Winter Forecast


I wrote this down about two weeks ago after spotting some patterns. November looks like a cold shot will start but we’ll see what happens after.

Theme wet, cold and changeable.

Nov warm start, wsw gales but not intense, changeable and wet but not overly so becomes east focused as cold moves in later 3rd week on. Pressure builds, lies over UK, N sea and N/NW France sharp frost frequent fog. Pressure eases and fog/frost moister warmer air.

December: start cyclonic weak depressions with sleet snow in nw & later snow generally over uk sharp frosts s/e as lows pass, then deep low? Large variations in temp with passing of lows, clear skies and nw/sw influence. Thunder and lightning possible during this period. Pressure builds from nw. Calms. Frost and fog. Temps in low 20s °F. towards month end large elongated low splits to rapid deepening low over s, pulls cold air west leading to blizzards but not a freeze as like heat of June short sharp burst. Deep snow likely to melt fast as temps rises after. Adhesive snowfall. Pressure rises, cold. Mostly cyclonic month but few deep gales.

Jan continues changeable mostly coldish ending mild. Start cold then briefly mild as low passes but becoming steadily milder due to frequent depressions.

Feb cold but not a freeze. Sharp night frosts. Quiet. Shift from cyclonic at month start. Temps falling. Frost and quiet. Cold nights, mild days. Probably warmer mid month as high recedes losing frosts but mostly calm. Returns week of . 14th and ends month with increasing frost and fog.

Mar April May quite below average. Snow showers frequent but not a freeze. Less cold nights due to frequent changes/cloud cover but cold winds lots of showery weather.

Weatherbell 2014 Hurricane forecast

We have been in awe at the lack of activity near the East Coast over the last 20 years, given the similar cycle to the 1950s. While Irene and Sandy have drawn significant attention, they were nothing compared to the meteorological mayhem of the 1950s or the intensity of 1938 and 1944. There is nothing to prohibit another Sandy-type hit from the southeast or three storms up the East Coast in one year despite a relatively low number of named storms in a season. The benchmark year on the eastern seaboard, 1954, had well below normal tropical activity in the deep tropics, with only Hazel being a strong storm south of 20°N, so there is strong historical support for the ECMWF’s idea.

You can read the full forecast at:

UK Met Office – Cheaters never Prosper


Met Office winter forecast December-January-February issued 21st November 2013

The probability that UK precipitation for December-January-February will fall into the driest of our five categories is around 25% and the probability that it will fall into the wettest category is around 15% (the 1981-2010 probability for each of these categories is 20%).

Met Office 3-month Outlook
Period: December 2013 – February 2014

Issue date: 21.11.13
As discussed in the temperature section, forecast models favour a negative NAO pattern this winter, with high pressure areas more likely to be centred over or close to the UK. As in all seasons, this pre-dominance of anticyclones is likely to lead to drier-than-normal conditions across the country.


Winter 2013/14 daily pressure values (local station).
Figures for the South and West coasts will be considerably lower
[N.B. standard normal sea level pressure (SLP) is 1013.2 millibars]

The weakening of the prevailing westerly flow means that the normally wetter western or northwestern parts of the country may see a significant reduction in precipitation compared to average, while the east or southeast may be closer to average. However uncertainty in this regional pattern of precipitation is large.


Rainfall as a percentage of average for January 2014
Image UK Met Office

With colder-than-normal conditions being favoured, as indicated in the temperature section, the probabilities for precipitation falling as snow and for occurrence of ice this winter will be higher than the climatological values.


The deeper the red the less days with ground frost.
Image UK Met Office

The forecast is now put into context.

[UPDATE: I have slightly rearranged this post so the Met Office winter 2013/14 is at the head. The rest of the post is quite lengthy detailing several previous years of forecasts but is an easy read. It has several images also so may take time to load on slower devices.]  

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Mild Winters – A Sting in the Tail?

