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BlueSkies_do_I_see

How will the Winter of 2012/2013 be remembered?

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So we started the winter cold, then a few weeks of very mild, and about 10 days of snow, but not that cold because of persistent cold cover. We've got 6 weeks left to make or break the winter.

A return to zonal rain that plagued us during the latter part of Dec and into Jan and it will be remembered less fondly by the NW members. But it has time yet to be memorable.

From a Midlands perspective, it is already an above average winter for snow.

But how do you think the rest of the winter will pan out?

Here's my punt. Wind, rain and floods into early Feb, followed by a northerly and more snow. Then very mild for early March!

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Speaking for Watford, the overall impression of the winter to date is 'gloomy' - we had a fairly cold first half of December, then mild until after the first week of Jan, when we experienced the first real snows of the winter but here during this cold spell we retained cloud cover for most of the time, most of the days and some nights recovered to plus values so as a result we had few hard frosts, the coldest being a -2.8 and a -4.8C, but overall very little sunshine and currently it is still cloudy with a temp of +2c.

I must say I was a little suprised yesterday afternoon and evening to receive further snow in the form of showers which were not forecasted for our area, however it did not amount to much, only about a cm since the temperature was in positive values, though it could have been 2 to 4 cms had it been colder.

There is a difference between what I would like to see happen and what is likely to happen - my wish list is for another fortnight of cold but with powdery snow, ice days with blue skies, to be followed by a pleasant warming into spring.

The likelihood is that we will get stuck in the mildish westerlies for probably the next 3 weeks after this weekend being followed by another coldish spell which could either come by northerlies which do not normally give great amounts of snow unless we get a polar low bumping into us, or, which is preferable an easterly.

At the moment we still have a continental high which appears to be making tracks east in the near future. Continental temperatures are falling just at the moment but whether this will be enough to encourage it to grow and spread westwards, I am not quite sure. The more likely, I think is for the greeny high to build a little with lows over Scandy introducing the northerlies I mentioned.

Following on from that I would expect variable weather with the mild westerlies alternating with the cold northerlies carrying us through to the end of April interspersed with the influence of a high giving us some settled weather for a few days at a time.

In some ways an unusual winter for us, yes, above average snow but not really the low temperatures I associate with such a cold spell, though they have occurred in other parts of the country.

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I think it will be remembered from March 20th 2013 at 11:01 AM UTC onwards.......

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Enjoy hope this winter has a bit more snow to come ,the best bit a guy trying to clean ice from his bedroom window

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Speaking for Leeds i think that this winter will be remembered pretty well, at my parents we are now going into day 15 of partial snow cover.

With that being said the last five winters have featured notable cold spells with snow cover so i may be easy to please (09 - 16 days, 10 - 31 days, Dec 10 - 25 days, 12 - 8 days, 13 - 15> days).

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It seems to have been quite a mixed Winter for numerous Netweatherians overall, but also a bit of a strange Winter, too - strange in that despite some of the cold spells that flooded the season, getting very low minimum temperatures has been no easy task. It has also been a bit of a strange season in that at least for here, and I think for other surrounding regions (and any other areas relevant to what I'm about to mention) frosts appear have been somewhat lacking. I can only remember a few times this Winter where the white, sparkly, crispy blanket showed up on the surfaces outside. With cloudy weather being a notable feature in parts during the last few months, then I think it's fair to say this has affected the very low minimum temperature's we could have achieved. I admit this may not have been true for the whole of the UK as some places were probably clearly likely to have seen clearer conditions than others.

One aspect I really enjoyed about this Winter, however, were the fair amount of snowy days which took a pounding in particular places (with upto 16cm of level snow at one point here during that epic two week January wintry spell - the most I have seen here in a long, long while). Nevertheless, the snow did seem to vary widely throughout the UK with some places barely seeing much, if any at all, during the Winter.

If I had to rate this Winter out if 10, I would probably give it a 6.5/10. Decent season for snow and some fairly potent cold spells, but let down by constant cloudy days elimating frequent frost potential. 3.5 points are also deducted for the fact that there was no true convective Easterly/North-Easterly occurring.

