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Catacol last won the day on January 20

Catacol had the most liked content!

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  • Gender
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    Wellington, Somerset
  • Interests
    History, Rugby, Cricket... and snow. World of Tanks ain't bad either.
  • Weather Preferences
    Frost and snow. A quiet autumn day is also good.

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  1. Agreed. These glosea maps are 3 month smoothed averages and can hide a huge amount of variation. For most people here a good wintry week would be enough to make the winter better than average, and the other 11 in a smoothed 3 month average would obscure it completely. Did the summer maps that showed a -NAO signature make it impossible for a high pressure plume from the south for a record breaking period? No. 3 month anomaly charts are useless. If the MetO released anomaly predictions for each individual month they would be more useful....but perhaps that would leave them more vulnerable to criticism when incorrect. I think a fair degree of politics is involved in the decision to release data in 3 month chunks...
  2. Evening all, just beginning to come one out of summer hibernation. Early days, typically varied forecasting comments...and here are my thoughts to throw into the mix. Over many years we have Identified a number of key drivers that impact the pattern at our latitude but we are yet to comprehend fully how these factors interact. We have seen the power of a vortex collapse, we have felt the effects of a cold American continent feeding a vibrant jet. We have seen low solar winters with more blocking, and we have seen unfavourable Atlantic Ocean temperature profiles impact on pressure patterns and the NAO. We have learned of the GSDM and noted how pulses in atmospheric momentum have the potential to force high latitude blocking, and we have also seen Nina low momentum phases flatten the pattern out. We have seen combinations of these work together and sometimes combinations work against each other. We are watching arctic ice in serious decline with likely impacts filtering through particularly perhaps around Alaska, and we have new theories such as the October snow index arguing for snowfall as a driver of the Siberian High. All fascinating stuff. And our globe is warming, throwing past analogues into disuse. Our computer models try and make sense of all this, and are generally fairly accurate out to 5 days....but many of us are still bruised by the startling December 2012 U-turn and last season we watched medium and long range models fail consistently to pick the pattern as computers and amateurs alike predicted an easterly flow...but it never came. Sea surface temperatures perhaps held the trump card? Which leads me to say this. Long range modelling is generally flawed and anyone worrying about what Glosea shows now should be comforted by the frequency of long range busts. We will have a much better idea of the interrelation of respective drivers in about a month’s time, but right now it is too early to make any useful comments. However we should not stop trying to make sense of the complex array of signals and even though we are unlikely often to predict things accurately there is much value in making the attempt, not least because it promotes interest and in time will grow further our understanding. Despite the failure of vortex disruption to downwell effectively last winter season this remains for me the most impactive of all drivers - and pressure patterns promoting wave 1 or 2 warming will be top of my list to try and spy. Like Steve I have also noted the sustained -NAO and wonder if this swing away from the generally +NAO conditions of the previous 3 years is set to continue. Low solar generally promotes blocking, ENSO neutral is probably not quite ideal but better than strong Nina...and ocean temp profiles have started to look interesting if a Greenland block is your thing. So let the hunt begin...and let’s hope it can be a hunt without too many friendly fire incidents!
  3. Evening all - the next winter rollercoaster is not a million miles away now. From mid October the excitement builds. Nothing too much to comment on at the moment at this very very early stage, but as I posted a couple of times over the summer we have had a recurring -NAO pattern for a few months now, we are approaching the crunch years for those who believe in solar cycle influence, and to my eye the jet remains unusually "wavy". ENSO looks neutral and the QBO may be descending easterly by mid winter though maybe not quite early enough to influence the pattern until Spring. In addition we have long range models tilting towards a +NAO profile for DJA, though at this range that is hardly a reason to be gloomy. As ever we have signals that are a mix of the uncertain and the inconclusive - but maybe come November a pattern may develop to whet the appetite. We also know that our 21st century world is predisposed to extreme events as climate change develops (Spain the latest victim) and this adds elements of variability that means we cannot ever be sure what is around the corner, even in a warming world. We will have extreme winter moments in the coming years for sure....and 2019/20 might contain one or more such examples. All good fun - even when passions run high.
