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Stratosphere Temperature Watch 2015/2016


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Posted
  • Location: New Forest (Western)
  • Weather Preferences: Fascinated by extreme weather. Despise drizzle.
  • Location: New Forest (Western)

    If we retain net easterlies in the lower levels with westerlies at higher levels, what phase of the QBO are we actually in?

    Weird. Like so many animal species, has the QBO phase been driven to extinction?

    I'm not being entirely serious at this early stage in trying to understand what's going on, but what does seem potentially serious is the impact this has on the predictability of stratospheric vortex tendencies this winter.

    Funnily enough, sunspot numbers have also been proving pretty erratic so far this year - but this is far from a new characteristic.

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
    2 hours ago, Summer Sun said:

    Westerly QBO for winter at this stage

     

    One of the posts on the Twitter feed shows the mean xonal winds and still supports the current detatchment we have right now. Now at some point though this will end but it's too early to say who'll win i think. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire
  • Weather Preferences: Anything except blazing hot summers!
  • Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/09/unprecedented-disruption-atmospheres-pacemaker-foretells-wet-winter-europe

    Interesting paragraph in the article:

    ....there's a strong statistical suggestion that the QBO influences the North Atlantic Oscillation, a pattern of seesawing atmospheric pressures that dominates European weather. When the QBO winds are in a westerly phase, pressure differences over the North Atlantic tend to be more extreme. That strengthens the jet stream and boosts the chances that northern Europe will experience warmer, stormier winters like this past one, which brought floods to the United Kingdom. The expected easterly phase at the end of this year would have given northern Europe a good shot at a colder, drier winter. Instead, the return to westerly winds means that Europeans are more likely to see another stormy winter. "It's not a sure thing that that would be the forecast, but it loads the dice toward those sorts of conditions," says Scott Osprey, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Sedgley Black country 731ft 222 metres
  • Location: Sedgley Black country 731ft 222 metres

    has there been any examples of a westerly based QBO which have resulted in a cold winter?

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    Posted
  • Location: Surrey and SW France.
  • Location: Surrey and SW France.
    5 hours ago, Paul_1978 said:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/09/unprecedented-disruption-atmospheres-pacemaker-foretells-wet-winter-europe

    Interesting paragraph in the article:

    ....there's a strong statistical suggestion that the QBO influences the North Atlantic Oscillation, a pattern of seesawing atmospheric pressures that dominates European weather. When the QBO winds are in a westerly phase, pressure differences over the North Atlantic tend to be more extreme. That strengthens the jet stream and boosts the chances that northern Europe will experience warmer, stormier winters like this past one, which brought floods to the United Kingdom. The expected easterly phase at the end of this year would have given northern Europe a good shot at a colder, drier winter. Instead, the return to westerly winds means that Europeans are more likely to see another stormy winter. "It's not a sure thing that that would be the forecast, but it loads the dice toward those sorts of conditions," says Scott Osprey, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford

     

    There's another section I find more interesting...

    Scientists have identified several possible causes for the break. The QBO is thought to be driven by tropical waves—generated by warm, circulating air—that propagate up from the troposphere into the stratosphere. But when Osprey's team plugged the anomalous QBO data into a climate model, the disruption appeared to originate outside of the tropics. One possible culprit is this past winter's strong El Niño, which not only brought unusually warm waters to the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, but also shook up atmospheric waves and weather patterns well beyond the tropics. A "blob" of warm water that has been growing in the northern Pacific Ocean since 2013 is another possible cause, as is a sudden stratospheric warming event that occurred this past winter in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.

    I've illustrated up the page that the previous ENSO strong events showed little change to the rhythm but there was one thing unprecedented (in modern record keeping) last winter and that was the strength of the SSW and the fact the winds never returned to westerly for rest of the winter - ie. the earliest and strongest final warming recorded to date.

    An edit to add a couple of key points from another article on the new paper - further evidence of response to extreme events in the stratosphere or all responding to an as yet unidentified driver.

