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A Winter's Tale

Your Ideal Cold Spell

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Write a review or forecast of a cold spell happening anytime between October and May and lasting as long as you want. It could be as calm and sunny, or as cold and snowy as you want. Please note that you cold spell shouldn't be more than one cold spells put together, just consecutive days with below average temperatures.

Here is my Ideal Cold Spell:

November 20th - 25th: Sunny and frosty with some snow flurries delivering 2cm of snow under a northerly wind. 4c/-2c

November 26th - 30th: Colder and snowier with Forth-Clyde Streamer in business. Depths of 10-15cm. 0c/-6c

December 1st- 3rd: Crisp winter sunshine and active, heavy snow showers. Depths of 15cm. -3c/-14c.

December 4th-8th: A mixture of sunshine and mega, heavy/prolonged snow showers. Depths of 60cm. -8c/-18c

December 9th-13th: Drizzle and some sleet/rainy precip aswell as sunshine. Depths dropping to 10cm. 5c/0c.

December 14th-18th: Sunny, cold and some snow from the north. Depths of 10-15cm. 1c/-6c.

December 19th-26th: Very cold and very snowy with both northerly and easterly winds. Depths of 45cm. -7c/-20c.

December 27th-31st: Very cold with some occasional and heavy snow showers from northerly. Depths of 50cm. -7c/-18c.

January 1st-4th: Very cold and sunny with regular flurries and some heavy snow showers. Depths of 50-55cm. -6c/-17c.

January 5th-8th: A little bit snowier with NNW winds, very cold with clear nights. Depths of 55-60cm. -10/-20c.

January 9th-15th: Light easterly wind brings some light flurries. Depths of 60cm. -8c/-16c.

January 16th-17th: Atlantic front brings a dramatic battleground snowfalls. Depths of 80cm. -4c/-8c.

January 18th-20th: Sunny and still pretty cold. Depths of 80cm. 1c/-3c.

January 20th-22nd. Cold spell reaches its end with the last below average temps. Depths of 70cm. 3c/-1c.

What's your cold spell?

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Do you like cold weather and snow? I don't want to jump to conclusions but I think you might...

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Say ice days from mid Dec to the end of Jan or the beginning of Feb, mostly sunny with snow from time to time and av max -5C.

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Well my idea of an ideal cold spell is one where, ideally, many elderly people do survive even though they they can't afford the heating bills. In other words I haven't got one. I must admit I find the preoccupation with cold weather a touch odd.

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My ideal cold/winter spell...

October 21st - 28th: Atlantic depressions invading the U.K. One area of Low Pressure stalls to the East with a NNW wind injecting very cold uppers Southwards with heavy convective showers. Occasional showers making their way inland with a risk of snow for Northern areas, with showers falling as hail, possibly sleet, further South, particularly on high ground. Most showers happening in the North. Max temps around 8*C

October 28th - November 5th: High Pressure sets in killing off wintry showers with a week of cool sunshine and overnight frosts. Max temps around 12*C

November 6th - November 13th: A series of Atlantic Lows and strong winds come flooding in with winds generally from the West/South-West. Spells of rain for all, with a Pressure rise further South later on drying things up a bit. Mostly mild. Max temps around 17*C

November 14th - November 21st: High-Pressure from the South rises Northwards. Most places dry and cool, with High-Pressure retreating far enough North for everywhere to see cool/cold Easterly winds. The odd spot of drizzle for the South-East. Max temps around 12*C

November 22nd - November 29th: Very cold biting winds set in as stronger Easterly/North-East-East winds set in. Wintry showers would occur frequently near the coast, but with Low-Pressure and enough instability present, most of these would maintain their energy and make it well inland. Around 2 to 5cm dumpings in the West. 10cm+ dumpings in the East. Max temps 7*c at first, and getting colder.

