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

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  1. And one of mine, too.
  2. The snowiest winters of the 1990s were generally 1990/91 and 1995/96. 1993/94 was quite a snowy winter in some regions, especially the north-east, despite not being particularly cold, while 1996/97 started off with some snow events in November and December but ended very mild. The other winters of the 1990s were, however, predominantly mild. Some winters had their moments (Bristol may well have been hit by the early March 1995 snow event for instance) but they were pretty rare.
  3. I generally find that people often avoid talking to each other, and that when they do, it tends to be limited to a shallow "small talk" level. But I think that has a lot more to do with the Stiff Upper Lip than modern technology, and certainly, I used to hear a lot from northerners about "people from the London area tending not to talk to each other" back in the 1990s when the internet was only just beginning to take off. I generally find that modern internet technology makes it easier to keep in touch with people, but also makes it easier to "play safe" and keep human relationships at a purely online level, so like most things it has its pros and cons. I could probably cope without internet for one day, though it would be an inconvenience. Upwards of a few days, though, and it would start to have a significant impact.
  4. 1975 also had a mild February followed by a cold March. Another example that springs to mind is 1949; that was a generally very warm year but it had a cold March. Philip Eden previously wrote a few articles on the very strange winter of 1890/91. It had a record-breaking cold and cloudy December, a mild, sunny and very dry February, and then a very cold March with some exceptional snowfall for the Midlands and south-west if I remember rightly. March 1995 was a better example in Scotland than in Central England; many parts of Scotland were between 1 and 2C colder than the 1961-90 average and had 15 to 20 days with sleet/snow falling.
  5. A little "finger" of showers has passed over Exeter, giving graupel.
  6. Snowed for a couple of hours in Exeter, though none of it settled. Amusingly, though, I got rather more than the coastal parts of my old homeland in the North East.
  7. It did snow and settle up at 185m on those occasions, but I recall that low lying areas struggled generally. I was in central Leeds in the February 2006 event and although it was preceded and followed by snow showers, the frontal system fell as rain. Particularly in the February 2009 case, though, many inland areas already had a significant snow cover from preceding snow showers and the frontal belt of sleet or wet snow didn't make much of a dent on the snow cover. Also, in those cases dew points were generally between 0 and 1C, rather than 2C as is currently forecast for many areas for Saturday afternoon. In my experience a good rule of thumb (with certain exceptions, e.g. bright showery days in spring with a shallow warm layer near the surface) is that for snow, the wet bulb temperature (or the average of the dry bulb and dew point, which is a close approximation) needs to be less than a degree above zero. Many of the classic "heavy wet sticky snow with big snowflakes" type events have seen dew points just above freezing, but I can't recall any with dew points between 1 and 2C. That said, I think many eastern areas could well see a covering to low levels on Friday and also early on Saturday, and Saturday could well see a spell of snow for many areas on the western flank of the frontal systems. The weak nature of the systems won't help matters though; often in these marginal setups heavy precipitation makes the difference between rain/sleet and snow due to evaporative cooling.
  8. I foresee light flurries for some eastern (mostly north-eastern) areas on Thursday and then snow showers pepping up on Friday, giving a dusting in many inland parts of eastern Scotland and north-east England (and locally a few centimetres, in areas that end up under a train of showers). Saturday morning is probably the main window of opportunity for most areas, before it turns less cold and sleety with a general thaw. The following charts indicate that Friday looks set to have snow to all levels in areas that catch showers, with maximum temperatures between 2 and 4C (maxima of 2C look set to be pretty widespread) and dewpoints down at -2 to -4. While Saturday's maximum temperatures only look a little higher, dewpoints are forecast to rise above freezing in the east which is where I'm getting my prediction of sleet from.;date=20170207;time=12;ext=72;file=ukgrndtemp;sess=d9dcfe32236a469badb635fd9c033ef0;;date=20170207;time=12;ext=72;file=ukdew;sess=d9dcfe32236a469badb635fd9c033ef0;;date=20170207;time=12;ext=96;file=ukgrndtemp;sess=d9dcfe32236a469badb635fd9c033ef0;;date=20170207;time=12;ext=96;file=ukdew;sess=d9dcfe32236a469badb635fd9c033ef0;
  9. For those wondering how some areas managed to get freezing rain in January 1987, it's because when the snow showers off the North Sea were replaced by more continuous precipitation, a pool of milder air rose above the exceptionally cold air near the surface. With 850hPa temperatures of around -2C, there was probably a shallow zone of >0C temperatures somewhere around the 850hPa level (plus or minus about 50hPa) which caused rain, and then when this fell into surface air temperatures of about -5C, freezing rain was the result. I think the main issue during this coming week will be a relative lack of cold pooling over the continent and modification from the North Sea. I envisage a lot of stratocumulus and scattered light flurries of sleet or snow (perhaps even rain near the east coast), mainly in eastern areas from the Wash northwards, unless we can get a pronounced trough in the easterly flow as per UKMO T+144. The forecast Skew-T for East Lothian, just after the easterly is forecast to come in, indicates shallow convection, reaching a dry lid at about 800hPa: For widespread/significant snow showers I'd be looking for convection getting up to around 700hPa as happened on 11 March 2013.
  10. I guess you're probably referring to the event of 15 February 1994. Even low lying parts of Devon and Cornwall saw lying snow from that, although near sea level it tended to stick around only for a day or two. However, I think there's a good chance that on Dartmoor it would have stuck around for about a week.
  11. The temperature has remained constant at around 2C in Exeter but dew points have gone up so showers have mostly turned back to rain. Goodnight all!
  12. Quite a heavy graupel shower in Exeter, which left a temporary dusting on the ground. It seems that the Exeter area is in the firing line at the moment, though not quite cold enough for proper snow (saw some wet sleety flakes earlier though). I see that the temperature at Haytor (310m up on the eastern fringe of Dartmoor) has climbed recently to 1.4C after hovering around 0.6C for a while, so I'm guessing that subsequent showers in Exeter will mainly be of rain or hail.
  13. There's been a couple of sleety showers in Exeter in the past two hours. Exeter Airport is recording 2C.
  14. Of the winter months that I've experienced, I'd have to say December 2010. Out of months before I was born, the Januarys of 1958, 1959 and 1984 all particularly appeal to me. The Februarys of 1969 and 1970 also stick out.
  15. I think we're moving into an era where it is increasingly difficult to get lowland snow off a straight northerly, because of the anomalous warmth of the Arctic, but the continental masses (Greenland, Canada, Eurasia) are not warming at anywhere near as fast a rate. An irony of this situation is that Scotland and Northern Ireland have recently tended to pick up more widespread snow from polar maritime westerlies and north-westerlies than from arctic maritime northerlies. We're still a long way away from polar/arctic continental air masses not being cold enough though, indeed a "northerly with an easterly source" culminated in a frontal snow event across Scotland and northern England as early as 9 November this year. The climate of the Arctic is very variable so it may well be that in some future winters we get nearer average sea ice cover in the Barents/Kara region and the anomalous warmth being concentrated over the other side of the Arctic Ocean (as happened in winters 2010/11 and 2014/15 for example), leading to northerlies delivering again, but it's looking like a very tall order to get it to happen this season, given how sparse the ice currently is in the Barents Sea.