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Winter Thoughts & Hopes 2016/17


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On ‎15‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 15:29, Ravelin said:

Seems rather high. I'm in NE and for here Met Sunday high is forecast 8/9C. Even Lossiemouth, which is on the Moray coast is only forecast for 11C. There is a SW wind forecast, which will help with a Fohn effect, but it isn't exactly forecast to be strong.

The Fohn Effect combined with long draw Maritime Tropical southwesterlies and southerlies  has been known to bring temperatures in the lee of High Ground as high as 18C even in December and January with 19C recorded in February 1998!

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23 minutes ago, Lettucing Gutted said:

The Fohn Effect combined with long draw Maritime Tropical southwesterlies and southerlies  has been known to bring temperatures in the lee of High Ground as high as 18C even in December and January with 19C recorded in February 1998!

A quick check and the highest I could find for today in the NE so far is Kinloss at 11.8C. A far cry from the BBC forecast of 15/16C the other day that triggered this series of posts. 

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Although still early into Winter things are certainly not shaping up to how i and many on here had hoped.The optimism on the Mod Thread in mid-late November for a potential front loaded winter seems a distant memory now and seeing IFs latest report today doesnt bode particulary well either.That said when all said and done if the weather gods could squeeze out a 7-10 day cold spell between January and early March i would be quite happy tbh. We have had only 2 very insignificant snowfalls in last 3 winters down here and if you blinked you would have missed them lol!!I think we were spoilt between 2009-2012 in the South with some wonderful snowfalls that really created some stunning landscapes but the last 3 winters have been very poor and i am beginning to think this could be the 4th poor one on the trott!!Lets hope that the weather gods have something in store for cold and snow fans in the New Year:)

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10 minutes ago, Hotspur61 said:

Although still early into Winter things are certainly not shaping up to how i and many on here had hoped.The optimism on the Mod Thread in mid-late November for a potential front loaded winter seems a distant memory now and seeing IFs latest report today doesnt bode particulary well either.That said when all said and done if the weather gods could squeeze out a 7-10 day cold spell between January and early March i would be quite happy tbh. We have had only 2 very insignificant snowfalls in last 3 winters down here and if you blinked you would have missed them lol!!I think we were spoilt between 2009-2012 in the South with some wonderful snowfalls that really created some stunning landscapes but the last 3 winters have been very poor and i am beginning to think this could be the 4th poor one on the trott!!Lets hope that the weather gods have something in store for cold and snow fans in the New Year:)

I think many are disappointed given the long range forecasts in November suggesting a cold wintry December at least, and because it hasn't verified people naturally are quite annoyed. Its a good lesson learnt, as many are saying, to take long range forecasts with wide caution still. The forecasts though were all for generally more standard fayre for Jan and Feb.. 

We've been here many times before, staring at an atlantic dominated mild period for christmas, and we've had many a winter produce some colder wintry conditions before the winter is out, often at short notice. Even in very zonal set ups, a northerly interlude can spring up out of nowhere, winter 2003/2004 quite a good example. Winter 2004/2005 was an unusual winter, a very zonal mild Dec and Jan and then some classic winter easterly synoptics second half of Feb that just came from nowhere. Even last winter produced a shortlived snowy cold spell mid Jan in an otherwise exceptionally mild January, and Feb turned colder with some decent frosts.

The odds are always stacked against colder northerly and easterly episodes in the UK, but agreed we've been offered three very poor winters snow and cold wise at least in the south, exceptionally so, and to get a fourth in a row would bring us back to the snow cold starved winters of the early-mid 70's winter 71-72 to 75/76 - 5 in a row with only very brief episodic cold interludes such as late Jan 1972 and occasions in Feb 73. 

I'm much more hopeful of colder periods in the winters ahead as we head back down to solar minimum, this one though I have to say, perhaps less so, but certainly not ruling out some snow and colder than average conditions at some stage - however, brief, and even if it occurs in March. 

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17 minutes ago, damianslaw said:

I think many are disappointed given the long range forecasts in November suggesting a cold wintry December at least, and because it hasn't verified people naturally are quite annoyed. Its a good lesson learnt, as many are saying, to take long range forecasts with wide caution still. The forecasts though were all for generally more standard fayre for Jan and Feb.. 