November 30th - December 6th: High-Pressure staying firmly in position in the far North, but retrogressing slighty North-Westwards with the flow coming more in a North-Easterly direction. Snow showers would continue, with some particularly heavy falls from the Midlands, eastwards. Some disturbances in the Low Pressure system will help bring more prolonged snow at times still affecting Eastern areas most. 5 - 10cm dumpings in the West, with upto 20cm in the Midlands area. Eastern areas may see as much as 40cm, particularly on the highest ground. Max temps, 4*C.

December 6th - December 13th: High-Pressure (now over Greenland) will gradually sink South-Eastwards. Wintry showers would decrease rapidly for all, except for the far South-East where they may still continue. Mixture of sunny and cloudy spells with sharp overnight frosts possible. Max temps, 5*C

December 14th - December 21st: High Pressure sinks far enough South to allow Atlantic Lows to break through, with spells of rain and showers for many parts. Risk of frosts decrease too with westerly winds bringing alot of cloud to places. Showers, maybe wintry on high ground in Scotland, would follow on from the frontal bands of rain thanks to a Polar Maritime airflow. Max temps, 12*C.

December 22nd - December 29th: A low-Pressure system stalls over the U.K, but a touch to the East, with Westerly/North-Westerly winds. Showers becoming increasingly wintry as slightly cooler upper temperatures are brought down from the North-West. On Christmas day, a cold front heads down from the North falling as snow on its back end. But as colder air catches up with the front, 70% of this will fall as snow as it hits the Midlands with some convective falls possible. Low Pressure then exits eastwards and from boxing day onwards, everywhere would be cold and sunny with isolated frost and fog forming in places. Max temps, 9*C.

January (first part): High-Pressure dominated throughout with very gentle Northerly breeze bringing clear, cold air, and very thick hoar frosts at night-time. Frost would struggle to melt much during the day despite the sunshine. No rain/snow for the first 15 days and temps could get down to as cold as -12*c in the South. And upto -20*c in the North.

January 16th - January 23rd: High-Pressure will slowly dirft Eastwards and stall to the North-East drawing up some cool Southerly winds, although it would be milder than the first part of January. Fog/mist becoming widespread and lasting throughout the day(s). Some patchy drizze/light rain in the far South-West at times. Max temps, 9*C

January 24th - January 31st: Big Low-Pressure system approaches from the South-West unleashing some rather heavy instense rain and very strong winds. Milder with temperatures peaking at 12*C, and maybe as much as 14*c in the South-East with slightly more settled conditions their. Rest of the week dominated by heavy showers. Max temps, 14*C

February 1st - February 8th: Low-Pressure sinks Southwards and the North becomes more settled, with High-Pressure moving in. Southern areas see a spell of rain, sleet and snow with winds from the East/South-east. Some overnight frosts in the North. Max temps, 10*C

February 9th - February 16th: High-Pressure from the North-East forces the Low-Pressure from the South to retreat South-Westwards, and everywhere becomes affected by an easterly breeze. North-Sea cloud and mist will affect most areas, with the best of the mildness and sunny conditions in the far West. Generally rather cool/cold, with a chance of frost if cloud(s) break up enough. Max temps 6*C

February 17th - February 24th: Atlantic blocking becomes estabilished with a huge amplification of High-Pressure over Greenland. A small deep Low-Pessure system from the South-West will be forced to move slowly Eastwards with a huge battleground snow event, as an intense area of heavy rain moves in ahead of the Low. But as this bumps into cold air from the East, rain will be increasingly replaced by snow as it moves further inland giving a large prolonged dumping. Most southern areas would see around 30cm+. With the Jet Steam sinking Southwards, however, the Low, which is still tracking Eastwards, will move more in a South-Easterly direction and most places will see further spells of sleet/snow. A cool, cold week. Max temps, 4*C

March: There would be an increase in La Nina and Solar activity conditions and would encourage the Jet Stream to go further North. Frequent strong ridging of High-Pressure to the South covering the wole U.K at times with warm sunny weather. There would be occasional rain affecting the North as well as a few convective showers when Lows from the West attempt to push the High-Pressure further East. Later on in the month, Low Pressure systems win out, which will be sandwhiched in between brief ridging of High-Pressure systems. As Low Pressure systems head East, heavy wintry showers would be just about possible anywhere, with most occuring the in the North.

