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noggin

Will 2009/2010 Be An Historic Winter?

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I was going to say about how mild this winter hasn`t been my highest max was 9.2c way back on december 9th.

Since the cold spell began 7.7c on Jan 22nd I think a new record may of been broken for the least mildest day somewhere along the line since ?????.

2005/06 was the last winter with a low max of 10c lowest max I recorded in winter.

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The top 10 coldest winters since 1895:

1962/63: -0.33C

1946/47: 1.13C

1916/17: 1.47C

1939/40: 1.47C

1978/78: 1.57C

1928/29: 1.70C

1941/42: 2.20C

2009/10: 2.40C (to Feb 3rd provisonally)

1981/82: 2.57C

1940/41: 2.60C

A mean of 3.48C or below is required in the remaining 25 days of winter to stay in the top 10 in the last 115 years.

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Ah I was just going to ask Reef about that, good timing!

I think its looking quite probable now that the 3.48C needed will not be achieved...

What would be needed yo get it down to 41-42?

I suspect anything lower is probably unrealistic, quite a decent sized gap between the so called 'championship' and 'premiership' winters. Still a top 10 winter will do quite nicely it has to be said!

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Ah I was just going to ask Reef about that, good timing!

I think its looking quite probable now that the 3.48C needed will not be achieved...

What would be needed yo get it down to 41-42?

I suspect anything lower is probably unrealistic, quite a decent sized gap between the so called 'championship' and 'premiership' winters. Still a top 10 winter will do quite nicely it has to be said!

We'd need a mean of 1.68C for the final 25 days to reach that. That would require a cold spell as potent as the first half of last month I imagine. Its probably out of reach now.

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Its probably just about do able I reckon Reef given Europe is still quite cold and some of the models do suggest a rather prolonged cold spell, if we can get snow on the ground then like we saw between the 6-8th of Jan you can get some very low CET temps indeed which really help drag the average down...

Still got to admit I think the current position we are in probably won't be far from the mark once all is said and done, 41-42 just about do able still, I suspect its going to between 2.22.5C as the end outcome now from the looks of thing barring of course an exceptional cold spell.

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I don't care what others think, this winter has been historic for me. Normally we get 1 or 2 snow events of 2 inches of snow that melt by morning, this time, ive actually lost count! We've had a cold spell that brought almost 1 foot of snow that lasted more than 1 week. School was closed for 3 whole days! (4 for me because we could not get out of the road due to snow and ice) and beforehand, we had snow just before Christmas, and the best hailstorm i've ever had, the biggest flakes i've ever seen (Even bigger flakes and heavier snow than what i've witnessed in the Scottish Highlands) which is some achievement. Oh and let's not forget yesterdays event! ;)and random days of snow falling, along with GRAUPLE STORMS!

Best winter i have ever seen. :clap:

and hey! we're only about half way through!!

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.....The statistics for Hampstead (inner North London - see here http://www.weather-uk.com/hampstead/data.htm ) during the winter tend to support this. The Hampstead weather station is quite high (128m), and snowy for London; but London generally does not usually get as much snow as many other areas in the SE:

Dec 1962: falling snow 09 days - lying snow 07 days - max depth 30 cm on 30th December

Jan 1963: falling snow 18 days - lying snow 31 days - max depth 45 cm on 1st January

Feb 1963: falling snow 20 days - lying snow 24 days - max depth 35 cm on 2nd February

62/63 was very cold but no where near as snowy as a number of winters including of course the famous 47 (I'm talking over a 200yr period)

I can believe the lying snow stats no problem but 38 days of falling snow Jan/Feb 63 nope, maybe some of that snow was whip around in the wind

After studying the summaries of the daily Met Office bulletins here http://www.mtullett.plus.com/1962-63/index.htm , I am not at all sure that January on the top of Hampstead Heath could not have managed the 18 snow falling days recorded for January, and just possibly even the 20 for February (the missing day, the 1st Feb, was in fact quite snowy in the south) - especially if very light flakes or pellets accreting from freezing fog was included. But you are quite right that quantities after the first week of January were mainly quite small (<5cm) or very small, and less than in several other notable winters.

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Manchester Airport had just 4mm of precipitation during the whole of February 1986 yet Mr_Data mentions that snow fell on well over half the days of the month (21?).

Dry cold spells with flurries of powder snow can produce a large number of sleet/snow days despite very little precipitation.