We've been here many times before, staring at an atlantic dominated mild period for christmas, and we've had many a winter produce some colder wintry conditions before the winter is out, often at short notice. Even in very zonal set ups, a northerly interlude can spring up out of nowhere, winter 2003/2004 quite a good example. Winter 2004/2005 was an unusual winter, a very zonal mild Dec and Jan and then some classic winter easterly synoptics second half of Feb that just came from nowhere. Even last winter produced a shortlived snowy cold spell mid Jan in an otherwise exceptionally mild January, and Feb turned colder with some decent frosts.

The odds are always stacked against colder northerly and easterly episodes in the UK, but agreed we've been offered three very poor winters snow and cold wise at least in the south, exceptionally so, and to get a fourth in a row would bring us back to the snow cold starved winters of the early-mid 70's winter 71-72 to 75/76 - 5 in a row with only very brief episodic cold interludes such as late Jan 1972 and occasions in Feb 73. 

I'm much more hopeful of colder periods in the winters ahead as we head back down to solar minimum, this one though I have to say, perhaps less so, but certainly not ruling out some snow and colder than average conditions at some stage - however, brief, and even if it occurs in March. 

We won't get any colder periods whilst we see heights resiliently sticking to France, Spain etc. It's the death knell for winter full stop. If we are to have a zonal winter, for the chance of cold incursions we want to see that HP as far S as we can get it. It's too far N across the continent this year to allow even transient PM shots with wintry showers across the country. 

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27 minutes ago, damianslaw said:

 

The odds are always stacked against colder northerly and easterly episodes in the UK, but agreed we've been offered three very poor winters snow and cold wise at least in the south, exceptionally so, and to get a fourth in a row would bring us back to the snow cold starved winters of the early-mid 70's winter 71-72 to 75/76 - 5 in a row.

It always seems to even out though. As after that period of mild Winters there was more or less a decade's worth run of colder and snowier Winters from 1976/77 to 1986/87. I was hoping that this Winter would be better though based on other past periods when 3 mild Winters came in succession with colder ones on either side such as happened in the late 80s with the Winters from 1987/88 to 1989/90 which was followed by the classic of 1990/91. Also those from 1997/98 to 1999/2000, which were followed by the colder one of 2000/01. Though of course this Winter could turn out for the better with more than 2 months still to go. However if it doesn't perhaps it will all even out eventually with a more sustained run of colder Winters in the future such as happened in the late 70s to mid 80s. I think the 90s and 00s, though often defined as having milder Winters were actually a bit mixed with colder shots occurring most years, so maybe a period of much milder Winters such as those we've had since 2013 could hopefully give us a better period in the future. Besides from all that though who knows what the weather may bring before Spring arrives for certain. We could get lucky yet. 

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20 minutes ago, CreweCold said:

We won't get any colder periods whilst we see heights resiliently sticking to France, Spain etc. It's the death knell for winter full stop. If we are to have a zonal winter, for the chance of cold incursions we want to see that HP as far S as we can get it. It's too far N across the continent this year to allow even transient PM shots with wintry showers across the country. 

Agree, interestingly I noted on another forum, someone posted SST profile, and ENSO pattern matches for this winter and the nearest similiar one was winter 88/89... mmm and the outlook is painting a very similiar synoptical set up to that one, which was dominated by  the euro ridge / SW feed, and came on the back of a cold blocked November, just as we had this year. It took until April to break out of it, which brought cold snowy conditions at times. I hope Jan-Mar 17 doesn't end up resembling Jan-Mar 89, gosh the misery.. especially coming on the back of the mildest winter ever, mind we've seen many double/triple mild winter combos, 1997/98 - 99/00, 73/74-75/76, 87/88-89/90. A swift flip back to colder/more average winters would then be due. I'd love another summer like 1989 though!

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I've been thinking 88/89 as well in recent days. Its a truly vile thought, but that was year of 'the Bartlett' and the set up thus far is very similar.

If someone offered us 1 decent snowfall this winter, I'd personally bank that given where we are now.

