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Thundery wintry showers

Long range forecast team
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Everything posted by Thundery wintry showers

  1. I doubt 2018 will be behind 1998 because 2018 was by far the warmer year of the two in the Arctic, and even HadCRUT4 (which does not interpolate over the Arctic) has 2018 running about 0.05C warmer than 1998. The Met Office article's figures includes values from several sources and has 2018 averaging 0.13C warmer than 1998, putting it 4th warmest. ERA-INTERIM even has 2018 as provisionally the third warmest year, probably mainly because 2015 was a cold year in Antarctica and it was less warm in the Arctic than several recent years, and in NASA's GISTEMP 2018 and 2015 are currently just 0.01C apart for January-November. My feeling is that 2019 will end up a little below their central estimate but warmer than 2018, and a lot depends on the strength of the El Nino.
  2. Thundery wintry showers

    January 2019 C.E.T. forecast and EWP contests

    Having had some more thoughts I'd like to bump my CET prediction up to 4.2C please. Still going with 48mm for the EWP.
  3. Thundery wintry showers

    January 2019 C.E.T. forecast and EWP contests

    CET 3.9C, EWP 47.6mm. Overall quite mild in the north and cold in the south. Probably some wintry weather around midmonth from the N or NE aided by the sudden stratospheric warming event but my suspicion is that the main wintry spells of the winter will fall in February instead.
  4. Thundery wintry showers

    Antarctic Ice Discussion

    A scary rate of decline recently, which has just edged ahead of 2016 and 1979 as the lowest Antarctic sea ice extent for the time of year on record. Anomalously high melting on both sides of West Antarctica appears to be to blame, with large areas of open water where we would normally have ice. Around the Antarctic Peninsual and off East Antarctica the sea ice extent is near average.
  5. Thundery wintry showers

    Winter 2018/19

    January 2013 had a long cold spell from the 12th to 25th and here was a snowy breakdown at the end of the spell with many places seeing an all snow event prior to the arrival of milder westerlies. I recall that satellite imagery on the morning following the breakdown showed a snow cover over a large majority of Britain though with large areas of the south-west missing out. So it's not that long since we saw a widespread cold snowy spell in January. And indeed, much of January 2015 from the 13th onwards was cool zonal in the north and west with some fairly snowy polar maritime incursions, and January 2017 was quite cold in the south.
  6. CET 5.8C, EWP 103mm. I reckon that mild and wet weather early and late in December will outweigh a cold spell in the middle.
  7. Thundery wintry showers

    The hunt for cold - Model discussion (late November)

    Historically this early in the season cold weather via northerlies has been a lot more common than from easterlies in late November and early December, although there have of course been exceptions like 18 November 1985, 20-23 November 1993 and 5-7 December 1995. Sub -10C 850hPa air is somewhat rare from either north or east at this time of year although sub -8C is not that unusual. This is partly because the continent and North Sea still have a fair amount of cooling to do, and partly because blocked easterly types with a persistent Scandinavian high are less likely to happen at this time of year. The late Nov/early Dec 2010 instance saw the cold come from a mix of north and east winds but the easterly spell was brought about by a Greenland high ridging across to Scandinavia, and the coldest day in the CET area (28 November) arose after five days of northerlies, just as the easterly was starting to kick in. In many recent years the warmth of the Arctic has meant that it was a struggle to get northerlies that were cold enough to bring lowland snowfall, but the Atlantic side of the Arctic has cooled down quite a lot this November and is currently relatively cold for recent years. Of course there are regional differences - an easterly type is on average somewhat more reliable at bringing cold and potentially snowy weather to most of central and southern England, whereas over much of Scotland and north-east England it is the other way round - but taking the country as a whole the equation tends to be more in favour of northerlies early and late in the season with easterlies causing a higher percentage of significant cold snowy spells in January, February and early March.
  8. Thundery wintry showers

    Aren’t Windows updates a pain?

