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Thundery wintry showers

Long range forecast team
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Thundery wintry showers last won the day on November 12 2012

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About Thundery wintry showers

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    Cumulonimbus Incus

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    East Exeter, Devon
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    Weather (of course!), chess, music, computer gaming, social events, football, tenpin bowling, environmental issues
  • Weather Preferences
    Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.

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  1. It probably would have been, as the north of England had significant thunderstorms on the night of the 11th/12th July 1995 and the storms were gradually moving north-east.
  2. For Friday highest pressure looks set to be centred over western and south-western Britain, although I think the GFS may be overdoing its central pressure, comparing with the UKMO and ECMWF which have it at nearer 1030mb. I expect that this will mean plenty of warm sunshine for western areas but with that northerly flow eastern areas will probably be somewhat cloudier with isolated showers, probably stratocumulus trapped underneath a cap. Not sure about the posts referencing only weak ridges of high pressure - the UKMO admittedly has rather tentative ridging with westerlies over the top of the high which would promote a north-south split, but the GFS and especially ECMWF have a high of around 1025-1028mb central pressure sitting over a large portion of the UK around days 7-10. I would expect the cloud in eastern areas to dissipate in that setup with a large majority of the country seeing warm sunshine. The latter stages of the ECMWF run look potentially hot and thundery which is an outcome that I've been envisaging for late-June for some time, although my confidence in the hot thundery scenario is waning with a good chance of the high being too strong.
  3. Thundery wintry showers

    Things that tick you off?

    Worse than that for me is being subsequently told to be a good loser: after completely thrashing the opponent only to pot the black ball with one of my own balls remaining, or go in-off when legitimately potting the black, being told to say "well played" to the opponent and acknowledge that I lost because the opponent played better.
  4. Thundery wintry showers

    Arctic melt Season 2018

    NSIDC figures indeed suggest minimal ice losses but significant drops in ice concentrations where the warm air masses have been coming in. http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/ It hasn't been as bad as I'd feared though, as it's happened over a relatively small area. I was envisaging possible ice losses very near the North Pole.
  5. I may have been a day out with the Leeds thunderstorm then - I wasn't entirely sure if it was 2 or 3 July. In Leeds it was a sunny and fairly hazy day and then the line of cumulonimbus cells loomed out of the haze and became clearly visible once the sun went behind them at around 5-6pm. After 8pm there was a good couple of hours of thunder and lightning. I'm guessing that it was probably the same set of cells which probably went through Manchester at 5-8pm and Leeds at 8-11pm.
  6. Thundery wintry showers

    Arctic melt Season 2018

    It looks pretty scary to me - I can't remember ever seeing 850hPa temperatures above 5C so widely so near the North Pole in mid June before. The GFS looks more apocalyptic than the ECMWF, sustaining that sort of warmth over the Siberian side of the pole for over a week, while the ECMWF has been consistent in suggesting a few days of this regime followed by a moderating of the extreme warmth. It will be interesting to see whether the ice on that side of the pole can hold much ground against it, but according to NSIDC there are already pockets of low sea ice concentration in the affected area. On the other hand like Geordiesnow suggested it looks like staying relatively cool and cloudy over the region where most sea ice has tended to survive the summer melt in recent years.
  7. In Cleadon in south Tyneside, 3 August 1994 was a very big one, which also continued on and off overnight. My parents' house actually got hit by lightning, taking out the alarm system. 2 June 2002 saw frequent lightning on and off for a few hours, as did 10 August 2003 (yes, the day that the south-east saw a new national temperature record). The summers of 2007 and 2011 were quite thundery while I was there but lacked particularly noteworthy storms, and I narrowly missed out on the very big one on 28 June 2012, having relocated just six days earlier. I had a couple of big ones in the 2005/06 academic year in Leeds, the biggest being that of 31 August 2005, but those of 12 May, 12 June and 3 July 2006 were also quite spectacular. Norwich was a prime location for thunderstorms when I lived there: I had an impressive hailstorm with thunder and lightning on 11 April 2008 and there were a couple of big ones in early August that year. 30 July 2009 had a few separate storms on the one day, also 18 July 2012. I've spent some time living in North Yorkshire, where one day in early August 2012 had near-continuous thunder from about 11am to 3pm despite being sunny for the majority of the time, and the storm of 19 July 2014 was pretty good. I went on holiday to Ireland in July 2013 and fortuitously ended up in the Dumfries area on 23 July 2013 when an area of impressive thunderstorms went up the western side of Scotland. In Exeter I saw some quite impressive thunderstorms on 15 June 2009, 16 October 2014 and more recently 19 July 2017. I was away from the area during the Exeter thunderstorms of 26 May 2018 unfortunately.
  8. Thundery wintry showers

