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A Winter's Tale

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Posts posted by A Winter's Tale


  1. Very mild with a high of 14c and a low of 12c. It really has been a dire couple of months of weather with so little sunshine or cold. In fact other than the first four months of 2015 which were quite decent - especially the second half of January - but May and throughout the summer was generally so wet, dull and cool. September, early October was quite decent with a light of dry conditions and some warmth. 

    It looks like there could be a change in weather conditions/pattern around Christmas (which seems to happen every year) so at least it looks like it'll be quite seasonable around the festive period with the possibility of some wintry precipitation at times with a bit of luck. We seem to be heading into a period of transition between different patterns if weather so there could be a variety of weather types on the cards post Christmas. We could have anti-cyclonic conditions, gales, more rain, polar maritime air, northerly toppler or more mild temperatures as we evolve towards another set-up. At least it looks like the unseasonable and gloomy period weather associated with high pressure over Europe is about to cease. What replaces it is up in the air, but at least things are likely to cool down nearer to average and opportunities for snow and traditional winter weather should improve from now in in - especially in the New Year.


  2. 13 minutes ago, Medlock Vale said:

    I'm certainly not denying that Scotland on the whole is snowier especially on high ground - that is obvious you have higher mountains. I just wanted to point out some meteorological reasons where England does better - with an easterly. And that there are exceptions to Scotland's colder and snowier reputation. Like, for example, I singled out Glasgow and other low land places in Scotland which don't tend to get much in most situations. In fact I think Newcastle in England is a snowier city than Glasgow for example. Yet Newcastle is not high ground at all. Newcastle does quite well for easterly's, but better still places just a few miles more inland. And to some extent Newcastle can get some decent snow from Northerly's too. Would Scotland do just as good with smaller hills/mountains? No way. The seas/gulf stream around the UK moderate the weather a great deal no matter how far North you are. I think without the mountainous terrain Scotland wouldn't do half as good as it does. I think the reality is most towns & cities of Scotland have not seen lying snow in the past few days. For how far North all the UK is we really should do much better for cold and snow than we do given everywhere from Cornwall to Shetland is closer to the North Pole than the Equator.

     

    3 hours ago, Medlock Vale said:

    Scotland tends to get more PM/Northerly incursions but they rarely bring extreme temps nor is the snow long lasting on low ground with the exception of December 1995, there's also parts of Scotland that don't do well for snow at all like Glasgow and some other lowland areas. England tends to do better than Scotland with Siberian Continental air from the east and snow tends to settle at all levels with this wind direction because air from the east has a much lower dew point than the wetter type of snow from PM air. The Pennines can get absolutely hammered in an easterly flow. North-East England got 7 feet of level snow in March 1947 and I believe the drifts were more than triple that. It's just a pity that this wind direction is a rare beast otherwise Pennine England would give most of Scotland a run for the money. But yes overall especially with height you tend to get more snow mostly from PM/Northerly incursions.

    The reason locations further south tend to do better in easterly set ups isn't really down to factors such as Gulf Stream, latitude, topography/altitude - it's more to do with the fact that a set-up conducive for a snowy easterly involves high pressure tending to be situated closer to Scotland meaning less widespread and intense snowfall up here. And such a set up isn't something you'd typically expect throughout a winter, no more so than snow falling from a channel low. 

    Snow from a polar maritime air mass isn't really to do with elevation, it's more to do with the airfllow with cold air mire likely to be embedded in northern and Western sections of low pressure systems and Scotland's latitude us a more favourable in such set ups. 

    I agree that Newcastle, among other cities in northern parts of Britain, probably have better chances for snow than Glasgow. Not only would Newcastle do better in an easterly, but also a northerly with greater exposure to the North Sea. In Glasgow's case, the Gulf Stream, low elevation, westerly location, urban heat island doesn't help with precipitation more likely to fall as rain. However only a few miles can be the difference, for example 15 miles between the city centre and Aberfoyle, in a marginal set-up it might be sleet at best in the City, further north in the countryside with not much of a higher elevation, there could be 10-15cm in and around the Trossachs. In northerly or westerly set ups, the problem is a lack of precipitation with mountains and high ground surrounding the area, especially to the north and west. 

