Monster Ridge Of MILD Builds Over Europe But Could Cold Follow?

Written by on October 16, 2012 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 1 Comment

Courtesy of Mark Vogan

The huge ridge remains firm on the models in about 72 hours covering most of the continental mainland once several areas of disturbed weather clear out. We;ve seen significant rains down over Italy and the Balkans and of course frontal system continue sliding into Iberia, France and the UK, extending up into Scandinavia.

While the ridge builds and expands, raising daytime highs widely 4-8C above normal and providing a taste of Indian summer, A boundary seperating low pressure to the west from high pressure to the east will see pretty significant rains setting up over Iberia and extending up through France the Low Countries and into southern Scanadinavia. The worst of these rains should stay on the continent side of the North Sea.

Here’s the ECMWF upper chart for Thursday.

When you’ve got the depth of trough diving down over the UK, extending all the way to the Azores up against a 1028 ridge, a sharp gradient is naturally going to support bing rains and so watch out where that boundary aligns from Friday onwards.

The below chart shows the rains with darkest colours indicating heaviest rains. I believe where the outer edge of the ridge sets up with such a steep pressure gradient so close, watch out for flooding rains.


By Saturday upper heights intensify further. We could see highs over eastern France and Germany reach record levels for October with strong southwest winds blowing over dry ground and where there should be unlimited sunshine. High temperatures may go 8-12C above normal for a couple of days. Notice how the UK remains buried beneath a trough and low pressure, but could our fortunes change?

Warmth Coming To UK Early Next Week?

Like the models have hinted for days now about a warm ridge setting up over Europe, they also hold onto the idea of a westward migration of this ridge into the UK early next week. Given the fluid nature of ridges and troughs at this time of year as the energy budget of the hemiephere is altering drastically with increasing cold and decreasing warmth, it can be hard to sometimes trust a model run, even model runs which have stayed the same for several days.

Many times this summer, the ECMWF has hinted a warmer, more settled weather but it has failed to materialise. BUT yet another run and yet another hint at the settled warmth coming out way to start next week..

Check these charts out. Looks inviting doesn’t it? I am swaying towards this idea but I am not fully buying it.

Could A Cold Blast End October?

While the ridge backs west which naturally supports height falls over northern and eastern Europe, so this opens the door for a potential trough of ARCTIC air dropping into NW Russia, Northern Scandinavia. around October 26 and lo and behold, check this out.

This is the 500mb height chart. Notice the 540 (rain/snow) line slicing down the spine of the UK and the 534 lines pushing southwest out over the North Sea. Is this a hint or model fantasy?

Here’s an even crazier scenario for Nov 1. This suggests a cold cut off low tucked beneath a trough of arctic air. Personally I will believe this when I see it BUT it’s something I have said can’t be ruled out.

A late Oct/early Nov cold blast was highlighted but if this occurs, it’s likely to not last but will be a sign of what the pattern is capable of later down the road.

Speaking of what the pattern is capable of, check out this GFS upper chart for Oct 27. Nice Greenland block. Now that is the very image I have for the pattern setup this winter!

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  1. Steven says:

    Hi Mark,

    Good write up! Yes i think it looks likely of a mild blast then a cold blast towards the end of the month. Intersing weather times!
    Not 100% sure about winter just yet. I enjoy the cold and snowy ones. But i have a feeling it may be fairly mixed but colder than last. So even a average British winter overall would bring some good snow.! Keep up the good work mate!

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