Winter Fights Back Across Northern Hemisphere, January SSWE Now ‘Highly Likely’

Written by on December 29, 2020 in Asia, Rest of World, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

December produced some of the biggest snowfalls on record for parts of the US Northeast and Japan. Now cold is showing up strong in many areas of the Northern Hemisphere. It’s like old man winter is fighting back and making up for his lack of presence this time last year.

Thanks to high pressure anchored over the North Atlantic and low pressure over and just east of the British Isles, a persistent northerly flow has produced significant snowfall across particularly Highland Scotland as well as higher elevations of England, Wales and Northern Ireland/Ireland.


The cold, wintry wake of Storm Bella became most noticable Monday AM when several areas woke to a winter wonderland.

Credit: BBC Weather Watchers

Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire

Credit: BBC Weather Watchers (Skippy)

A9 at Slochd summit near Inverness.

Credit: Mark Vogan

The cold northerly flow shall continue through the remainder of this week and 2020.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

With the cold holding firm, so more snow is a given.

GFS snow forecast for the next 5 days.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

After a year of seemingly endless fires and record heat, Siberia has turned cold, very cold and this has been aided by what may be a record strong area of ‘Siberian high pressure’.

This anticyclone is a permanent winter feature across Siberia but even for them, it’s super strong and producing an unusually large area of -40s and -50s.

Credit: Climate Reannalizer

Oymyakon, the ‘pole of cold’ has seen recent nights dip to -57C.

Meanwhile, across northern Scandinavia, both Norway and Finland have seen their lowest December readings since 1995 with -43.3 and -41.1C respectively.

Cold Isn’t Going Anywhere!

The blocked up, cold pattern we have now continues into the New Year. Modelling indicates the N Atlantic/Greenland high expands NNE into Iceland and the Norwegian Sea forcing lows south and allowing the development of an easterly flow. This reinforces the current cold and even intensifies it with more continental and less maritime influence.

Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet?

There is now ‘high confidence’ of a full scale sudden stratospheric warming event during January’s opening week. IF this occurs as expected and does all the right things then the cold we have now can only grow colder.

The time frame of response from SSWE occuring and influence on our weather is 10-14 days following the initial event. This would take us towards mid-January and so the period from January 13 on, I expect an increasingly cold pattern. WE COULD HAVE OUR COLDEST WEATHER HERE IN THE UK SINCE 2010.


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