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North-Easterly Blast

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  1. The last time we had a really cold April was way back in 1989 with 6.6*C. The coldest of recent times was 2012 that saw 7.2*C. 1986 was notably cold at 5.8*C, and the coldest since 1922 I believe. April really fits the trend seen in some other months as well - the lack of a really cold February for a long time sticks out as well; not had a really cold one since 1991. January has also only been a significantly cold month once in the last 30 odd years as well and that was 2010. Apart from 2013, there have also been very few cold Marches in the last 30 odd years as well.
  2. What I was saying is that although the calendar says that we have just had a February, its temperatures and overall weather in the UK was more typical of a month from mid March to mid April, so although the calendar may have not skipped February, the weather this year has certainly suddenly slipped from January to a mid March to mid April period. It could turn out that this year the British Weather has two Marches or even three Aprils and no February. The only thing in relation to February that last month was, would be something like the "February equivalent" of March 2012. That month was a very warm March with the maximum average very high, and had some notably warm days (by March standards) in the final third of that month, with widespread maxima close to 20*C and a few places up to 72-73*F. Even further back there was the likes of Marches 1948 and 1938 (very much "March" equivalents of Feb 2019) both of which had many notably warm days for March.
  3. The calendar may say that we are just finishing the month of February, but weather and climate wise have we really had a February? How can anyone possibly say that we have had a February this year, instead that we have suddenly skipped from January to March or even April. The CET for this February is very likely to fall between the average for March and April, and the exceptionally warm second half of this February would be very typical of an average decent fortnight during April.
  4. It just makes you wonder how May 1833 delivered a CET of 15.1, which is 1.2 warmer than any other May. It is more difficult to get as large a positive anomaly in the late spring as it is during the winter months, so May 1833 is not far short of being just as extreme as December 2015 was. May 1833 is certainly a very old record that no May even in recent times has ever come anywhere near.
  5. Although the monthly CET series dates back to 1659, we only have the daily CET values from 1772. Certainly the second half of February 2018 (likely to come in around 8.9 to 9.0) will be the warmest in the daily CET record since 1772, beating the old record (by 0.5*C) of 8.4 in 1846 and 1926. That said the first half of February 1869 had a CET of 8.8, so I would say that this was as exceptional as the second half of February 2019 has been.
  6. Yes, it seems that Feb 1891 had a notable warm spell at the end in an otherwise average month. With a CET in Feb 1779 of 7.9 (probably around 1*C more than this year is likely to be) I find it hard to believe that there was not a notable warm spell on the scale of this week at some point in the month. In fact the overall CET for this month is likely to come in somewhere between the averages for March and April, so the sort of temperatures we have seen this month would be a typical average of a mid March to mid April period.
  7. What I interpret from this is that even in a winter where the background signals are good (eQBO, low solar activity, no strong ENSO anomaly either way, a decent SSW), it is of no guarantee that blocking will set up favourably to influence our small part of the world with severe cold spells. That said, certainly for a winter where the background signals were not poor in the way that they were in 2015-16 or at the time of solar maximum in 2013-14, when a much milder than average winter was favoured; winter 2018-19 has certainly been a very poor and disappointing affair for cold in the UK.