Perhaps further wintry showers in April, and then the cold spells become flushed down the drain! diablo.gif

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Well my idea of an ideal cold spell is one where, ideally, many elderly people do survive even though they they can't afford the heating bills. In other words I haven't got one. I must admit I find the preoccupation with cold weather a touch odd.

WS, perhaps I am in my second childhood, maybe never having left my first but the sight of a good snowfall never ceases to excite me - one of the wonders of nature and once I fail to appreciate these, perhaps it will be time for me to pop my clogs - meanwhile........

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Given that the elderly death rate from cold is higher in Britain than in many actual cold countries (such as Russia and Finland), I would say the issue is a sociopolitical one rather than personal emotion-based weather preferences.

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I guess it's the same when 2000 elderly people died in August 2003 and many more in France due to the heat.

I'm very aware of the problems cold weather can cause such as elderly people not being able to afford to heat their homes (I'm highly dubious of the above claim though), though If you expect that to suddenly change peoples preferences of weather to switch from cold to mild, you're mistaken!

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Given that the elderly death rate from cold is higher in Britain than in many actual cold countries (such as Russia and Finland), I would say the issue is a sociopolitical one rather than personal emotion-based weather preferences.

This is no doubt correct but then it's really impossible to discuss such subjects in isolation. If you come across it quite a good book on the subject, Heat Wave: A social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, by Eric Klinenberg. It's about the 1995 heat wave in Chicago in 1995. Heat waves in the United States kill more people during a typical year than all other natural disasters combined.

I guess it's the same when 2000 elderly people died in August 2003 and many more in France due to the heat.

You could say that. The WHO has estimated that the extreme heat caused more than 15,000 excess deaths in France, Portugal and Italy alone.

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Write a review or forecast of a cold spell happening anytime between October and May and lasting as long as you want. It could be as calm and sunny, or as cold and snowy as you want. Please note that you cold spell shouldn't be more than one cold spells put together, just consecutive days with below average temperatures.

Here is my Ideal Cold Spell:

November 20th - 25th: Sunny and frosty with some snow flurries delivering 2cm of snow under a northerly wind. 4c/-2c

November 26th - 30th: Colder and snowier with Forth-Clyde Streamer in business. Depths of 10-15cm. 0c/-6c

December 1st- 3rd: Crisp winter sunshine and active, heavy snow showers. Depths of 15cm. -3c/-14c.

December 4th-8th: A mixture of sunshine and mega, heavy/prolonged snow showers. Depths of 60cm. -8c/-18c

December 9th-13th: Drizzle and some sleet/rainy precip aswell as sunshine. Depths dropping to 10cm. 5c/0c.

December 14th-18th: Sunny, cold and some snow from the north. Depths of 10-15cm. 1c/-6c.

December 19th-26th: Very cold and very snowy with both northerly and easterly winds. Depths of 45cm. -7c/-20c.

December 27th-31st: Very cold with some occasional and heavy snow showers from northerly. Depths of 50cm. -7c/-18c.

January 1st-4th: Very cold and sunny with regular flurries and some heavy snow showers. Depths of 50-55cm. -6c/-17c.

January 5th-8th: A little bit snowier with NNW winds, very cold with clear nights. Depths of 55-60cm. -10/-20c.

January 9th-15th: Light easterly wind brings some light flurries. Depths of 60cm. -8c/-16c.

January 16th-17th: Atlantic front brings a dramatic battleground snowfalls. Depths of 80cm. -4c/-8c.

January 18th-20th: Sunny and still pretty cold. Depths of 80cm. 1c/-3c.

