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Lettucing Gutted

The Stages Of Current UK Warming

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Since we have all but seen through the warmest year on record in 2014, only 3 years after the 2nd (2011) and only 8 after the previous 1st (2006), I have revisited "North Easterly Blast's" summery of the stages of current UK Warming from 2006 with the 8 years since added in.


Using http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/cetml1659on.dat for reference the stages of the current UK Warming trend in the exact order so far are as follows:-


-Stage 1.  This stage lasted from October 1987 through January 1997.  It may seem odd saying that the current UK warming trend began with the cool October 1987 instead of the mild December 1987 but October 1987 contained the first of a regular series of devastating Mid-Latitude Cyclones.  These severe synoptic scale storms have been an all too regular feature of the warming trend since 1987 including but not limited to the Burns Day Storm of January 1990, the Christmas Eve Storm of 1997, the Boxing Day Storm of 1998 and the storm on 19th January 2007.


However apart from the increasing frequency of severe synoptic scale storms this stage of UK Warming was otherwise very erratic and on average small with very warm years like 1989, 1990, 1994 and 1995 offset by much cooler years or year long periods such as December 1990 through November 1991, July 1993 through June 1994 and December 1995 through January 1997.  In the latter example, 1996 was our last cool calendar year in between 1987 and 2010.  Our last dramatic and potent cold front passage occurred in this initial warming stage on 9th July 1993 which heralded a consistently cold and at times very cold July through November period in 1993.  Our only single potent and extreme cold snap in between 1987 and 2009 occurred over Christmas and New Year 1995/1996.


On the seasonal level springs and autumns were mundane and mild apart from the very mild springs of 1989, 1990 and 1992 and the very mild autumns of 1994 and 1995.  The mild/very mild autumns were offset by the cold but unremarkable autumns of 1992 and 1993 which were our last proper cold autumns.  The spring warming trend has temporarily halted by the cold but unremarkable spring 1996 which was our last cold spring in between 1986 and 2013.  Summers warm in this period but remained changeable with the very warm summers of 1989, 1990, 1994 and 1995 offset by the more normal but still warm summers of 1991, 1992 and 1996 and the cold summers of 1988 and 1993 which were our last cold summers in between 1987 and 2011.  Winters were also warm but still changeable with the very mild winters of 1988/1989, 1989/1990, 1992/1993 and 1994/1995 offset by the more normal but still unremarkable winters of 1993/1994 and 1996/1997 and the cold but unremarkable winters of 1990/1991 and 1995/1996.  1990/1991 and 1995/1996 were our last cold winters until winter 2008/2009.


-Stage 2.  This stage lasted from February 1997 through March 2006.


-Stage 3.  This stage lasted from April 2006 through June 2007.


-Stage 2.  We descended back down to stage 2 from July 2007 through November 2008.


-Stage 1.  We descended back down to stage 1 from December 2008 through December 2010.


-Stage 3.  We jumped back up to stage 3 from January 2011 through March 2012.


-Stage 1.  We plunged back down to stage 1 from April 2012 through June 2013.


-Stage 3.  We have jumped back up to stage 3 from July 2013 through December 2014.



Are we near Stage 4?


In my opinion when the annual CET in a calender year reaches or breaches 11C we will have reached stage 4 of UK Warming.  Although this has not happened yet for a calender year there have been some year long periods reaching and breaching 11C over the last 20 years.  The first occasion which was November 1994 through October 1995 oddly enough occurred during the otherwise stage 1 period of UK Warming and was bookended by the much cooler years of 1993 and 1996.  The second occasion occurred from May 2006 through 2007 and the third occasion from December 2013 through November 2014.

Edited by Craig Evans

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