greatest defensively and if they struggle to get through the Costa Rican defence then there is a chance that they could be eliminated.
  12. blog-0730965001404155384.jpg[u][b]Tue 24th June 2014[/b][/u]
    Our final day of Tour 4 began in Sterling Colorado.
    Whilst todays risk looked to be a repeat of yesterday in NE Colorado, as we approached the target area so the whole system broke apart leaving us with nothing more than a Particularly Drizzly Situation.

    To our North, across in Wyoming things were starting to look interesting. A short hop on the freeway past Cheyenne and out on route 85 NE and we started to see 2" hail along the road. A beautiful hailbow stretched across the road ahead and a few sorry looking motorists emerging from the abyss licking the wounds on their vehicles. Although there were a few lowerings, a wall cloud as well as a radar indicated Tornado Vortex Signature we saw no evidence of anything else from this storm and it soon began a rapid decay as we headed South via Pine Bluffs to Cheyenne, our base for the night before returning to Denver and the flight to London.

    Photos from todays chase can be found on the following [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/htak3nmei1ga7c3/AAAfWQqrgDPJdnVCq3rYwDm4a/Day%2011%20-%20June%2024th"]Dropbox Link[/url] and all the [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/htak3nmei1ga7c3/AADVSVut43KGJYwdsgIU7D1na/HD%20Movies"]Videos can be found here[/url].

    From Colorado to Kansas, thru Nebraska, the Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota, Wyoming and finally back to Colorado this is a truly wonderful and varied country. If it weren't for these tours I would never have visited many of the places or have had the opportunity to meet these kind people.

    Stormchasing has a massive following here in the US which is growing all the time. Unfortunately as in all walks of life there are those few who loose sight of the fundamental goal which is to provide timely information to protect life and property and further scientific knowledge. Only when that primary goal has been met should we look to capture the true spectacle of mother nature.

    There are those who talk about regulation of stormchasing. In my opinion it needs no more than a code of ethics which we should all abide by in life to look out for those around and apply a good deal of common sense on the roads to ensure a safe environment for all.

    As a visitor to this country, I'd like to think I've personally done everything I can to uphold this and given the severity of the storms over the past 2 weeks particularly in Nebraska would like to think that the timely actions of our team in reporting and advising has helped the affected communities in some small way.

    I will once again be making my photos and videos available to the [url="http://stormassist.org"]Storm Assist organization[/url], all profits which go to helping communities affected by Storms. I encourage you to visit their site and review their merchandise in particular their videos/BluRays available at a very reasonable price.

    Thank you for following these blogs this year and thankyou to Paul, Richard and Netweather. I hope you've enjoyed the coverage of these past 2 weeks of wild weather.
  13. Tim B
    Latest Entry
    Looks like the first of the nice weather this weekend, maybe I'll take a trip around some of the countryside if I get time between my Uni work and all the other stuff people are trying to hire me for!

    Looking forward to it.

    Oh and yeah, I simply couldn't resist changing my Facebook profile picture to something you might recognize!

    Goodnight!

    [attachment=208911:Photo on 06-03-2014 at 11.32.jpg]
  14. blog-0224397001391817596.jpgNow development through Texas and Arkansas , every hour snow storm expanding in size and snow rate...expected to hit here around 12.00am(6hrs time)
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    Well what a soggy start to 2014! I measured 32mm of rain in our gauge for yesterday...the Hill won't be fit for walking today, far too mushy on the paths. It's been mild, though, at 8.4[sup]o[/sup]C. Still wondering whether neighbours fence panels will finally lift off this winter, they're closer to it every storm. [img]http://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum//public/style_emoticons/default/ph34r.png[/img]
  15. [b]DECEMBER...[/b]A mild-very mild month with long periods of south westerly winds. More unsettled in more northern and western areas with little sunshine and persistent rainfall. During the latter half of the month there may be a more progressive outlook with a trend of short cooler and showery spells - especially in northern and western areas - aswell as a risk of the odd gale. Temperatures 0.75 to 2.0C above average. CET 6.3C. Rainfall 85% of the average in southern and eastern areas, around 100% of the average further north and west. Sunshine 0-5% below in the NW, perhaps 0-5% above in SE.

    [b]JANUARY...[/b]A closer to average month, if not a little below average. Unsettled for much of the first half with plenty of wind and rain, a mixture of mild and cold spells (some high ground snow from time to time and occasional drier, settled days. Generally less active atlantic around mid month onwards with a trend for below average conditions during latter part of month with a risk of frost and lowland snowfall - especially in northern or even eastern areas - potential frontal snowfall in western areas towards end of month. Temperature 0.75C below to 0.25C above average. CET 3.6C. Rainfall 75-100% of the average. Sunshine 5% above average.

    [b]FEBRUARY...[/b]Close to average or slightly below. A return to unsettled, atlantic weather for spells but generally staying fairly cold - especially in the northern areas - and cold, anticylconic periods inbetween - occasional milder days (prominently in southern and western areas and especially for periods during the second half of the month). Temperatures 0.6 below average to 0.5 above average. CET 3.4C. Rainfall 70-95%. Sunshine 0-10% above average.

