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Blessed Weather

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About Blessed Weather

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  • Gender
  • 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. Blessed Weather

    SE and East Anglia general weather discussion 07/11/2018

    The temp was down to -2C and my garden was sparkling with frost when I went to bed last evening. But the minimum here was reached around midnight before cloud rolled in and this morning it's +3C. Here's some analysis by Weatherquest: EAST: It's the coldest night in the region since 1st March, with Woburn (Beds) leading the way at -5.5C, followed by Writtle -4.3C and Santon Downham -3.7C. Cloud has lifted temperatures across the east of the region now, so less scraping here compared to farther west. 6am temps: Source: https://twitter.com/danholley_/status/1065494801129328643 Edit: Final score board for the East:
  2. Blessed Weather

    UK Mountain snowfall from 2016 onwards

    Great photo of the snow up on the Yorkshire Dales this morning (21/11/18): Photo: Paul Kingston (@PaulKingstonNNP)
  3. It’s always interesting when a couple of very knowledgeable guys appear to have differing views, effectively about the extent/nature of coupling between troposphere and stratosphere and the impact on surface conditions (weather). Here’s a quote from the latest blog from Dr. Judah Cohen published 19th Nov: "The plot of Wave Activity Flux (WAFz) or poleward heat transport shows a relatively robust pulse of energy for the upcoming week. This relatively strong pulse of WAFz is predicted to disturb the PV causing it to stretch and briefly split into two pieces this week with one piece in Western Siberia and the other in Eastern Canada. It is my opinion that the sister lobe of the PV in Eastern Canada is related to the record cold temperatures predicted for Southeastern Canada and the Northeastern US this week." https://www.aer.com/science-research/climate-weather/arctic-oscillation/ And this tweet from Anthony Masiello on 19th Nov: "The splitting vortex this week and the cold shot are the effects of tropospheric causes. The split vortex didn't cause the cold shot. I realize this is a lost cause." https://twitter.com/antmasiello/status/1064494512226164736 Please note that I have no reason to think the AM tweet was referring to the JC blog – just that I found the apparent differing views interesting. For what's it's worth, my own view aligns with AM that atm it’s the trop calling the shots and it’s not the PV downwelling and dictating the tropospheric pattern. Nevertheless a close pattern match exists up through the atmosphere. Here’s the GFS height anomalies through the trop & strat at 500hPa, 100hPa, 50hPa and 10hPa for today, 21st Nov: Charts from: http://www.meteociel.fr/modeles/gfse_cartes.php?ech=6&code=0&mode=12&carte=1 http://www.atmos.albany.edu/student/hattard/realtime.php Looking forward and GFS suggesting further robust Wave 1 perturbation of the PV as we move into early December: Wave 1 forecast as a GIF: Charts from: http://weatheriscool.com/ Again this won’t be the killer punch, but as with last year, the ongoing Wave 1 disturbance of the PV can help hold back its development. We don't want the PV to be the dominant player, propagating downwards and driving a strong mid-latitude westerly jet stream. It’s also been found that these early disturbances can be pre-conditioning pulses that soften up the PV for the ‘big one’ that can follow around 20 days later. GFS PV Zonal Mean Zonal Wind forecast shows the resulting dip in wind strength: Chart source: http://www.atmos.albany.edu/student/hattard/realtime.php ECM 30th Nov) and GFS (6th Dec) Geopotential & Temp charts show the PV remains displaced (typical of Wave 1 attack): Charts source: http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/en/met/ag/strat/produkte/winterdiagnostics/index.html http://weatheriscool.com/ As GP and Catacol suggest above, of great interest will be developments in the tropics (MJO) to generate the sequence of events (ripple effect) of tropical > extra-tropical > troposphere > stratosphere interaction that will hopefully drive the knock-out punch to the PV later in December. In my view it was the record breaking high amplitude Phase 6/7 MJO event that caused the demise of the PV last year. So this year my interest will be to look out for (much simplified): MJO in Phase 7 = high level blocking (Scandi High / Alaskan High / Aleutian Low combo would be good) = Wave 2 resulting in a split Vortex event Global Wind Oscillation (GWO) moving through Phase 4 into Phase 5 = increasing Frictional Torque leading to increasing Mountain Torque A spike in East Asian Mountain Torque = Himalayan and Mongolian Altai mountain ranges in particular = generation of upward wave propagation into the stratosphere. So plenty of interest in the stratosphere over the coming weeks, the outcome of which will have a major impact on how the winter plays out.
  4. Blessed Weather

    SE and East Anglia general weather discussion 07/11/2018

    Throughout this evening the Meteociel radar has been increasingly showing precipitation in the SE turning to snow. Here's the sequence from 19.00 to 21.45:
  5. Blessed Weather

    SE and East Anglia general weather discussion 07/11/2018

    Just for fun I've shamelessly picked the best charts from across the High Res models to produce a forecast suggesting snow for the high ground of Kent, Sussex and Surrey for around 22.00 - 23.00 this coming evening. What do you mean that's cheating.... Arpege 2m temp and Hirlam DP not far off 0C Hirlam 850 temps -6C Bingo! NMM has it snowing...
  6. I believe Matt is talking about the background teleconnections that influence our weather patterns. For instance, the QBO zonal winds measured at 30mb were in the easterly phase through the 2009/10 winter. This autumn winds have just turned westerly which ‘normally’ is more supportive of a stronger Stratospheric Polar Vortex (SPV) and stronger mid-latitude Jet Stream (so not good for winter cold prospects). Also ENSO phase was moderate, bordering a strong El Nino in 2009/10, whereas this year a weak El Nino is just getting going with the possibility of a moderate event by end-winter. Looking at the last 50 years shows that winters with an eQBO/El Nino combination have a 100% record in achieving a Sudden Stratospheric Warming of the SPV, whereas this drops to 78% for a wQBO/El Nino combo. So just two examples, but, and a big but, I believe what’s happening in the Arctic (the extraordinary warming) means we are entering a different era of climate/weather patterns. Less contrast between previously much colder Arctic and warm mid-latitudes means weaker jet stream, more blocked patterns and increased disconnect between troposphere and stratosphere in early winter. The past norm is unlikely to be the future norm and it could be an interesting ride ahead!
  7. Blessed Weather

