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What I'm expecting from the upcoming winter

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My winter tracker

[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]​




El Nino vs UK winter

[code=auto:0] Weak El Nino (Oceanic Nino Index SST Anomoly +0.5 to +0.9) Dates Winter Class Info 1951 – 1952 Mild & snowless According to reports this winter was generally mild but snowy in March 1952 when easterly winds and blizzards caused havoc for the South East. 1952 – 1953 Mild & snowless Despite a cold end to Autumn with 20-25cm of snow across a belt from Wales to East Anglia the winter turned out to be rather snowless with more in the way of Atlantic storms including a north sea storm surge during January 1953. 1953 – 1954 Very cold & snowless Whilst this winter was very cold with bitingly cold winds the end of Jan into Feb saw heavy snow fall in the south with Kent reportedly seeing 2 metre drifting. 1958 – 1959 Mild & snowless There are no reports for this winter other than it being proceeded by Stormy atlantic weather with flooding in places and followed by a fine warm spring. 1968 – 1969 Cold & Snowy Notably one the few White Christmas in the UK with overnight heavy snow giving wales and the cotswolds a foot of snow. Generally cold through winter with severe blizzards across the norther isles courtesy of a polar low slipping SE across the country effecting the Midlands, east Anglia and parts of the south. 1969 – 1970 Mild & snowless There are no reports for this winter other than Autumn finishing with one of the 5 driest Octobers and 3rd equal warmest. 1976 – 1977 Mild & Wet Notable very wet autumn in 1976 followed by one of the wettest Februarys across England and wales. Wet snow was actually reported at times during this winter. 1977 – 1978 Cold & Snowy Winter started off with a generally wet December being reported. By mid January things had turned colder with heavy snow and blizzards reported around the UK and again in February. 6 ft drifts reported in a number of regions. 1979 – 1980 Mild & Wet Classed mild and wet due to lack of reports. One being that this winter had a record of 5 episodes of severe gales/ storms. Snowfall was recorded on two dates, with one in february and one in march 1980. 1994 – 1995 Cold & Snowy Conflicting reports on this one. Two sources state overall snowless and wet where as netweather historical reports frequent bouts of heavy snow at times in January, february and march 1995. The early to mid naughties were indeed cold and snowy in my part of the NW of the UK with deep drifting. 2004 – 2005 Mild & snowless This was overall a mild and wet winter due to the dominace of westerlies. With that said, these westerlies did bring some snow showers to Scotland and NW England on occasion. February was fairly mild on the whole with anticyclonic nw'erlies. 2006 – 2007 Mild & snowless Exceptionaly wet on the whole for most of the UK with Snow showers mostly confined to Scotland. England did see some snow at the end of winter into spring 2007. Moderate El Nino (Oceanic Nino Index SST Anomoly +1.0 to +1.4) Dates Winter Class Info 1963 – 1964 Cold & Dry Exceptionally dry winter for the most part with only one incident of snow showers reported. 1986 – 1987 Cold & Snowy This winter saw record breaking low max temps in Jan 87 and heavy snow, mostly for the South through SW. Snow continued for SW into March 87. 1987 – 1988 Mild & Wet Winter 87/88 followed the well know known “Great October Storm” when the SE experienced damaging winds of over 100 mph which caused local devistation and a number of death. Winter 87/88 continued in much the same vain with wet and windy weather. Jan 88 was the wettest January for 40 years. 1991 – 1992 Cold & Dry Winter 91/92 turned out to be the driest winter for 28yrs with any snow mostly confined to the Scottish highlands. 2002 – 2003 Mild & snowless Reports on this winter state that Aboyne Aberdeenshire recorded temps of 18.3c on the 26th Jan 2003. In England 17.4c and 16.3c was recorded in Kent and Gravesend respecively. Though the occasional easterly winds did bring some biting wind chills. 2009 – 2010 Very cold & snowy After an unsettled and reasonably mild first half of December this winter turned out to be the coldest since 78/79 broadly speaking. Prolonged periods of harsh frosts and frequent snowfall recorded right across the country. -22.3c was the lowest recorded for Sunderland. I'm sure most people remember the frequent below freezing Ice days and travel disruption caused in winter 2009/10. A classic winter for very cold and snowy conditions. Strong El Nino (Oceanic Nino Index SST Anomoly +1.5 plus) Dates Winter Class Info 1957 – 1958 Snowy Surprisingly this winter started off on the mild side with temps of 18.3 c recorded at Aber N. Wales before Cold air swept south across the UK from thr 19th with heavy snow across large parts of the UK. Shoeburyness recorded level lying snow depths of 25 inches. 1965 – 1966 Snowy The second half of November saw heavy snow for most parts of the UK. Late January saw the Eastern parts effected by snow followed by the NE of the country in Feb. 1972 – 1973 Mild and Wet Most reports do not refer to this winter directly and only generalise that the lead up to and the following spring were dominated by stormy depressions. And that only leads to one thing. 1982 – 1983 Snowy A number of reports don't mention anything notable about this winter. However, that is because this was a northern affair. Very cold and snowy in the north up the pennines to Scotland in November, December and February. 1997 – 1998 Mild & snowless An exceptionally mild winter this one and largely snowless, though snow was reported right across the country on a few occasions. The poor winter was also followed by a “white easter”. No % Total Number of El Nino Winters since 1950: 23 No of Weak El nino winters since 1950: 12 No of Moderate El nino winters since 1950: 6 No of Strong El nino winters since 1950: 5 Total number of El nino winters that were poor for snow: 15 65 Percent of El Ninos were Largely Snowless Total number of El nino winters that were good for snow 8 35 Percent of El Ninos were Snowfests % of Weak El Nino that lead to snowless winters: 9 75 Percent of weak El Nino winters were snowless % of Moderate El Nino that lead to snowless winters: 4 67 Percent of moderate El Nino winters were snowless % of Stong El Nino that lead to snowless winters: 2 40 Percent of strong El nino winters were snowless Summary: 65% of El Ninos resulted in poor winters for the UK in terms of snow. 35% of El Ninos resulted in good winters for the Uk in terms of snow. During an El Nino winter there is overall a 65% chance of a poor UK winter for snow. 60% of Strong El Ninos resulted in Snowy UK winters. 40% of Strong El Ninos resulted in poor winters for the UK for snow. During a strong El Nino winter there is a 60% chance of a snowy UK winter and 40% chance of a poor UK winter for snow. During a Moderate El Nino winter there is a 33% chance of a snowy UK winter and a 67% chance of a poor UK winter for snow. During a weak El Nino winter there is a 25% chance of a snowy UK winter and 75% chance of a poor UK winter for snow. [/code]