    I keep going back to the very unusual events of late December/early January and the extraordinary WAA up into the central polar regions at the height of winter - what chain of events could this set in motion?

    In February 2016 the quasi-biennial oscillation, a regular feature of the climate system, broke down from its regular pattern.

    The eastward winds in the upper atmosphere unexpectedly reversed to a westward direction.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160908151118.htm

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Near King's Lynn 13.68m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Hoar Frost, Snow, Misty Autumn mornings
  • Location: Near King's Lynn 13.68m ASL
    22 minutes ago, weirpig said:

    has there been any examples of a westerly based QBO which have resulted in a cold winter?

    Dec 10 had a Westerly QBO. Rest of the winter ran out mild, of course. The confusion now is that QBO index is only for 30hpa (I *think*) which in the past has been reasonable because the pattern has been so consistent throughout the strat (i.e. it's a good proxy for telling you where you are in the phase overall). This year is all over the place so who knows if it's even a meaningful metric anymore?

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    Posted
  • Location: Crewe, Cheshire
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, storms and other extremes
  • Location: Crewe, Cheshire
    19 minutes ago, Yarmy said:

    Dec 10 had a Westerly QBO. Rest of the winter ran out mild, of course. The confusion now is that QBO index is only for 30hpa (I *think*) which in the past has been reasonable because the pattern has been so consistent throughout the strat (i.e. it's a good proxy for telling you where you are in the phase overall). This year is all over the place so who knows if it's even a meaningful metric anymore?

    Just what I was about to say. Even if the QBO is to be westerly, I can't imagine it being rampant given what we've seen with it so far this year. Pretty much untested waters.

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
    10 hours ago, weirpig said:

    has there been any examples of a westerly based QBO which have resulted in a cold winter?

    Winters 09 and 11 both saw negative ENSO values and positive QBO values.

    .........

    The real question to me is what level of the atmosphere dictates our weather most. If we look at 30hpa where we have a more than 1 standard deviation to the QBO the anologues are very different to others. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire
  • Location: Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire

    There are many hidden (hidden from public knowledge) factors and manipulators that are driving and controlling the weather patterns on this planet. This has been happening for decades. I believe this is the main reason for the unusual swing in the QBO this year.

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    Posted
  • Location: Netherlands
  • Location: Netherlands

    Cohen's view on the winter of 2015/6

    http://www.aer.com/winter2016

    Summary

    Winter 2015/16 is probably best characterized by record warmth.  Every month since May 2015 has been record warm and the streak of record warm months likely peaked in February 2016.

    Stratosphere-troposphere coupling was very active this winter and in my opinion dominated the dynamical story of winter 2016.   I believe that the dynamical evolution of the winter cannot be understood without analyzing the polar vortex (PV).

    The stratospheric PV experienced extreme variability this winter, starting the winter record strong and ending the winter record weak.  But typically it is the first half that is most influential on surface weather and the record strong early PV likely contributed strongly to the warm winter.  Though the record weak PV in March is contributing to a cool spring in the North Atlantic sector.

    Poleward heat flux started slowly but was unusually active during the winter months.  Spikes in winter surface temperatures coincided with peaks in poleward heat flux.

    Despite the record strong PV, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) was slightly negative for the winter.  The AO bottomed out in mid-January, which coincided with a record snowstorm for the Mid-Atlantic and was the start of a troposphere-stratosphere-troposphere coupling event that resulted in record cold for the Northeastern US in mid-February.

    The Niño 3.4 index achieved record high values heading into the winter and the strong El Niño dominated the narrative of this winter.  However the atmospheric response did not match the forecasts and in fact temperature and especially precipitation anomalies more closely resembled those associated with La Niña than El Niño.   This winter should have showcased using ENSO for climate forecasts, instead in my opinion, it highlighted the vulnerability of relying solely on ENSO in producing seasonal forecasts.