But, what was this Winter like for you? Did it bring everything you dreamed for, or was it all just too good to be true? Is there anything about this Winter you would have improved? And do you feel it was over-hyped?

Obviously you don't have to answer all, or any, of these questions if you don't want to but basically just your general opinion of this Winter.

:)

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My view on this winter, from a couple of posts that I have recently put in my regional thread. Firstly a little temperature analysis:

Comparing this winter's monthly averages (using Cambridge University weather station averages via. http://www.cl...ch/dtg/weather/) to the 1971-2000 average for Cambridge:

1971-2000 average:

December: 5.1C

January: 4.2C

February: 4.3C

This winter:

December: 4.8C (-0.3)

January: 3.1C (-1.1)

February: 2.7C (-1.6 - not a definite figure at the moment)

So colder than average temperatures for all three months, February in particular. Such differences for January and February accuentuated further when compared to the 1981-2010 averages, though December was actually +0.1C milder than the 1981-2010 average.

This February has had no real mild periods with a maximum temperature of 10.5C recorded, with consistent periods of cool/cold weather. January in comparison is when the main cold spell of winter occured between roughly the 10th-25th of January, including the coldest temperature of -9.6C on the 22nd and a mean temperature of 0.5C or below on twelve consecutive days between 13th-25th. However the mean was higher than February thanks to a mildish first week or so of January and a mild end to the month, where the warmest temperature of the winter, 14.5C, was recorded on the 29th.

Going back to December, a fairly mild second half of the month failed to cancel out a cold start to the month, and it wasn't until the 15th when double figure temperatures were reached for the first time of the winter.

As for rainfall this winter, December had above-average rainfall while January and February had below average rainfall.

And my general view on this winter:

One thing that has been notable this winter is the lack of frosts, mainly associated with the amount of cloud during the cold spells that we have had. It's a shame that we haven't had any decent northerlies this winter, which may not of delivered snow for us that live inland, but as already mentioned would of delivered crisp, sunny days and sharp overnight frosts.

Have to say that on the four winters I've been on here, this one has been the most gripping, certainly in the aspect of the models, which have for the vast majority of the winter provided a good level of interest for cold weather, though it has to be said unfortunately it didn't always work out, such as with December's failed easterly! I don't think this winter has been bad at all snow-wise, as my signature shows 13 days of snow falling here is pretty good, especially when you compare this to the winters c.1997-2008, where it would be a struggle to get 2-4 days of snow falling and even less snow lying. When compared to the recent spell of 'better winters' (2008-9 onwards), there was more snow this winter than last (arguably better for snowfall for my location too than December 2010, though I know this wasn't the case for many) , though the best winter for these stats, plus colder temperatures and frosts was the winter of 2009-10, 20 days of snow falling, 21 lying plus about 41 airfrosts too. I did prefer last February's cold spell which had a lot more sunshine compared to the January cold spell, however, as aforementioned I'm fairly pleased with the outcome of this winter, with one decent snowfall and the snow from the fall lasting for a good week or so after that, one 'severe' frost, though perhaps a lack of frost and sunshine during the cold spells (most of the sunshine has occured during milder periods of weather) has tainted this winter a bit compared to recent others.

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Different from recent winters that have been below average in that the cold was not concentrated in the first half as with 2010-11 and to a lesser than extent with 2009-10. In 2008-09, the very mild second half of February negated the cold spell of the first half and in that winter, there was only one cold spell in the second half of that winter to the two in the first half.

Last winter, the very mild second half of February 2012 negated the cold first half.

The result is the coldest second half to winter for 17 years.

Synoptically, a complex winter at times. It was remarkable to see European polar continental airmass meeting with North American polar continental airmass modified by the Atlantic over the UK during January.

Some people have found it frustrating with near misses but I found it interesting, a different type of winter than winters of the recent past.

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For me, not that good really, Probably a pretty standard winter with some cold and mild spells, apart from the lack of clear nights with sharp frosts. I have spent most of the winter in Surrey with the occasional weekend and 3 weeks at Christmas at home in Devon.