     


  3. It's been quite windy for the past hour or so. Very dark aswell with heavy overcast skies - a pretty typical mild, Atlantic influenced December day. I wonder how much are wind gusts expected increase through this evening and overnight.

    The model runs so far today from the GFS and ECM look pretty encouraging for a colder pattern to develop around mid-month with the jet stream looking to track further south. 


  4. Great to see some are enjoying a rather unexpected snowfall with accumulations in places. It's not been too bad a start to season despite some pretty mild temperatures as there's already been a fair amount of snow events and I suppose some eastern parts are making up for missing out on some of the action last year. Looking ahead, although nothing substantial is currently on the cards, I'm feeling quietly optimistic about a pattern more conducive to cold and snow emerging sometime around or after mid-month.


  5. A pretty miserable start to December with persistent rain. Quite cold too with temperatures around 4C until it shot up to 11C in the space of 20 minutes this afternoon. And it feels noticeably milder indoors and outdoors.

     

    The models appear to show a somewhat messy outlook with not much prospect of notable wintry weather, but neither particularly mild for the coming week or two. Hopefully in a few days time or so the outlook will be clearer and fingers-crossed for potentially cold or snowy evolutions popping up but for now I think we'll be relying on transient polar westerlies.


  6. My preliminary thoughts on winter:

    December:

    Slight above temperatures; above average rainfall; very unsettled, predominately westerly winds; stormy, potentially severe; PV southern Greenland; cool beginning but becoming increasingly milder; chance of brief interludes of cold NWly/Nly or crisp settled spells.

    January:

    SSW early January; continuation of unsettled wet and windy conditions, close to average temperatures; becoming more settled but mild mid month; turning much colder and blocked latter half of month, breaking down before February; below average temperatures overall, slightly below average precipitation

    February:

    Most difficult month to forecast - messy, damp and dull beginning, becoming unsettled and potentially stormy; quieting down and return of blocking before mid month, breaking down later; quiet, mild and damp end; slightly below average temperatures, average rainfall.

    In summary, December is shaping up to be quite an unsettled month, possibly disturbed with a familiar strong El Niño NH set up. Implications in the nature of temperature and weather patterns unclear but I would say a chilly beginning with plenty of wind and rain, becoming milder around days 10-20, possibly beyond possibility of short colder interludes in the latter part of the month.

    Early days but there seems to be strong indications that the way this autumn has panned out so far could have interesting implications later in the winter and a SSW is more than a possibility. If an SSW does occur, the timing is up for debate but I think sometime in the first week of January. Possibly a very zonal beginning to January, temperatures difficult to predict with confidence so I'd sit in the fence and say around average. Most Becoming milder with possibly murky conditions as high pressure moves closer to the UK about 10 days. I'm confident a period of sustained blocking will occur in the second half of January with heights centred to the north/north East. I think a messy breakdown would occur by the end of the month with plenty of murky conditions as the Atlantic makes a return.

    February is always the difficult month to forecast as it is the furtherest away but the conditions or weather patterns are more difficult to describe. I think an initially quiet, transitional spell of weather to begin with then becoming unsettled with more active Atlantic dominated weather for a time. Before mid month a return of HLB, this time to the NW and breaking down at the end of the month and replaced by a quiet, mild transition to Spring.


  7. Nice late autumn conditions with place blue afternoon skies and a scattering of clouds. The met office warnings for snow in parts if the country is great to see this early in the season and I think the northern highlands and parts of the north east and borders could see decent spells of snowfall. There appears to be a front moving south across the country late on Friday which could deliver for some central areas but I suspect the Glasgow area will end up west of a front which would probably be remnants of a decaying feature.

