With a potential cold end to winter and start to spring on the horizon, here's a thread to discuss the ins and outs of that, how the latest forecasts are looking and so on.
There's obviously a lot of chat in the model thread about this currently, and you can also find info about the SSW over in the strat thread.
Nick has also blogged about the SSW here:
Sudden Stratospheric Warming This Weekend, But What Is It & How Will It Affect Our Weather?
And about the model mayhem currently being caused by it here:
Sudden Stratospheric Warming Brings Weather Model Mayhem
It's fair to say that confidence in the exact weather we're going to see from mid-next week onward is currently very low, but the Met Office are confident enough in the likelihood of cold weather that they've recently put out a press release:
Winter could be set to go out with a bang it seems, but it's not nailed on, yet.....
A very cold spell is recorded by Gilbert White in his nature journal covering late February into March 1786. February that year started pretty average with some gales mid-month and it was not until the 21st that an East wind is mentioned. After 4 days of bitter conditions he notes that "ploughs are stopped by the frost" and "men cannot dig in the hop-gardens". A heavy snowfall arrives on the 27th and is described as about 7 inches deep - falling without drifting and lodged on the trees so it appears "very grotesque and picturesque".
What happened next is the real surprise for our 'modern expectations'. The east wind gets up again and it becomes even colder so that the lying snow is now drifted "over hedges and gates". The first signs of any thawing are not seen until 10th March and even by 22nd March the lanes have "much snow still lying". Given this is Hampshire and not very far from the South coast it just goes to show how potent a late Winter spell could be back then.
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