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damianslaw last won the day on November 29 2015

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  1. Yes the second half of April and much of May marks the time of year when we are most likely to see northerly and easterly airstreams, thanks to the PV giving up the ghost and the atlantic going into its annual slumber. Some years can bring cold cyclonic conditions, late April last year being a case in point, also 2012, others can bring a marked east/west divide with warmest weather in the west, early May 2008 being a very good examples, some can bring notably cold weather for the time of year May 1996 for instance. It is a very difficult time of year to predict weatherwise and as May 97 can flip from winter to summer in the space of 48 hours.
  2. Yes I've noticed how the snow is holding well particularly on eastern faces, where the suns strength in the morning hasn't quite been enough to result in rapid melt, I suspect the very dry air and low humidity is the key reason, in saturated air and temps 3/4 degrees snow quickly melts. With a change in airstream, tomorrow should result in rapid snow loss with humidity levels rocketing as the miserable tropical maritime air invades.
  3. We've gone from late winter to mid/late spring it seems in the last 4/5 days, the last 3 have brought fantastic conditions here, wall to wall sunshine blue sky, though there is an edge still to the feel of things with a notably cool breeze, but in shelter and under the sun it has felt more like early May than late March. Alas all set to change again through the night with a slow moving low pressure system anchored to our west throwing in moisture on mild SW/S winds, bringing overcast conditions for most tomorrow, some brightness in the far east, with the east doing best for temps and the west much cooler and unfortunately wetter, with drab dank drizzly conditions, not the best synoptics for western coastal parts and hilly areas. The rest of week maintains the same set up, mild for all, dank and dreary in western places with further rain and wind, drier in the east. The models then all show a ridge being thrown in behind frontal activity for Sunday heralding the return of fine settled conditions to start April, with the azores high once again ridging in, and the jet maintaining a very northerly position, so April looks like starting on a very fine note indeed. Shame easter is late this year.. Longer term, keep an eye on the position of the PV, it typically implodes on itself during April, making a mockery of short term weather forecasts - April is the most fickle of our months, two faced and has a propensity to go from early summer warmth to later winter cold in the space of 48 hours, the likes of April 2007 and 2011 are a rarity.. so caution should always be reserved in this respect.
  4. Yes there was a difference between the synoptics of the last solar min period and the one before as you describe, and indeed the one before that around 85-87 which also saw much more in the way of scandi blocking than greenland blocking, Feb 86, Aug/Sept 86 being an extreme case in point. Perhaps the rapid loss of ice in the arctic is one reason I wonder?
  5. A far better day than the past 6, a cloudy cold start gave to way to blue skies and abundant sunshine but a notably chilly wind took the edge of the temps. Thick snow patches above 300m with a general cover above 500 metre. Not many days this season we have been able to look at white mounds in the sky.. snow should stick around tomorrow, but will retreat to highest levels on Saturday as we see freezing levels rise rapidly.
  6. Where in South Cumbria are you?
  7. I think it is a notable feature that the cold winters of 08-09 - 10-11 coincided with the last solar minimum coming on the back of a lengthy run of very mild winters in the main - against the background warming that has taken place since the late 90's in particular. There appears a trend for cold winters to occur when at the bottom/peak of the solar min and when just getting out of it, with this is mind winter 18-19 will be when we have a greater chance of a cold winter than next.. if the theory pans out. The last solar min period preceeding 08-09 was 85-86 I think and we had a cold winter then, followed by the bitter cold of Jan 1987 and generally a cold 2 years in 1986 and 1987. Doesn't always result in cold winters though, I think the previous cold minima period was early 70's when we had a run of mild winters.. One very notable change occured during summer 07, the jetstream became very southerly and this pattern lasted in the main through until summer 13, when a quick shift occured to a very northerly displaced one.. so something to keep an eye on next summer is whether we see a sudden switch in the position of the jetstream.. all a while off yet.
  8. Oh well, I'll reply to myself. Last night got down to -9 degrees I think in the Highlands, not sure where, and could see a repeat tonight. Friday night looks like delivering a widespread air frost for northern inland parts, and quite likely Saturday night too..
