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Winter Thoughts & Hopes 2016/17

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Being based down in usually-snowless south Devon nowadays, I may have to take one or two well-timed breaks up to Norfolk or North Yorkshire this winter to see any significant lying snow, although we do get a surprising amount of frost down here, and anticyclonic gloom seems to be less common than in most other parts of Britain.

There are two main winter setups that can bring snow events down here, the "easterly undercutter" (fronts moving along the English Channel to the south of an established arctic continental or arctic maritime air mass, the most famous being in February 1978) or a notably potent north to north-westerly. 

The period 17th-20th December 2010 had one followed by the other, resulting in about 20cm of snow.  I was down here in February 2009 when Exeter picked up an inch of snow cover from a somewhat rare setup: snow showers making it all the way across from the North Sea on an easterly flow, followed by low pressure developing to the west and wrapping the polar continental air around itself, which came up via a south to south-westerly flow on the 3rd, bringing heavy wintry showers in off the English Channel.

Ideally I would like a varied but mostly colder than average winter with at least a couple of instances of the above "South West snow setups". 

As for what I think will happen, I am also thinking along the lines of a watered-down version of 2010/11, perhaps similar to 1998/99 but with the cold blocked conditions persisting well into December (in 1998 they fizzled out around 7 December).  The anomalous warmth of the Arctic might make conditions somewhat marginal for snow, however, especially for the east-coast counties that picked up a few snow events from northerlies in the 1998/99 winter.

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6 minutes ago, Thundery wintry showers said:

 As for what I think will happen, I am also thinking along the lines of a watered-down version of 2010/11, perhaps similar to 1998/99 but with the cold blocked conditions persisting well into December (in 1998 they fizzled out around 7 December).  The anomalous warmth of the Arctic might make conditions somewhat marginal for snow, however, especially for the east-coast counties that picked up a few snow events from northerlies in the 1998/99 winter.

I don't remember much in the way of cold weather in November and early December 1998, bar a few frosts.  The only minor snow event I saw during that winter was in early February.

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On thing that has been very notable in our winters since about 2004/2005 is a propensity for a much more amplified jestream profile, with winters in the main either falling in the mild/very mild wet camp, or cold/very cold dry camp. Only winter 14/15 could be described as more average with a more classic ridge/trough scenario, as occured in many of the winters pre-2004/2005.

I don't think it is just a co-incidence this change has occured during a period when we have seen record arctic sea ice loss. Our summers have also been characterised by highly amplified patterns, with locked in periods of very similiar weather, rather than the more episodic alternating cooler and warmer phases. 

 

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2 hours ago, Thundery wintry showers said:

Being based down in usually-snowless south Devon nowadays, I may have to take one or two well-timed breaks up to Norfolk or North Yorkshire this winter to see any significant lying snow, although we do get a surprising amount of frost down here, and anticyclonic gloom seems to be less common than in most other parts of Britain.

There are two main winter setups that can bring snow events down here, the "easterly undercutter" (fronts moving along the English Channel to the south of an established arctic continental or arctic maritime air mass, the most famous being in February 1978) or a notably potent north to north-westerly. 

The period 17th-20th December 2010 had one followed by the other, resulting in about 20cm of snow.  I was down here in February 2009 when Exeter picked up an inch of snow cover from a somewhat rare setup: snow showers making it all the way across from the North Sea on an easterly flow, followed by low pressure developing to the west and wrapping the polar continental air around itself, which came up via a south to south-westerly flow on the 3rd, bringing heavy wintry showers in off the English Channel.

Ideally I would like a varied but mostly colder than average winter with at least a couple of instances of the above "South West snow setups". 

As for what I think will happen, I am also thinking along the lines of a watered-down version of 2010/11, perhaps similar to 1998/99 but with the cold blocked conditions persisting well into December (in 1998 they fizzled out around 7 December).  The anomalous warmth of the Arctic might make conditions somewhat marginal for snow, however, especially for the east-coast counties that picked up a few snow events from northerlies in the 1998/99 winter.

You need not go all the way up to North Yorkshire. In any normal/decent winter you have Dartmoor, Exmoor, Quantocks, Mendips etc. Much more likely to get snow there than Norfolk given how dry it is there and the need for less common easterlies. Hopefully this winter will bring some good old fashioned snow events.