It would have been better if I had been in the UK from the 19th to the 26th January! although, at least I did get to see a decent snowfall on the Friday before I had to leave overnight.

Another factor is the amount of cloud and dullness in the cold spells, particularly the latest one. I live in a frost prone valley in East Devon but the lowest temp in both Jan and Feb was -2.4C, milder than any other winter month low (or March low) I've recorded since I got my weather station in 2007. The January low was under cloudy skies. There was a month without a single air frost from the 11th December to the 11th January, although there was some interest from other weather types.

There was an ice day in Surrey in December with frost on the trees etc all day, a few light snow flurries and 2cm of wet snow that I saw though.

Due to these factors and missing most of the snow, I'd probably give it no more than about a 4.5/10 for me at best.

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4/10 would have been six if we had snow in December ...

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Well its been fairly snowy at times with some decent falls even for less snow prone areas like here - so that's a plus point.

The cold periods during Jan/Feb have been extremely dull however and provide the reason why we've had very few low minima. The low CET has come from suppressed maxima during daylight hours from the cloud laden easterlies.

There have been some milder periods which have brought the brightest weather of the winter (early Jan for example).

It started extremely wet but has turned much drier towards the end.

The snow has 'made' this winter as unlike last year it has been very cloudy and lacking the extreme low temperatures of 2010. Despite the lack of low minima it has felt 'cold' a lot and required the burning of vast amounts of natural gas to keep warm.

Overall - 6/10.

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Last 6 weeks of winter have been genuinley wintery in NW Durham. Snow has been in evidence throughout either as full cover or as drifts/patches remaining after the large falls. Some epic snow falls recorded in January with two falls in excess of 30cm (12") in Consett, giving some lying snow depths a ski resort would be happy with. Not sure what the total number of 50%+ 9am laying snow days has been for December to February in NW Durham, but I would assume in excess of 30. Interestingly however, although the average temperatures have been in the +2s and +3s, we havent seen many really cold nights/days. Often I will see several nights below -10C in a winter, I havent seen this at all this winter....and the confirmation of this? I have never had to have the heating on 24 hours.....

Roll on a dry sunny spring:)

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For my location November was fairly average with Atlantic systems moving in from the West but high pressure never far away. It wasn't as stormy or wet as previous Novembers.

December it was mainly settled and cold at times also some spells of high pressure in charge although they were very short lived. At the very end it got very unsettled and we got our first proper winter storm. Compared to last December it was much better more settled and colder this time.

January had a big mixture but mainly unsettled weather it was wet and windy at the start but settled down mid way then towards the end got more unsettled with another storm at the very end of the month.

February really liked this month as it had plenty of settled weather with cold temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

Overall a average winter that could have been a lot worse or a lot better. Never got any laying snow but had brief snow showers for just one day. Cold settled spells with sunshine made up for it though.

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Like some others, probably around 6/10.

December was a disappointment to my mind- the first half was sunny and cold here but with not much snow and not many notable events, then after a failed attempt at an easterly (ECMWF, cough, cough) the second half was grey and wet. Temperatures were near-average overall.

January- I would have regarded this as a fairly poor month had it not been for the snowy spell, for the first week was dull dry and mild, and the cold spell was also generally dull. There were frequent frontal snowfalls during the cold spell although many of them were wet here and failed to add much to the snow cover- for most of the spell I didn't have more than about 5 centimetres. However, a trip up to Sutton Bank revealed about 8 centimetres up there and gave some good sledging opportunities. The highlight was the last frontal event of the spell which produced a surprisingly large amount, about 12 centimetres total, and we had a sunny day the next day which was very picturesque. Also worth noting was the dramatic weather we got from the mild Atlantic-driven spell at the end, with some strong winds, active rain squalls, and reports of hail and thunder from nearby.

Overall January was dry and cloudy with temperatures below average by day and close to average by night.

February- Sunny at both ends of the month. I remember an unexpectedly significant snowfall on the 13th which was followed by a dry sunny spell but then a long grey easterly spell, with just a few snow flurries on a couple of the days which produced nothing meaningful on the ground. There were no days with >50% snow cover at 0900 despite a fair number of days with sleet/snow falling.