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re this comment

I can believe the lying snow stats no problem but 38 days of falling snow Jan/Feb 63 nope, maybe some of that snow was whip around in the wind

I have to say you are wrong.

I have the official stats for RCAF Langar, SE of Nottingham and they show

days with snow falling= 20 in Jan and 19 in Feb; lying snow=31 in Jan and 19 in Feb.

Air frosts in January were 26 and 27 in February.

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The top 10 coldest winters since 1895:

1962/63: -0.33C

1946/47: 1.13C

1916/17: 1.47C

1939/40: 1.47C

1978/78: 1.57C

1928/29: 1.70C

1941/42: 2.20C

2009/10: 2.40C (to Feb 3rd provisonally)

1981/82: 2.57C

1940/41: 2.60C

A mean of 3.48C or below is required in the remaining 25 days of winter to stay in the top 10 in the last 115 years.

Certainly a good chance that winter 09/10 will go down as the coldest overall since 78/79, beating 81/82 and also a fair chance of it being colder than 41/42.

I'm intrigued with 17/18, wasn't it 1916/1917 that was severe... its often a forgotton winter of the past century. Many talk about 1946/47, 62/63 and 78/79, and less 1916/17?, 28/29 and 40/41. Also surprised not to see 39/40 on this list given the very cold January.

Must say its great to be even talking about the prospects of experiencing one of the coldest top 10 winters of the last century. In recent years its been all about the prospects of one of the top 10 mildest winters of the last century, indeed achieving this feat as recently as 06/07.

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It does take some believing thats it`s the coldest winter in Scotland so far since 1914 thats mindblowing.

Whats missing so far this winter that we use to get to make them much more memorable was the strong/gale east wind and blizzards blocking roads much more frequently in the 80`s.

Only one day that did that so far blocking the roads and strong drifting.

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Certainly a good chance that winter 09/10 will go down as the coldest overall since 78/79, beating 81/82 and also a fair chance of it being colder than 41/42.

I'm intrigued with 17/18, wasn't it 1916/1917 that was severe... its often a forgotton winter of the past century. Many talk about 1946/47, 62/63 and 78/79, and less 1916/17?, 28/29 and 40/41. Also surprised not to see 39/40 on this list given the very cold January.

Must say its great to be even talking about the prospects of experiencing one of the coldest top 10 winters of the last century. In recent years its been all about the prospects of one of the top 10 mildest winters of the last century, indeed achieving this feat as recently as 06/07.

Well spotted, it was in fact 1916/17. Now changed :drinks:

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reef, on 04 February 2010 - 16:37 , said:The top 10 coldest winters since 1895:

1962/63: -0.33C

1946/47: 1.13C

1916/17: 1.47C

1939/40: 1.47C

1978/78: 1.57C

1928/29: 1.70C

1941/42: 2.20C

2009/10: 2.40C (to Feb 3rd provisonally)

1981/82: 2.57C

1940/41: 2.60C

A mean of 3.48C or below is required in the remaining 25 days of winter to stay in the top 10 in the last 115 years.

Its just about possible in my view but probably 60/40 against getting that value but it does show neatly how cold this winter is so far.

Given all the talk there has been about how impossible to get a 'severe' UK winter if it does get in the top 10 it will be quite something.

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Crikey, 62-63 stands out a mile. I think John Kettley described that winter as a 1 in 1,000 years event. As it stands this winter is looking like a 1 in 30 years event, and that is good enough for me!

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re this comment

I can believe the lying snow stats no problem but 38 days of falling snow Jan/Feb 63 nope, maybe some of that snow was whip around in the wind

I have to say you are wrong.

I have the official stats for RCAF Langar, SE of Nottingham and they show

days with snow falling= 20 in Jan and 19 in Feb; lying snow=31 in Jan and 19 in Feb.....

....and from a further data source in the south east: Hurley, nr Maidenhead (Berks) recorded 16 snow falling days in Feb '63. See here: http://www.met.rdg.ac.uk/~brugge/hurley.html

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1916/1917 that was severe... its often a forgotton winter of the past century.

I have written an article about this winter.

The cold was very extended and lasted til about mid/late April 1917. December 1916-April 1917 was very cold

Winter 1928-29

Interestingly, Leo Bonacina in his snow analysis, reluctantly called this winter "snowy".