Undoubtedly this appears a very warm winter with a CET of +1.7C for Dec +2.1C for Jan (as of 27th) with an average of +1.9C so far. Whilst the Jan figure may drop a small amount with easterly winds in the coming days, the Atlantic looks set to return into Feb with a mild and wet prognosis likely, although cold incursions cannot be excluded further afield,  however a deep cold spell – at least in the ‘winter’ months looks unlikely. However, looking back at similar periods during times of low solar activity, a sting in the tail looks quite possible from a late cold spring or what seem a stronger signal, a ferocious and prolonged winter the following season…with some substantial storms and dodgy summers thrown into the mix.

Note: all information sourced from

Early-mid winter 1661/62 A mild winter (second one in a row), and to judge by some accounts (see below), a wet one too (unlike the previous winter across the southeast of Britain – it was apparently wet over north & west Britain). Using the CET record (to nearest degC only at this early stage), the DJF mean CET was 5.7degC, or roughly 2C above the all-series average.According to Evelyn .. “there having falln so greate raine without any frost or seasonable cold …”; suggests mild, cyclonic, wet & windy regime much of the winter until at least the middle of January (1662). Reported at the time as … “like May or June”.

Winters 1662/63 to 1666/67 Three of the five winters in this period were cold, with severe frosts. It is claimed that skating was introduced into England during the winter of 1662/63 and that the King (Charles II) watched this new sport on the frozen Thames. 

December 1695 to February 1696 With the exceptions noted below, it was a mild winter; using the CET record, the value averaged over the three months December, January & February was 4.7degC (based on monthly data to nearest half-degree C), which is roughly +1C anomaly on the whole-series mean & close to what we would expect in the ‘warmed’ modern-day era. It was also probably a wet season, at least up to early February (Evelyn). An interval of snow / frost in the London area after mild, dark misty weather and before a long wet spell which lasted until February 1696. Intense frost (London/South?) on 26th January, temperature 9 degrees (?F) below zero in London. (in degC this would be: -23degC.)

November 1696 13th: Mostly fair weather, but with severe frosts near London, set in 13th to 20th after frequent stormy winds and rain since 18th September

1696/97(Winter) 1696/97 A severe winter. The overall CET value for December, January & February was=1.3degC (monthly data to nearest 0.5C), which represents a rough anomaly of -2.5C on the all-series mean, and more than -3C on modern-day values. As the note below makes clear, the cold persisted throughout February, and Evelyn notes that there was also snow; soldiers in the armies and garrison towns were frozen to death at their posts. 11th December: East wind brought in spell of snowy weather lasting until February 1697.West wind 27th to 29th December brought more snow but did not break the long frost near London. 8th January: NE gale renewed the frost ( after brief intermission with rain and drizzle in the London area 6th to 8th ).
February 1697 was a severe month in a severe winter in a decade of severe winters. CET=+ 0.5degC (at this point, the series is the nearest half-a-degree C only). [c.f. with the 1961-90 mean of 3.8degC.] Not a ‘record-breaker’, but certainly colder than we have become used to.

1698/1699 (Winter) Possibly a very wet season, at least in the London/SE area. Also mild, with no extended spells of cold/snowy weather, again at least in the London/Home Counties area.
February 19th (OSP): Possibly a major storm causing damage & death due to fall of trees etc. This would fit in with the idea of a markedly disturbed, cyclonic, mild winter

1724/5 April 1725 25th: beginning of exceptional prolonged wet spell with winds between NW & SW (after a mild winter 1724/25). Rain fell in London on at least 60 out of 75 days between this date and the 8th July.
what followed:
1725 Summer Cold summer. Notably cold by CET series. The CET value was 13.1degC, over 2C below the LTA in that series (began 1659), and (as at 2004), the coldest in that series. No grapes (ripened?) at Richmond-upon-Thames (then in a semi-rural Surrey) 1725/26 Severe winter (London/South)

1738/39 A notably mild winter (Dec/Jan/Feb). Using the CET series, the average was 5.6degC, an approximate all-series anomaly of +2C. CET January 1739 Central Scotland
What followed:
October 1739 8th: Beginning of historic winter: East wind set in with frequent frosts.
1778/9 – warm but dry winter followed by 1779/80(Winter) Severe winter (London/South). Coldest winter in the series 1764/65 to 1962/63 at Edinburgh, Scotland.Using the CET series for lowland England, the anomaly for the three ‘standard’ winter months of December, January & February was -2.3C on the all-series mean. January 1780 was particularly cold with a CET value of -0.9degC (-4C anomaly).