The main disappointments for me this winter were the way the snowy spells were grey and the lack of days characterised by sunshine and snow showers, in contrast to the winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11, but it was more eventful than many other winters.

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I suppose pretty standard here in west Cornwall. 1 event of lying snow which was only about 2cm. Lol. However back home I think for the West Midlands, a very good, if not excellent winter. Some excellent snow in the main cold spell in January.

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For my location which is Calgary what is interesting is that much of October and pretty much all of November were colder and snowier than January and February...the winter itself.. December was close to average with a cold spell around Xmas but little in the way of snow apart from the first week... January was mild and sunny with one notable snowfall mid month and a very cold snap in the last 2 days..February apart from a cold first 2 days was very mild and sunny with no snow until the 26th (then only around 5cm)...so as a season as a whole it was a mild winter often very sunny and mostly dry..very similar to last winter but not quite a s mild as 2011-12...in terms of sunshine i would give it a 9/10..in terms of cold and snow i would give it 2/10.

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Frustration snow wise. More often than not (infact all the time) Any snow we did accumulate often melted very quickly indeed or the snow either stayed as sleet/rain. The cold was good at times though.

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I didn't so much find it, as wake up to it (officially) on 21st December! :winky:

6/10 - could try harder.....

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7/10.

Pretty cool, not too wet, lack of gales, good solid cold spell in late January.

Would have been higher but December and February were 'nearly' months.

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7/10 ...........................or as I prefer to break it down 14/20 comprised as follows:-

post-10773-0-42679000-1362151526_thumb.j

Low Temperatures: 3

Frosts: 4

Snowfall 5

Accumulations 2

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i think that the further east you are the better it has been in terms of being wintery it hasnt been exceptional by any means but a notable wintery period for the last 6 weeks nontheless in these hilly parts there are still snow patches over the tops and will prob remain for a couple more weeks yet and many areas had 100% snow cover for 2 weeks and some areas for 3 or possibly 4 weeks,to say we have gone from 95 to 2008 without that happening then 2013 has to take some respect,for me though winter starts with frost and snow and ends with warm spring weather which can be a period from the end of october to early may.may 1st 1947 ??was that spring with temps to -20 and further blizzards to come for nearly 3 weeks

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Decent really, although the Xmas period was bad, 14th Dec to 11th Jan was completely snowless, and virtually no cold

Jan of course the best month, 13th-26th, and Feb just a typical month at low levels, any snow being wet due to growing daylight hours and high sun

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16th January -28th or 29th February

2013: 2.75C

1996: 2.3C

1991: 1.86C

1987: 2.81C

1986: 0.47C

1985: 2.05C

1979: 0.64C

1978: 2.77C

1965: 2.79C

1963: -1.38C

1956: 1.46C

1955: 2.18C

1954: 2.47C

1952: 2.49C

1947: -0.95C

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Average at best I'd say in terms of snow and frost.

However considering that we've had patches of snow still visible on the local hills for about 7 weeks now it has certainly been a longer lasting winter period than recent ones.

To me the only disappointment was that a winter that promised so much actually delivered so little and from an IMBY perspective we often found ourselves on the edge of the interesting weather.

However after such a wet summer at least we didn't end up with a January and February with constant weather systems and mild muck.

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I'd split my analysis in half. In terms of actual weather 6/10. We had one snowfall of about 3 inches, and down in the SW any snow means it had to be a 5/10 winter or better really, but other than that single snowfall it was wet and not particularly dramatic in terms of frost, low minima or even storms.

In terms of expectations I would give it 2/10. Stratospheric signals suggested something special in the second half; early on we had a very near miss with a major retrogression which all went pear shaped. But the stratospheric major split in the vortex simply delivered us a strong Canadian vortex shard and the high lat blocking that kept being touted never really materialised. For that reason the season has been a major disappointment because I had sniffed something really special and then actually it hasnt happened.

This is an imby analysis of course. I know some parts got plenty of snow... but not here. Weeks on end of slider lows bringing cold rain, and then a cold dry easterly recently are grim. Thank goodness for 2 weeks in January where we got some interest.

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