  4. Not only is this a staggeringly arrogant response, you also demonstrate you haven't even bothered to read the posts properly at all. Had you done so you would have seen that this is a complex theory (no getting away from that) which is set alongside AGW and not as a replacement. Usually those who don't understand something either choose to ask a question to enable greater understanding, or they keep quiet. Your kind of cheerful intransigence stifles debate, it does not improve it. If you have nothing constructive to contribute then vacate the thread.
  5. Yes. The challenge is to know exactly what the impact of our drastically changing arctic environment will have, and it is interesting to note how currently slow the vortex is at getting underway in this very early stage of its genesis. But the last bit is spot on - changes in the tropics has to mean changes in the mid lats, and we have our next MJO wave passing through the key maritime sectors shortly. Expectations of an increase in AAM followed by a change in wavelength means a likely end of the atlantic express as we head towards month's end... What of our near semi permanent -NAO as we head towards Autumn? Been fascinating to watch its dominance bar the briefish spell of Euro heights in July on the back of the last MJO progression. After such a long time of +NAO impact are we going to see this reverse continue?
  6. But above average precipitation the EC call at the moment....
  7. The MetO must have a time machine....its 1540 now and their forecast update has a time stamp of 1603....no wonder their forecasts have become more accurate in recent years!
  8. I'd agree with all that... though I'd temper it with a prediction that we wont have to wait too many more years for it to be broken again. The catastrophic decline in arctic sea ice is, in my opinion, significantly impacting on the jet, and with such a meandering course from north to south becoming more common these feeds of tropical air are going to be much less rare. Weather records may be broken at all times of the year in the UK regularly from here on in as the reality of climate change and the specific arctic feedback for the North Atlantic becomes embedded.
  9. Yes - westward corrections are what we usually see...and this scenario would lead to a longer spell of heat for the east (thank goodness I live in the west...) and also the potential for some high rainfall totals in the west. It is the potential for trough activity running into this hot and slow drifting block that is catching my eye. The forecast heat is going to be very uncomfortable for some - lookout for your pets....
  10. Hot few days coming - plus most certainly some instability due to lower pressure sat just off to the west. Exciting spell probably - hot for those that like it, and some spectacular storms for those of a more thundery persuasion. What more could you wish for in summer? It's a single snapshot of a single driver....but the current GFS assessment of the pacific over the next week is also interesting. Nino footprint fading quite fast from this image, with anomalous easterlies taking over at the dateline. This would suggest on its own a weakening of support for a strong Euro high and instead a changing of the wavelength to see the trough gaining influence as we approach August. EC probability charts at the further end of decent resolution also show a similar trend So - the clash in airmasses looks set to continue with perhaps the trough beginning to win out over time. Cue more potential for instability perhaps because even as the block is nudged east it will continue to feed hot and dry air into the mix periodically, running into cooler and more moist air to the west.... could get quite interesting.
