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About WhiteFox

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    Reading/New York/Chicago
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    Work (not really!), computers, weather, snow-chasing, travel.<br />Reading (not Reading!).

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  1. Never sure if I come under SW or SE here in Reading, so I'll plump for SW! Anyway, right under the storm cell in the South at the moment. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much looking at earlier radar; these events generally tend to dissipate as they cross the south downs, but for once it seems to have developed further. We're sitting right under the tail of the storm right now with decently heavy rainfall and some fairly frequent lightning. It's nothing special (my years living in the US have spoilt me), but for these parts it's a notable thunderstorm. Loving the shape of that storm on the radar too; seems to be a bit of rotation aloft unless my weather knowledge is even worse than I think?
  2. Time for some analysis? http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2015/apr/09/daily-express-weather-warning-beware-a-shower-of-extreme-inaccuracy
  3. IIRC, last autumn was pretty dry and settled, notwithstanding the late October storm of course. I remember thinking how dry it had been up to the time i went to Malaysia for Xmas in the middle of December. Of course, someone flicked a switch the moment I left! I could be wrong in my memories though; the ads I'm seeing on netweather at the moment keep prompting me to manage my retirement income better so perhaps my memory is fading (I'm not yet forty though, so it is a little irksome!).
  4. Indeed it is and that's the first time I've seen it! Regardless of this, I still find it better to look at blended solutions such as the fax within 48 hours rather than poring over each model. ECM Synoptics for further out along with GFS ensembles for an idea of patterns. Other than that the synoptic charts are useful for getting an idea of the possibilities as has been well highlighted by both ECM and GFS over the past week to ten days, but useless for detail outside of five to six days especially in setups such as this.
  5. It's nice to see the models flipping around as much in summer as they do in winter. Makes one look forward to the winter! Anyway, IMHO, the ECM is not the right model for looking at forecasts as we come into the 36 hour period. The ECM is strongest from about four days out; glancing at the charts in summer with rather less regularity than in winter, it occurs to me that the ECM did pick up a rapidly deepening low about a week or so ago which was largely written off by most (understandably as such deep systems are fairly rare at this time of year). IIRC, the system was shown to be about 996mb off the coast of Cornwall, whereas the GFS at the same distance showed nothing of the sort. Since then the GFS has gone for the deeper system whereas the ECM operational shows a shallower feature tracking further south. At this range I don't really trust either and pay much more attention to the FAX, being a blend of several models plus hi-res output, and the other available hi-res models. Having said that, the NMM was off target for yesterday, showing heaving rain mainly affecting Kent, Sussex and parts of East Anglia whereas in reality we had something of a deluge in Reading. So, I'm sticking pretty much with met office guidance on this one which is not to say that the models aren't interesting in terms of spot the difference, but the detail is lacking, particularly in the ECM where only 24 hour time periods are shown.
  6. Finally got power back yesterday after close to 72 hours with nothing. The lights went at 9pm on Friday night and finally the electricity distributor brought in a generator for our area yesterday. The estate was like a ghost town as people abandoned their homes and went off to stay with relatives or in hotels. As such, I'm now looking at forecasts for Thursday with some trepidation. The last thing we need right now is more wind and rain down here so the FAX chart for Thursday makes me worry somewhat. The repeating feature of this winter seems to be one of hints of drier weather which disappear as we get closer to the reliable timeframe. Instead of my usual hunt for something colder I, along with many others, have found myself hoping for something, anything, that gives a dry settle spell of weather. I would love a Bartlett high right now! As the days lengthen I keep searching for the PV to vanish and high pressure to set up nearby bringing the scent of blossom and sunshine. Instead, once again, we see the PVC re-forming over Canada and a renewed push of low pressure systems across the Atlantic. Probability says it has to end soon, right?
  7. First time I've seen this in a shipping forecast: Sole Gale warnings - Issued: 2143 UTC Mon 3 FebSoutheasterly severe gale force 9 expected soon, veering westerly and increasing violent storm force 11 later Shipping Forecast - Issued: 1030 UTC Tue 4 Feb Wind Southerly or southeasterly veering westerly, severe gale 9 to violent storm 11, decreasing 7 to severe gale 9 later. Sea state High, becoming very high or phenomenal. Weather Rain or squally showers. Visibility Moderate or poor. Phenomenal seas! Wouldn't want to be caught out in that one.
