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Cleeve Hill

Winter forecasts - did anyone get close ?

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Ian Pennell who opened a thread in the Autumn entitled late Autumn and winter 2013/14

mild stormy short cold snaps later.

His long range forecast made on the 20th of October was virtually spot on and the reasoning

behind it was also excellent, 95/100 I think. One of the most accurate forecasts I have read in

years.

Yes I agree CC his forecast was remarkable really - worth having another look to see how accurate he has been.

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Problem is some people predict the same each year so obviously will be close eventually.

Such as laminate flooring?

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my, that is really accurate-well done!

John, I think thats a forecast for next winter (based on this one). I assume its humour!

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John, I think thats a forecast for next winter (based on this one). I assume its humour!

 

Yes it is humour, but does show that weather predictions is guesswork really, but my 'forecast' is certainly more likely than the tripe coming from Piers corbyn and madden

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As we approach the end of February I am interested to know if anyone was close with their forecasts.

Back in October people were suggesting another below average winter but I don't recall reading anything about record rainfall. My gut feel is that temperatures will come out mild but not overly mild but the continual rainfall has been exceptional.

Roger smith talked out a powerful vortex which could sit on the eastern side of Canada for long periods powering the jet across the Atlantic but that is about the only forecast which is now looking good.

Why was the stratosphere so cold this year ?

 

Well I wouldn't say I was right - I certainly didn't predict so much wind & rain! But I think I was closer than some.

As posted on TWO on 7th September 2013:

"Gut feeling is a rather ordinary winter with no prolonged, widespread, cold or snow.

And using my patent Antipodean method, it's looking like a rather mild winter with probably at least one record warm month Posted Image Though this does not preclude some decent snow, especially in upland areas."

:)

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I'd forgotten about Ian Pennell's forecast and was curious enough to dig it out after reading this thread - here's a link for anyone who hasn't read it:

http://forum.netweather.tv/topic/78219-late-autumn-and-winter-201314-mild-stormy-short-cold-snaps-later/

 

Probably the best forecast I've read for this winter.  As others have said, another good forecast from Roger J Smith too. I didn't think the Netweather forecast was too bad - if you read the technical version, chionomaniac wasn't far off with the actual pattern for Jan / Feb, e.g.:
"Average precipitation is likely with the UK to be situated in between a negatively tilted Atlantic trough and Scandinavian ridge. This pattern is likely to become more dominant as the month progresses and stratospheric influences during this month will determine which air mass will eventually be dominant over the UK. "

 

Unfortunately for us, the Atlantic trough proved too dominant, but the prediction of the overall pattern was there with two outcomes for Feb based on the possibility of the SSW occurring or not.  Again, unfortunately we've ended up with the mild and wet one!

 

I may be wrong but would think extremes like this winter are hard to forecast; because most LRFs involve analogues of some kind, it would be difficult to pinpoint a record breaking pattern where the nearest matches are not as intense as the actual event and we only have data going back 100 or so years, which is such a small dataset in climatological terms.  This is why I am slightly wary of anyone who forecasts record breaking cold every year!

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I'd forgotten about Ian Pennell's forecast and was curious enough to dig it out after reading this thread - here's a link for anyone who hasn't read it:

http://forum.netweather.tv/topic/78219-late-autumn-and-winter-201314-mild-stormy-short-cold-snaps-later/

 

Probably the best forecast I've read for this winter.  As others have said, another good forecast from Roger J Smith too. I didn't think the Netweather forecast was too bad - if you read the technical version, chionomaniac wasn't far off with the actual pattern for Jan / Feb, e.g.:

"Average precipitation is likely with the UK to be situated in between a negatively tilted Atlantic trough and Scandinavian ridge. This pattern is likely to become more dominant as the month progresses and stratospheric influences during this month will determine which air mass will eventually be dominant over the UK. "

 

Unfortunately for us, the Atlantic trough proved too dominant, but the prediction of the overall pattern was there with two outcomes for Feb based on the possibility of the SSW occurring or not.  Again, unfortunately we've ended up with the mild and wet one!

