Thundery wintry showers

Long range forecast team
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About Thundery wintry showers

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    Cumulonimbus Incus
  • Birthday 22/06/84

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  • Location
    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. There is fairly strong support for cold northerlies into early November, though Knocker is right about the caveats, especially at this time range. Those expecting widespread snow from the northerly, though it is not unheard of at this time of year, are likely to be disappointed, because the Arctic will be anomalously warm for early November, partly as a consequence of the very amplified weather pattern, and unlike on 26/27 October 2012 (when, remarkably, many north-eastern districts saw snow in October despite the abnormal warmth around the Barents Sea that year), we are unlikely to tap into a localised cold pool to the east of Greenland. NOAA's 8-14 day outlook strongly highlights the impending north-western blocking: With the MJO likely to hang around phase 7-8, a transition to less settled and rather cool weather is likely into early November with frequent north-westerly and northerly winds, perhaps cold enough for some wintry precipitation in the north if the pattern keeps up for long enough into the first half of November, but a less cold west to north-westerly type could also develop. However, at present things do look remarkably different to how they did this time last year.
  2. Being based down in usually-snowless south Devon nowadays, I may have to take one or two well-timed breaks up to Norfolk or North Yorkshire this winter to see any significant lying snow, although we do get a surprising amount of frost down here, and anticyclonic gloom seems to be less common than in most other parts of Britain. There are two main winter setups that can bring snow events down here, the "easterly undercutter" (fronts moving along the English Channel to the south of an established arctic continental or arctic maritime air mass, the most famous being in February 1978) or a notably potent north to north-westerly. The period 17th-20th December 2010 had one followed by the other, resulting in about 20cm of snow. I was down here in February 2009 when Exeter picked up an inch of snow cover from a somewhat rare setup: snow showers making it all the way across from the North Sea on an easterly flow, followed by low pressure developing to the west and wrapping the polar continental air around itself, which came up via a south to south-westerly flow on the 3rd, bringing heavy wintry showers in off the English Channel. Ideally I would like a varied but mostly colder than average winter with at least a couple of instances of the above "South West snow setups". As for what I think will happen, I am also thinking along the lines of a watered-down version of 2010/11, perhaps similar to 1998/99 but with the cold blocked conditions persisting well into December (in 1998 they fizzled out around 7 December). The anomalous warmth of the Arctic might make conditions somewhat marginal for snow, however, especially for the east-coast counties that picked up a few snow events from northerlies in the 1998/99 winter.
  3. One factor is that you may end up focusing your attention on the thunderstorm and being fully present, and therefore relegating thoughts about potentially stressful matters.
  4. As I often get overwhelmed with the number of acronyms nowadays, my "solution" is... to think up new ones! How about... BRitain Expresses Xenophobia In Transition.
  5. I remember playing Connect 4 a lot when I was younger. I've had a few recent opportunities to play it as an adult, too, on special occasions when my work put out a large Connect 4 set at lunchtime!
  6. Quite a boring summer in Exeter. There was only one thunder-day (16th June) and few in the way of bright showery convective days apart from a spell around mid-June. Exeter isn't the greatest location in the UK for thunderstorms, but to have only one thunder-day in the whole summer is unusual, and contrasted with the thundery year in 2014. For comparison, the summer of 2015 had 3 thunder-days. June didn't actually seem as bad to me as the statistics suggested, there were certainly quite a few warm sunny days early in the month, although also several dull but dry days. The second half was often cloudy and wet, however. July was the kind of summer month where my personal rating falls short of that of the general public. It was quite warm and very dry, with about 10mm of rain, and yet sunshine was below normal. Those surprising stats reflect the high frequency of cloudy, stable westerly regimes on the northern edge of the ridging Azores High. I always thought the South West was the region of the UK where the dry-sunny relationship tended to hold the most strongly, but not this time. But the dry-sunny relationship did hold up pretty well during August. This was easily the sunniest month of the summer, and although rainfall wasn't far from average, a lot of that fell on the 1st. In general a lot of pleasant weather but nothing notable and nothing over 24C, the region living up to its name of housing the English Riviera. This summer, to my mind, showed broad similarities with Summer 1998, which in the south also had a dull wet June, a dry but cloudy July, and a dry sunny August. It has been rather warmer though in all three months. Overall my rating is straight down the middle. June 4/10, July 5/10, August 7/10, overall approx. 5.3/10
  7. I think my #1 is November 2010, as it ranked high for variety as well as having that phenomenal cold spell in the last week with widespread thundersnow in the north-east. In Norwich, where I was, snow showers were frequent from the 25th to 29th inclusive. For those reasons I'd put it marginally ahead of the following December, although there's not much in it between them. I also gave serious consideration to March 1995 and July 2006.