  8. In many ways a proper Euro (or Bartlett high) would be no bad thing for those with flooding issues. Generally, pressure is higher over Europe in these circumstances which pushes Atlantic systems further north and west making it generally drier further south and east. Some of the winters I recall with proper Bartlett highs were pretty dry down in southern England and I'm sure that would be welcome relief for many. The problem with the current output is the presence of the deep upper-level trough to the West; this means that any blocking is further east and allows Atlantic systems to progress further east and bring wet conditions to the whole of the UK. At least with a fairly strong high centred over Switzerland/Austria the whole pattern is shifted further north and west leaving only the NW in the line of regular, albeit not flooding, rainfall. If there's no chance of cold then better a Bartlett high than the current forecasted setup IMHO!
  9. I read it as meaning that the exact detail of the synoptics for the period in question are questionable and as such could have a large impact wrt wintry weather/rain or even slightly drier. Thereafter, the upper air profiles are in agreement wrt a return to Atlantic dominated weather. I don't think that the indeterminate detail of synoptics for next week affects confidence in the broader pattern thereafter. Of course, I could be reading it totally wrong, in which case I could be talking backside dynamics...
  10. Surely these charts shouldn't come as much of a surprise? Take a look at the upper level forecasts: To me that shows a shallow ridge over the mid Atlantic and a trough digging SE towards Europe. Granted, the Surface Level charts only represent one solution given the upper air profile, but the upper level charts have been fairly stable for a few days and the outcome presented by NWP this morning seems to have a reasonable chance of verification. The fly in the ointment is the higher anomalies over the Arctic and towards Scandinavia; at the moment, the anomalies are oriented in such a way that it appears difficult for colder air at the surface to move West. As the UK appears sandwiched between in an upper trough between two slices of higher anomalies it seems sensible for the models to forecast as shown in the overnight output. Of course, there will be variations at the surface which may deliver cold in one way or another, but it looks like some very careful threading is needed!
  11. It is a very interesting read and I think it does lead to thinking about other effects on the climate. GP used to post a lot about GWO and Angular momentum and they do indeed have an impact on our weather here. Having been brought up on economics, I think it is useful to break things down to very simplified models and then add layers of complexity. In terms of the climate and why we have these oscillations, does such a guide exist on NW or on the internet (I'm sure it does)? I'm thinking starting from the very basics of a taking a static globe and positioning a heat source over the middle and explaining what happens with no rotation etc. and then moving on from there.
  12. Whilst the block holds there is always a chance of cold reaching the UK. However, we see a period just about every winter in January or February where there is blocking over Europe which delivers cold tantalisingly close to the UK but never actually reaches us. Whilst we have a PV of any strength in the current position then we are always relying on perfect timing of trough disruption and jetstream angles. It does happen, but the majority of the time it does not and the colder air stays to the East. FOr as long as I've been viewing the charts there has been a period where the Siberian high ridges west but just cannot reach us. Granted it's a Scandinavian high at the moment, but the principle remains the same: with a strong Polar Vortex in situ we need a healthy dose of luck wrt timing to achieve cold...
  13. It's been on there for a few days. Up until recently it has been shown as a shallower feature, but it has been there: Not sure that it will make much difference though!
  14. It's also because these particular setups are the ones most prone to slight adjustments to upstream flow. Whenever we are relying on just the right amount of jet energy heading in just the right place we are looking for a lot of variables to fall into place at just the right time. As Steve Murr posted on Wednesday morning, the charts looked like we'd rolled a double-six and the roulette ball had landed on green at the same time. I think whenever we have a winter with a strong jetstream we end up looking for a Scandinavian high to setup in just the right position which leaves us on the Western edge of the cold air. As we've seen many times before, the most likely outcome is always a near miss; it does happen, but most times we get a miss...
  15. Ones hopes so. My fear would be we end up in the worse case scenario with fronts stalling over the UK and leaving us with yet more rain. Hopefully the block over Europe will keep the systems far enough East for this not to happen; I'd much rather a week of mildish SE and dry than fronts stalling over us! The Thames down in London is pretty badly flooded right now and the last thing we need is more rain!