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North-Easterly Blast

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  1. December may have been well above average overall for the CET at 6.9, making it the tied 15th warmest (with 1953, 1918, 1833 and 1827) in the CET record, but I have to say that, a December with a CET close to that sort of figure was long overdue. This is when you look at the fact that the warmest December in the 27 years from 1988 to 2015 is just 6.5*C (which still wasn't one of the top 20 warmest Decembers on record). This was notable given the warmth seen in most other months of the year during this period. December 2018's CET of 6.9 only just sneaked into the top 20 warmest Decembers in the CET record (the tied 20th warmest is 6.8). It was so close to being a 7*C December (7.09 before adjustments) but the month end downward adjustment failed to get the official CET to 7*C, when it looked likely that we could have been in with a chance of a 7*C CET for Dec 2018. Anyway, the second warmest December in the 30 years since 1988 is now confirmed by the CET records.
  2. We came pretty close to it in Dec 2015 with 9.7, and this was a whopping 1.6*C warmer than any other December in CET history, and also higher than all Marches, and all Novembers with the exception of 1994 (10.1*C). We have still to date only had one November with a CET of 10*C+ and that was in 1994. We have already had a 20*C CET month, although not contained within one calendar month. The warmest 31 day period on record as far as I know was July 24th to August 23rd 1995 which had a CET of 20.3*C (correct me if I am wrong). I believe that there was also a 31 day period in June to July 1976 that was over 20*C. As far as calendar months are concerned, the July 2006 CET of 19.7 was not far off 20*C, and in that year the really hot spell almost exactly coincided with the calendar month. We have had another notably hot July this year (the fourth hottest calendar month on record, and only the fourth month in CET history to record a CET of 19*C+).
  3. North-Easterly Blast

    August 2008: horrific

    August 2008 was one of the scenarios that shows that persistent dullness in a summer month is of no guarantee of cooler conditions - in fact for such a dull August, the CET was still 16.2, which is close to average or even a shade above. Given the overall general weather pattern, logic suggests that the month should have been cooler but it wasn't. August 2008 was a bit of a similar scenario to August 2004, which was warm overall with a CET of 17.6, but also a very wet month, and shows that a high CET in a summer month is no guarantee that it will not be a washout.
  4. There were no previous 19*C+ months in the CET record until July 1983; since then two more have occurred.
  5. North-Easterly Blast

    100.5F at Tonbridge, 22nd July 1868 The last great "8" summer

    I think it is safe to say that we have now broken the run of years ending in "8" having cooler than average summers which stretches all the way back to 1868. In particular the warmest July in a year ending in "8", since 1868, was in 1878 with 16.6*C, which is only just above average. The warmest July of recent times in a year ending in "8" was in 2008, with 16.2 (close to the older LTA). Other than these two years the only other year ending in "8" since 1868, which saw a July CET breach 16.0*C was 1928 (16.1). It is certainly a statistical quirk that all the 14 years ending in "8" from 1878 to 2008 all had a July that was cooler than average except for two that were around average.
  6. It looks absolutely shocking that, with an easterly QBO and declining solar activity and only a weak La Nina we still get a January that is a degree or more above the long term average (1971-2000 and 1961-90 LTAs), and it was still over 0.8*C above the 1981-2010 LTA. This is to say that despite the above factors it was not far from the Januarys of 2014 and 2016 (both with westerly QBOs and around or just after solar maximum, the latter also with a strong El Nino). The sort of January CET that we have just had despite the easterly QBO, declining solar activity etc, makes you wonder if it is even possible for the UK to see winters like 2009-10, Dec 2010, or even winter 2012-13 again. January 2018 was a bit of a failed month, as only the first few days and a number of days in the last week really saw proper mild synoptics (SW'lies). At times the synoptics looked promising for cold (a build of HP over Scandinavia in the second week not coming to anything for an easterly, and cold zonality in the third week; although one of the better examples of cold polar maritime zonality in recent years, it didn't amount to anything significant of the likes of January 1984, so for a good chunk of the month the synoptics got half way to a significant cold spell, but never quite came together. Jan 2018 synoptics just go to show that every bit of the whole pattern has to fall into place accurately to bring a significant cold spell to the UK, and unfortunately last month it got half way there but didn't make it fully.
  7. No, February 2008 was not cold. It was a mild month overall with some very warm days in the second week, although there were a few days that were colder and frosty during the third week under a mid-latitude block. Feb 2008 was certainly not a month that brought any cold synoptics at all. Winter 2007-08 was a mild one overall although there were spells of weather that were colder in the spring, in the late part of March and in early to mid April.
  8. North-Easterly Blast

