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Winter 2010

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Cooling down or warming up?

I really have no idea where to begin with the new blog of the new year, but anyway.
For the past month or so, we have been receiving what I can only describe as moderately cooler than
normal temperatures, but not on the scale of 2010. If we compare both years, then it's fare to say that
this year would definitely be classed as much milder...why? because back in November 2010, the average
temperature during the final week of the month was around 2C which is significantly colder than this, in fact
we had decent overnight freezing spells.

I cannot say the same for this November no matter how I try to justify the air frosts we have received. The average
overnight temperature as never dipped below freezing in my back garden. I have three measuring systems in place
and all of them have been cleaned up and ready for this winter period.

Air frosts aside. There is a lot of speculation about there being a major cold spell and blocking going to occur
during the early stages of this month.

My take is that unless we see significant cold pooling here in the North, then the only thing we are going to see
is something transistory at the very least. I see nothing to even get excited about..unless you happen to live in
the very far North, for example in Scotland , North East etc. Even those in the east, will see snow showers from
time to time push in land, but as anyone with basic grasp of geography will tell you. Nothing will get over the

One of our major problems here in the south of the region, is the amount we are protected or in this case hindered.
The Pennines to the East, The Warm Irish Sea to the West (this can be a good thing if the right conditions occur).
To the South The Welsh Mountains and higher terrain and to the North the exact same thing.

The best chance of snow, always occurs when the upper air temperature hits around -15C. This might seen extraordinary high
but when you factor in the source of exceptionally warm air from the Irish Sea, and other modifying vectors..it's like a once shot
in a thousand we get snow.

There are other scenarios that can play out, where the upper air can be a lot warmer and we still get the snow, but the synoptics
have to be perfect for that to occur. I am afraid to say this next 10 days, the much colder upper air is always likely to be towards
the North East..but there is still a lot of uncertainty, and added to this, is the likelyhood of it being dry and frosty overnight.

I think in the west, we are always liable to rain showers from time to time, especially over the next 10 days or so.
By the week leading up to christmas, I would envision most of the North of the Country is likely to be well under -10C or
even lower upper air, which may well lead to snowfall.

I think for the west right now, it's a case of not happening this time out..it's coming but it won't be here for at least another 10 days
or so, maybe a little longer...but this is the British weather and I suppose anything and everything does happen.




Cold Weekend Ahead, Chance For Snow Marginal At Best

Is the North West especially the south of the region going to see any of this snow this weekend?
Thats a big question quite a few people want to know, and the setup does not look favorable, at best some may catch a shower,
then again if your in a narrow snowband streamer you may end up with heavy persistent snow for a while. The chances of that
however are very slim, but you never know.

Everything is set up right now for a snow event, so what's going on?
Light winds from the North East, is part of this problem, the other is that the showers are tending to stick to the east coast,
where milder SST and cold land mass is helping to pep up those snow showers in to more persistent longer periods of
snow, but once it gets further inland it's not really doing much but dissipating.

For us to get snow, and I'll say it again, we can get snow from North East or indeed the East...as long as we have howling
gales to get the snow to us, other wise the Pennines will just suck up all the moisture and it's game over..not to say we
can't get showers of course...but those showers are going to be very limited and extremely light.

North Westerlies unless the SST is too warm, of note is the Irish Sea which always seem to be rather warm, can deliever pretty
well...but for me? Id choose a southerly mixing with slightly milder air from the Irish Sea, Mersey river...these types of setups
can and usually deliver some nice snow totals...much of our snow from last year was pretty much from the south east...and easterlies.

So this weekend, temperatures slightly down on last week, chance for snow is now even more less likely unless you catch a shower.
This is pretty much how it's going to play out for the weekend...however don't count out any surprises for snow...when you least
expect it, it arrives...but the theme for this weekend isn't one of snow but of how cold it gets.




November 27Th, First Snow Of 2010/11 Winter Season For Some?