    Summer 2018 - Moans, Ramps, Chat etc

    Recapping on this post, it may be that it isn't necessarily much harder to sustain settled conditions, but it does seem to be much harder to sustain settled and consistently sunny conditions. There's a bizarre quirk in the UK's sunshine series from 1910 which shows that only three Augusts averaged over 200 hours of sunshine for the UK as a whole (i.e. 1947, 1995 and 1976) but all three had over 240 hours. In each case high pressure covering a large majority of the UK was primarily responsible. https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/pub/data/weather/uk/climate/datasets/Sunshine/ranked/UK.txt In contrast numerous Mays, Junes and Julys averaged over 200 hours of sunshine. My guess is that it's probably to do with August having weaker solar heating than May, June and July, meaning that low cloud doesn't burn off as readily during the daytime and so there is a stronger requirement for anticyclones to be placed favourably to get reliably sunny weather. An extreme case of this was the last week of August 2008, which brought a fairly settled and warm spell but ironically for many it was even cloudier than the wet few weeks that preceded it, due to a moist westerly flow on the northern flank of the high pressure. A more typical example was the second half of August 2003, which was mostly dry and anticyclonic but sunshine, while above the normal for most, tended to be variable rather than consistent. As for Summer 2018, I, too, am seeing parallels with 1992, with a lot of the signals suggesting a relatively anticyclonic June and cyclonic August, but this summer is likely to be a somewhat warmer version as the global temperature dropped considerably in 1992 due to the Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991.
  9. Thundery wintry showers

    June 2018 C.E.T. forecasts and optional EWP contest

    CET 15.8C, EWP 46.2mm.
  10. Thundery wintry showers

    Arctic melt Season 2018

    The Arctic sea ice extent is currently tracking clear second lowest after 2016. https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/ However 2016 had a marked drop-off in the melt rate in June so we will probably need another cloudy cool June over the Arctic Ocean to avoid having the lowest sea ice extent on record by the end of June. There is a marked divergence between today's GFS operational runs and its ensembles, with the operational runs suggesting a relatively cyclonic pattern setting up over the Arctic Ocean at around day 10, but in contrast the ensemble mean is suggesting a signifcant chance of the Arctic dipole anomaly setting up. The latter would be a concerning evolution in view of the potential for the atmospheric circulation to take warm air from the open Bering Sea over to the pole.
  11. Thundery wintry showers

    Windows Creaters Spring update

    I have a desktop PC which had Windows 10 pre-installed from the beginning, and a laptop which got upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10. My app settings seem to be a lot more prone to resetting back to the defaults with successive updates on the laptop, not sure if the fact that it was originally a Windows 7 machine is contributing to bugs in the app default handling. For example a recent minor update reset all of my folder view settings back to the defaults. This time around the picture viewer changed back to "Photos" with the 1803 update (note that there are some file types for which "Photos" doesn't even work!) On the plus side my laptop did not get the ChessBase or slow down problems that I encountered on my desktop.
  12. Thundery wintry showers