  8. June's maximum temperatures had a NW-SE split, with the south-east and some North Sea coasts having slightly below average maxima (more than offset by high minima) but in most of the west, the positive anomaly was comparably high by day and night in many areas. This was reflected by the sunshine figures: an extremely dull June in the south-east (where it was also wet) but only slightly below average sunshine for much of Scotland and northern England. I expected July to be cloudy and westerly-dominated, but didn't expect the brief heatwave last week which has lifted the month's mean temperature above the long-term normal in most areas, including the Central England Temperature zone. July 2016 hasn't been particularly wet in many parts of the east and south, but the frequency of rain (rather than the quantity) and shortage of sunshine fuels the general perception of a poor summer month. I remember Philip Eden in Weather Log said the same of July 1998 in the Midlands, south-east and East Anglia, where the month was actually dry despite being unsettled, cool and fairly cloudy.
  9. 10 July 2015 had scattered thunderstorms across the South West which were almost completely unforecast. Hoping for something like that later this evening, but I think to be honest, most of tonight's thundery activity is likely to be reserved for Wales, the far west of northern England and southern and western Scotland, together with parts of Ireland (especially eastern Ireland).. I saw a surprisingly big thunderstorm when staying in a hotel near Dumfries on 23 July 2013 and it looks like that area could well be a hotspot this time around too. The lightning activity will probably fade once the band gets into northern Scotland. Tomorrow afternoon may see some heavy thundery showers kick off in some eastern areas, particularly NE England.
  10. I'm pretty sure that the weather stations were attached to the regional weather centres, and so my guess is that when the Met Office went the "business rationalisation" route and closed most of the regional weather centres (the aim being to have just a few regional centres rather than many), the associated weather stations closed as well. I remember having a trip to the Newcastle Weather Centre in 1996, and by around 2000 there was talk of the weather centre closing. For example, the London Weather Centre is still open and so is its weather station.
  11. I think there was a site at Manchester Weather Centre but that closed before the Leeds one. The regional weather centres got shut down in the 2000s and so did the accompanying weather stations. Newcastle Weather Centre shut in October 2005. Most people tend to live in urban areas but not right in the central business district, so the most commonly-experienced minima will probably be a little below those at the Weather Centres but rather above those at the standard Met Office observing sites. Even in inner city areas there can be a significant difference between the central business district and areas slightly further out. On the morning of 4 March 2006, I remember walking across Hyde Park at Leeds in about 2-3cm of lying snow. The covering was more partial around Leeds University, and in the central business district there was no lying snow at all, just 30 minutes' walk away from Hyde Park.
  12. That's a concern- it showed up on a couple of yesterday's GFS runs as well, with central, southern and eastern England largely missing out and the north having just "thundery rain", i.e. frontal rain with the odd bit of thunder. West Cornwall and west Wales would probably end up as the most thunder-hit areas. For now UKMO and ECMWF still appear to have the main "trigger low" further east, which would cause a more widespread event across the mainland.
  13. I think it's that very awkward British cultural desire to be "polite". I've had the same problem throughout my life- I appear to be an unusually sensitive man which helps me to see through "white lies", and this can be seen as impolite in itself, since in my experience the script of the British culture says we must feel better and say "thank you" when others tell us "white lies". This has become more the case since I left the university culture and entered the adult world, where openness and honesty tend to be close to non-existent; most people seem to reserve it only for their partners. Being polite is supposedly about being considerate and respectful of the feelings of others, but I find that, in reality, it's more about fitting in with society's expectations and "following the script". People around me generally show little consideration for my feelings, but that's because my feelings violate the social expectation of "men keep a stiff upper lip except with their wives and children".
  14. I came tantalisingly close to having thunderstorms on my birthday (22nd June)- I could see the line of cumulonimbus clouds just to the south and east, but they weren't close enough for thunder to be audible. The UKMO and ECMWF do show a classic south-west thunderstorms setup for around 20 July, but we need the GFS on board as well to be able to get much confidence in it coming off.
  15. I've never wanted to have children. There are various reasons, including a visual impairment which is made many times worse by lack of sleep, and a belief that I would rather spread my love, and my abilities, around lots of people, rather than concentrating them intensely on a small group of people (which inevitably happens to a certain extent when you have children). What I'm finding, though, is that the idea of spreading my love around lots of people is thwarted somewhat by our culture's tendency to sexualize non-sexual forms of love, if expressed by a man outside of his immediate family. It seems that a man's only socially acceptable way of accessing deep non-sexual love is with his young children, and in particular, if he tries to get it from other people's children, he risks being perceived as a paedophile. These factors ensure that men, as well as women, face considerable social and cultural pressure to have children. It's a way of helping to enforce compliance with the social norm. Morally speaking, I don't think that having children is any better or worse than not having them. Having children means that you introduce one or more new individuals into the world, and can concentrate your efforts on a good family life, but at the cost of reduced contributions to the world outside of family life. It should be down to the individual, but as it stands, one choice gets significantly more social support than the other, and so not having children can be every bit as challenging as having them.