Evidence Points To A Cold January Ahead For UK & Western Europe!

Written by on December 27, 2013 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

The latest storm hit overnight packing wind gusts of 137 mph over Highland Scotland, 113 mph over the Cumbrian Fells and 109 mph along the Welsh coast while pressure fell to 944mb here at my house. Rather impressive. This latest system is adding nothing but more misery to an already bad situation. The second sub-945mb low in less than a week and the biggest double whammy since the 1880s.

While there’s more wind and rain on the way for Monday into New Year’s eve, the good news is, this should be the last of the really deep and damaging storms.

This type of energy takes time to wind down but it will and I am hopeful that we will see height rises north and west of the UK in the next couple of weeks which will shut down the Atlantic storm train but in turn, turning things a lot colder over Europe.

I’m not a fan of hype, providing misinformation and wish casting but I am going to provide you with more evidence which suggests to me that we have, hopefully, a much colder pattern in January.

Models of course do shift around but I’m noticing in the ECMWF Control that we’ve lows that look to shift south as heights build initially over Russia, then Scandinavia and eventually over Greenland. Remember the CFSv2 500mb heights which has been shown frequently in recent days which shows the block developing over the arctic and the hooking up of the Alaska-Greenland and eastern Europe highs..

Below is the ECMWF Control surface charts which show lows dropping south while heights rise across the north.

252 hrs (6 Jan)

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

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276 hrs (7 Jan)

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

294 hrs (7 Jan)

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

324 hrs (9 Jan)

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Notice that as the high pressure builds west from Russia across Scandinavia, the low trying to push into the UK, gets forced south.

Here’s the CFSv2 500mb week 1 and 2 height anomalies again and you can see the progression of height rises over the pole and down into Greenland by week 2 and focuses the trough over the UK.


Model continues to go bolder week 3-4. Definitely a cold setup for the UK with the trough and cold core sitting parked directly overhead.


Here is the ‘extreme’ version of this very setup back at the close of 2009.


More evidence to back up the likely colder pattern…

Check out the now classic North Atlantic tripole with ribbon of colder water now solidly extending from Newfoundland to Ireland with warmest SST’s to the north, exactly where that blocking high should setup.


Look at the striking similarity to this time back in 2009.


Latest CFS shows blocking north of the UK with a hook up between Greenland and eastern Europe in January.


Though extremely unreliable.. CFS version 2 ‘monthly’, while is also subject to abrupt back and forth change appears to be taking the ridge further and further east for January. Makes sense given the strong block it has over Greenland.

Earlier run…


New run…


Here’s the ECMWF Monthly out by 300 hrs (7 Jan). Note the ridging over the North Atlantic and southeast Europe!

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

372 hrs

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Based on the way the pattern has been over North America, this could be the winter for the United States after a few mild winters. Europe was the place to be back in 2011 and while I’m not saying that winter won’t get to Western Europe, I believe the US will simply get the kind of winter that we did back in 2009-10 when it just didn’t want to let up.

It will be interesting to see just how the pattern evolves in the coming 10-15 days and just how much and where the blocking will set up.

The ECMWF weeklies which I’m unable to show, support the block over top with a trough centred close to the UK in the coming weeks. As stated already, this could be a fairly slow transition into a colder pattern but once established it may simply get colder and colder by late January into February. A little slower coming than initially thought but then again, I didn’t expect the ‘stormy’ pattern to get quite this stormy. I also didn’t have it particularly cold in December but a turn to cold by around Christmas, which didn’t materialise.

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