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    Posted
  • Location: Windsor
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and cold
  • Location: Windsor
    2 hours ago, sebastiaan1973 said:

    An interesting update of GLOSEA5. With higher than normal pressure in the north and lower than normal pressure on the continent and sourthern Europe. Fingers crossed!

     

    2cat_20160901_mslp_months46_global_deter_public[1].png

    Could you provide a link to the page please ? Ta

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    Posted
  • Location: Sedgley Black country 731ft 222 metres
  • Location: Sedgley Black country 731ft 222 metres

    Might be in a Nut shell, but to be fair it does get quite warm in there 

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    Posted
  • Location: Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire
  • Location: Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire
    22 minutes ago, knocker said:

    You are correct on precipitation but incorrect on temps. The ensemble mean anomaly for T2M temps shows slightly colder than average for the UK. This can only mean mucho snow :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Sedgley Black country 731ft 222 metres
  • Location: Sedgley Black country 731ft 222 metres
    Just now, blizzard81 said:

    You are correct on precipitation but incorrect on temps. The ensemble mean anomaly for T2M temps shows slightly colder than average for the UK. This can only mean mucho snow :)

    Yep having looked a little more closely it does look like the probability of a wet period Oct-Dec is on the cards whether that is snow or rain is open to debate.  for me the temp for the Uk is up in the air as there is really no clear sign from what i can see.  also it does show a higher probability that Europe will be slightly warmer.  As ever time will tell

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    Posted
  • Location: New Ash green 150M / 500 FT
  • Location: New Ash green 150M / 500 FT

    In terms of looking at the prospects for winter the all important QBO figures for sept & Oct will need to land before making any predictions -

    ideally a swift decent back towards easterly would be a good result - but looking improbable at the moment -

     

    S

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    Posted
  • Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire
  • Weather Preferences: Anything except blazing hot summers!
  • Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire
    6 hours ago, Steve Murr said:

    In terms of looking at the prospects for winter the all important QBO figures for sept & Oct will need to land before making any predictions -

    ideally a swift decent back towards easterly would be a good result - but looking improbable at the moment -

     

    S

    When are these figures due?

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    Posted
  • Location: Manchester
  • Location: Manchester
    On 9/13/2016 at 09:36, sebastiaan1973 said:

    An interesting update of GLOSEA5. With higher than normal pressure in the north and lower than normal pressure on the continent and sourthern Europe. Fingers crossed!

     

    2cat_20160901_mslp_months46_global_deter_public[1].png

    This looks like a significant departure from the last update! How often does GLOSEA5 update?

     

    Karyo

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    Posted
  • Location: Near King's Lynn 13.68m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Hoar Frost, Snow, Misty Autumn mornings
  • Location: Near King's Lynn 13.68m ASL

    The historic QBO chart that Nouska posted above can be found on this page:

    http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/en/met/ag/strat/produkte/qbo/

    The data set is also on that page:

    http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/met/ag/strat/produkte/qbo/qbo.dat

     

     

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Surrey and SW France.
  • Location: Surrey and SW France.
    2 hours ago, Yarmy said:

    The historic QBO chart that Nouska posted above can be found on this page:

    http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/en/met/ag/strat/produkte/qbo/

    The data set is also on that page:

    http://www.geo.fu-berlin.de/met/ag/strat/produkte/qbo/qbo.dat

     

     

     

    Thank you @Yarmy - I'm remiss not to give a link - wrongly assume most folks in here know where to go.

    Here's another illustration of just how strange the picture is - from an article by one of the authors of the paper we have been discussing.

    6c470297fe1ad63bc1b26f2d0769e779.png

    http://iprc.soest.hawaii.edu/news/press_releases/2016/16_09_Hamilton_QBOdisruption.pdf

    Just one query, they are talking the opposite of what is in the other diagram where west is shaded - is it a different criteria they are describing?

    Edit - I understand a now - an easterly is a westward jet - my brain kept wanting to change the text, just found it confusing in terms of the conventional descriptions.

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