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Thundery wintry showers

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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
  • Birthday 22/06/84

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    East Exeter, Devon
  • Interests
    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. Strangely the lightning detector on the radar suggests that the lightning fizzled as it approached Exeter, but in fact there's been a lot of lightning around here, especially just to the south, during the past two hours, not so much to the north. Probably the most spectacular thunderstorm that I've seen since the 18 July 2012 one in Norwich.
  2. Here in Exeter this has been a month of very marked contrasts- we had that exceptional hot and sunny spell from the 17th to 21st, with maxima between 27 and 30C for five consecutive days which is somewhat unusual for Devon, but the early part of the month was dull and wet, and since the 22nd it's been mainly dull with the odd spot of drizzle. Funnily enough June 1976 had below average sunshine over much of western and northern Scotland despite the near-nationwide hot sunny spell at the end, but I think we'd be hard pushed to find a summer month for London that had a similarly large temperature deviation but below average sunshine. It's an oddity that we'll probably see more of as our climate warms. Looking further back, the Junes of 1966 and 1982 were warm (but not as warm as this June) but dull and wet for most, although in the case of 1966, Heathrow was one of the few locations in the UK that had slightly above average sunshine. Those two Junes were also rather different in character to this one, with frequent cyclonic/southerly regimes and a high frequency of thunder.
  3. When I was little I believed that I hated hot weather, and everybody seemed to be going on about how 30C was bliss, and nowadays I welcome heat in brief doses and lots of people say this is selfish because of the misery and inconvenience that it causes. You just can't win sometimes! I generally find low 20s most comfortable (high teens are also fine if it's sunny and not too windy) but welcome short spells of high 20s and even low 30s mainly for variety and novelty value. I must admit that this recent heatwave got a bit too much for me after the first few days, the main problem being the duration, which was the longest in June since the very famous one in 1976. As for the upcoming spell of weather, I don't think it will be a washout, with fronts moving across the country relatively infrequently, but it may well turn out persistently cloudy for many. Probably a bit dreich in the north at times but with comfortable temperatures in the south.
  4. 1966 has often intrigued me, as June was the warmest month of that year, but it was also the dullest June on record in Scotland by a fair margin. It was also an unusually thundery month in many places. Frequent cyclonic/southerly regimes appear to have been the culprit, and given the surprising lack of sunshine, there were probably a lot of slow-moving fronts over Scotland. As for the current month, it seems very difficult to get a run of significantly below-average temperatures at the moment with plenty of anomalous warmth around the extratropical Northern Hemisphere, propagating up to the 850hPa level. The GFS ensembles are consistently going 1-2C above the long-term normal out into Fantasy Island range.
  5. Interesting, albeit scary, to see that the sea ice volume anomaly increased during May despite a relatively slow reduction in the sea ice extent. NSIDC shows the melt rate accelerating somewhat over the last couple of days, fuelled by relatively warm air masses over the Barents/Kara region as well as notably warm air over the Chukchi, Beaufort and East Siberian seas. http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/ Forecasts from the GFS and ECMWF look rather concerning with high pressure remaining persistent over the region with the thickest sea ice, and also maintaining relatively warm air masses over the Barents/Kara and Chukchi/Beaufort/East Siberian seas. Even the cold air close to the North Pole looks like being mixed out in about a week's time, so we could well see 2017 catch up with 2016 in two or three weeks' time.
  6. It's surprising that, according to NSIDC, the rate of sea ice melt hasn't sped up during the past week despite the emergence of a dipole anomaly, although the strength of the dipole and the input of warm air masses into the Arctic Ocean have both been rather weaker than previously projected by the GFS and ECMWF models. Some relativvely warm air from central Eurasia may introduce some melting around the Barents/Kara area in the next week, where the sea ice extent is currently high for recent years, but at the same time we may see a let-up in the warm anomalies around the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. I agree, we're currently in an interesting position given the low health of the ice but rather larger extent than this time last year.
  7. Both Exeter and my parents' in North Yorkshire got proper big thunderstorms today.  Staying up at my parents' this weekend, but due to an ill-timed trip to South Shields, I contrived to miss the whole lot!

    1. Daniel*


      That's most unfortunate zilch here in SE London

  8. 1975 and 1984 spring to mind, and 1994 was another decent example in some areas of the country. That said, I have a feeling that this year's June could well end up as another dull wet one with southerly tracking lows.
  9. Interestingly this year's sea ice anomaly distribution is much the opposite of where it was at this time in 2012, this time we have near average sea extent on the North Atlantic side, including the Barents and Kara seas, and below average extent around the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas. In 2012 the Barents/Kara area was the main area with abnormally low amounts of sea ice. The impending dipole anomaly pattern is likely to displace more sea ice over towards the North Atlantic side and enhance the negative anomalies in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. In the short term this may not necessarily result in big net losses because it may also help slow the rate of melt in the Atlantic sector, but in the long run it may well contribute to massive losses later in the season when the sea ice bordering North Atlantic regions breaks up and melts out, leaving, well, not much beyond the immediate vicinity of the North Pole.
  10. The GFS operational runs and ECMWF ensemble means continue to suggest a dipole anomaly pattern setting up in about 7-9 days' time with high pressure over the Arctic Ocean, which would accelerate the (recently fairly slow) rate of melt: That said, tonight's ECMWF operational run didn't go along with this, so it's not a certainty yet.
  11. Summer 1912 in Durham was pretty vile by the looks of it: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/pub/data/weather/uk/climate/stationdata/durhamdata.txt Relative to the relatively conservative 1961-1990 period, sunshine was 46% of normal, rainfall 179% of normal and the mean max temperature was 2.4C below normal. The temperature and sunshine stats would look even bleaker compared with more recent reference periods.
  12. Arctic sea ice extent currently looking less exceptionally low according to NSIDC, creeping within 2 standard deviations of the mean: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/ Despite this, though, I think the 2012 record is still potentially under serious threat, due to the continued record sea ice volume anomaly, and the emergence of large areas of low sea ice concentration around the edges of the ice sheet. I'm expecting May 2017 to have a similarly high rate of melt to May 2016, which would leave us comfortably at second lowest by the end of the month, and ahead of 2012.
  13. I think Mark Selby is a very worthy champion this year, a fitting conclusion to his dominance of the World No. 1 spot over the season. I don't think any other player would have beaten Ding Junhui in the form he was in, and also produced some outstanding shots at times.
  14. I'm hoping it will be close but I'd rather Mark Selby wins it because I think he's been the stronger player over the tournament as a whole- he was outstanding in his 13-3 thrashing of Marco Fu and I don't think any other player would have beaten Ding Junhui in that semi-final with the form Ding was in. I'm pleased for John Higgins with his return to form though. I think, though, there's a good chance that Mark Selby will win and that it won't be close.
  15. In the South Shields/Sunderland area there were sleety showers on the 18th, snow showers on the 19th but they didn't lie, and then on the early morning of the 20th the snow did lie to a depth of about 2cm, by which time showers were mostly confined to eastern areas. At Cleadon I recorded a maximum of only 3.8C on the 20th, although it was still quite marginal for lying snow with a minimum of 0.7C that day. I recall that there were reports of wintry showers from the Exeter area on the 19th and 20th also.