    I haven't had many problems with Windows 10 updates on my desktop but they have often been a pain on my laptop, probably partly because it is relatively rarely used and was upgraded from Windows 7. Windows will force-feed the laptop updates at an inconvenient time and if you close the lid overnight or when travelling on a train or a plane (the latter two being bad times to update due to internet connection issues, the first being bad due to disrupting sleep) it will automatically switch back on after a short while to stop you from circumventing the automatic update. Not good if it then gets very hot. Also, on the laptop, updates tend to reset a lot of my preferences back to the Microsoft defaults (this has happened somewhat less often on my desktop computer) and this isn't just the bi-annual feature updates - it happens quite often after minor system updates also. Examples include resetting my picture viewer back to Photos, my music player back to Groove Music, re-enabling Automatic Folder Type Discovery and then resetting my preferred Details folder views back to the defaults. Although updates generally play nicely with the settings on my desktop, here was one time on my desktop where an update to Office 2016 reset the Developer tab in Excel back to the default of disabled, so for a while I was left wondering where it had disappeared to. If you have Windows 10 Pro you have a fair amount of customisability with updates, but if you have Windows 10 Home you generally have no choice but to update as and when Microsoft deems suitable, with the exception of the bi-annual feature updates which can be deferred. I am not against forced security patches, but I am against forced system and feature patches. It's often said that getting the latest feature updates "gives the best user experience", but a lot of the time new features are thrust on users when they are still buggy and incomplete and degrade the user experience, and they only become improvements after a while of ironing out bugs in subsequent mini-updates. Most cases of updates tinkering with default settings are probably unintentional, but there are exceptions, such as when I disabled OneDrive and one of the feature updates re-enabled it, reset all of my OneDrive settings back to their defaults and then introduced an ad for OneDrive that popped up every time I opened Windows Explorer. Generally the cynic in me thinks that Microsoft will feel they don't have to put as much effort into leaving people's settings alone now that updates are compulsory. In the past they had more pressure on them to make sure that updates were right or else people would disable them altogether and leave their systems insecure. And when it does go wrong, well, it serves as a neat little nudge towards the Microsoft defaults which could help increase user compliance with the defaults as the path of least resistance, and the more people comply with the defaults, optimising defaults for the vendor's revenue streams becomes a more effective policy. Microsoft still hasn't managed to get most Windows 10 users to use Edge, though.
  9. It got pretty close in Exeter but not quite close enough - there was a period of light rain with a temperature of 3C.
  10. Thundery wintry showers

    Winter 2018/19

    In the early days of Netweather it was Joe teddy beari, and then changed to Joe laminate floori! There was also a new town called Sprunehorpe.
  11. Thundery wintry showers

    Winter 2018/19

    The global warming trend is a gradual thing, but in individual locations such as the British Isles there is a lot of natural variability superimposed on it, and step-changes can and do happen for no apparent reason. The step-change to milder winters around 1988 was particularly marked for the month of February, which had a CET average of 2.7C over the period 1978-87, and then an average of 5.3C in the period 1988-2002. January also saw a step-change but it was less extreme. On the other hand the very mild December of 1988 proved to be a one-off, and the Decembers of the 1990s were slightly cooler than those of the 1970s and 1980s - even the warmish December of 1994 was cooler than four of the Februarys of the 1990s. The step-change in February was significantly down to a change in synoptics with a marked increase in the frequency of "westerly" Februarys. I read a copy of the RMetS Weather Log for February 1988 several years ago and recall that the Weather Log noted that the near-absence of easterlies that month was unusual for recent Februarys, and then the Februarys of 1989 and 1990 were even more "westerly". Meanwhile, the cooler Decembers owed a lot to a higher frequency of northerlies and easterlies.
  12. I thought I detected some sleet mixed in with the heavier rain showers in Exeter at around 6pm, and it may have been genuine as Exeter Airport measured 3.4C with a dew point of 1.8C at the time - if so, remarkable to get a bit of wintriness in October in Exeter of all places! It's definitely 100% rain now though with the temperature creeping above 5C.
  13. Thundery wintry showers

    Winter 2018/19

    I'll be formulating thoughts on the UK winter during mid to late November, but for now I can hazard a guess as to the mean global temperatures for Winter 2018/19: November - warm December - warm January - warm February - warm March - warm
  14. Thundery wintry showers

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

    A fairly cold (by recent standards) and cyclonic November, CET 6.3C, rainfall 122mm. I expect it to be colder than average early and late in the month with a milder interlude in the middle.
  15. Thundery wintry showers