    My preliminary thoughts on winter:

    December:

    Slight above temperatures; above average rainfall; very unsettled, predominately westerly winds; stormy, potentially severe; PV southern Greenland; cool beginning but becoming increasingly milder; chance of brief interludes of cold NWly/Nly or crisp settled spells.

    January:

    SSW early January; continuation of unsettled wet and windy conditions, close to average temperatures; becoming more settled but mild mid month; turning much colder and blocked latter half of month, breaking down before February; below average temperatures overall, slightly below average precipitation

    February:

    Most difficult month to forecast - messy, damp and dull beginning, becoming unsettled and potentially stormy; quieting down and return of blocking before mid month, breaking down later; quiet, mild and damp end; slightly below average temperatures, average rainfall.

    In summary, December is shaping up to be quite an unsettled month, possibly disturbed with a familiar strong El Niño NH set up. Implications in the nature of temperature and weather patterns unclear but I would say a chilly beginning with plenty of wind and rain, becoming milder around days 10-20, possibly beyond possibility of short colder interludes in the latter part of the month.

    Early days but there seems to be strong indications that the way this autumn has panned out so far could have interesting implications later in the winter and a SSW is more than a possibility. If an SSW does occur, the timing is up for debate but I think sometime in the first week of January. Possibly a very zonal beginning to January, temperatures difficult to predict with confidence so I'd sit in the fence and say around average. Most Becoming milder with possibly murky conditions as high pressure moves closer to the UK about 10 days. I'm confident a period of sustained blocking will occur in the second half of January with heights centred to the north/north East. I think a messy breakdown would occur by the end of the month with plenty of murky conditions as the Atlantic makes a return.

    February is always the difficult month to forecast as it is the furtherest away but the conditions or weather patterns are more difficult to describe. I think an initially quiet, transitional spell of weather to begin with then becoming unsettled with more active Atlantic dominated weather for a time. Before mid month a return of HLB, this time to the NW and breaking down at the end of the month and replaced by a quiet, mild transition to Spring.


  8. So.... will it snow, and on who?

    I think the NE of a Scotland is in the firing line for most of the snow showers and perhaps some persistent snow aswell. I wouldn't rule out some inland parts of Aberdeenshire and possibly Moray could potentially end up with accumulations of at least a few inches in places. As for elsewhere, exposed areas such as the north and west coasts should see some wintry showers. Away from Aberdeenshire, Moray, the north/west Coast and possibly some parts if the east Coast/borders, snow showers will probably be very hard to come by but at least we'll get some proper cold, fresh, clear northerly air for the first time this season with some pretty cold uppers and hopefully some crisp early winter sunshine and the first proper widespread frost this autumn. Although this cold spell may appear rather unremarkable, the Synoptics are very decent for the time of year and you'd expect a set up like this to occur in NI ember every few years or so.

    I'm not expecting much success for snow reaching the central lowlands but it'll be worth keeping an eye out for some features in the northerly flow. This cold snap will be gone by the start of next week and perhaps some quite messy, transistional weather could prevail for a while. The NH set up to my untrained eye looks quite interesting/unique with the current prominent Siberian and then an emergence of high pressure centred around Alaska. It's hard to predict what the repercussions - stemming from the current tropospheric set-up along with various other factors and variables - could entail for the first part of December and beyond and I suppose the uncertainty and volatility has played its part in the absence of winter forecasts this year. My thoughts to the end of this month and into early December is that we'll see lower heights around Greenland or our quadrant of the hemisphere which would herald an active, unsettled period of weather with potentially stormy but changeable conditions. Temperature wise it could still be quite cool with the possibility wintry interludes but this remains to be seen. I suspect in December we'll be seeing quite a few named storms.


  9. Quite calm just now but it's also much clearer and fresher, thank god! That was quite an exciting little squall line earlier, no idea what the wind gusts where but I was impressed at high sustained the winds were. It looks like we are under a quite unstable airflow just now so I presume there's a chance of lively weather other than the actual storm itself.

