Further Winter Thoughts

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Image N.A.S.A.

Rather than update my previous rambling, here’s some further thoughts on this winter and beyond [although I subscribe to WeatherAction these are my own independent thoughts, although they do rely on solar and lunar interactions. I put them out there so I can look back and see if they have any merit].

Firstly it’s interesting that many forecasters went with a mild November. I didn’t see that at all

I’d say last week Nov, roughly between New & Full Moon is the first phase [of cold].

I expect an early freeze like 2010-late Nov-but not as deep and gone in 2-3 wks

So in some aspects I had the cold incursion correct, but the magnitude quite off. It has not been a freeze, despite the drop in temps.

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The main factor has been the unpleasant feel from the N/NE winds, although this has eased the past few days to cloudy, dull, grey and cold. If the forecasts are to believed then, after a ‘mild’ blip this week where the higher air temps may get masked by lingering fog, further cold is due this weekend followed by a continuation of cool temperatures under more high pressure. As a first ‘stab’ at this I am quite pleased as I use a very broad brush and this is very much an exercise to help narrow down the windows so I am not a week off as I clearly was. Clearly this current cool/cold phase was not a front passing through bringing short lived cold.

Further on

I still see snow at Christmas (this was my first attempt at providing detail)

A few analogues I have used hint at a white Christmas and I am leaning to this as time progresses as it keeps popping up. I see this created by a cold high of polar air sat over the UK (extended from Scandinavia) which is undercut by a powerful low from the Bay of Biscay. The jetstream will be moving North. The low will pull in warm Atlantic moisture before weakening but eroding the lower extension of the Scandinavian high. A wet and windy New Year would follow

I stick by the snow forecast more so now but, whilst I still see the cold being very much more focussed in Scotland, the snow threat is more so for the South and will be transient. By this I mean it is not a ‘freeze’ but the normal winter snow that struggles to last beyond a day or two. This is from my notes

The Xmas period looks to be snowy, but with an abatement around New Year. Very cold January. Suggestive of the initial cold being SE in late December easing for a mild westerly period (gales?). The Xmas period therefore whilst snowy will not be that cold (wet snow?), whereas Jan will be deep dry cold. [year of reference 1838 although of lesser magnitude]

January-February

Scotland could well have 1-2 months in the top ten CET [equivalent] coldest months. [past century not all time and obviously CET excludes Scotland]. In the past few winters it has been quite cloudy which kept nighttime temperatures up. This year has been blessed with far more sunny weather and I expect that to continue until spring. With this in mind it leads to the possibility of some very cold temperatures in January especially, most likely towards the ~21st.

Possible ‘high’ of -5C in London/SE region with lows exceeding -10C. Not record but remarkably close so coldest temps in areas of the SE for last ~50/100 years. Scotland could be reaching much lower figures (-20C), however my knowledge of records there is not as good (see above). Dry, powder snow, ice (after initial cold/wet influx in second week of Jan). Whilst I expect the cold/dry to hold further North, ‘risk of flooding SE following thaw of snow and intense rainfall. Suggestive of a low travelling into the channel, coming up against the block bringing warm moist air. The block may retreat but not to far allowing the rain to linger. The risk is therefore extended into N/NW France and into the low countries, although this may fall more as snow. 1809 is the year of reference – the Great Thames Flood. Frozen run off to exacerbate, and is probably the primary cause of possible flooding rather than sodden ground. The flooding may repeat to a lesser degree in April when winter looks to finally release its grasp. The cold may briefly intensify in the South again bring ice problems, but the deep cold should not return. Into February it will stay cold with brief, snow episodes leading to average temperatures by the end of the month (the general patter is a waxing and waning rather than in 2013 where the depth seemed to grow).

Overall winter may only be -1C off the seasonal average due to mild weather, however January should be below significantly (-2 to -3C).

Even Further out into 2014

Another cold late spring, especially for Scotland could be looking at widespread frosts well into late spring with frosts in June (snow upland?) & August in secluded places, but not limited to higher areas.

A wet summer, although this could be focussed on the South East. This does not rule out a heatwave, although I don’t think this will be like July 2013.

Reasoning

Although the current pattern would not indicate much, I have been watching the cold build out towards Western Alaska with a high in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska which should migrate East. Already record temps and snow are being set in North America and Anchorage last week. We are also very close or at solar max when similar brutal winter occur; 1837 and 1947. Although milder winters have occurred using hale cycles such as 1925/6 or 1883/4 (which I have used before) these were at dissimilar periods in the solar cycle. However, the mild(er) periods are not being ruled out, certainly in the DJF period. Another reason (for cold) is also the preponderance of cold, late springs – absent for many years of late, 2013 excepted – which appear in the periods I have looked at and tend to be bookended rather than happening in isolation. Of course the ‘phase change’ since 2007 is also on my mind and the flip of the solar poles imminent.

I believe this could be a memorable winter although this will lead to many deaths as long as we have extortionate energy pricing. We cannot control the weather but we certainly can mitigate it’s effects by slinging green taxes in the bin where they belong.

Finally

I am most likely, with 95% certainty (*cough*) wrong in the detail although I hope some broad strokes are right.

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