Stormy Run Up To Christmas For W Europe But What Follows?

Written by on December 15, 2013 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

Hope you’ve managed to watch the video posted earlier which looks at the upcoming week with another system impacting mainly the North and Northwest of the UK today. The turbulent pattern extends not only into next week but Christmas week and beyond. Next system after today hits Wednesday and that could pack a punch, potentially across a much broader area of Ireland and the UK. Impacts of course depend very much on track and how close it gets to the UK. Exact track and intensity remains uncertain this far out.

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More storms look poised to strike right up to and beyond Christmas but what’s interesting is that the North Atlantic trough becomes more of a ‘full latitude’ or broader feature which means a colder as well as stormy pattern. Does it mean snow chances increase? To an extent but I wouldn’t get too carried away just yet but will monitor the period around Christmas and particularly the Christmas to New Year week.

The earlier video shows the week ahead but I want to look specifically at the Christmas into New Year period which looks quite interesting with some right deep lows but cold increases.

While still considerably far out, we look at models for Christmas day and take with a pinch of salt, it’s not a forecast.

The below GFS chart is Christmas Day and it appears to shows a chilly, breezy and showery day but we within a trough and heights are relatively low so precip could be wintry. Notice the low forming at the base of the trough to the SW, that’s worth watching.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

By Boxing Day that low has crossed the UK and the centre is down to 968 over the North Sea. Storminess may kick in later Christmas Day into Boxing Day but vast your eyes to the corner of the chart, another low is forming and heading UK-bound.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Later Thursday that low weakens as it pushes into southern Norway but the other low following steadily deepens.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

By early Friday, that low has deepened from 990 to 960 within 24 hrs and the low to the NNW near Iceland will act as a wheel, pulling very cold air off Greenland which the deepening low pushing into the UK will be able to tap.

That chart sure would be a stormy one for SE, E Ireland, Wales and England. Storm-force winds would be widespread, especially east of the centre.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

By later Friday, the low has crossed the UK and is centred over the North Sea with pressure down to 948! Intense winds would transfer up into the North and Central UK and cold air wrapping in on the backside could potentially bring a spell of heavy snow.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Here’s a closer look.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Check out the 850 temps for 312 hrs with cold air sweeping in on the backside.


Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

This of course is fantasy land when looking 300+ hours ahead. It’s possible that the model is partially right at having a storm system in the vicinity of the UK around this time frame but in terms of intensity, it’s likely to be overdone. 9 times out of 10 it’s too strong with intensity, not so much over the UK but over the North Sea, 948 seems too strong.

The GFS and ECMWF continue with the stormy pattern but it’s clearly trending colder with a deepening trough over western Europe.

Below is the 384 and notice the trough deepening. That’s a growing cold pool, one to watch when you’ve low pressure spinning within.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

This setup also promotes building heights west of the UK over the North Atlantic when the trough deepens over western Europe.

Does this coincide with the AO? Yes, note that it starts tanking late in the 15 day ensemble from strong positive.


The CFSv2 continues to show building pressure over the arctic in the next couple of weeks which promotes height falls over Europe.

In the below CFSv2 500 mb height anomalies, the trough takes focus over Ireland week 4 with ridging over eastern Europe which should allow cold to settle over Ireland, UK and the near continent.

Week 1-2


Week 3-4


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