1790 (April) After a notably mild winter…’winter’ weather set in with a vengeance in Scotland. Intense cold with frequent hail / snow, with snowfall in the hills more like January than April. Great deal of snow on the 12th with intense cold. Similar on the 15th, with further snowfall in Scotland.

1821/1822(Winter) Notably mild. The CET value was 5.8degC, some 2C above the all-series mean & in the top dozen-or-so mild winters in this long established series.Significant flooding along the Thames over the months of December & January: hardly surprising, given the excess of rainfall in the second-half of 1821, with November & December (EWP) taken together seeing a figure of some 150-160% of the long term average rainfall. Floods were reported from Henley, Maidenhead & Kingston-upon-Thames. (LW)This winter was often stormy according to Lamb [see entry against February, below], and as noted above, was notably mild.
followed by
1822/23(Winter) The notably mild winter of 1821/22 (see above) was followed by a notably cold winter! The 3-month average for this season was 1.4degC, representing an anomaly of over -2C on the all-series mean.(CET). During this severe winter, there was much ice in the Thames at Greenwich by the 30th December.

1845/1846(Winter) Notably mild winter in Scotland. (c.f. to ‘severe’ winter conditions much further south e.g. Paris). The generally mild weather lasted from December to early March, when ‘winter’ set in. The mild conditions were also reflected in the CET record, where the value was 5.8degC (roughly +2C), placing the winter
followed by
1846/1847(Winter) The winter of 1846/47 was noted for severe frosts and heavy rains across southern England. Using the CET record, December had a value of 0.5degC, at least 3.5C below the all-series mean; January and February anomalies were between -1 and -1.5C. The winter as a whole ranked within the ‘top 10%’ of coldest winters in this long established series. [CET] { Rainfall, using the EWP series, doesn’t appear to be extreme (December relatively dry), but this series may not reflect local conditions. } On the Southampton & Dorchester Railway, then under construction, working across the soils of the New Forest proved to be very difficult. In a single week, a total of 13 horses became stuck in the mud and had to be destroyed.

2014 Weather Thoughts


 I will be creating other forecasts based upon analogue blends and using solar signals. I hope to do a rolling forecast based solely upon solar activity. The idea is just to see what works and what doesn’t.

This forecast is based upon one analogue year with slight lunar modulation. To a degree it is based upon the assumption of a decrease, with short term moderation, in solar activity (both flux and ssn) between now and the end of February. If solar activity increases then the colder phases in the coming month are less likely. 

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No Solar Factors


Note the pressure listed is now 947 millibars
Analysis Fax Chart 18z Sunday 4th 2014

Thankfully the low now engaging the British Isles is not intensifying or deepening, although as Piers Corbyn has said it will still be

VERY BIG and BAD rather than very very bad

He goes on to explain

In all the previous major storms October onwards this year WeatherAction correctly warned that the MetOffice were underestimating the top wind gusts – because our WeatherAction solar-based Top Red (R5, R4) Factors were operating. In THIS case although it is a very large system our top red ‘enhancement’ factors are not operating so although huge and dangerous waves are expected it will probably not have the local wind and hail ferocity of the NY+2, Jan3 storm.  Met Office top wind warnings therefore as 1800 Jan 5 are probably accurate or OVERESTIMATES”


This screenshot was sourced at 1828 hrs on 5th January 2014

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New Year Storms: Jetstream Finally Running Out of Puff?


Jetstream 12z analysis Sunday 5th January 2014
Image: California Regional Weather Server


Jetstream forecast Friday 10th January 2014

Before the lull we have a low to contend with which thankfully will not be deepening as it traverses North of the British Isles but will still be of great concern. Continue reading

Further Winter Thoughts


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 Continue reading