    Wrt storms being named, I personally think it's a good idea in making weather events of note more identifiable interms of forecasting, and preparing for and looking back on aswell. Abigail has certainly grabbed wider attention than if it hadn't been named as it gets referenced more by mainstream and social media. I agree that The stormitself, despite the hype, isn't particularly significant as it's not that widespread an event, and isn't potent by the standards of the northern and western parts in the firing line. Nevertheless it's first storm of note of the season with the potential to bring a degree of disruption or damage that warrants an amber warning to parts of the country. There'll be more named storms in the coming months and more troublesome ones aswell.

    It's good to get some fresher, cooler and clearer conditions for once, nothing remarkable but at least we've got some conditions which better resemble the time of year. Not to mention the first proper hill and mountain snow of the season. Another feature mentioned by some recently is the worrying prospect of flooding, despite having anti-cyclonic conditions prominent on the near continent and not particularly changeable or active conditions, it hasn't been enough to deflect rain-bearing fronts away from Scotland. Many areas of Britain, particular yob northern and western parts, the ground us already saturated and river level are high. Despite a slightly more mobile weather pattern, further depressions will sweep in iff the Atlantic, bringing yet more persistent, heavy and prolonged rainfall. Some people have likened the current pattern to November of 2009, a very mild but more noteworthy very wet month which infamously saw serious flooding in parts of the Lake District.

    Another feature emerging in the models is the potential for a northerly. It appears we could see the first proper cold snap of the season with widespread frost and potential snow showers in a typical late November northerly (ala 2005, 2008). It will be interesting to see how the models deal with this scenario, it could disappear completely or upgrade into something more potent or long lasting, I suspect it'd be a short-lived cold snap but could potentially be replaced by another shot of cold Pm or Am air given how there's currently a lot to play for the NH pattern projected in the models, especially the lack of low heights/thickness in the N.Atlantic around Southern Greenland and Iceland although I think we'll see developments in the models for segments of the PV to locate closer to Greenland.


  10. Another short but very sharp burst about to hit. Possibly a very small squall?

    Prepare yourself for unbelievable squal!!

    It was like a hurricane, or small tornado with the wind suddenly picking up and whipping rain all over the place and the trees bending back in a way I can't recall seeing. A short but impressive squall.


  11. Another dull, damp day in what has been an exceptionally gloomy month. Despite the shorter and darker days the persistent damp and mild conditions looks and feels like mid October rather than mid November. Sure, it's pretty autumnal but it feels like we have been a few weeks behind schedule throughout the autumn weatherwise. Atleast conditions familiar to the time of year will arrive at the end of the week with much fresher air. The BBC actually has a snow symbol for friday morning. It's nice to see but highly unlikely to happen - and if snow were to fall across parts of lowland Scotland it would be a real bonus so early in the season. I think Friday will be a real shock to the system but a needed one to inject some activity into Our weather and the chill should act as the first reminder or indicator of nearing winter.


  12. Another thoroughly miserable day of weather. Very wet and dull and mild aswell, it's very normal to experience dats or spells like this for the time of year but the sheer persistence of this weather type since the start of the month has been amazing. I can barely recall seeing the sun this month. It's certainly more autumnal weather wise compared to the quiet and far more pleasant conditions in September and October but, but I'd rather we had some more varied conditions including more sunny/clear intervals and fresher/cooler conditions.

    The end of this week, as pointed out by Jo, is looking a great deal livelier with the first storm of note late Thursday-Friday with potentially disruptive weather in NW Scotland. cooler air also moving in behind the front. Potentially another storm for northern Scotland early next week. The general pattern for the next week or so is looking more mobile than it has been so far this season with the jet starting to track a little further south: lively conditions, potentially stormy and possibly further risk of flooding with a continuation of heavy and persistent precip coming off the Atlantic; a mixed bag of clear/overcast, dry/wet, chilly/mild with the general trend less mild with increased opportunities for cooler air masses and possibly hill snow.

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