    SE and East Anglia general weather discussion 07/11/2018

    The line of heavy showers showing on the rainfall radar has just passed overhead here at my daughter's house in Rochester with very heavy rain for several minutes and a few rumbles of thunder fairly close. The Blitzortung radar showing the lightning strikes. Rainfall 20.20: Lightning 20.26: http://www.lightningmaps.org/?lang=en#m=oss;t=3;s=0;o=0;b=0.00;ts=0;y=51.4686;x=-0.3167;z=8;d=2;dl=2;dc=0;
  8. An interesting report has just been published by Dan Holley, Weatherquest, about the changing climate in East Anglia. Some highlights: average annual mean temperature during the past decade (2008-2017) has increased by 1.0°C compared to the climatological 30-year average (1961-1990). reduction in the frequency of frosts, with approximately 8 fewer air frosts in an average year - a decrease of 16%. rainfall in the region has increased by just over 3% compared to the 1961-1990 baseline, translating to an extra 20mm or so in an average year. sunshine hours increased by just over 7% during the past decade in East Anglia, equating to an extra 111 hours of sunshine in an average year. Link to full report: https://altocu.blogspot.com/2018/11/east-anglias-changing-climate.html
  9. Personally I think this is a difficult season to predict with some conflicting teleconnections pointing to different outcomes. So your "probably best to wait and see" remark seems the better option to me. There are a couple of longer range forecasts out that you may wish to take a look at: European Winter Outlook 2018-19. Welcome to this winter's snow outlook for the European Alps. https://longrangesnowcenter.blogspot.com/2018/10/2018-european-winter-outlook.html Long-range weather forecast for 2018/19. What will the snow be like this ski season? https://www.onthesnow.co.uk/news/a/632580/long-range-weather-forecast-for-2018-19
  10. With 'strat watching' on this thread moving into winter mode I thought it would be helpful to add to my post above with a definition of the difference between a planetary Wave 1 and Wave 2 that can propagate vertically and disrupt the Strat Vortex. "In the top panel image of Figure 6.14, we see the single high-low structure that exists between the Gulf of Alaska and Northern Europe centered roughly along the 60°N latitude. The thick black line highlights the wave structure. Atmospheric scientists refer to this single high-low structure as a planetary wave-1 pattern, since a single wave (one ridge and one trough) straddles the entire planet at that latitude. At 60°N, the wavelength of this wave-1 is 20,000 kilometers. In the bottom panel image, we see two highs and two lows in a double high-low structure extending around the northern high latitudes. It is again centered roughly on 60°N. We refer to this as a planetary wave-2, with a wavelength of 10,000 kilometers at 60°N." Source: http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/SEES/ozone/class/Chap_6/index.htm Note the location of the highs/lows within the overall pattern has a bearing - more about that in the paper in my earlier post.
  11. Well October didn't turn out too bad overall: Extremes: 26.0C | 13th | Weybourne -3.0C | 31st | Santon Downham 49mph | 12th | Marham Chart & stats courtesy of @danholley_ Weatherquest.
  12. A lovely crisp, frosty morning here with no cloud and not even a hint of breeze. Finally a decent frost too with air temps down to -0.2C, so lawn and roofs white and bird bath frozen over. Here's how the minimums look across the Region: Chart courtesy of @danholley_. Weatherquest.
  13. It made me feel sad reading that you've decided to hang up your boots and skis John. But goodness, it's fantastic that you've skied up to being 78 and I'm sure there are many of us hoping we can even come close to matching that achievement. Good to hear that you'll still be setting off to your favourite resort to enjoy all that wonder atmosphere and scenery.
  14. Lots of Twitter activity these past few days on the potential (or not) of some disruption to the Strat PV (SPV) as we move into November. A couple more tweets to add to those above: Simon Lee 29 Oct: Jason Furtado 30 Oct: The stratosphere and troposphere are currently decoupled and this morning's Berlin output suggests that in the forecast period it's not the stratosphere's zonal westerly winds descending, but rather the influence of the troposphere pattern pushing up into the lower stratosphere: 20 Oct 03 Nov 08 Nov The ECM forecast blocking pattern is looking favourable for Wave 1 disruption to the SPV with suggestions of elongation and displacement off the Pole towards the Siberian side late in the forecast. ECM 500Hpa 09 Nov 10hPa Geo + Temp 08 Nov 30th Oct GFS forecast Wave activity and amplitude: Wave charts: http://weatheriscool.com/index.php/stratospheric-forecast-wave-series/ Further info in the paper Blocking precursors to stratospheric sudden warming events. Illustrative charts: Displacement v Split blocking patterns: Displacement v Split Wave activity: Link to paper via: https://www.33andrain.com/topic/959-blocking-precursors-to-stratospheric-sudden-warming-events/
  15. A casualty of this weekends snowfall - the FIS Giant Slalom event scheduled for today (Sat 28th Oct) up on the glacier of Solden has been cancelled. You can see why from this webcam grab of the top station, Gaislachkogel, up at 3,040m. Snow blowing about up there with terrible visibility.