 

I may be wrong but would think extremes like this winter are hard to forecast; because most LRFs involve analogues of some kind, it would be difficult to pinpoint a record breaking pattern where the nearest matches are not as intense as the actual event and we only have data going back 100 or so years, which is such a small dataset in climatological terms.  This is why I am slightly wary of anyone who forecasts record breaking cold every year!

Not sure I agree with you re the Netweather forecast support.  Saying it will be a battle of West vs. East is a given for the UK.  Trying to pick when the underdog will break through or be knocked back is the key.  So anyone picking up on the westerly dominance from December until now, whilst backing the big dog, deserves credit.  Normally that easterly pup has a few nibbles at our heals but this year the westerly influence is one big Canadian dog.

 

Still, watching those low pressure fronts spiralling across the Atlantic has been compelling for those that find extreme weather in all forms interesting.

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I forgot about Ian Pennell's forecast too.  He has indeed done very well!

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I'd say Ian Pennell's forecast was a fantastic effort, highly informative with sound reasoning as to why he felt this winter would pan out like it has. In fact I would go as far too say it's the best and most accurate LRF I've seen, now for the tricky bit can he follow it up for Spring/Summer. Over to you Ian!

Edited by UV-RAY

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I'd forgotten about Ian Pennell's forecast and was curious enough to dig it out after reading this thread - here's a link for anyone who hasn't read it:

http://forum.netweather.tv/topic/78219-late-autumn-and-winter-201314-mild-stormy-short-cold-snaps-later/

 

Probably the best forecast I've read for this winter.  As others have said, another good forecast from Roger J Smith too. I didn't think the Netweather forecast was too bad - if you read the technical version, chionomaniac wasn't far off with the actual pattern for Jan / Feb, e.g.:"Average precipitation is likely with the UK to be situated in between a negatively tilted Atlantic trough and Scandinavian ridge. This pattern is likely to become more dominant as the month progresses and stratospheric influences during this month will determine which air mass will eventually be dominant over the UK. "

 

Unfortunately for us, the Atlantic trough proved too dominant, but the prediction of the overall pattern was there with two outcomes for Feb based on the possibility of the SSW occurring or not.  Again, unfortunately we've ended up with the mild and wet one!

 

I may be wrong but would think extremes like this winter are hard to forecast; because most LRFs involve analogues of some kind, it would be difficult to pinpoint a record breaking pattern where the nearest matches are not as intense as the actual event and we only have data going back 100 or so years, which is such a small dataset in climatological terms.  This is why I am slightly wary of anyone who forecasts record breaking cold every year!

Brilliant forecast from Ian Pennell, no fluke either, a depth of reasoning that reminds me of Glacier Point.

Equally sad when looking through the thread to see the man getting insulted at the time for his forecast. Comments such as "clown" and "fool", and these from senior members of this forum! We should never be disrespectful to anyone who makes a reasoned attempt at a LTF. No wonder he doesn't post much.

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At the time i thought Ian's forecast was a brilliant read.

 As it turns out it was extremely accurate, especially the explanation about what he thought would cause a stormy winter.

 

And agree with the issue of disrespectful comments early on in his thread - JH called him a "comic" in early December - naughty!

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At the time i thought Ian's forecast was a brilliant read.

 As it turns out it was extremely accurate, especially the explanation about what he thought would cause a stormy winter.

 

And agree with the issue of disrespectful comments early on in his thread - JH called him a "comic" in early December - naughty!

 

extremely accurate ?

 

its general gist of strong baraclonic gradient in the nw atlantic promoting a strong jet was the main theme of the winter. but that happens in a lot of winters. canada is icy in winter !!  the real story of this winter was the strength of the jet (as predicted by ian) coupled with a southerly bias re the east american trough. that meant the main recipient of the wind and rain was southern britain. add to that the persistance of the pattern due to the almost permanent east pacific ridge/east american trough and you have winter in a nutshell.

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extremely accurate ?

 

 

i would say so as compared to the vast majority of LRF posted on here..which were mostly the usual either it will start gettting cold before Xmas with lots of snow and cold through the rest of winter or it will be fairly average Dec and Jan with cold shots thrown in before..cold and snow kick in for Februaury etc etc...had he predicted a cold winter with snow etc and had been the only one to do so and it had come to pass he would be held up as a god on here with people hanging on his every word come next Autumn...but as he predicted a wet windy mild winter..the forecast has gone unoticed by many or ridiculed by a few and will be mostly forgotten by the majority come next Autumn.