  11. Quicksilver - be very clear that a reply dissected line by line in red ink is a points scoring exercise and, in a public context, a case of one-upmanship. Your PhD tutor might do it with a draft copy of a dissertation - and it is commonplace in the world of media and politics where every soundbite counts - but to take my post as an attack on you (which it wasn't) and then produce that kind of microscopic response is very revealing. I am a moderator in other spheres of my professional life, and in any publication under my banner a post like that would be deleted via intervention. We can agree that solar influence affects circulation and not temperature: I am in your camp there, and the impacts of circulation changes are another ongoing area of observation and debate...but you have misunderstood the purpose of my post if you felt it was one that required step by step analysis. By way of a briefish response: 1. Where has there been an attempt to scientifically mislead? Cant see it. And what is your definition of fiction? I am with you on the fact of CO2 impact...but I am not convinced by the shouting down of "fiction" at all. We live in a world of grey much more than black or white. Is our understanding not more complete if we retain a grip on the interconnectedness of all factors? 2. Subjective bias making it more likely that error follows - agreed. I constantly hope for snow in winter, and am guilty of reading every 50/50 prognosis as a chance for snow rather than a chance not. Glass half empty or half full...or something like that I guess...and the snow damned well hardly ever comes. But not the point I was making. My argument is that anyone who thinks that we have all the answers now is likely to be disappointed. Buy a time machine and jump forward 300 years - and the science they will present then will be different to now. That is not an arrogant assertion - it is evidenced by human history in its entirety - and in that context we should remain open minded to the high likelihood that our current interpretation has flaws because we have an imperfect understanding of the full set of drivers acting on our climate and weather. 3. Solar minimums possibly increase the likelihood of a cold UK winter? Observations from my life would say yes - cold zones around 1984-87, 95-96 and 09-12 suggest so. Regionally the result of a more meridional atlantic jet, and possibly an overall bias towards a blocked pattern at high latitude? Again - probably yes. Is it a pattern repeated around the NH? - genuinely don't know. Is there clear and unequivocal science on this? Not that I have read...but I'll play Dr Semmelweiss for a moment and stick with my observation. As Crewecold has said - the next 2 - 3 winters will be important for the theory that low solar is conducive to high lat atlantic blocking and therefore patches of significant cold for the UK...and if we dont get a cold one by 2022/23 then it would put a hole in the theory to some degree. I read on twitter today that solar minimum is predicted to be within the next 6 - 9 months. This is all valid debate and is exactly what I punchily asked for in my post - so I'm not sure where you have got your idea of an "invalid argument" from. I wouldn't argue that any of this is invalid. All areas of supposition and investigation have validity. Which takes me back to the start of this post. Your decision to launch into a detailed riposte suggests to me that you feel the science of AGW is undermined in threads like this where other possible climate/weather drivers are discussed. Can't agree. What is irritating is when posters stifle debate with assertive judgement, and seek to use published papers as a reason for ending a conversation. In 1977 Hubert Lamb wrote that CO2 was probably a pretty small factor in determining climate change. Good job that the debate and investigation continued - 7 years later he began to change his tune. Scientific assessment develops and changes as fast as any aspect of human existence. It is not a fixed constant. I'll withdraw to lurker status on this thread once again now. I have no wish for protracted duelling on a subject that is wreathed in a degree of mystery. I'll observe the next few years, and look out for any published research that takes the debate further as I do think solar impacts is an area of understanding that has a way to go yet.
  12. There are indeed at least two sides to any debate, but there are also widely varying styles of conducting the debate. The key is the intent behind the comments made, and there are those who barely disguise their contempt for the possibility that new avenues of investigation may open up, or that areas of pseudo-science may turn out to have more to them than our current understanding allows us access. The point about witches is interesting - witches as we would define them have of course been disavowed as nonsense....but meanwhile others who chose to challenge orthodoxy have themselves become great men and women of history, praised today for their foresight but ridiculed during their time. I am reminded of the 19th century Hungarian doctorr Semmelweiss who argued powerfully that he reduced mortality in his labour wards by the washing of hands....and was ridiculed for his ideas so much that he was eventually committed to an asylum where he died. He could not explain why the washing of hands reduced mortality rates - but he shouted loud to any who would hear him....and none did. Shortly after he was committed to an asylum Louis Pasteur published evidence proving germ theory, and Joseph Lister worked on antiseptic treatments that revolutionised surgery and hospitals in general. They got the credit....but Semmelweiss was the true observational frontiersman. A man shouting witchcraft to the voices of accepted practice, whose belief in the magic of hand washing was proved 100% correct. History is littered with examples of "witchcraft" being shown to be true in time - do not be so quick to assume that history is a tale of straight line progress and the triumph of convention. It most certainly is not. Cutting more specifically to your second sentence - modern interpretations on solar impacts have been taken forward by new instruments and data. I forget exactly when I started reading into weather on the internet - it was sometime around 2001 I think, not too long after moving to Somerset, and solar discussions leapt forward as proper interest was taken in acquired data at around that time. I have struggled to remember or find the conversations from back then - but this article from 2011 neatly summarises the developing thinking on the back of data from NASA, and without doubt we have a way to go yet on this in terms of fully understanding impacts. Interesting follow up posts from Frederiksen.. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15199065 Finally - before seeking a "fair" game - check the evidence. Go back and read page 13 of this thread. Those who began to discuss solar impacts were quickly slammed - the word "bunk" appeared and one poster was accused of complacency. Before the page was done we had then drifted into a series of posts that pushed the debate back into one dominated by man's destruction of the atmosphere via CO2 increase. This thread was not one directed at the AGW issue - but I stand my ground on this when stating that other threads on the internet have been trashed in the past by posters pushing the single CO2 agenda again and again. When discussing solar impacts there is NOT an assumption that CO2 is therefore irrelevant. How could this be the case - we all know that CO2 increase is creating a greenhouse effect. It is clearly signposted on a near daily basis in the media despite the efforts of Trump and others like Bastar*i to ridicule the evidence. Do not use the obvious reality that CO2 is impacting on our planet as a tool for suggesting that other lines of investigation or theorising are not valid in themselves.