We've been patient and waited and waited for anything to trickle off from the north east. The winds have not been kind to us. Everything blowing straight into the Pennines. Any remaining showery activity has usually dissipated by the time it decides to head further south west towards us in Cheshire. But that's what we get when everything is coming straight from the North East. Those showers which have been heavy and very potent up north have delivered some very impressive amounts!

As mentioned in my other blog post...it will be interesting to see what happens come Friday / Saturday, because I believed back when I made the post, we had a very decent chance of catching some very heavy snow particularly Saturday.

This heavy snow is being blown further inland, and its becoming more organized with heavier bands filtering through. It's not just restricted to the far North East, heavier snow is now blowing in from places like Hull. Seems that any thing we get from over that place, we always end up with over here. Anything further north and we usually miss it.. The snow from Humberside has far less distance to travel to us than say places like Durham, where the snow has chance to dissipate over the Pennines or just this side.

Today, Saturday is looking very interesting for some very heavy snowy periods..particularly from mid morning (9am) onwards. Snow will arrive into our region about this time, and because of the amount and direction of that snow, id say we have a good 90% chance of catching some impressive falls, under those heavy streamer type bands as they move across the region. There is also the possibility of the snow become heavier from the east as the day wears on.

Not all places are going to catch these heavy snow shower / or prolonged periods of snow. These bands of snow are very narrow, perhaps in places just under a mile while others 3 or 4 miles across...pretty much those under these bands could have some impressive snow totals by the time the snow stop, yet for others they may get nothing but another cold day ahead.

The coming first winter storm of the season next Tuesday?

It's an interesting setup...it really is. We can and do get snow from the south and south east due to lack of anything to stop it. Tuesday even if the low doesn't quite make as far north as the south of England, is still going to be produce severe heavy winds..the risk of heavy snow even in the west could be significant. I use the word could because right now no one has any real idea of whether this low will even reach us at the moment...the models shows it does, some don't...I think until Sunday it would be premature to put an0y forecast on to it with absolute certainty.

If it does, then expect heavy winds (70mph+) from the east...which means its going to be blizzard like..and pretty much nailed on very heavy snow...due to both the direction of the winds, how cold it is and the fact the precipitation will be off snow as it hits very cold land.

More on Monday




Winter 2010 Good Or Bad?

As some of you may know, I prefer the much colder months of the year. Particularly when we get the snow, or when we are supposed to at any rate.
This year is really looking interesting. We have a much colder feel to it, much like last year, except its expected to be on average a little colder this time

So far my observations have only started on November 20th, because anything before it just did not interest me from a winter perspective. I.e when i really begin to monitor my back yard weather station gadgets.

So far from my measurements and remember it's still early days yet. Things are really starting to look up for a possible snow filled winter during December. This month on average as been much colder than last year, and certainly colder since November of 2003, which was full of sleet and snow showers on and off by the early start of the month. That winter we ended up with snow lying on the ground on Christmas day. We also had snow on the ground last Christmas day too.

One interesting thing to note however, is that the last 6 November's for my area have by and large been slightly cool each year. And they are much cooler than any November in the 90's apart from the one or two years where we had snow, but it wasn't to last. Is this a gradual cooling trend in the north west in general? I think personally it is, but the professionals could point and probably rightfully say -> the last six winters for your region don't tell the whole story or 6 past winters don't equal gradual cooling. Even though the measurements prove otherwise. Scientist's heh?

November 23rd saw min low temp hit -3.1C the coldest it's been so far. Nov 24 min low temp -2.5C, two nights now at below freezing.

So what do I reckon about the incoming snow from the North East?
Though currently our temperatures over the North west are by and large perfect for snow conditions, I think those on the other side of the Pennines are going to benefit the most from any possible snow shower activity. The radar I use from raintoday which is high rez like netweather's can forecast ahead of time, and it clearly shows the snow showers becoming more organized and getting over the Pennines into the Greater Manchester region by lunch time or just after.
I don't actually think NW Cheshire or indeed Merseyside will see anything of this current snow banding from the North East. But there is something on the horizon during late Friday / Saturday and Sunday that gives me more optimism.

I think day time temperatures will turn any of this incoming showery activity straight to rain or wet slush the further east you are.



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