  9. A wintry day over the Lake District. Awoke to a slushy cover, ground above 250 metres thick with the stuff leading to road closures over the higher routes - A6 at Shap, Kirkstone Pass - indeed the first time this season.. evidence of how pitiful snow has been this year. The snow is still lingering at the 250-300 metre level, largely because there has been no sunshine to melt it away. Tomorrow should draw to end a thoroughly wet miserable 7 days, with barely a glimpse of sunshine, it feels like we have just entered the winter season rather than at the end. Alas the weekend promises to be a much better affair, dry with abundant sunshine, an excellent weekend for a late bit of winter walking. It also marks a sudden change in the overall feel of things, thanks to the clocks going forward, daylight extending Sunday evening until near 8pm, which makes a major difference. Its all positive energy from now on.. love the descent into spring proper, with the wonderful months of May and June just around the corner!
  10. Oh dear what a wimper of a winter season in terms of cold minima - this thread never got going, indeed many recorded there coldest night of the season in November!.. Would be good to compare how the lowest min this season compared with those of recent years.. if -9 degrees was the absolute min low in England and Wales that is a notably high - low min so to speak. Tonight looks a cold one for the Highlands - might somewhere get down to -10 degrees, equalling one of the coldest nights of the season. April can still pack a cold punch, but very outside chance we haven't hit our lowest min of the season. I hopeful next season will see such a thread gain far more activity. I really feel this winter never happened.. it was so benign, the most benign since 91/92 a complete snooze fest.
  11. All models showing a change to high pressure taking charge by the end of the week, the question is where will the high want to position itself. At 120 hr / 144 hr timeframe (end of reliable) there are indications of some form of retrogression, with a cut off low feature sat over the mid atlantic, its how this feature interacts with the heights that will determine whether it sinks southeastwards and we draw in a milder southerly continental airflow, or pull in a much colder north easterly continental airflow thanks to a deep trough feature anchoring down through scandi. By this time of year, high pressure can sit overhead for lengthy periods, and has a greater chance of retrogressing to the NW or building into scandi than during the autumn-winter months, when it rarely manages to hold its ground against the atlantic.
  12. One of those fine margin events, evaporative cooling should aid snow falling down to quite low levels before dawn, but we shall see. Higher ground could see quite a bit tomorrow. The synoptics are quite similiar to 30 April last year, when we saw snow and 0 degrees temps at noon!.. evaporative cooling was the reason. Its these kind of set ups that have given very heavy falls of snow in spring seasons of past, especially where fronts stall and winds fall light.
  13. Just had a heavy hail shower, signs convection building and the cold polar air has injected itself.. next 2-3 days look wintry with snow down to modest levels.
  14. Hooray the sun is out.. might just be for a minute but good to see after what has been an abysmal 3-4 days of wet weather, indeed preety much incessant rain non-stop since Thursday afternoon. River levels are heavily swollen, and there is localised flooding. Was out on the fells this morning and rivers of water cascading off them - all reminding me of winter 15/16, thankfully we have been spared the synoptics of the last 2-3 days this winter just gone. A conveyor belt of weather fronts aligned nicely for Cumbria pumped in by mild maritime tropical air. Alas the worst looks like it is over, and the outlook is very different, cold with snow for the high ground again and some frosty nights and hopefully some sunshine to boot.
  15. After months when trough disruption over the country has failed materialise.. alas the week ahead promises such affair, as is more typical as we head through spring, than winter it seems. A classic trough dropping through the country with a cold northerly behind and then high pressure quickly building in behind heading towards scandi - too late to deliver a snowfest, but it will produce a rather cold feel for many especially the north, with mid single digit maxima at best for the north come the middle of the week and the return of frost. Longer term signals we may see more of a southerly continental drift, with low pressure/trough action becoming weak and unstuck to our west, uncertain how things might develop thereafter. March like September can be a trying month, never concertedly able to dip its toes firmly in the season it heralds, it seems and generally frustrating those who want the remnants of the season gone to dissapear rapidly, for this reason they pale against April and October which have much more 'business' about them, and mark the rapid swifts from the winter state and summer state, March and September are just idle teasers..