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noggin

Will 2009/2010 Be An Historic Winter?

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I would have to agree that this winter would of been even more special with a potent Easterly, even if it did last a couple of days only. Winter started off great for me on the 17/18th December (5-7 inches, 1- 1 and a half foot drifts), but since then I have seen a lot of snow, but only accumilating at best a couple of inches at a times. I still await to see a "classic Easterly" in my lifetime as I am quite young, and I hope sometime in the next 5 years we will see one

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Winds from the north or the east usually produce snow here however, being around 12 miles from the coast sometimes easterly winds pick up too much warmth off the sea and temps are too high for lying snow. For example it was an easterly that brought the end of the real cold here around Jan 10th this year.

The best synoptic situations I've experienced here in recent years are the early Jan snowfalls this year and the late Feb 04 event. Although an easterly can produce a good event here they've been quite marginal situations on most occasions so thats why in general I prefer winds coming down from the north or north east.

I was in Highland Scotland last week and was amazed at the amount of snow higher up at the ski centres, certainly the best season in a long time. I also experienced the snowfall last thursday / friday where the depth was around 3ft, which although it stopped me skiing was interesting just to witness such heavy snowfall. Even the old timers up there are starting to come round to the idea that this winter has been the snowiest in living memory maybe bar 1979.

Interestingly even the North Pennine ski tows have been running continuously since mid December and I've even experienced snow there this year on par with anything I've skied in Europe. If more winters were like this one there could even be an argument for more investment :whistling: !!!

It's certainly been an excellent winter here and it's probably just greed but I would maybe of liked to have seen a bit more lying snow in Feb but thats just being picky really. It's just been a bit dissapointing because of the high number of days when snow fell.

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You just had to throw in a swipe at AGW didn't you? I don't think the snowiness statistics suggest as much as the people at "WhatsUpWithThat" would like it to. What it does say, though, is that we're a long way away from the point where global warming (regardless of origin- that's a point to debate in the climate area) kills off cold snowy winters.

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Two cold winters means nothing in the long run, just as little as the 2 very mild winter previous to these ones!

Still there can be no doubt this winter was historic however!

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You just had to throw in a swipe at AGW didn't you? I don't think the snowiness statistics suggest as much as the people at "WhatsUpWithThat" would like it to. What it does say, though, is that we're a long way away from the point where global warming (regardless of origin- that's a point to debate in the climate area) kills off cold snowy winters.

What are you on about? I haven't mentioned AGW. :o I have posted a link to a good summary of NH snow this Winter, to tie in with our own snowy Winter. I thought other snow-lovers would appreciate it. :o

I'm a bit lost for words at your response.:nea:

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Apologies if this bit was irrelevant to the post, but the article's conclusions are as follows:

It appears that AGW claims of the demise of snowfall have been exaggerated. And so far things are not looking very good for the climate model predictions of declining snowfall in the 21st century.

Many regions of the Northern Hemisphere have seen record snowfall this winter, including Washington D.C, Moscow, China, and Korea. Dr. Hansen’s office at Columbia University has seen record snowfall, and Al Gore has ineptly described the record snow :

“Just as it’s important not to miss the forest for the trees, neither should we miss the climate for the snowstorm,”

A decade long record across the entire Northern Hemisphere is not appropriately described as a “snowstorm.”

Although I won't deny that it has refuted some of the more doomsday predictions for the near term.

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Apologies if this bit was irrelevant to the post, but the article's conclusions are as follows:

Although I won't deny that it has refuted some of the more doomsday predictions for the near term.

D'you know what, TWS....I can see now why you thought what you thought, but I genuinely only posted it for the NH snowiness extent! I didn't even read the conclusions and I wouldn't dream of bringing Mr. Watts into a thread such as this....I keep him for elsewhere. :lol:

Re our Winter.....one of the abiding images for me will be that satellite photo showing wall-to-wall snow. I wish I could get a copy and have it framed to hang on my wall!

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There must still be a huge % of the UK with snow cover; certainly in the northern half of the country. Here's a pic of our local park I took this morning (4th March):

post-2844-12677006752055_thumb.jpg

Still a while to go until that's getting used for rugby.

Edit: Although if personal experience of private schools is anything to go by they will be playing on this by tomorrow.