    Winter 2018/19

    The northerly blast of 26/27 October 2012 brought my old home town of South Shields its first October snowfall since 1992. I was living in the Vale of York near Thirsk at the time, just far east enough to catch the showers, and it was briefly cold enough for a dusting of snow there that night, but I don't think October snowfall is as rare in that part of the country - it certainly snowed around Thirsk on 30 October 2000 and probably in late October 2008 as well. The one that is currently forecast looks about as cold as the 2012 one and less cold than the 2008 one, but as others have said, this one will probably last a day or two longer than the 2012 northerly. I am still envisaging a cold cyclonic November as per the N-W autumn forecast, possibly with some further northerlies, but don't have many ideas yet on how winter 2018/19 will pan out.
  16. Thundery wintry showers

    Best and worst winters

    Records go back to 1993. Best: 1. 2010/11 2. 2009/10 3. 1993/94 4. 2000/01 5. 2017/18 Worst: 1. 2015/16 2. 1997/98 3. 1992/93 4. 2013/14 5. 2004/05 I have taken the Novembers and Marches into account as well as the traditional winter quarter, for as many of us saw this year, they can occasionally produce very notable wintry spells. It's also a Tyne and Wear-centric stance as that's where I spent the majority of the winters, but as far as I'm aware my top 5 were also pretty good in the Exeter area. 2010/11 edged out 2009/10 as a consequence of the very memorable November (the whole month had a lot of interest, though of course especially the last week) as well as the record-breaking December. 2017/18 only just edged out 2008/09. Lack of sunshine was the main factor that prevented the winters of 1995/96 and 2012/13 from entering my top 5, and also contributed somewhat to the low ranking of 1992/93. On the other side of the coin, high sunshine totals saved the largely snowless winters of 1999/00, 2006/07 and 2007/08.
  17. Thundery wintry showers

    Least favourite weather events

    Those relentlessly dull "easterly" months when I was living in Tyneside, with temperatures hovering around 3-5C, a big wind chill effect and stratocumulus trapped underneath a cap. December 2002 takes the wooden spoon award from this point of view. January and March 1996 were similar and were even more exceptionally dull than December 2002 but their snow events saved them from taking the wooden spoon award.
  18. Thundery wintry showers

    The decline in thunder days.

    Some parts maybe, but certainly not the Munich area for instance (I follow a few of the webcams there, there were some spectacular looking storms there in late May in particular). It's not unusual for a summer like this year's to be largely devoid of thundery activity though. There weren't many thunderstorms about during the summers of 1976, 1989 and 1990, and while 1995 had a thundery July, June and August of that year had somewhat less thundery activity than usual. Continuing a pattern seen in several recent years, parts of north-east England have had above average thundery activity this summer. At my parents' location up in North Yorkshire there were 9 days with thunder during the summer quarter, which is close to the long-term annual average for that area of the country. Here in Exeter, in contrast, there were none at all. 2007, 2009 and 2011 were other marked examples of summers when the north-east often seemed to be favoured.
  19. Thundery wintry showers

    Model output discussion - summer rolls on

    The ECMWF 12Z looks very scary for Tuesday, sending the low into mainland Britain without losing much of its intensity:
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    2002 worst year for weather?

    It's a subjective thing but certainly when I rated Tyneside's weather from 1993 onwards from a personal preference perspective, 2002 came out as the lowest-rated year. "Highlights" included the mild, wet and not particularly sunny second half of winter, the rather dull and windy summer, and the extremely grey December. The spell of weather that I most positively remember from that year was from the last week of March through to the beginning of May. April was a notably warm sunny month over much of England. There was also quite a spectacular thunderstorm in Tyneside on the evening of the 2nd June.
  21. Thundery wintry showers

    Warm septembers that followed poor summers

    September 1998 was warm but in Tyneside it was also very dull apart from the aforementioned warm sunny spell around the 21st. 2004 and 2011 were indeed good examples, and in 2011 the hot sunny end to September came close to producing the highest temperatures of the year, beaten only by the brief plume event of 26-27 June 2011. In 2004 the fine spell fell in the first third of September. September 2002 was a good example in some southern and western parts of the UK although it was a dull month in the north-east. If we were considering sunshine rather than temperature the Septembers of 1986 to 1988 were pretty decent. At Durham, the Septembers of 1986 and 1987 were both sunnier than any of the preceding three summer months, and in some parts of the country September 1988 achieved the same distinction. September '86 in particular was rather cool though with Septembers 1987 and 1988 near average to fairly cool.
  22. Thundery wintry showers

    What did you think of Summer 2018?