  13. It amazes me how often a thread that focuses on less accepted areas of science/debate descends into this kind of bickering. It happened over on TWO years ago and I got sick of reading it - and we have more of the same here. Frankly those who don't want to engage in the possibility that low solar might impact should stride off to another thread, rather than try to sidetrack the debate by pushing it into other avenues of discussion, and anyone looking to post supercilious snipes or engage in oneupmanship needs to be banned. For what it's worth - as a historian - I have always felt that history as a discipline is valid here. Accepted science has been around for thousands of years and has NEVER been a constant. In other words - every generation on the historical timeline believes it has the answers....but in reality these answers change and develop over time. We have learned much on the impact of CO2 since the 1970s and are learning more all the time. But anyone who thinks this is the end of the journey is, based upon a sample size of the entirety of human history, highly likely to be wrong. It wasn't so long ago that conventional science rejected any solar factors on global weather - and then in the internet era the language changed, including from our own MetO, and small impacts were accepted. There is no reason to believe that our understanding of the sun's impact has reached the end of the research trajectory. So - a valid debate. Let's have the debate. Those who don't want to debate and/or don't believe in solar influence, go and moan about it on the moaning thread.
  14. Thanks Tamara for the detail and effort in this post. My eye was drawn in particular to these 2 paragraphs, both of which chime with my current thoughts. The twice mentioned polar profile to me is a key factor, not only for the potential impact of SSW events in the winter but also in helping "guide" the wave pattern over the atlantic as the jet exits the US landmass at any time of year. We have seen a long period of +NAO impact on our weather for the last 2 or so years, with low pressure over Greenland helping to reinforce the NE atlantic Azores ridge. Earlier this summer a rather dramatic switch to extended -NAO conditions with pressure high over Greenland helped suppress that same ridge...and while southern counties have become dry there has been a fairly constant stream of convective action for the northern half of the UK. There is a dance being played out here I think - particularly for the attempt to provide some kind of accurate forecast for the UK within the bigger GSDM global envelope - and that dance is becoming less predictable as you say. Ice melt in the arctic is reducing the temperature gradient overall, and changing energy feedbacks are making atlantic forecasting extremely tricky. What odds yet another SSW event this winter regardless of QBO and ENSO phase? I have a feeling we are going to see more winter warmings....and in turn feedbacks that will impact on following seasons. In the end it's all fun. The context is ever changing, and the science ever improving. I'm happy if I can cling to the coat tails of those at the cutting edge of the debate, as I think is the case with your ability to grasp the complex interactions within the GSDM.
  15. Yes - clearly true. I wonder at the number of times in recent times that we have noted a "disconnect" between the oceanic signal and the atmospheric response. I haven't charted it on a spreadsheet or anything like that....but anecdotally we have described a disconnected state often. Genuine question - is our understanding/modelling of the "connect" between ocean/atmosphere too simplistic in terms of the current GSDM interpretation, or are conditions becoming generally less predictable in our modern climate context? Where, in all this, do the changing conditions in the arctic sit?
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