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http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/monthly.ao.index.b50.current.ascii.table

WE HAVE IT..

Most negative AO winter on record..

Most negative December on record..

Most negative February on record..

That February value is quite simply amazing.

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Those AO figures are without a doubt stunning!

I think that shows that even though the blocking was often just a touch too far west for a big chunk of the country for a really severe winter (this one is just short of that bracket IMO) the AO was sooo super negative it forced the jet stream so far south that even when the blocking patterns were quite poor for the UK in general, Scotland still remained in the colder air, and England obviously got big tastes of it.

I'd argue that England actually somewhat dodged a bullet with this one, had the blocking developed a touch further to the east like it did during mid December and for a time in Early Jan, then there can be no doubt at all that a winter as cold as some of the all time greats like 78-79, 46-47 and even 62-63 would have happened, you can see how the -ve AO helped to keep Scotland in the cold air pretty much for the whole duration of the winter and how it was the 2nd coldest winter in a century...that would have happened for the whole of the UK...imagine the 18-22nd of December and 5-10th of Jan happening for the majority of the winter...therefore whilst it was a historic winter in its own right, we actually avoided one of the best winters ever IMO by not a lot....

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Much truth in the above, but there's a strong positive that cold/snow lovers can take out of it: if in England & Wales (less so in Scotland) we got sub-optimal synoptics yet still ended up with an unusually cold snowy winter, it again suggests that we've got a long way to go global warming wise before we can consider cold snowy winters a thing of the past.

Ironically, during most of mid to late January the main reason for the close to average temperatures was the blocking being situated too far east (thus keeping us in a no-man's land between mild westerlies and cold easterlies). Otherwise, the "west based negative NAO" has indeed been a major feature- 19th-27th December and the second half of February in particular, giving greater leeway for lows to push up from the SW and for the polar air to be more modified (polar maritime rather than arctic maritime). Yet the December spell was remarkably cold considering this, reminiscent of the December 1981 pattern. Strengthening sunshine in February was probably the main reason why the same setup did not bring such low temperatures in the north in mid to late February.

But in the first third of January when the UK "hit the cold/snow bullseye" the results were remarkable.

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I'd argue that England actually somewhat dodged a bullet with this one, had the blocking developed a touch further to the east like it did during mid December and for a time in Early Jan, then there can be no doubt at all that a winter as cold as some of the all time greats like 78-79, 46-47 and even 62-63 would have happened, you can see how the -ve AO helped to keep Scotland in the cold air pretty much for the whole duration of the winter and how it was the 2nd coldest winter in a century...that would have happened for the whole of the UK...imagine the 18-22nd of December and 5-10th of Jan happening for the majority of the winter...therefore whilst it was a historic winter in its own right, we actually avoided one of the best winters ever IMO by not a lot....

It creates an interesting paradox - on the one hand I'm happy to finally experience a properly cold winter, but on the other hand it feels like the only chance in my lifetime to see a winter like '47 or '63 may have just disappeared down the drain. I mean, just look at that AO value for February: no other month even comes close. We certainly can't rely on record-breaking -ve AOs every winter to deliver us the goods.

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I think the fact Scotland recorded a winter coldest since 63 (63 was only margnially colder at that) indicates to me the polar vortex has been shifted further northdue to warmer currents dominating from the south.

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OP, its all to do with the AO, nothing more and nothing less...

The super -ve AO (and it really was super, a record breaker!) was why Scotland was so svere cold, it caused the jet to be shunted so far south that even when we had otherwise actually quite poor upper conditions and the times when we had a PV in place and the jet running over the UK, Scotland remained on the cold side of the jet, had the AO not been so amazingly negative we'd probably have seen a winter more like 08-09, cold but nothing too severe.

So its not so much that the cold got displaced northwards, more like the cold core was well displacedf southwards, the Feb Sat.temps show this effect nicely, note how the northerly latitudes were very mild whilst the core cold was nearly at the same latitude across the entire N.Hemisphere.

http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/RenderData?si=1502046&cs=rgb&format=JPEG

As I said, IF the blocking had been a little further south-east we'd have had another exceptional winter, like 46-47, 62-63 and 78-79, there is no doubts about that all, the whole of the UK was just 2-300 miles away at most, and some parts far less then even that...however it is worth saying we did get a good taster of what could have been, the mean blocking positions during 11th Dec-15th Jan were nearly perfect and it shows despite SST's intially being well above average we still managed one of the colder spells in the last 100 years...