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At the time i thought Ian's forecast was a brilliant read.

 As it turns out it was extremely accurate, especially the explanation about what he thought would cause a stormy winter.

 

And agree with the issue of disrespectful comments early on in his thread - JH called him a "comic" in early December - naughty!

 

Yes, and JH is still correct and always will be.. In Ian calling his own forecast accurate after 4 days into Winter,  Is a little premature,..

Edited by Polar Maritime

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Brilliant forecast from Ian Pennell, no fluke either, a depth of reasoning that reminds me of Glacier Point.

Equally sad when looking through the thread to see the man getting insulted at the time for his forecast. Comments such as "clown" and "fool", and these from senior members of this forum! We should never be disrespectful to anyone who makes a reasoned attempt at a LTF. No wonder he doesn't post much.

 

I have read the thread and can not find any reference to Ian as being a "clown or a "fool" ?

 

Let's get the fact's right... What's an LTF?

Edited by Polar Maritime

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I didn't see Ian get insulted for his forecast? Calling him out for claiming an accurate winter forecast 3 days in is perfectly reasonable.

 

While much of what he forecast seemed quite accurate, many parts were not, the overall pattern was a bit different too and the reasoning flawed in parts.

 

His claim was for depressions to move over the north west into the Barents sea and for northern blocking to be absent as the jet stream would be further north than usual.

 

  • The upper Westerlies and the jet-streams will also remain in fairly high latitudes (these tend to be restricted to zones of strong atmospheric temperature gradient- and if these are in higher latitudes because the Arctic Ice extent remains further north than usual then the jet-streams will follow suit)
  • All this indicates that there will be deeper depressions forming over Newfoundland- encouraged by the strong temperature gradient between the ice-covered Canadian Arctic atmosphere and the atmosphere over a warmer NW Atlantic Ocean; these will intensify and be encouraged to move north-eastwards into the ice-free (and warmer than usual) Barents Sea.

 

The reality was, however, that there was extensive northern blocking, especially over the Barents sea, which is why the jet stream was held south over the British Isles and the depressions ended up stopping on top of us as they hit the block. Had there been no blocking, the depressions would have passed mainly over Scotland and the fontal rainfall would have been relatively shortlived, with dry spells in between.

 

Jet stream climatology ................ ............ Jet Stream this Winter ...................... ......... Northerly Jet (2007/8)

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

 

 

The reasoning behind the increased storms, about the ice being further south in Canada was largely untrue, with temperatures in the Canadian Arctic being about average, with Greenland above average this winter.

 

  • The Canadian Arctic and Greenland gaining a head-start with cooling this year will be very cold indeed by February

 

Posted Image

 

 

Also, the north Atlantic has been warm for many years, with much reduced ice to our north, thanks to general Arctic ice loss and a warm AMO since about 1997. So the warmth of the N. Atlantic and reduced Atlantic sector sea ice was nothing new for this winter.

 

 

Nonetheless, his forecast was one of the better ones. Still, I'd put much of that down to luck, rather than a Glacier Point-esque understanding!

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The very cold Stratosphere certainly done for me.Indeed the core temperature of -90C at 30hPa around years end was the lowest for decades.

As BFTV said there was indeed evidence of some northern blocking and in mid-January we almost developed an easterly pattern with a Scandinavian high which as we know couldn't hold back the rampant jet after a protracted battle.

My own forecast of a colder second half with such a pattern was therefore a big miss as the Atlantic continued to steamroller through the UK until the almost Winters end.

Back to the drawing board.

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The very cold Stratosphere certainly done for me.Indeed the core temperature of -90C at 30hPa around years end was the lowest for decades.As BFTV said there was indeed evidence of some northern blocking and in mid-January we almost developed an easterly pattern with a Scandinavian high which as we know couldn't hold back the rampant jet after a protracted battle.My own forecast of a colder second half with such a pattern was therefore a big miss as the Atlantic continued to steamroller through the UK until the almost Winters end.Back to the drawing board.

With the record cold stratospheric temperatures, record strong Pacific trade winds and the rapidly changing Arctic of recent years, making long range forecasts seems to be only getting tougher IMO.