January 20th-22nd. Cold spell reaches its end with the last below average temps. Depths of 70cm. 3c/-1c.

What's your cold spell?

That isn't an ideal cold spell at all. If that came off then many people would die, water would be a premium and crops will be non-existent.

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Our average winters are usually very damp and if you add cold but above freezing with lack of sunshine this makes for a fairly unhealthy situation -paradoxically on a calm day it feels warmer out in the sunshine of a sub zero day than it does on a cloudy day with plus values in temperature.

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That isn't an ideal cold spell at all. If that came off then many people would die, water would be a premium and crops will be non-existent.

True but you would love that amount of Snow in Runcorn Mate..

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It would generally begin in late November and end at around New Years.

Nov 22nd - Nov 24th: HP from nw gives clear skies, temperatures fall under cooler ne wind in south. No snow but hard frosts.

Nov 25th - Nov 28th: HP sinks but Greenland HP ridges south. LP towards w moves sw as jet moves south. Cold ne wind brings snow showers regularly to eastern parts.

Nov 29th - Dec 1st: LP moves towards S England - cold n wind provides hard frosts in scotland and northern ireland. Snowstorms bought by a ne/e wind in e england, s england, sw and wales.

Dec 2nd - Dec 5th: As LP moves across nation towards Norway, new pM flow occurs - cold nw wind gives snow showers to scotland, northern ireland, nw england and midlands. Very frosty in south and east.

Dec 6th - Dec 11th: HP begins to move in from south as atlantic systems blocked out to the west and north. Very sunny and quite warm as 15c hit in SE. Dry and sunny with warm se wind from iberia. Christmas shopping at record levels in relative heat.

Dec 12th - Dec 13th: Heat ends - HP moves east and sinks in N Sea and Baltic. LP systems track south again as blocking from greenland begins to influence again. Cool n and nw wind across uk with some wintry showers and sunshine.

Dec 14th - Upstream pattern forces lows south, very wet across England and Wales.

Dec 15th - Dec 19th: Low pressure in N Sea. Very cold northerlies throughout with stuck systems in N Sea and Baltic. Cold nw and n winds with ne winds in south. Periodic snowfalls.

Dec 20th - Dec 22nd: Less cool sw 'toppler' with lp moving across uk nw-se. Wetter again. Becoming cooler in north.

Dec 23rd - Dec 24th: LP in channel. HP ridging from Greenland to Scandinavia. Very cold ne/e wind flows across with dramatic convective snowstorms and thundery intervals across e england. thames streamer sets up and delivers up to 1ft in south london on christmas eve.

Dec 25th: Clear start across north and midlands with some snow in the south - cold n/ne flow. during afternoon, polar low develops in norwegian sea and rapidly moves ne-sw across the uk. Copious snowfall amounts throughout the afternoon, evening and into the night. Up to 1ft falls across s scotland, n england and midlands. Further showers across se england.

Dec 26th - Dec 29th: Showers die down as atlantic systems push away and HP moves in from continental europe. cooler se wind and slow melt. Sunny days and clear nights. Heights building over Scandinavia.

Dec 30th - Dec 31st: Cool ne wind with coldest uppers over Benelux and N Germany. Some low cloud and snizzle over eastern areas.

Jan 1st: Ultra cold uppers of -20c move in. Extreme E wind pushes in against advancing low from sw. Manic snowstorms in e england and in midlands/wales.

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My ideal cold spell would be one that lasts from november to march with no real thaw and plenty of ice days with the occasional snow storm mixed in for good measure.air_kiss.gif

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Basically, a month of cool, convective NWlies and Wlies, some intense lake effect NElies and the odd HP move from the SE bringing warm, sunny days and cool, clear nights. Heights generally high in Greenland and the Arctic, and low in the Baltic and Scandinavia. CET about 3c for the month.

