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    Sheffield - 228m/748ft ASL
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    Cold, snowy winters and hot, sunny summers!

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  1. There is very little evidence to suggest that this virus is susceptible to warm weather, despite the tentative early suggestions. There are simply too many variables at play determining the rate of observed infection spread (international travel [particularly in the early seeding stages], extent of social distancing measures, cultural factors such as face mask usage, population density, extent and efficacy of testing to name but a few). I feel it is reasonable to believe warmer weather does have an impact on reducing the rates of infection, but this thing is so infectious by way of it being novel in nature, that this is a relatively minor factor. On the contrary, warmer weather may increase the temptation for those thinking of flouting social distancing advice, therefore encouraging the spread further. That being said, the current enforced lockdown is working as it has stopped the exponential expansion of cases here. In my opinion, this should continue until the number of active cases falls down to a level at which we have about 4 weeks of leeway in terms of correcting any easing of social distancing measures (and assuming that any easing of lockdown measures MAY trigger a renewal of the 3-4 day doubling times). For example, in simple terms, if we were to ease lockdown measures today, it would not be known what impact this would have on the rates of infection for about 3 weeks (roughly 2 weeks for the first "new" cases to show up, a further week to get data about the general direction of infectivity). If the spread is shown to be exponentially rising again and a renewed lockdown is required, this would not have any effect for a further 1-2 weeks. Leave the cases too high, and it becomes fairly obvious that we COULD be overwhelmed. It is crucial that we are cautious and have the breathing room to make gradual changes as necessary, lest we end up with an outbreak which would effectively destroy the NHS' care capacity. I am, however, not optimistic that the government will take this approach, owing to the economic damage that is being sustained.
  2. Got about 1-2cm here...pretty pathetic, but after the complete deprivation of snow this winter I'll take it! ?
  3. This may well get deleted, but here goes it! Could anyone explain, or direct me towards an explanation of, what the MJO actually is please? I know that we want to see "it" in high amplitude 6/7/8 as this aids in the development of HLB...but what do the the phase numbers mean, what is "it", and what are the mechanisms by which this promotes HLB? Thanks in advance ?
  4. It's anyone's guess really! I have always wondered whether something along the lines suggested below is plausible: 1) Mild winter=(usually) a +AO with cold bottled up in the northern latitudes 2) Feb-March=natural breakdown of the sPV/tPV as we head into Spring 3) Breakdown of the sPV/tPV causes a cold start to Spring as there's an unusual amount of deep cold lingering, which is forced to more southerly latitudes in one last hurrah by pressure rises at northern latitudes Makes sense in my mind at least, though I have no evidence to back this up, and I imagine the other scenario is simply that as the sPV/tPV breaks down, the cold dissipates too rapidly for many places to benefit. Would be interested to see if any correlation exists for +AO winters and cold Springs in our neck of the woods? But alas, my prior rant was centred around the forecast zonal wind speeds remaining above the average seen for Dec-Jan, even heading towards March...which would be funny if it wasn't so horrifying a thought ?
  5. Dear God, just look at the state of it. I'm hopeful I may see some snow next week from some shots of PM air due to my altitude, but this isn't what I signed up for damn it! I don't think there's been a winter where I've been so consistently duped by model output in the medium-long term. Pretty sure I've been championing a pattern change ever since mid-January ? The strat forecasts have traditionally been fairly reliable even out to +384h, but this winter it just kept teasing us only for any predicted warmings to be incredibly watered down, and the sPV shaking off any minor hits it does take. Right now, it doesn't even look at all likely that we'll get a consolation of an early-Spring "winter".
  6. Phwoar. Nothing showing up to offer any real excitement just yet at the trop level, but with charts like these then surely it won't be too long before we see the tPV get absolutely shredded. Really is the last chance saloon now, but I'm optimistic for a decent cold spell cropping up by the end of Feb now.