La Nina Vs Uk Winter

La Nina Episodes Vs UK Winters 1949 - 2011 - Updated 22-OCT-2011 with futher references

[color=#00ffff][b]Weak (Oceanic Nino Index SST Anomoly -0.5 to -0.9)[/b][/color]
[b]1956-57[/b] Little snow overall. White Christmans for the NW of UK, though Mild & Wet with Atlantic LP dominating in the most part (w/swerlies)
[b]1962-63[/b] Very Snowy,Widespread heavy snow throughout Nov - March aka "The big freeze of 63"
[b]1967-68[/b] Little snow overall - Largely dry and a tad mild due to HP frequently building over us from the South & S West
[b]1974-75[/b] Little snow, Remembered for the 6 year snow drought, Largely dry and mild due to HP influence large swathes of the UK.
[b]1995-96[/b] Average, Snow (some very heavy) tended to fall in certain areas of the uk at certain points of the winter so not widespread and frequent enough to class as very snowy
[b]2000-01[/b] Average, as with the above, some heavy snow fell late Dec through into Feb but mainly a nothern England & Scotland affair including some decent drifting

[b][color=#0000ff]Mod (Oceanic Nino Index SST Anomoly -1 to -1.4)[/color][/b]
[b]1954-55[/b] Very snowy, Widespread, blizzards,Dec- drifting/snow through to May
[b]1950-51[/b] Very snowy, Widespread heavy falls Dec, 102 days lying.
[b]1964-65[/b] Little snow , First 2/3rds of this winter dominated by mild/wet swerlies before becoming dier and colder with blocking/ northerlies.
[b]1970-71[/b] Little snow ,Remembered as the start of a 6 year snow drought. Dry in December. Jan & Feb Atlantic dominant- mild & wet overall.
[b]1971-72[/b] Little snow , Remembered for the 6 year snow drought, Again Dry in December but mild, Jan & Feb dominated by atlantic S/Swerly
[b]1998-99[/b] Little if any snow, All 3 months in the most part dominated by Westerlies & Swerlies along side LP. Mild & Wet Overall
[b]2007-08[/b] Little snow, Another mild, largely snowless winter, but followed by some noteworthy wintry spells in early to mid spring. There were localised snow events from short-lived Arctic incursions in November, one in the Midlands on the 18th and another minor snow event in north-eastern areas on the 23rd. After a snowless December (the second in a row), a brief easterly blast brought snow showers and local thunder to eastern Scotland, NE England and Northern Ireland on the 3rd January, but mild air returned on the 4th. The rest of January was mostly mild with south-westerly winds, but further localised snow events occurred during the first half, mainly on high ground in the north. February was remarkable for its sunshine over much of England and Wales, but the only snow event of note occurred on the 1st/2nd, with high ground in northern England, plus parts of Scotland and Norfolk, briefly affected. Wet & Mild overall due to LP ifluence and W/SWerlies
[b]2010/11[/b] Average, No-body needs reminding of this one, however, it started off a snowfest for most of the country but sadly became a mostly dry affair Jan and February. That said, was a pretty damn cold winter at that. Snowy Start with Jan/ Feb generally cold and dry.

