Wettest Week In Months For Western Europe, Pattern Shift Taking Place!

Written by on October 21, 2013 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 4 Comments

It’s been a wet and in some causes rather stormy weekend with flooding rains for some while even a rare tornado was sighted in the Netherlands yesterday morning.

The Atlantic is becoming much more turbulent as the season continues to progress and oceanic feedback to the atmosphere changes course. The upcoming 5-7 days suggests the most rainfall for parts of the UK and near continent since late last winter if not last year with some upslope areas projected to see 6+ inches of rain as a bombardment of Atlantic depressions swing through. Flooding will become a common mention throughout this week I think as one pulse of rain after the other sweeps in. Winds are likely to become stronger too as Atlantic lows become deeper.

The above visible satellite image as you can see looks rather messy with a lot of cloud extending from the Atlantic into Europe. This is a pretty good representation of what we can expect over the next couple of weeks.

This much wetter and more active pattern fits very nicely with my late October-November idea since August. We’ve seen a second -NAO/AO episode and now it’s flipping around once again as expected.

Check out the ECMWF projected rainfall over the next 7 days.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

As well as western parts of the UK.. NW Portugal and Spain as well as SW Norway are sure to see well over 6 inches of rain through this week.

Here’s a closer look at the UK and you can also see the big rains for southwest Norway too.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

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Here’s the setup this week. Round 1 today and yes, this is really just the start!


Here’s the ECMWF surface/precip chart for tomorrow.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

A broad area of low pressure slides across Ireland and the UK Wednesday reinforcing the wet, blustery conditions. Get use to having your brolly and wellies handy!

48 hr (Wed)

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

By Thursday the broad low lifts NE increasing the wet, windy conditions up into Scandinavia.

72 hr (Thur)

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Just as one system exits with likely NW,W gales on the backside, so another system just as deep sweeps in with more wind and heavy, flooding rains.

114 hr (Fri)

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

144 hr and another soaking front slides across Ireland and the UK.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

The 192 hour or next Tuesday’s chart shows a sub-968mb low over the UK. This is sure to bring fairly widespread gales.

192 hr (next Tue)

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Check out the 240 hr. ECMWF has 948mb monster west of Iceland!

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

I don’t really see much change over the next 2-3 weeks BUT as we progress through November, look out on the backside of this deeper lows, we could see some rather cold NW winds and yes, spells of hill snow too.

Often at this time of year when the west-east Atlantic pattern becomes more active, there is usually a pull back of the arctic reservoir and sure enough we have the arctic oscillation going back positive and not just by a little, it’s shooting way up into what appears to be the strongest positive of the entire year.

Here’s the latest Arctic Oscillation GFS ensemble.


Check out the 216 hour 500mb ECMWF ensemble which shows a classic +AO setup.


The +AO and eventually +NAO supports wetter times through much of next month. Don’t fret all you cold weather lovers, this is a good sign and this is a perfect time of year for some building of arctic air.

Colder and particularly drier October’s and November’s tend to be followed by warmer, wetter winter’s over Western Europe.

Here’s projected rainfall according to the CFSv2.


Warm AMO has boosted October Rainfall

When looked at the past data for the month of October, I’m noticing significantly more rainfall than normal during October across much of the UK and this probably has a lot to do with the current warm AMO which promotes warmer than normal sea surface temperatures around the UK as well as out over the Atlantic. We’re entering a MUCH wetter and stormier pattern now as forecasted back in August and it’s interesting to see how the shift in season is causing a different feedback from water to atmosphere. In other words, those warm waters up until now boosted upper level heights, now they shall boost rainfall.


Check out the difference in actual rain during recent Octobers with ‘normal’.

CITY                               2012              2011           2010          2009           2008            2007         2006

Glasgow                         135%             123%           71%           132%            141%              55%         129%

Manchester                   122%             115%           112%          68%             179%              71%          192%

Plymouth                      199%             137%           122%          131%            190%             54%          199%

Cork                               134%            143%            193%          284%           218%             70%         202%

Mainland Europe

Bergen, Norway         153%              134%           134%             67%            220%           124%        131%

Brussels, Bel               106%              65%             61%              117%            64%             76%          80%

Paris, Fra                     190%             115%            87%              83%             143%           143%         96%

Interestingly, Copenhagen, Denmark has seen NO ABOVE NORMAL October rainfall after 2006. All the rain perhaps captured by the UK?

Copenhagen, Den      63%              51%              59%              80%              83%              67%          95%.

When trying to look at trends between the type of October pattern vs the following winter, I’m wondering whether a warm, dry October may suggest a warmer following winter but a warm, wet October could support a colder winter. Many western locales are below normal but the final 10 days look very wet and thus this month for most of the above locales should end October warm but also wetter than normal and thus it could hold with a colder signal down the road.

I suspect a warmer, wetter November too and as stated plenty of times over recent weeks. I was told, where the biggest rains fall late October through November, that often is where the core of cold wants to go that winter!

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  1. Mark Vogan says:

    Yeah, your pretty much in our rain shadow. As mentioned in the post. We’re considerably wetter during the autumn months compared to normal and that’s highly likely down to the warm AMO but I find it interesting that while we get in some cases 150-200% normal precip, your actually less than normal. I believe the warm but wet Oct bodes well for cold later but had it been warm and dry, then I think that would be a bad sign.

  2. Michael says:

    Hi Mark. Excellent article! Regarding Copenhagen, Denmark, the precipetation usually is captured by the Peninsula of Jutland and partly the Island of Funen. Copenhagen and Zealand in general usually recieve less precipetation in the autumn than the rest of Denmark. About 20% less, I believe. That being said the autumns have been drier in the later years. But the autumn 2009 was quite wet, though, with precipetation 27 out of 30 days in November. October not being so wet again as far as I recall, but November is usually the wettest month in Denmark.

    • Mark Vogan says:

      Interesting, Michael and appreciate the info. Hope you enjoyed your weekend. M

      • Michael says:

        I hope you enjoyed your weekend as well. By the way, I am sure that the UK receieves more precipetation than Denmark in general. The UK and the west coast of Norway always recieves the majority of precipetation when the lows move in from the Atlantic. in Denmark we get the same lows as you do, but often most of the precipetation will fall in the UK. In the later years Denmark has been much dominated by high pressure in the autumn by the way, which has contributed to remarkably less precipetation in October than usual. Normally Denmark is much dominated by lows in October and November, but with this trend with a more amplified pattern in the autumn in the later years we have often had a strong high quite close by. On the other hand this pattern has been very beneficial for us coldies later down the road except for in 2011/12 which was a disappoinment.

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