El Nino Continues To Drive Exceptional Rainfall, Mild Air (Strong Wind) Into UK, Western Europe

I trust you all had a lovely Christmas and continue to enjoy the festivities. For some, it’s been a very wet affair and even devastating once again with further flash flood issues for Northwest England. Boy what a dreadful time it’s been for these folks.

Flood chaos witnessed in northwest Wales overnight.

This was the scene on the A55 eastbound just after junction 11 at Bangor (Credit BBC Wales)

This was the scene on the A55 eastbound just after junction 11 at Bangor (Credit BBC Wales)

As of this writing, there’s a RED WARNING in force over Lancashire an within the past hour, N/W Yorkshire too.

Credit: BBC Weather

Credit: BBC Weather

Credit: Met Office

Credit: Met Office

Credit: BBC Weather

Credit: BBC Weather

Sandwiched between a deep North Atlantic trough and strong Europe ridge, we’ve stuck beneath another frontal boundary which is essentially connecting the UK with the subtropics and with water having nowhere to go, a 36 hour period of heavy rain in the same area creates more flash flood issues. The worst area this time in Lancashire extending into parts of Yorkshire.

Current GFS 500mb height anomaly

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Surface

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Precipitation

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

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As bad as today’s setup may be, it’s not the meteorological perfection as we saw back in early December with the historic event in Cumbria. Why is flooding almost as severe with a fraction of the rain amount? The difference is this persistent rain is falling on already flooded ground with nowhere for the additional 2-4 inches to go.

Cumbria’s rains were generated by an unbroken’ atmospheric river’ which extended all the way back to the deep tropics of the Caribbean, this time it extends 1,500 miles from SUB tropics, not warmer, wetter deep tropics.

GFS surface shows the large and powerful high over Europe and deep trough to the NW which is holding the front over NW England with connection with the Azores.

The El Nino has a lot to do with this likely wettest, warmest December on record for the UK as well as other parts of continental Europe. The enhancement of the southern branch essentially pumps tropical moisture into the mid-latitudes, helped greatly by the very strong +NAO. Whether the El Nino has anything to do with the NAO,

I’m not quite sure but most likely does as the El Nino pumps heat much further north than it should be during fall and early winter. The warmth slamming against the typical winter cold trying to migrate south leads to a stronger jet stream and tighter polar vortex over the polar region.

Be prepared for more wet and windy weather as we conclude 2015.

Looks like we’ve a few big wind as well as rain makers early next week.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Any optimism in colder times in January 2016?

I know my January outlook for Europe was rather bleak. However there is some optimism, Modelling shows a more robust warming within the stratosphere just after New Year which could and it’s a big could, present more support of northern blocking favourable for colder times over Europe week 2 or 3 of January. Up till now, I’ve said any warming favours the United States and not so much Western Europe and we all know how much modelling chops and changes with time.

CXFByRaWwAA0zCs

The CFSv2 weeklies sure does show significant weakening of the polar vortex.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

cfs-avg_Tz10_7d_nhem_4

 

See video for today’s discussion.

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