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For folk looking for the proper cold winter the upcoming weeks i feel will make fascinating model watching. You don't have to cherry pick by any means to see a distinct signal of a cooler/cold season on the horizon,the first for a few years. Just don't build up the hopes to soon,let the drama evolve. Could be a few of those magical waking up in the morning and opening the curtain moments coming up,so much better when not expected as well!!:)

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5 hours ago, markyo said:

For folk looking for the proper cold winter the upcoming weeks i feel will make fascinating model watching. You don't have to cherry pick by any means to see a distinct signal of a cooler/cold season on the horizon,the first for a few years. Just don't build up the hopes to soon,let the drama evolve. Could be a few of those magical waking up in the morning and opening the curtain moments coming up,so much better when not expected as well!!:)

Yes agree with this. There's that feeling that this will be a cold one partly due to how Octobers developed. Interesting watching:)

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I don't post so much on here and I'm certainly by no means a weather expert, but I do have a quick question that I hope isn't taken as me trying to be a wind up merchant. 

I seem to remember that the past few October's have had a fair amount of blocking in the Arctic only for November to come along and the PV to suddenly wake up angry and then proceed to frustrate many of us until about March. 

I'm sure we have had a PV that's been slow to develop with the models throwing up promising charts showing a continuation of early promising October weather patterns only to be let down. 

I don't have time to go through all of the archived model threads right now but glancing through the thread from this time last year I came across this post (sorry if I haven't quoted correctly) 

So my question is what makes this October and the current output more promising?

I understand we have more going for us this year and I can't argue with some of the statistics from some of the excellent members of this forum, so once again please don't take this as me trying to annoy people! 

It just feels that the forum often starts with the same hopes and optimisation each year. Correlations are found such  as the OPI a couple of years ago only for it to prove a dissapointment for many. I do feel the guys behind that should have kept it going for a couple more years though as I found that fascinating. 

One final question when will there be a new strat thread for this year as some of the posts in there are absolutely fantastic. 

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Always an enjoyable read as this thread gets going each Autumn and the hopes and fears of cold and snow enthusiasts are aired.

Very interesting post from Steve Murr earlier in the thread, will be interesting to see how things pan out in that regard.

My gut feeling this year is that High pressure will play a significantly bigger roll than  the last three winters, The exact positioning of course will be the crucial thing.

The ECM seasonal is certainly hopefull at the moment the Glosea not quite as cheery for coldies but lets face it a half way house between the those two would be better than anything we have seen

since 2012/13 so in that sense quite a bit to be positive about really.

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This could be a mega cold winter if this pattern continues,I know its only oct ,but I never see such a patern of northern blocking like this in october,its like the icelandic,low has been replaced by atlantic high :-),its going to be fascinating to see how this plays out over the  next few weeks,but sometimes when a weather pattern gets stuck in a rut it can stay this way for months !

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CFS

December - Milder than average - Atlantic in charge

Blocking for Jan giving SW'ly winds but it could easily turn cold - Temp closer to average a bit above for the south

Atlantic again for February - Milder than average

A pleasant start to spring with high pressure in charge for March - Milder than average

 

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Dont think the cfs is very reliable from what ive seen of it attempts of forecasting from previous winters,im much more interested in the next updates from glosea5 and ecm monthly ,when are they updated next? I think fergieweather posts the glosea5 update on here,or on Twitter is it ??

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23 minutes ago, Summer Sun said:

CFS

December - Milder than average - Atlantic in charge

Blocking for Jan giving SW'ly winds but it could easily turn cold - Temp closer to average a bit above for the south

Atlantic again for February - Milder than average

A pleasant start to spring with high pressure in charge for March - Milder than average

 

And ..... the completely useless cfs  went for an Atlantic dominated October, with above average temps for the whole of  western/northern Europe......... doing well so far:rofl:

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14 minutes ago, SLEETY said:

Dont think the cfs is very reliable from what ive seen of it attempts of forecasting from previous winters,im much more interested in the next updates from glosea5 and ecm monthly ,when are they updated next? I think fergieweather posts the glosea5 update on here,or on Twitter is it ??

You can view the means here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/seasonal-to-decadal/gpc-outlooks/ens-mean

Edited by Mapantz
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I'm going for a colder than average (81-15) winter this year with more blocking. If we get a cold frosty Halloween and bonfire night that just adds to the probability!

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Starting to get a bit hopeful now,there is a general conciseness of the output that shows and continues to show a high degree of blocking going into November. Early days still but so much better than the last few years,just hoping its not showing to soon so hopes will be dashed. Fascinating model watching though over the next few weeks,makes a blinking change for once!:) For once cold weather fans MAY have something to look forward to!