    June and July 2018 had much in common with 1976 and 1995 here in south-east Devon, with dry but relatively cloudy weather until 20 June and then a fortnight of hot (but not as hot as 1976) and exceptionally sunny weather starting on 21 June, so coincidentally our summer really got going on the same date as in 1976 and 1995. The last two-thirds of July also had a similar pattern to those of 1976 and 1995 with frequent southerly winds rather than persistent high pressure, although unlike in 1995 the region missed out on the thunderstorms in mid to late July (my parents had a few spectacular ones up in North Yorkshire, but in Exeter we had nowt). August was a big downer. Not so much because it was more unsettled, but mainly because of how frequently overcast it was, with rain at times but very little convective activity and no thunder - Devon and Cornwall saw a rather greater shortage of sunshine than in many other parts of the UK this month. Thus for me this summer ranks alongside those of 2003 and 2006, scoring roughly 7.5/10, but not up there with those of 1989, 1995 and 1996. (In 2003 July let the side down a bit, and in 2006 it was the August). It would of course have shattered a lot of temperature and sunshine records had the synoptics been shifted a month later, because May was another very warm and sunny month, also with a big thunderstorm in the last week which I missed because I had a holiday in Norwich and North Yorkshire.
  23. Thundery wintry showers

    Arctic melt Season 2018

    Another concern with an ice free Arctic Ocean would be that there would be much warmer air masses in the vicinity of Greenland, potentially adding somewhat to the melt rate of the Greenland ice sheet. Unlike the Arctic Ocean, substantial melting of the Greenland ice sheet would certainly contribute significantly to global sea levels.
  24. Thundery wintry showers

    Anxiety & Depression Support Group

    I don't think I've ever quite fallen into clinical depression although there were a few times in the past when I tested as borderline by the NHS questionnaire, but I have certainly had anxiety disorders over the years. They are still there today, but less strong than 2-3 years ago. I think a major contributor to mental health problems is the way as a society we sexualise love when it occurs between people who are not romantic partners or close blood relatives (the latter being protected due to the incest taboo). As this sexualisation especially affects men's friendships, it may well not be entirely coincidental that men feature disproportionately in the suicide statistics, but of course women's friendships are far from immune either. The Samaritans have noted that men tend to be very exclusively dependent on a female partner for emotional support in middle age. Certainly I have found that, even when I do succeed in overcoming these cultural barriers and forming close loving friendships, there is an invisible barrier to being openly affectionate with each other, and especially saying we love each other or touching each other in any way other than the firm handshake, stemming from the fear of being misinterpeted as sexually involved. Usually when I see pairs of male friends saying they love each other, they minimise it afterwards by laughing it off or saying "No homo", and I almost never see cross-sex friends openly admitting that they love each other. A common reaction to this, even within the NHS, is, "Why haven't you got yourself a girlfriend?". We are not a very communal society, we are a society built for couples, relying on "one true love" to meet all of your needs, and it is dangerous for many people's mental health to be so reliant on one person, especially in the event of break-ups. Then there is the pressure to "grin and bear it" as part of "being a man", and being told "That's life, lots of people have difficulty and you have to get on with it."; For me it has often been that existential sense of aloneness that gives a sense that life isn't worth living, that struggle to find anybody who really understands you, that sense of being obliged to "fit in" with others around you and just go through the motions. Good luck with your group, hope you manage to help out a lot of people, it's good to try to address the issue head-on in this way!
  25. Thundery wintry showers

    August 2008: horrific

    I spent August 2008 in Norwich and the first third of the month had a mix of dry cloudy days and brighter days with showers and sometimes thunder. There were some decent thunderstorms about, and I remember two days in a row with thunder (probably the 6th and 7th) and on the second of those days there were three separate storm cells and I watched one flashing away just to the west late in the evening. However, the middle third of the month was mostly dull with rain at times, and the dry warm last week somehow contrived to be even duller still, despite Norwich traditionally being in a good spot to see holes develop in the cloud sheet in even the cloudiest of summertime westerly flows. It did, if I remember rightly, finally brighten up late on the 31st as the wind backed southerly. According to the records from my weather station in Cleadon in Tyne and Wear that month, the month was pretty grey all the way through, with thunder on the first two days but otherwise a lot of emphasis on frontal rain, and again the dry warm last week was almost relentlessly cloudy.
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