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For here it has been pretty historic. 30 snow Met O snow lying days [so far] equals 1986 and 1979. 63 air frosts including the first 5 days of March must be a near record. Average temp over the three Winter months was just under 0.9C.

Noticed that Pitlochry in Highland Perthshire at under 100 mtrs asl had a Winter average under zero. -0.3C was lower that 1978/79 by 0.5C as that year came in at 0.2C. This was mainly due to a much colder December this Winter as both Jan and Feb were colder in 1979.

Aberfeldy also nearby in Highland Perthshire at a similar altitude was very slightly colder and has had 47 snow lying days so far. Unusually there is still about 20 cms frozen snow there now while there are only patches in Pitlochry and even at Strathtay only about 5 miles East. That 20 cms will not melt easily without rain and if frosts continue overnight it could approach the 56 days recorded in 1981/82, having this week overtaken 1994 [45 days] and the other snowier early nineties and eighties Winters. It is still some way short of 1978/79 Winter's 70 Met O snow lying days.

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I remember a while ago, before winter started, a some stats being posted showing how wet Novembers are often followed by colder winter months. Unfortunately I can't find the original thread, but thought it was worth revisiting now winter is over. I do remember one post giving a reason which could explain this pattern, but can't remember what - something to do with the jet tracking in a more southerly position perhaps?

Apologies I can't credit the original posters as I can't find the thread.

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good summary there Kold

The only other thing maybe to add to my last paragraph is obviously the fact Scotland did have an exceptional winter that was up there with the utter all time greats, from the stats I've seen there can't be too many colder winters up there since the winter heydays of the 17-18th centuries.

What we saw with regards to the northern blocking was insane...and its very possible that some of us may never see the likes of that sort of blocking again, it was even over and above the powerful -ve AO's of the 60s.

So in conclusion, for England, Wales and also Ireland it was a historic winter, for Scotland, it quite possibly may go down as one of the all time greats that will be remembered even once we are all gone from this world...

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Totalling up the late Feb snow events gives a Winter 2009/10 index to date of 55- the second highest since 1947, still a fair way behind 1978/79 but nudging ahead of 1950/51, 1954/55 and 1962/63 for snowiness.

9 points' worth of snow events looks unlikely from here, but in recent years the springs of 1995 and 2006 managed 14 each, and 1979 itself had 17, so it is still "doable".

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I remember a while ago, before winter started, a some stats being posted showing how wet Novembers are often followed by colder winter months. Unfortunately I can't find the original thread, but thought it was worth revisiting now winter is over. I do remember one post giving a reason which could explain this pattern, but can't remember what - something to do with the jet tracking in a more southerly position perhaps?

Apologies I can't credit the original posters as I can't find the thread.

there is absolutely no proof by anyone of any link such as you suggest. Its been tried time and time again and none of the so called links between one month or season and any following has ever been proved.

Totalling up the late Feb snow events gives a Winter 2009/10 index to date of 55- the second highest since 1947, still a fair way behind 1978/79 but nudging ahead of 1950/51, 1954/55 and 1962/63 for snowiness.

9 points' worth of snow events looks unlikely from here, but in recent years the springs of 1995 and 2006 managed 14 each, and 1979 itself had 17, so it is still "doable".

Ian, March is NOT winter in Met definitions. How on earth you can make a 'winter' indice using a month that does not feature and then try and compare to any other winter is beyond me.

So am I right in thinking you are going to compare Dec-March for 2009-2010 against 1946-47 December to February?

Only IF you say its your version of winter and you are comparing March along with December-February for all the years does it make any sense. Why not include April and May when its snowed or even the very isolated instance of snow on low ground in other months of spring and summer?

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Ian, March is NOT winter in Met definitions. How on earth you can make a 'winter' indice using a month that does not feature and then try and compare to any other winter is beyond me.

Althought I have done it for a while, infact the last occasion was March 2006 but I had a "wintry" index for March, it was the same one for the winter but applied to March and April to see how "wintry" they were.

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