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I didn't see Ian get insulted for his forecast? Calling him out for claiming an accurate winter forecast 3 days in is perfectly reasonable.

 

While much of what he forecast seemed quite accurate, many parts were not, the overall pattern was a bit different too and the reasoning flawed in parts.

 

His claim was for depressions to move over the north west into the Barents sea and for northern blocking to be absent as the jet stream would be further north than usual.

 

  • The upper Westerlies and the jet-streams will also remain in fairly high latitudes (these tend to be restricted to zones of strong atmospheric temperature gradient- and if these are in higher latitudes because the Arctic Ice extent remains further north than usual then the jet-streams will follow suit)
  • All this indicates that there will be deeper depressions forming over Newfoundland- encouraged by the strong temperature gradient between the ice-covered Canadian Arctic atmosphere and the atmosphere over a warmer NW Atlantic Ocean; these will intensify and be encouraged to move north-eastwards into the ice-free (and warmer than usual) Barents Sea.

 

The reality was, however, that there was extensive northern blocking, especially over the Barents sea, which is why the jet stream was held south over the British Isles and the depressions ended up stopping on top of us as they hit the block. Had there been no blocking, the depressions would have passed mainly over Scotland and the fontal rainfall would have been relatively shortlived, with dry spells in between.

 

Jet stream climatology ................ ............ Jet Stream this Winter ...................... ......... Northerly Jet (2007/8)

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

 

 

The reasoning behind the increased storms, about the ice being further south in Canada was largely untrue, with temperatures in the Canadian Arctic being about average, with Greenland above average this winter.

 

  • The Canadian Arctic and Greenland gaining a head-start with cooling this year will be very cold indeed by February

 

Posted Image

 

 

Also, the north Atlantic has been warm for many years, with much reduced ice to our north, thanks to general Arctic ice loss and a warm AMO since about 1997. So the warmth of the N. Atlantic and reduced Atlantic sector sea ice was nothing new for this winter.

 

 

Nonetheless, his forecast was one of the better ones. Still, I'd put much of that down to luck, rather than a Glacier Point-esque understanding!

 

 

thanks for doing an in depth reply.

I certainly did not use the term 'comic' regarding the content of his forecast. Indeed those who may query this should see where the comic quote is placed. After Ian had suggested his forecast was correct on 4 December, that was the comic part of it and would have been a similar remark if chio had said the same at the same point or anyone else, professional or amateur.

Ian obviously had done a lot of work to produce his forecast and I would never make fun of anyone showing that amount of work. As BFTV has pointed out the basic idea of wet and stormy was correct but not the reason Ian gave, or one of them, the jet stream being well north. It was nothing like that being well south and hence the lows were deeper but also much further south as those over southern and SW'ern areas sadly found out.

Don't let that stop you trying again Ian, well worth the effort in my view, you learned from it, and we all did, I hope?

Edited by johnholmes

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Better than any other soothsayer on here...for sure.

Everyone else was way out.

Simples.

More than happy with my interpretation of the winter LRFs on here

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Blimey! I would be surprised if Ian P posted a forecast on here again! Well done Ian, yours was the most accurate by a county mile.

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Blimey! I would be surprised if Ian P posted a forecast on here again! Well done Ian, yours was the most accurate by a county mile.

Agreed David.Holes in his forecast, being picked at by some long-standing members who are well respected themselves, is a bit discourteous in my view.Ian - looking forward to your winter 2014/15 forecast.

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Get ten people in a room, and ask them for a Winter forecast and[ this is NO disrespect to the good guys forecasting on here] One of those ten will be right. or more right....Anyway . long range  forecasts and always will be frought  with contention....

Edited by ANYWEATHER

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It's a pity that some get bothered by a little critical analysis.

As someone who appears to have a genuine interest in the science of weather forecasting, I'm sure Ian P will welcome some feedback, analysis and discussion of his work

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DS and Bb

Unless anyone who produces forecasts, short or long range, is able to take constructive criticism then he/she will not move forward. Negative criticism is simply not on and I would flag 'complain' on any that did. What BFTV has done is highlight what actually happened. I am sure Ian will note this and not be too upset about those comments.

If he finds my remarks offensive then I will apologise to him.

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