 

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The other parallel with Winter 1988/89 was that the QBO was westerly through the autumn of 1988 at the 50 mb level over the Equator and it was westerly at 30mb over the Equator until July 1988 becoming only weakly Easterly for the remainder of that year (not good news if you want a cold winter in western Europe). The Arctic sea-ice extent was greater for comparative seasons than nowadays (but still slightly below the long-term normal extent) but the North Atlantic a little warmer than usual through autumn 1988- cue strong baroclinicity. Sunspot activity was increasing after the Solar Minimum of the mid-1980s- this tends to increase the intensity of the Circumpolar Vortex in winter in the Northern Hemisphere. 

There are certainly parallels for this winter though the QBO has been strongly Westerly at both the 30 mb and 50 mb levels through October and November and we are heading towards Sunspot Minima (though it's not due yet), on balance these would tip the odds in favour of mild wet weather. The strength of the Westerlies at very high altitudes and high latitudes going into winter are not encouraging for cold-weather lovers either. The only crumbs of comfort is the early build-up of snowcover over Eurasia and the fact that depression tracks are well north of their long-term normal latitudes (the centre of storm Barbara is to the north of Iceland), and this does increase the scope for colder high-pressure air to build in from eastern Europe at some point during the 2016/17 winter. I recall that in Winter 1988/89 there was often extensive high-pressure over Europe and it became so dry in places that there were forest fires in parts of the Alps, put that high-pressure a few hundred miles further north then there is a chance of dry frosty weather over England and (as I point out in my winter forecast) that is an outcome that will happen on two or three occasions over the next couple of months

Of course, high-pressure, does not bring snow and I am fairly certain that little (if any) snow will fall at low levels in the South or Midlands this coming winter.

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16 hours ago, iapennell said:

Of course, high-pressure, does not bring snow and I am fairly certain that little (if any) snow will fall at low levels in the South or Midlands this coming winter.

Right, I think I need to book that winter holiday abroad to get my 'snow fix' this winter.  Four years is too long!!

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5 minutes ago, lassie23 said:

I wouldn't mind snow on the 6th January, brighten the place up when the decorations come down

Another 6th January 2010 event would do me just fine!  Chances of that happening in a couple of weeks are pretty slim to say the least.

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00.png

 

This map shows the current situation with very strong Westerlies in high northern latitudes and at high elevation indicating  strong Circumpolar Vortex. Notice too, the sizeable blue blob in the centre of this altitude-latitude wind-profile which shows the Westerlies of the QBO high above the Equator. This tells you much about what we can expect in Britain in the next couple of months!

 

 

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ecmwfzm_u_f240.gif

This is a little clearer showing the altitude-latitude wind-profile expected for the Northern Hemisphere only (and predicted for nine days' time). The deep reds indicate locations of strong westerly winds and these are beginning to extend to the mid-troposphere in higher latitudes.

If we want a really cold winter you want an extensive depth of easterlies at high latitudes and for the upper Westerlies to be further south (and stronger at the 300 mb level and about 30N- so that these strong Westerly winds hit the Himalayas and excess Westerly AAM is removed from the atmospheric circulation). It also helps if you have strong easterlies high up over the Equator rather than Westerlies in the preceding months. The current set up is not good for really cold weather to occur. 

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24 minutes ago, iapennell said:

00.png

 

This map shows the current situation with very strong Westerlies in high northern latitudes and at high elevation indicating  strong Circumpolar Vortex. Notice too, the sizeable blue blob in the centre of this altitude-latitude wind-profile which shows the Westerlies of the QBO high above the Equator. This tells you much about what we can expect in Britain in the next couple of months!

 

 

Winter over?

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We have had snow in New Years down south before, remember coming out of the theater after a panto and seeing it on the ground.

But ho hum. Let's get this winter out the way and try for a snowy christmas next year:good:

Failing that, I hope it makes up for it in the summer. Plenty thunder.:snowman-emoji:

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20 hours ago, lassie23 said:

Winter over?

There certainly will be no sustained Winter spell (snow and cold) for the next six weeks and no Scandi High. Any snow and cold is only likely to come from the North West and likely only brief if at all.

The last remaining solace is that a SSW occurs late January/early February and hopefully deliver a cold and snowy back ended Winter.

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