    Windows Creaters Spring update

    I, too, had trouble with this update on my desktop PC - it slowed my computer to a crawl after the first couple of restarts, it corrupted my ChessBase registration (requiring me to re-register my product key), and it wasted no opportunity to (unsuccessfully) give me another shove in the direction of Microsoft's recommended privacy and internet browsing defaults. After a couple of days it sped up to near normal though.
  13. Yeah, 1989 is often a "forgotten summer" because it wasn't as outstanding as 1976 or 1995 for heat or drought, and ranked slightly behind them for June-August sunshine in most parts of the UK, but the May-August sunshine totals beat those of both 1976 and 1995 (from https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/pub/data/weather/uk/climate/datasets/Sunshine/ranked/UK.txt ). I vaguely recall long runs of predominantly sunny days in South Shields, although I was only five years old at the time. Taking the UK as a whole May 1989 was the sunniest May on record, July was the 4th sunniest July, and August was the 7th sunniest August, and June, while less exceptional, was still comfortably inside the top 20.
  14. The decent August you're recalling from the early 80s was most likely 1981. There were some spectacular thunderstorms in parts of the country in the first week of that month, and then a fair amount of warm dry sunny weather (though not exceptionally so). The first half of June 1995 was dominated by northerly and north-westerly winds and a prominent mid-Atlantic high, a pattern that had also been responsible for several cold snaps during the preceding spring. I recall that the first nine days were predominantly cloudy and showery, although the 7th and 9th had a decent amount of sunshine in between. Then the Arctic air got mixed out by stable Scandinavian air and the 10th-15th were cool, dry and cloudy for most. After a brief westerly interlude the high then settled on top of Britain from the 21st onwards. Lancaster had 84 hours of sunshine in the first 20 days and a staggering 148 hours in the last 10 days. Interestingly both 1976 and 1995 saw an anomalously high frequency of southerly winds in July, but not much of an anticyclonic bias, while August of both years was very anticyclonic. 1947 was another year with a very anticyclonic August following frequent southerlies in June and July, although the stats suggest that June and July 1947 were much cloudier and wetter than June/July 1976 and July 1995. July 1994 was also unusually "southerly". The summer of 1994 was also quite thundery in Tyneside with particularly big ones on 24 and 30 July and 3/4 August. The summers of 1993 and 1998 both contained a marked north-south split month (June 1993, August 1998) with plenty of dry sunny weather for the south but cloudier weather further north. I think summer 1993 has the better reputation mainly because August 1993, although notably cool, contained a couple of generally dry sunny anticyclonic spells, whereas June and July 1998, apart from a brief heatwave for some around the 20th of both months, saw the westerly/cyclonic regime interrupted by only brief transitional ridges of high pressure from the Azores.
  15. Thundery wintry showers

    Summer 2018 - Moans, Ramps, Chat etc

    June 1980 was a notably thundery month in many areas so might at least have generated a fair amount of interest in the convection/storms area. The first week was hot and thundery and the period 22nd-26th had sunshine mixed with slow-moving thundery downpours over much of the country. The rest of the month appears to have been a washout though and July's stats point to a cool and grey month for most. The Met Office's Monthly Weather Report shows how much of a washout July 1988 was for a large majority of the country, with a cyclonic first week followed by a near-relentless stream of cloud and rain at frequent intervals from a west to south-west flow. According to that link the highest temperature recorded anywhere in the UK was 24.7C, but according to Philip Eden's 1995 book Weatherwise Plymouth got no higher than 18.3C (a value which, amusingly, got exceeded on 28 days out of 31 in July 1989). The month however highlighted one of the big ironies of the Tyne and Wear climate - sometimes that area ends up among the sunniest areas of the UK when we get long spells of cloudy west to south-westerlies, due to a "cloud shadow" effect in the lee of the Pennines, and thus it was one of the very few areas to reach near average sunshine in July 1988. The other extreme was highlighted in July 1983 when this region was plagued by haar and most of the rest of the UK had a sunny and exceptionally hot month.