  8. At the start of this winter when we saw what was the second warmest December CET in the last 30 years, I did some research on similarly mild Decembers to 2018, and what the rest of each winter was like. Given that Dec 2018 had a CET of 6.9, and the fact that there has never been a December with a CET of 7.0 or 7.1, I looked at all Decembers that had a CET between 6.6 (the low end) and 7.2 (the high end), which would fit 2018 just in the middle of this range of Decembers with a similar CET to 2018, and looked at what the CETs were for the following January and February. Here are my results: (the December CET is the first value, January the second, and February the third value) 1953-54: 6.9 2.9 2.6 1918-19: 6.9 2.9 1.9 1833-34: 6.9 7.1 5.6 1827-28: 6.9 5.1 5.2 1954-55: 6.8 2.6 1.2 1924-25: 6.8 5.3 5.2 1806-07: 6.8 2.8 3.7 1942-43: 6.7 4.9 6.1 1912-13: 6.7 4.5 4.8 1971-72: 6.6 3.9 4.3 1795-96: 6.6 7.3 4.7 1842-43: 7.2 4.0 1.9 1868-69: 7.2 5.6 7.5 1900-01: 7.2 3.5 2.3 Looking at the above list of Decembers that had a similar CET to 2018 (6.9 -0.3 - +0.3), the results are very mixed in relation to the rest of the winter, with some remaining very mild (1868-69, 1795-96, 1833-34), and some that turned much colder (1953-54, 1954-55, 1918-19, 1900-01, also another one with a cold Feb after an average Jan, also some that remained rather mild in Jan and Feb though unexceptionally so (1924-25, 1827-28), and another couple that were close to or slightly above average in Jan / Feb (1912-13, 1971-72). Putting it all together, the average January CET following a Dec CET from 6.6 to 7.2 is 4.5*C, and the average February CET following a Dec CET in this range is 4.1*C. When it comes to where the rest of the 2018-19 winter will fit into the above list after a December with a similar CET to 2018, I would say that the closest match will be 1942-43. This winter had a December just short of but similar to 2018, then a Jan a bit colder but slightly above 2019, then a mild February but not quite as mild as 2019 is likely to come out at.
  9. Very much like many of the 30 years or so since 1988 have been, I think also that the mid Victorian era was poor at times for cold weather in February, so long before the days of global warming, February still went through a poor time for cold for a number of years.
  10. During the 2010s the Februarys have tended to be either well above average (6*C+), close to average (around 4*C), and three have been below average (closer to 3*C), with only Feb 2016 seeing a CET anywhere between 4.1 and 6.0. Pretty remarkable that four Februarys in the 2010s will have recorded a 6+ CET, with only one February in the 2010s recording a CET anywhere between 4.1 and 6.0. Although the lack of a really cold February still goes on, we have at least during the 2010s managed three relatively cold Februarys, all three of which were colder than any January in the 2010s with the exception of 2010.
  11. I think it is highly unlikely that this February will match the CET of 7.9 set way back in 1779, or even the 7.5 in 1869, although it could well top 7*C. Another point worth noting is that given the record high temperatures above 20*C in some parts of the country this week, we do not have any data on individual days of temperatures from the historic warm February in 1779. We do not even have any data from back in 1779 of what the CET maximum or minimum was for that month. Given how extraordinary Feb 1779 was in terms of overall CET, I think that it is very likely that at some point that month parts of the UK could have seen temperatures matching the levels of this week.
  12. The Met Office have done well at times in LRFs for cold spells, they were consistent from early Feb 2018 that a cold easterly pattern would take hold. Thinking back to the Dec 2010 severe spell the UKMO were consistent in their LRF from early Nov 2010 that a severe cold spell was on the way. Although at times they have not always spotted serious cold, if I remember winter 2009-10 overall turned out to be much colder than the UKMO suggested in their LRF at the time. I am not sure that the UKMO were consistent in their LRFs in predicting the cold spells in the 2012-13 winter either.
  13. In that 12 month period, including all the notable months that you mention, every month was much warmer than average, with only one month in that 12 month period being close to average (Aug 2006). The 12 months from May 2006 to April 2007 were virtually the warm equivalent of 1740. The last occasion that the 12 month rolling CET reached 11*C was in the period from Dec 2013 to Nov 2014 (11.01), and in this period every month, with the exception of Aug 2014, was much warmer than average. There is a significant chance that we could surpass this during the next month or two, and see the warmest 12 month period in the CET since 2007.
  14. Although SSW increases the chance of a cold spell, it does not guarantee that blocking will set up favourably to influence our small part of the world with cold. I wonder if anyone has any data to indicate the number or proportion of SSW events that brought notable cold spells to the UK?
  15. 7*C would be cold in comparison to the widespread 15*C+ that many areas of the country are seeing at the moment, but 7*C would certainly not be what you would call cold in comparison to the overall average for early March. 2 to 3*C in the day is more like what you could call cold in early March.
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