Europe December 2017 Outlook

September wound up near normal temperature-wise but wetter than normal, October was warmer but drier than normal and November looks as though it shall wind up cooler than normal.

Credit: Michael Ventrice

The chill to end November shall almost certainly make November 2017 a below normal month for the UK but it’s no November 2016!

Credit: Michael Ventrice

When the three months of autumn 2017 are weighed up, it’s likely to be a near normal season for both temperature and precipitation.

The final 9 days of this month are looking chilly with increasing snow chances.

Tonight into tomorrow will see the first significant snow throughout the Scottish Highlands at both high and low level as low pressure tracks across N England through the next 24 hours.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

GFS snow totals through next 48 hours

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

The fluid nature to the pattern has made it very difficult to forecast into the particularly the 6-10 day and beyond but if going by the GFS ensemble anyway it looks as though the UK clings on to the cooler theme into next week while mainland Europe remains mild.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

However the 6-10 day which takes us into December appears to cooler more substantially including the continent.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Even the 11-15 day which takes us right through the first week of December looks cool.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

The reason for a firmer cold signal in the 6-10 is all thanks to a textbook Greenland ridge-UK trough blocking pattern.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Check out how warm Greenland is while UK is cold!

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

So Will December follow in November’s chilly footsteps?

If you’ve been following me over recent years you’ll know that you cannot assume a cold December follows a cold November. In weather you cannot assume anything including the ‘anticipated chill’ to end this November beginning December because the models have been so unreliable and changeable.

November was cold with plenty of snow and cold last year but this cold month was followed by an incredibly warm December, so…

Thankfully we don’t have a strong El Nino which was likely the primary driver to last December and winter’s warmth. This year we’ve a La Nina. But as you should also be aware is that no two El Nino’s nor La Nina’s play out the same. Strength is one thing, position of warm and cold water in the Pacific is another and there’s all other drivers to take into account.

For cold weather lovers like myself, what we’ve going for us this year is the relatively weak La Nina, current -AO/NAO and easterly QBO.

The GFS ensemble indicates a flip from negative back towards neutral if not slightly positive in AO/NAO and I agree with that and so I expect the cold to come, firm up and then flip into mid December.

The CFSv2 weeklies show this.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

To really through out thoughts on the 2nd half of December we’ll need to monitor the pattern over the next couple of weeks to get a better understanding of the trends and even at that, who really knows.

In saying that, it’s interesting how the GFS ensemble shows the return to a flat line AO/NAO but appears to want to go back negative. The CFSv2 wants to go with the strong +AO/NAO signal but I am suspicious of this.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Iain Cameron

If the AO/NAO happens to hold neutral then we could have a back and forth pattern and not necessarily on the warm side. If it returns to negative mid December then we may be looking at a cold Christmas period.

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