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Blessed Weather

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Hadleigh, Suffolk
  • Interests
    Weather extremes, mountains and skiing, foreign travel, British pubs. As a 10 year old I experienced the 1962/63 winter which was the start of my life-long interest in all things weather related. The family had just moved into a new-build house on the top of a hill in Wales when the blizzard struck overnight. I woke up with my bedroom window sill covered in snow. In the bathroom the sill was covered and the bath was full of several inches of snow. The water in the toilet was frozen. Oh the joy of badly fitting, draughty wooden windows... and only a coal fire in the living room to warm the entire house!
    My first skiing trip to the Alps was in 1966. It was a school trip to Solden in Austria and we travelled by train across Europe. It was my first trip abroad and I hardly slept all way with the excitement. It led to a life-long passion for all things skiing and mountain and nowadays I try and have a few ski holidays a year if I can, spreading my visits across the Alps and try to visit less well known resorts as well as the usual suspects.
    My other passion is rugby and coming from Dinas Powys in South Wales I'm naturally enough a Wales fan. I now live in Suffolk (job move) but regularly travel back in Wales where my parents still live.
    My avatar is inspired by Brian Blessed - absolutely awesome in panto!!
  • Weather Preferences
    An Alpine climate - snowy winters and sunny summers!

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  1. Yes, hopefully the Alps will soon take on its winter coating of snow! Solden has a special place in my heart and where I caught the skiing bug - I went there on a school trip back in 1966. Seemed to take days on board a sleeper train. It was my first time skiing and the skis were monster wooden things with terrible bindings. I've still got all the memorabilia (pics below) including my suitcase label and the postcard I sent home saying "I don't like Austrian food"!! (I love it now!). And if you want a chuckle, read the "Customs Regulations" at the bottom of the "Crossing the Frontier". What a shame you could only take one type-writer and one record-player with you!!
  2. Blessed Weather

    ALL THINGS AUSTRIA

    Hi Paul. Yes, I've just posted in the Mountains & Snowsports thread that it's looking promising for the first significant snowfall of the season around the turn of the month, particularly for the eastern Alps, so Katschberg looking well placed. The 3-day mean forecasts giving support to the scenario. Give that farmer a call and tell him those cows need bringing in off the mountain!
  3. Webcam watching alert!! Some great looking charts starting to appear on the horizon that should give the Alps some substantial early season snowfall. The high pressure over the UK looks set to sufficiently pull back to allow much colder, unsettled conditions to move down from the N/NW. Here's a few charts to whet the appetite. The detail will, of course, look different come the date, but certainly reasons to be optimistic! The first chart shows the ECM & GFS 3-day 500hPa means from 26th-28th Oct with arrow pointing to the Alps. Then a couple charts from this morning's 0z runs (ECM Oct 27th and GFS Nov 4th): The FIS Skiing World Cup calendar kicks off with the Men's Grand Slalom from Solden, Austria, on Oct 27th - 28th, so hopefully snow snow covered mountains for the first event! Link to calendar: https://data.fis-ski.com/global-links/calendar.html
  4. I've enjoyed today. Plenty of sunshine, some great skies and an exhilarating gusty breeze made for a lovely walk this afternoon. Here was the view over Hadleigh: And for the record, Stats for September in the East. Not a bad month at all. Stats courtesy of Dan Holley, Twitter @danholley_
  5. Blessed Weather

    Arctic Ice Data And Stats.