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It has been conspicuous how absent westerlies have been generally since at least September, reading Philip Eden's month analyses

September 2009 was generally anticyclonic

October 2009: westerly and southwesterly winds blew less than usual

November 2009: 2nd most cyclonic month but with a vigourous SWly flow from 11th to 24th

December 2009: 15th most "easterly" December on record

January 2010: 13th most "easterly" January on record

http://www.climate-uk.com/page3.html

The way things are panning out, February looks like being not a particularly "westerly" month.

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With the way the models are trending now looks just about nailed on this will be in the top 10 coldest winters in 115 years, indeed now looks probable this will colder then any of the 80s winters, which is a pretty good achievement and if that happens, then no doubt at all can be portrayed that this is a historic winter.

Interestingly enough 1916-17 was the only other winter to have a strong El nino and be as cold, there qas an amazing 20-30 day cold period in that winter that is up there with some of the coldest monthly periods of all time I'd imagine...

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With the way the models are trending now looks just about nailed on this will be in the top 10 coldest winters in 115 years, indeed now looks probable this will colder then any of the 80s winters, which is a pretty good achievement and if that happens, then no doubt at all can be portrayed that this is a historic winter.

Interestingly enough 1916-17 was the only other winter to have a strong El nino and be as cold, there qas an amazing 20-30 day cold period in that winter that is up there with some of the coldest monthly periods of all time I'd imagine...

The El Nino is pretty west-based and weakening rapidly though. I suspect if it had gone very strong we'd have been looking at a 1997/98 winter with the negative AO but the polar front jet simply too strong to allow blocking in the right place for the UK. It does show that you can never really make a forecast based on one factor and that El Nino / La Nina dont necessarily overide everything else.

Out of interest, what sort of correlation is there between decaying El Ninos and springs? A brief look suggests a warmer spring?

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An interesting question there Reef-I've no idea but I'm sure one of our more knowledgeable members will be able to help.

It really is a very good indication also that, as you say, it is absolutely no use taking any one item/teleconnection, in isolation. All have to be brought into the equation. Its only in the past few years that we have even seen AO and NAO being commented on regularly, let alone the state of the sun, QBO, ENSO etc etc. Its a big learning curve for everyone-I just hope UK Met is on that learning curve as well!

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The El Nino is pretty west-based and weakening rapidly though. I suspect if it had gone very strong we'd have been looking at a 1997/98 winter with the negative AO but the polar front jet simply too strong to allow blocking in the right place for the UK. It does show that you can never really make a forecast based on one factor and that El Nino / La Nina dont necessarily overide everything else.

Out of interest, what sort of correlation is there between decaying El Ninos and springs? A brief look suggests a warmer spring?

Yep I quite agree, I have similar problems with that and hurricane seasonal calls, El nino of summer 2004 would suggest a slower season, but because it was west based it actually helped to raise Atlantic tropical SST's and thus with good conditions the season had an explosive 6 week period.

Still Reef we were well in the strong category (I believe early Jan this was the 2nd strongest El nino since 82-83, obviously beaten by the super 97-98 event) during the cold spell itself but as you say it shows nicely how sometimes other events can over ride it.

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Would a cold El Nino winter be more likely to be followed by a warmer than average summer? I am just thinking was 1947 one case where a severe winter was followed by a warm/good summer and wasn't 1947 characterized by a weak El Nino? I do think that this could be one of those few years where a cold winter is followed by a warm summer (and as quoted above possibly spring too) and with us having a run of realitivly poor summers I do think that summer this year could be rather different - warmer overall than even last summer the reason for this is that when we do get runs of poor summers they don't normally last more than 3 years (like in the 1980s where there was a run of poor summers that was ended by a warm one in 1989) - So 1989 style summer maybe? (Did that involve a decaying El Nino?) What do you think?

Luke

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Well if you're going to compare this El Nino to 1947 you can't be so inconsistant. 1947 had a cold spring and hot summer. What makes you n think this springs going to warm on that basis?

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Also while 1989 had quite a warm spring, with an exceptional warm dry sunny May, April was cold with wintry spells. Also, Winter 1988/89 was close to being a polar opposite of this winter!

I think Spring 1947 was indeed quite warm, but only if you consider "spring" to have arrived in late March that year- until then it was exceptionally cold especially in the north.

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1947 spring

March 3.5c -2.7c

April 8.6c +0.5c

May 13.5c +2.2

Exactly average to the 71-000 mean.

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