    DECEMBER - MORE DETAILED FORECAST

    Second week: Mild to very mild. Drier and some brighter conditions in more southern and eastern areas whilst more widespread and persistent cloud cover in northern and western areas with more rain and a stronger wind.
    Third week: Generally staying mild - more changeable with spells of wind and rain for all areas but a chance of brief, cooler interludes from the west.
    Final week: Staying unsettled and changeable. Brief settled spells with some frost overnight inbetween depressions - a risk of some heavy rain and gales. Fairly mild but a chance of a brief northerly towards the end of the month.

    JANUARY - MORE DETAILED FORECAST

    First week: Very unsettled with wet and windy conditions. Some colder days with a risk of snow in the north but also some milder air at times too.
    Second week: Starting unsettled with some wet and windy conditions - then becoming a little quieter and cooler with maybe a risk of snow towards the end of the period.
    Third week: Starting fairly settled and cold with some frost and some snow at times. Becoming a bit more unsettled from the west but staying quite chilly with a risk of further snow in the north.
    Final week: Changeable to begin with some chilly conditions at times - especially in the north - but it will turn more settled and much colder with potentially harsh frosts and some snow. February - more detailed forecast. First week. Unsettled with some spells of rain from showers and fronts and some strong winds at times. Temperatures close to or slightly above average. Second week. Initially very wet and windy but turning a settled from the south bringing a risk of frost before turning wet, windy and mild. Third week. Unsettled and chilly in the north, settled and mild in the se. Generally unsettled with more wet and windy conditions but with some drier - and in the north - colder interludes. Final week. Remaining unsettled - particularly in the nw - but perhaps drier in the se at times. Further changeable conditions with some colder interludes possible.
  16. As a strong storm came through at the weekend it also introduced an arctic high with bitterly cold temperatures.

    This week we have not got above -25oC and night time has been around -32oC.

    Tonight the temperature has really taken a tumble and at 11:20pm tonight its currently -37oC. The record low here is -42oC set in Dec 2008. Will we break it? I guess we will know in 12 hours.

    What does it feel like? Imagine opening the freezer and that feeling of cold air for a second...that's every hour of every day outside. Cars need to be plugged in to prevent freezing, heating is going 24/7 and simple things like popping from the car to the shops takes an effort.

    Houses are warm, work is warm, cars, eventually, get warm but outside activity stops. Its an unforgiving lifestyle in the Canadian arctic environment.

    Light is at the end of the tunnel though....-5oC by next Monday? Shorts will be the order of the day then.

    Stay warm!
  17. A friend posted this on my Facebook page. It's a collection of news items about the big snow of 1995.

    [url="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=644610552256298"]https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=644610552256298[/url]
  18. [left][size=2][font=Verdana][color=#696969]After today's storm it was interesting to read some of these pieces about storms in Brighton's history:[/color][/font][/size][/left]
    [left][size=2][font=Verdana][color=#696969][size=2][font=Verdana][color=#696969][url="http://rpmcollections.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/stormy-weather"]http://rpmcollections.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/stormy-weather[/url][/color][/font][/size][/color][/font][/size][/left]

    [left][size=2][font=Verdana][color=#696969][size=2][font=Verdana][color=#696969]..and some more on Brighton's storms: [/color][/font][url="http://www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/HistoryAndCollections/collectionsthemes/kickingupastorm/Pages/extraordinarystorms.aspx"]http://www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/HistoryAndCollections/collectionsthemes/kickingupastorm/Pages/extraordinarystorms.aspx[/url][/size][/color][/font][/size][/left]

    [left][size=2][font=Verdana][color=#696969]History of Brighton in the snow: [url="http://www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/HistoryAndCollections/collectionsthemes/kickingupastorm/Pages/anislandinthesnow.aspx"]http://www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/HistoryAndCollections/collectionsthemes/kickingupastorm/Pages/anislandinthesnow.aspx[/url][/color][/font][/size][/left]
    [size=2][font=Verdana][color=#696969] [/color][/font][/size]
  19. GulberwickWeather
    Latest Entry
    Hi folks. Off on a bit of a tangent here. This here is my other hobby, singing. Me and my friend Caz did this for the final of a contest on the karaoke website SingSnap. The winner will be decided by public vote so I'm looking for a favour - your vote! You can vote for us by visiting [url="https://www.facebook.com/singsnap"]https://www.facebook.com/singsnap[/url] just scroll down to our entry and click the "like" button and you're done! Thankyou for your support [img]http://f1.nwstatic.co.uk/forum//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

    [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIRu33q_0cg"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIRu33q_0cg[/url]

    Update: The contest closing date has been brought forward to 6pm tomorrow (18th October) so if anybody voted for us thankyou and if you didn't ya boo sucks lol.