    Hi BFTV. Strictly speaking you are correct, but IMHO I still think the tweet misleading. Zach chose a particular date some days after the minimum for 2018 when clearly the ranking with other years ON THAT DATE had changed (due to the different 'melt timing' graph lines for each year) and then uses the description “the 3rd lowest on record” in his tweet. Yes, the knowledgeable and/or alert may have spotted what was being said. I regret I didn't. I interpreted the tweet as comparing the 2018 absolute minimum with other years. So to me the important news is that 2018 (subject to no further melt) is actually the 6th lowest on record and my inattention led to a misleading post (for which apologies). While I'm on, may I ask whether there would be any difference in "Arctic Basin" (meaning Arctic Ocean?) sea ice extent and sea ice remaining in the "entire Arctic" at this time of year? (I'm not an expert on this topic so still learning about these subtleties). Thanks.
  6. 1st October 2018 and some decent snowfall arrives in the Alps, accumulating over the next 36 hours. It won't last at this time of the year, but nice to see!!
  7. Blessed Weather

    Arctic Ice Data And Stats.

    Good spot Rambo. I've a high opinion of Zack Labe but his tweet does mislead, giving the impression that the 2018 3rd place was based on the season's minimum extent. Of course he may not have intended to mislead, but the words of his tweet certainly did and I will message him about this. This post from Arctic Sea Ice News two days ago gives clarity about this years minimum and the provisional 2018 ranking of 6th lowest: Arctic sea ice extent arrives at its minimum September 27, 2018 On September 19 and 23, Arctic sea ice appeared to have reached its seasonal minimum extent for the year, at 4.59 million square kilometers (1.77 million square miles). This ties 2018 with 2008 and 2010 for the sixth lowest minimum extent in the nearly 40-year satellite record. Please note that this is a preliminary announcement. Changing winds or late-season melt could still reduce the Arctic ice extent, as happened in 2005 and 2010. NSIDC scientists will release a full analysis of the Arctic melt season, and discuss the Antarctic winter sea ice growth, in early October. Table - 12 lowest Minimum Sea Ice Extents 1979 to date: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/category/analysis/
  8. The overnight temp got down to a chilly 2.5C here in the Hadleigh 'hole' last night with a slight grass frost. But a beautiful day now with long sunny spells and up to 16C. Weatherquest's Dan Holley confirming last night's minimums don't happen too frequently this early in the Autumn: EAST: Santon Downham at -2C this morning, making it the coldest September night for 15 years, and the first time we've had 2 air frosts in the month of September since 2003 (prior to that, 1990!). In other words, it's not very often we have nights this cold so early in the season. Coldest Sept night since.... Brooms Barn - 1986 Cambridge NIAB - 1986 Cromer - 2013 Houghton Hall - new record (opened 2001) Marham - 2003 Monks Wood - 1986 Santon Downham - 2003 Weybourne - new record (opened 1986) Wittering - 1986 Woburn - 1986 https://twitter.com/danholley_/status/1046003708021149696
  9. Blessed Weather

    Arctic Ice Data And Stats.

    Every picture tells a story, and whilst the headline is that the Arctic Ocean Basin minimum Sea Ice Extent this autumn is the 3rd lowest since records started in 1979, the graph highlights how the minimum extent has been on a downward trend over the period 1979 - 2018. This from Zack Labe: Sea ice extent is currently the third lowest on record for the inner Arctic Ocean basin. Each line is one year of @NSIDC daily data over the satellite era [purple (1979) to white (2017)]. 2018 is shown in red. https://twitter.com/ZLabe/status/1045793536849862656
  10. Blessed Weather

    European Storm & Convective Discussion

    Two excellent tweets about the Medicane currently impacting the eastern Med. Below are stills from the tweets, so follow the links to watch in action (sorry - I don't post tweets on Netwx any more as they often don't work properly). The first shows how a Potential Vorticity (VP) streamer on the eastern flank of the High Pressure over Europe causes the Medicane to form. The second is a video clip showing the devastation to small boats in a Sicilian harbour as waves smash over the harbour wall. Images courtesy of Philipe Papin and Severe Weather EU. https://twitter.com/pppapin/status/1045827936501125121 https://twitter.com/severeweatherEU/status/1045796733505155072
  11. Blessed Weather

