Harsh Frost From S England To Russia, Huge December 15 v 16 Contrast, MO Winter 16-17 Forecast

Written by on November 29, 2016 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland, Winter 2016/17 with 0 Comments

As expected, Tuesday morning has marked the coldest start yet across Wales, Midland and Southern England.

Cold right across the continent.

Credit: Meteoceil

Credit: Meteoceil

Pretty much all but one of the major Paris recording sites went below freezing this morning.

Credit: Meteoceil

Credit: Meteoceil

Last night was cold with -7.5C set at South Newington, OX but tonight may be even colder for particularly Southern England as well as Northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands, helped by a lower base temperature through today and sharper drop following sunset tonight.

Credit: BBC Weather

Credit: BBC Weather

This week’s setup is the complete opposite to last week for the UK!

Credit: BBC Weather

Credit: BBC Weather

The models continue to show the same solution has we head into the weekend and even into next week. High pressure remains dominant keeping things dry, albeit less cold before the southwest Atlantic flow kicks in mid to late next week bringing the return of UK-wide double figures, wind and outbreaks of rain once again.

Credit: BBC Weather

Credit: BBC Weather

Here’s a great recently published article by Stuart Markham of chorleyweather.com

Amazing Weather Contrast In 12 Months!!!!

Cast your minds back to early December 2015, the weather was extraordinarily mild for the time of year, it felt more like early Autumn than winter. We’d already had three named storms before Storm Desmond arrived, bringing catastrophic floods to Cumbria. In fact Storm Desmond broke the United Kingdom’s 24-hour rainfall record, with an extraordinary 341.4 mm of rain falling at Honister Pass, Cumbria, on 5 December.

Even more extraordinary was that the rains caused a waterfall at Malham Cove, something which hasn’t been observed in living memory….

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December on the whole was an extraordinary wet and mild month overall, with flooding reported across a good swathe of the country. What where the causes? Probably a combination of events. The super Nino, which coincidentally looks on a par with the strongest ever, is typically related to a strengthened jet stream across the N Atlantic during Autumn, with 2009 another example of this which brought flooding to the south of the UK. A strong westerly phase of the QBO strengthened the Polar Vortex, which took up residence across Greenland and northern Canada, which lead to a constant flow of super cold air pouring into the N Atlantic. This created a large temperature contrast and as such strengthened the jet was well, so many variables came together to produce this pattern which brought numerous low pressure systems across the UK and the resulting pattern caused an atmospheric river of moisture to develop, from the Gulf of Mexico right the way up to the UK, thus creating such a wet period of weather.

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Fast forward to now and we see very different conditions. Firstly we’ve lost the El Nino influence and we now see ENSO neutral conditions or at a push a very weak La Nina (unlikely to be classified). Secondly the polar vortex is very weak, mainly due to anomalous heat across the polar region, which has lead to a very slow refreeze of Arctic ice this Autumn, in fact its the slowest refreeze on record as shown below with the blue line trending well below the last recorded minimum, this despite late Summer/early Autumn totals looking well above the minimum.

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Here is the temperature forecast for the Polar region for the next 5 days and shows that temperatures persist to be higher than normal, continuing to hamper the refreeze and as such the Polar Vortex, which thrives on cold air, may remain weak for the foreseeable future. Also of note is the much colder air across Siberia & parts of Asia as a result of this warming in the Polar region. Japan receiving their first November snow since 1962, which is an intriguing year to say the least.

capture

Our weather which normally comes from the Atlantic more often than not, is also affected. This zonal westerly flow we are used to, particularly during the Autumn has been significantly weak so far and the flow has been blocked by areas of high pressure. This trend looks set to continue through December and could lead to a continuation of the colder periods of weather we are experiencing now, although southern areas of the UK have been warmer relative to the north.

However, we seem to be a world away in terms of the weather we experienced last winter and the trend so far this winter is rather dry one, with perhaps a lot more colder weather likely, relative to last winter. We’re certainly not seeing a hint of the stormy Atlantic as yet and until the Polar Vortex recovers, if at all, then the flow from the west will likely remain weaker. The image below shows the temperature anomaly for the month so far using climatology from 1981-2010 and shows below average temperatures across much of northern Europe, the UK included and is indicative of a blocked pattern.

capture

Our full winter forecast will be issued later this week and will go into more depth on the weak polar vortex and what this may entail for the UK, so be sure to look out for that

Winter Outlook for December 2016 to February 2017

Today the Met Office has released its long-range outlook for December 2016 to February 2017, highlighting the risk of a cold start to the winter for the UK.

Latest observations from around the globe and long-range weather prediction systems suggest that the early part of the winter period is more likely than usual to be cold. This implies a heightened risk of wintry weather during December and into January.

Overall, it should be stressed that more normal winter weather, with temperatures ranging from slightly below average to mild, is still marginally more likely. Nevertheless, the risk of cold conditions at the start of winter is now greater than it has been in recent winters. More details of specific weather over the coming month is available in the Met Office 30-day and week-ahead forecasts.

The graphic below illustrates the current outlook for temperatures in early winter. For a normal year the most likely outcome is in the near average category.  This winter, however, the probability is shifted towards below average temperatures, with the most likely outcome – the widest part of the curve – remaining above the ‘cold’ category.

seasonal_forecast_graphic

Doctor Jeff Knight, who leads the production of the Met Office long-range outlook says: “This time last year our outlook gave advance warning of the risk of the very mild, stormy and wet start to winter that was linked to the flooding in Cumbria, but this year indications are very different. Weather patterns with more frequent northerly or easterly winds are favoured, which increases the risk of cold weather.”

Our winter weather patterns respond to influences from across the globe: Currently, the winds circulating around the North Pole in the stratosphere – between 10 and 50 km in altitude – are much weaker than normal and this is expected to weaken the westerly winds across the Atlantic.

Furthermore, tropical East Pacific Ocean temperatures are slightly below average, just above the threshold for La Nina.  Although these cool conditions also tend to impede the UK’s usual westerly winds in early winter. Warmth in the North Atlantic Ocean near Newfoundland and record low Arctic sea ice are also contributing to the same tendency, favouring a colder-than-average early winter.

Professor Adam Scaife, head of long-range prediction at the Met Office, explains: “The stratosphere, tropics and Arctic sea ice are all trying to push our weather towards becoming colder over the next few weeks.  Although it is not guaranteed, our long range predictions and those from other forecast centres suggest an increased risk of cold weather patterns early this winter.”

Later in the winter, there appears to be a shift towards less risk of cold conditions. More detail about this period will be available in updates to the Met Office long-range outlook which will be released as winter progresses and our 30-day and week-ahead forecasts will provide advance warning of specific weather events throughout the winter.

You can keep up to date with the weather using our forecast pages and by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our new mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store.

For more information on preparing for winter, please check the Met Office Get Ready for Winter pages.

Storm Outlook for AccuWeather.

Credit: AccuWeather

Credit: AccuWeather

Watch this morning’s video.

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