    Winter 2017 2018 General Discussion

    Well if you look at it, background signals in the last four winters such as the QBO, solar activity, and ENSO status never looked good for cold prospects. 2013-14 came in a solar maximum, westerly QBO - never a good combination for winter cold in the UK - but the exceptional lack of cold weather during winter 2013-14 was certainly extreme. 2014-15 looked a bit better with an easterly QBO, but still just after a solar maximum, so still suggested that a cold winter was less likely - and we got a winter that was near or a touch above normal. 2015-16, westerly QBO, strong EL Nino, a combination of which were bad for a cold winter - and we got the warmest December on record, then a Jan / Feb that remained milder than average, but not as markedly so as in Dec. 2016-17, westerly QBO, weak La Nina, declining solar activity, slightly better than 15-16 and 13-14, and we still got another milder than average winter, although Jan 2017 was closer to average, but a bit of a failed month, as HP never set up favourably to bring a really cold spell. Winter 2017-18 all these background signals looked more favourable for the chances of cold weather this winter to be better than the last four winters, and it is just a disappointment that so far there has been no sign a significant cold spell in the UK - with the rest of January looking unlikely to come to much now, it only leaves February, which could deliver something, but then again it might not.
  9. North-Easterly Blast

    Winter 2017 2018 General Discussion

    As we face another winter unlikely to deliver a significant cold spell to the UK - with the rest of January now looking unlikely to deliver much. OK there is still February that could deliver something, but then again it might not. Yet with only a weak La Nina, declining solar activity, and an easterly QBO it is now looking as though we could still be facing another milder than average winter for the UK. Background signals for winter 2017-18 like solar activity, the easterly QBO, and a weak La Nina all looked promising for a better chance of cold weather this winter in the UK than in at least any winter since 2012-13. I have to say that these sort of background signals have never looked good for the chances of cold weather in the last four winters. I think that this week we have certainly seen cold polar maritime zonality (a rarity in winters over the last 30 years), with a number of areas further north particularly with elevation seeing snowfall, but this week has certainly been very lacksture in cold zonality, compared to the sort of cold zonal spells in January 1984. Surely an easterly QBO, declining solar activity, and a weak phase of La Nina should have brought a good chance that this current winter would at least be a significant improvement on the last four winters in the UK from a cold perspective. So what is going wrong with winter 2017-18? With the background signals this year if we cannot at least manage the coldest winter since 2012-13, then a question has to be asked is; are cold winters on the scale of 2009-10, intense cold spells like December 2010, or are even relatively cold winters on the scale of 2012-13 possible in the UK any more.
  10. North-Easterly Blast

    Model output discussion - into 2018

    To me when weather forecasters call day temps of 5*C cold in winter - I would more likely describe that as cool - 5*C in the day is hardly what I would call cold in mid winter.
  11. December 2017 ended up a very close to average month, by the standards of recent years and the whole of the 1900s - in the last 100 years, 45 Decembers were colder, two had the same CET, and 52 were warmer. Although temperatures were close to average, at least all the colder spells came from proper cold synoptics (not mid latitude Rex blocks), and a number of places have seen some snowfall both in the second week, and in a few colder days between Christmas and New Year.
  12. We will most likely end this month similar to the CET for December 2012 after adjustments. It is going to be tight as to whether we beat 2012's 4.8 and see the coldest December for seven years. December 2017 is looking like a very average December for the CET, compared to both recent years, and the average for the whole of the 1900s as a whole. At least this month all the cold spells have come from proper cold synoptics, and not mid-latitude Rex blocks (Faux cold) like we saw in months such as December 2007, and to some extent in late December last year.
  13. North-Easterly Blast

    White Christmas 2018

    I think that there have been very few years where most of the UK away from high ground in the north have seen snowfall on Christmas Day. In recent years Christmas 2010 saw snow on the ground from earlier falls, as did 1981, but nowhere saw snow falling in either of those. Parts of Britain also had snow on the ground on Christmas Day 2009, although I do not think that very many places actually saw falling snow. I believe that a number of places saw falling snow on Christmas Day 2004, although there was no widespread snow cover. I think a few parts of the country saw falling snow on Christmas Day 2000 but I do not think very many places actually saw it settle. If anyone can think of any more wintry Christmases in recent years, they are welcome to add more to my list.
  14. Last year (2016) the second half of December was colder than the first half (7.0 first half, 5.0 second half). In the 1990s and 2000s many Decembers were actually colder in the second half compared to the first half. In recent years the Decembers of 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 had a warmer second half than the first, with 2012 being the largest swing (2.5 to 7.1).