  7. March 2013 was exceptional also. (Though I think the SSW that year was in January)
  8. A bank rate that would make even Wonga blush ? I'm ready to be hurt again.
  9. I've been keeping a close eye on the GEFS' zonal wind speed projection, and the mean forecast has been steadily dropping over the last week or so - it now sits at ~20ms which is significantly better than it has been for the vast majority of winter, with some getting tantalisingly close to a late Jan/early Feb technical SSW. Can we get a back-loaded winter to give us some long-awaited winter joy before Spring sets in? In the short-term, though the GFS turns into much of a muchness into FI, I really like the look of 192h, as it's not too far off some of the ECM FI charts we were seeing a week or so ago. If we could eek out a bit more retrogression of the mid-atlantic ridge, we could well conjure up a pretty decent northerly before, in my opinion, some proper fun could begin as we head into Feb.
  10. At least the GEFS have the zonal wind speeds dropping closer towards average...Our glass isn't entirely empty ?
  11. In the same way that when LRFs show cold/blocked winters and we end up with mild/zonal winters, they can also be wrong in the other direction. Or, the fact that an overall milder forecast does not prohibit colder spells, and that these colder spells may well become locked in due to the apparently stochastic nature of weather at times. Back to the models themselves, my view has not changed since last night - although there is cross model agreement on the developing UK/Iceland/Scandi high collapsing under the pressure coming from the west, there is enough variation in this to allow the possibility of an undercut. Still a case of wait and see how it develops over the next couple of days in my opinion.
  12. In the pub run we trust! ? The secondary low manages the undercut, and then the fun and games begin! Can see this becoming a bit of a nightmare to model correctly and we'll be seeing elation and despair in equal measure here over the next few days...Here's to hoping elation wins out.
  13. Good evening all! The output is, basically, a complete mess with major uncertainty on how things will play out even at +144h. Not necessarily the longwave pattern, but definitely in terms of how things set up in our small section of the NH. See the GFS/ECM/UKMO below: The GFS is the most amplified in terms of getting that negative tilt on the incoming LP, but even here the block is transient at best and it isn't strong enough to avoid being toppled in due course. The UKMO offers a somewhat more robust high, but the angle of attack from the west is worse, so, another toppler. The less said about the ECM, the better. 192h While both models produce a secondary LP, the GFS combines it with the main trough to the west, which delays the flattening of the ridge. This is only to be a delay though, because the jet is then positioned SW-NE...less than ideal. The ECM does not model this as such; due to the ridge being weaker and further east, it is allowed to simply run east and barrel over the ridge, heralding a return of zonality. 240h The GFS, despite the escape at 192h, then powers up the jet, aided by the migration of the main portion of the PV over to Greenland, creating something of a doomsday scenario for us coldies with an Atlantic profile as flat as a pancake. The ECM offers up limited amplification, which may present the opportunity of a PM flow at times. Overall thoughts: What we know for certain is that there is an opportunity for a ridge forming roughly around the UK/Iceland/Scandi sector around the 27th Dec. The models cannot agree on the exact setup, but none of the big 3 are showing a scenario where the Atlantic is held at bay, or undercuts. Given the uncertainty however, there does remain a small chance that the LP positioning may be more favourable and we can prevent what follows should this buckle (more rain, and more despair for those of us who wish to see some more seasonal weather). Again, this is very unlikely, and the strat profile at the minute doesn't suggest that the TPV will be lacking the strength to simply flatten out what is a rather weak ridge. Ever the optimist, I will be looking for any signs that this period is to be modelled more favourably for us. However, my sights are definitely set more towards what fun and games may be had in the SPV potentially by mid-Jan - there's certainly plenty of members going for a dive in zonal wind speeds, so I shall leave this here to end on a more positive note!
  14. Pretty remarkable that we don't achieve an undercut on this run at 180h from this position. Feeling cold nonetheless around Christmas, despite a complete lack of agreement of how exactly this comes about! (ECM at 192h for comparison) Furthermore, deep FI again presenting a highly amplified NH pattern which I've been banging the drum for for a few days now:
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