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It's too early to get terribly excited yet.
2010 did turn surprisingly severe the last week of November though.
But there's still two weeks of October yet.

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2 minutes ago, 4wd said:

It's too early to get terribly excited yet.
2010 did turn surprisingly severe the last week of November though.
But there's still two weeks of October yet.

Yep,fully agree,way early days yet,lot of positives for the cold/cooler scenario though,so much more than in the last few winters. Things could flip though so interesting times ahead! This makes the weather watching so much more enjoyable,but a good degree of caution is advised,as with summer months the promise of what you are searching for can be a long one.

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Like most on here and much as i like summer i do find it interesting as we approach winter and with it the chance of snow(hopefully).I think with the strong El Nino last year we were all realistic to think that the UK winter would probably end up as Mild and that was how it turned out with December being exceptionally mild.This winter i think is more evenly balanced with some signals pointing to  a colder than average winter whilst other things pointing to a milder winter.Either way i would be surprised to see a winter as mild as last year in a weak La Nina but as others have said it is too early to call atm. Very Interesting research by Steve Murr and it will be intriguing to see how October progresses.After 3 consecutive mild winters it would be nice to have another 2010 or 2011 where there were a few decent snow events that gave most on this thread their snow fix and put the Model Thread in meltdown at times lol. .

I look forward to the next 5 months with quiet optimism but also realism and love the Buzz the threads have when that magical word "SNOW" is mentioned:)

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ECM seasonal model interpretation from Gavin P

A good one for coldies don't get your hopes up yet though a long way to go

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On 14/10/2016 at 21:15, Thundery wintry showers said:

Being based down in usually-snowless south Devon nowadays, I may have to take one or two well-timed breaks up to Norfolk or North Yorkshire this winter to see any significant lying snow, although we do get a surprising amount of frost down here, and anticyclonic gloom seems to be less common than in most other parts of Britain.

There are two main winter setups that can bring snow events down here, the "easterly undercutter" (fronts moving along the English Channel to the south of an established arctic continental or arctic maritime air mass, the most famous being in February 1978) or a notably potent north to north-westerly. 

The period 17th-20th December 2010 had one followed by the other, resulting in about 20cm of snow.  I was down here in February 2009 when Exeter picked up an inch of snow cover from a somewhat rare setup: snow showers making it all the way across from the North Sea on an easterly flow, followed by low pressure developing to the west and wrapping the polar continental air around itself, which came up via a south to south-westerly flow on the 3rd, bringing heavy wintry showers in off the English Channel.

Ideally I would like a varied but mostly colder than average winter with at least a couple of instances of the above "South West snow setups". 

As for what I think will happen, I am also thinking along the lines of a watered-down version of 2010/11, perhaps similar to 1998/99 but with the cold blocked conditions persisting well into December (in 1998 they fizzled out around 7 December).  The anomalous warmth of the Arctic might make conditions somewhat marginal for snow, however, especially for the east-coast counties that picked up a few snow events from northerlies in the 1998/99 winter.

The south west can be the place to be in fact with a proper battle between low pressure coming in from the sw and a Scandinavian high pressure, trouble is most of the time the block is too far north east or too weak to halt the  lp from moving too far north

Dec 81 was awesome here, over a foot of level snow at sea level due to channel lows, high pressure was strong enough and just in the right place for the south west and other places in the south to receive heavy snowfalls. I'm still waiting for the 'perfect setup' for the south west to happen again since Dec 81, who knows, might be this winter. 

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A cold winter is what I predict. Cold and dry with a significant pre-christmas snow fall. Its been a long time since we had a good snow fall before Christmas (Dec 2010).

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Met Office research increases skill in predicting winter outlook

Quote

The Met Office long-range outlook, made in real-time one month ahead of winter, gave good advice ahead of last winter's flooding. Prof Adam Scaife, co-author and head of Met Office Monthly to Decadal Prediction, explains: "From as early as last October and November, our seasonal forecast system showed an enhanced risk of storms and very wet conditions for the early part of winter 2015/16 and then a transition to colder, drier conditions during late winter.

"This year is different: current signals suggest that the start to winter is likely to be cooler and drier than in 2015."

The paper - Skilful predictions of the winter North Atlantic Oscillation one year ahead - is published today in the journal Nature Geoscience. This paper focuses on the effect of the NAO on Europe and North America. It forms part of wider analysis that also focuses on the link between the NAO and winter variability in China.

 

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2016/winter-forecast-skill?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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