    European Storm & Convective Discussion

    This weekend's Medicane is looking to have some severe impacts on Greece and Turkey. Here's some extracts from the update published late Thurs 27th Sept by Severe Weather EU: Rapid cyclogenesis is ongoing just off the Libyan coast this evening, central surface pressure is around 1004 mbar. The cyclone is expected to move due north and intensify over the Ionian sea tomorrow during the day before it turns east towards southern Greece and continues towards the Aegean sea and the western Turkey on Sunday. Saturday, 29th Sept 12 UTC – models mostly agree on the potential track of Medicane across the southern Greece, the centre / eye should eventually track between Peloponnese and Crete Island. The Medicane’s eyewall would in this case effect both landmasses pretty hard! Peak wind gusts could reach 120-150 km/h based on high resolution models. Sunday, 30th Sept 12 UTC – all models also push Medicane into the Aegean sea and then also into western Turkey. This would bring potentially devastating flash floods there as severe storms with torrential rainfall could produce huge amounts of rainfall across the steep slopes in mountainous terrain of the western Turkey. Models are also on track in hinting at a potentially extreme amount of rainfall. Southern Greece will get hit hard, regardless of the track. These are the latest model guidance updates from GFS, ARPEGE and ICON-EU models – 300-500 mm may well be possible in some areas and bring life-threatening flash floods. Source: Severe Weather EU: http://www.severe-weather.eu/mcd/update-medicane-forms-over-the-ionian-sea-tonight-expected-to-cross-greece-on-saturday-and-head-to-western-turkey-on-sunday/ IR satellite image Fri Sept 28th with the toe of Italy above (to the north) of the storm and Greece to the right: Animation of maximum wind gusts from GFS Greece Model for Fri 28th - Sun 30th: Charts courtesy of http://www.meteociel.fr/
  12. Blessed Weather

    European Storm & Convective Discussion

    Hi Julian. This should help. Severe Weather EU's article about Medicanes. "Mediterranean tropical-like cyclones are interesting severe weather events, but nothing new and they have been observed in the past. Here is some of what we know about them." http://www.severe-weather.eu/theory/medicanes-mediterranean-tropical-like-cyclones-what-are-they/
  13. Stunning cirrus moving into Suffolk. Signs of the incoming cold front that will spoil this lovely late September warmth for tomorrow.
  14. If we were further into the late autumn/early winter season the current synoptic set-up might be raising a few eyebrows in here! The World Climate Service reporting a record breaking persistent block impacting Alaska: "The Sep 1-20 detrended 500mb height anomaly just south of the Bering Strait was the most positive 20-day standardized anomaly on record (1958-present) anywhere in the globe (+5.2 standard deviations, R1 data)." https://twitter.com/WorldClimateSvc/status/1045015726183133185 And with the block still in place 7 days on and cross Polar ridging, plus a GEFS forecast of negative 10hPa AO Index out to Oct 11th, the fledgling Strat Polar Vortex is (for now) not being allowed an easy start to the season. It will be interesting to see how the current coupled troposphere/stratosphere develops from here. Based on the latest GEFS forecast http://weatheriscool.com/ is reporting: "The strat. vortex is currently weaker than ERA interim average and is forecasted to remain weaker than average (according to EPS-mean) 0 of 21 members have stronger vortex than average at the last forecast step (2018-10-12 00:00:00)." Here's an illustration from the paper Blocking precursors to stratospheric sudden warming events that shows how a persistent block in the eastern Pacific/Alaska area can often (but not always) be a precursor to a Vortex splitting event. Full paper: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2009GL038776 But as @Interitus has shown above, all this not particularly indicative of how the SPV progresses from here. So best viewed as something to whet the appetite at this stage!!
  15. Blessed Weather

    Arctic Ice Data And Stats.

    Just to update the above.... the 'guest facility' on 33andrain had been inadvertently turned off. It's now back on and guests are allowed to visit 10 different pages in a 24 hour period. After that you can either register (which is painless and obligation free and you are then a member with full access) or wait 24 hours. Thanks and sorry to have cluttered the thread.
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