[color=#800080][b]Strong (Oceanic Nino Index SST Anomoly -1.5 +)[/b][/color]
[b]1949-50[/b] - Little snow, Generally dominated by LP to the west or NW and W/SWerly winds so plenty of mild wet weather.
[b]1955-56[/b] Very snowy - Netweather claim this was same as 54-55 (Very snowy with blizzards and throughout winter)
[b]1973-74[/b] Little snow, remembered for the 6 year snow drought, Again LP along with Westerly/ Swerly flow prevailed. Mild & Wet overall.
[b]1975-76[/b] Little snow, remembered for the 6 year snow drought. A good deal of the UK and indeed the winter dominted by HP. Dry & Mild.
[b]1984-85[/b] Very snowy, Widespread heavy snow for most of the uk Jan & Feb
[b]1988-89[/b] Little snow- Warmest uk winter on record after a stormy autumn. Mild & Wet overall.
[b]1999-2000[/b] Little if any snow, some say virtually nothing. With HP and LP being close most of the country would have had Wet & Mild muck

Info regarding these winters has been taken from Netweather british winter history page. Little, Average or Snowy classification takes into account Widespread snow fall and lying days over the 3 months of winter. EG. Heavy snow in December does not count as very snowy if Jan and Feb are dry unless of course the snow has remained into either of these months or snow still falls in these months little or not. if snow is isolated to few areas such as scotland this would also be classed as Little snow.

Out of the last 21 La Nina episodes :

13 Co-incided with poor snowless winters some of which were mild
2 Were average winters where you would either see the north, south, east or west of the uk getting snow but not exactly widespread or continous throughout the winter months, with some milder interludes
5 Were real snow fest winters throughout the 3 months and in somecases longer. These were in the 1950's 60's and mid 80's
Only 1 from reports I've read and the model achives I've viewed was actually Cold & Dry for the most part and that was 2011 after such very snow start.

Had widespread snow continued through Jan-feb 2011 or the snow remained on the ground for longer than it did, then I would have classed that as a very snowy la nina winter also.



PS. Here's the above in a simple chart form:





Winter 2011/12 - My Initial Thought's And What I Expect

I'm sticking with my guns about a "poor winters preceeded by a stormy autumn" something a kin to 2007. I think that we are going to struggle to see a proper Greenland High block this time around and all becuase La Nina might rear her ugly head for a second time.

I'll remind people again about last winter how La Nina prior to January 2011 struggled to get a grip on atmospheric conditions and global weather patterns and when she finally did, we saw weak attempts at northern blocking resulting in hp residing over the uk in pretty much unfavourable positions. Even though a large part of that winter was largely dry for most I reakon the good thing about it all was that it lead to one of the driest first half of the year for my area for quite some years and more sunshine too which made up for a generally cool summer.

Anyway, NOAA have said in discussions that "global weather patterns are still showing strong characteristics of la nina" and thats before another possible La Nina phase actually manifests itself. So with that in mind and the fact the magority of previous Negative Enso's co-incided with poor uk winters cold and snow wise, percentage wise we would likely see somewhere in the region of a 60% chance of a poor winter if La Nina was the dominant driver of weather during that winter.

It's a shame I had to reformat my pc sometime ago and lost the data file I put together a while back showing all the la nina and el nino winters of the past 60 years, summaries of the uk weather and percentages of how many La Nina/ Nino winters were poor for cold and snow (which most were) in chart form which I may try to recreate in the next couple of months.

So to summarise my thoughts for winter 2011/12:

Stormy autumn with some early cold phases leading up to a pretty cold December with less in the way of snow compaired to the previous couple of winters. Temps generally below average.

Jan-Feb will see a combination of predominantly dry and cold weather with any snow likely to come from northerly topplers and there will also likely be occasions where we end up in SWerly, milder cloudy and damp weather. I think Feb will be the milder of the two months with both coming in above average for temps, leading to an early spring feeling as we head into March 2012.

Edit 21/10/2011

What I will add is that I do firmly believe that Winter will again kick off early and the UK "as a whole" will fair less in terms of snow. However during the early part of Winter from the End of November into December, some parts may receive more but certainly not as wide spread as last year.
Overall I susspect winter will turn out another "largely Dry but Cold" affair taking into account 3 months of winter DEC JAN FEB, that is despite the possibilty of SWerlies effecting our weather which I think would be temporary anyway due to HP managing to ridge just over the UK.

Now, with HP currently being quite robust to our east and the models continuously wanting to Keep heights to our NE, this could tie in with HP ridging over the UK but weak and the possibillty of winter snow favouring NW UK over the NE and East via Northerly topplers with more of a NWerly flow.



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