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A winter dominated by two types of weather i.e. what we saw between 21st Jan - 10th Feb 1996 followed by a spell of weather the same as 20-31 Dec 1995. In terms of timeline, I'd like the 21st Jan - 10th Feb to start on the 1st Dec.

Whilst it would see some slight milder air at times as occured at times in the 21st Jan - 10th Feb, it would also mean at least nine significant snowy spells a las 27/28 Jan 96, 5/6 Feb 96 and 27/28 Dec 95 and the week long freeze of Dec 95 occuring three times.

Timeline -

1-20th Dec = 21st Jan - 10th Feb 96

20th-31st Dec = 20-31 Dec 95

1-20th Jan = 21st Jan - 10th Feb 96

20th-31st Jan = 20-31st Dec 95

1-20th Feb = 21st Jan - 10th Feb 96

20th Feb - 3 Mar = 20-31 Dec 95.

Would like to know the CET values for 20-31 Dec 95 and 21st Jan - 10th Feb 96. Suspect the Dec 95 value to be near freezing mark and the latter perhaps around the 2 degree mark?

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Well my idea of an ideal cold spell is one where, ideally, many elderly people do survive even though they they can't afford the heating bills. In other words I haven't got one. I must admit I find the preoccupation with cold weather a touch odd.

Yes ,it is odd I agree,Obsessions are by their nature odd.I live in a flat in south manchester without warm water and central heating ,i also live below the poverty line [being an artist has its hardships] yet I love the cold weather.I think ,cvertainly for me ,the reason I like it so much is that it changes the appearance of the lanscape so completely.Yes,people die in cold snaps,people also do not.I for one when it is cold and particularily snowy and or icy under foot go out of my way to lookafter and help people who may be in need.So ,yes ,people can suffer in extencded cold weather but ,what can I say ,I love cold and hope that it is so this winter.I must be an evil ,geronophile.

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.I must be an evil ,geronophile.

Assuming you meant gerontophile (?) are you sure that's what you meant to say? It's a bit of a leap.

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bit of an ....er mistake .For the record i am not sexually interested in the elderly.....yet..I meant to say maybe im an evil person who hates the elderly[which i am also not]... well,with that trench truly dug i shall depart.

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True but you would love that amount of Snow in Runcorn Mate..

Hellssssss yeah!! :D

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bit of an ....er mistake .For the record i am not sexually interested in the elderly.....yet..I meant to say maybe im an evil person who hates the elderly[which i am also not]... well,with that trench truly dug i shall depart.

One day.............!

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One day.............!

Well,hopefully ,if I survive the next 50 years worth of winters i'll be old and i may develop a neccessary penchent for the elderly gentleman .

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Well,hopefully ,if I survive the next 50 years worth of winters i'll be old and i may develop a neccessary penchent for the elderly gentleman .

Well, hopefully, if I survive the next 50 years of winters I'll be really old and get entered in the record books - here's to hoping drinks.gif

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Interestingly the topic breached by Weather Ship also came up on the uk.sci.weather FAQ:

Some of those lurking in the uk.sci.weather newsgroup must find this fascination with severe winter weather (as well as other 'severe' events) rather odd, or even perverse. However, it must be appreciated that our interest, from both amateurs and professionals, is primarily in the meteorology of such events

Certainly, a highly disproportionate number of weather enthusiasts that I've met share this fascination with cold/snow, thunderstorms etc. As the FAQ says, a lot of it is down to the meteorology of the events- the factors required to give us snow, thunderstorms etc, the unusual effects that they create etc. In the case of snow, there is also the desire to play out in it- I've had repeated experiences of going outside to watch an approaching snow shower and ending up in a big snowball fight as a result, for example.

I do, though, find the way the Model Output Discussion operates somewhat unusual- the tendency to be interested only in one type of weather at a time, and to switch abruptly from one to another at an arbitrary point during the advancing season. Most of the snow lovers that I know in "real life" are also interested in other types of weather, just not necessarily to as large an extent.

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