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Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL

    I suspect this is one for TWS or Mr Data, but if the next couple of weeks are cool - as seems likely - but dry, then we are facing the prospect, given some cool weather further on in February of, potentially, the coolest winter on record with little or no snow.

    I don't want to put the mockers on wintry weather, or to suggest that it won't snow (personally I have always felt that the period 5-20 Feb was likely to be the best window this year), but whilst were waiting for it (though hopefully not hanging all our happiness on the possibility) I'd like a thread other than interminable discussion about CET or the micrometer screw-gauge variations in chart runs: and it doesn't look like doing anything weather wise for at least a week, so...

    Any views?

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    Posted
  • Location: Abingdon - 55m ASL - Capital of The Central Southern England Corridor of Winter Convectionlessness
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Snow>Freezing Fog; Summer: Sun>Daytime Storms
  • Location: Abingdon - 55m ASL - Capital of The Central Southern England Corridor of Winter Convectionlessness

    My concern, to return to the ten-sided die analogy, that this is a winter where the blue side has come up, but it still doesn't snow. Then back to another 9 years of winters dominated by mild air.

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    Posted
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl

    Yes I agree that this Winter has been very unusual. November and December both below average??? And yet the ski resorts have barely opened in Scotland! The reason for this of course, is due to the persistance of High pressure over the British Isles - dry weather with cold nights and it's the nights that have really 'done the damage' with regards to below average temperatures. IMO, these below months give a very misleading picture. Incidently, it looks as if Aberdeen could experience a snow-free January...I wonder if that has ever happened before? January has been like a Spring month since the turn of the millenium it seems.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)
    I suspect this is one for TWS or Mr Data, but if the next couple of weeks are cool - as seems likely - but dry, then we are facing the prospect, given some cool weather further on in February of, potentially, the coolest winter on record with little or no snow.

    I don't want to put the mockers on wintry weather, or to suggest that it won't snow (personally I have always felt that the period 5-20 Feb was likely to be the best window this year), but whilst were waiting for it (though hopefully not hanging all our happiness on the possibility) I'd like a thread other than interminable discussion about CET or the micrometer screw-gauge variations in chart runs: and it doesn't look like doing anything weather wise for at least a week, so...

    Any views?

    Well so far, this Winter has only been unusual because of the total lack of snow. We saw not a flake here at the end of November, and in the December Easterly, we had about 5cm. I thought we were going to be in for it when the breakdown occured, as here it is at least 250 m asl. However as the warm air mass slid over the cold, it only snowed for a few minutes before it turned to rain (even though it was sub-zero). So all in all 5cm makes this perhaps the worst Winter I have ever seen snow-wise. Perhaps February might be better - you never know. 2001, 2004 and an event in 1998 were all far more memorable.

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    Yes I agree that this Winter has been very unusual. November and December both below average??? And yet the ski resorts have barely opened in Scotland! The reason for this of course, is due to the persistance of High pressure over the British Isles - dry weather with cold nights and it's the nights that have really 'done the damage' with regards to below average temperatures. IMO, these below months give a very misleading picture. Incidently, it looks as if Aberdeen could experience a snow-free January...I wonder if that has ever happened before? January has been like a Spring month since the turn of the millenium it seems.

    The observation about minima is a good one, and certainly bucks a recent winter-half trend which has been for much of the positive anomaly in temps to be acounted for more by a lack of night-time cold than excessive day-time warmth. HP dominating would, as you suggest, account for that.

    I've just noticed TM's post in the CET thread, and he's saying a similar thing: that this January looks like being one of the driest, and most snow-free, in his 40+ year record. I'm sure there will have been others, but I can't think of any recently when it's because of significant mildness.

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    Since the great November (I must be lucky), the weather has had a lot of nothingness about it. Even when the Jet was weak in December, the cold didn't really get a foothold.

    To be honest, I don't see the point of cold, if it means dreary days.

    Maybe this is a sort of in between winter, neither one thing nor the other.

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastington Gloucestershire
  • Weather Preferences: Hot in Summer Cold in Winter
  • Location: Eastington Gloucestershire

    I don't think your putting the mockers on anything just being realisitc, it has been a cold ish winter not record breaking but colder than what we have been use to, it's a move forward in the right direction if your a coldlover. I put this down to the disruption of the ocean conveyor with the cooling columns of water weakening year on year effecting the gulf stream and things look interesting over the long term, we could be wishing it was mild again in 10 years time.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)
  • Location: Cambridge (term time) and Bonn, Germany 170m (holidays)
    we could be wishing it was mild again in 10 years time.

    Well I won't be :huh: , might miss hot summers though if the Gulf stream went.

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    Posted
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL
    Yes I agree that this Winter has been very unusual. November and December both below average??? And yet the ski resorts have barely opened in Scotland! The reason for this of course, is due to the persistance of High pressure over the British Isles - dry weather with cold nights and it's the nights that have really 'done the damage' with regards to below average temperatures. IMO, these below months give a very misleading picture. Incidently, it looks as if Aberdeen could experience a snow-free January...I wonder if that has ever happened before? January has been like a Spring month since the turn of the millenium it seems.

    You have to remember ZL, that when average temps etc. are being discussed on here - we are only talking in general about a triangle of land between Lancashire, Bristol and London - the CET (Central Engalndshire Temp) measuring area. The months you state have been above average in NI and Scotland. Today a good example - 7ºs and 8ºs across Sctoland; 2ºs and 3ºs in the CET zone.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Thats the problem the unusal thing about it is the nothinginess.

    We haven't had any prolonged Stormy Weather just the GFS teasing us.

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    Well so far, this Winter has only been unusual because of the total lack of snow. We saw not a flake here at the end of November, and in the December Easterly, we had about 5cm. I thought we were going to be in for it when the breakdown occured, as here it is at least 250 m asl. However as the warm air mass slid over the cold, it only snowed for a few minutes before it turned to rain (even though it was sub-zero). So all in all 5cm makes this perhaps the worst Winter I have ever seen snow-wise. Perhaps February might be better - you never know. 2001, 2004 and an event in 1998 were all far more memorable.

    I too live high, and as I said this morning even the high Dales have not had their usual toppings - the mid winters of 1999-2002 all had some significant snow on the tops, even though at lower levels there was little or nothing.

    Although I don't like the "averaging" argument when it comes to detailed specifics, I do have sympathy for the view that it seems almost untenable to argue that it can continue to be so "unmild" (I shan't say cold, because technically it's not much more than cool) - particularly given the low mobility at present - and yet snowless for the rest of winter. Still, in recent years the weather has taught me that the old rules / baselines may no longer apply.

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    Posted
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl
    You have to remember ZL, that when average temps etc. are being discussed on here - we are only talking in general about a triangle of land between Lancashire, Bristol and London - the CET (Central Engalndshire Temp) measuring area. The months you state have been above average in NI and Scotland. Today a good example - 7ºs and 8ºs across Sctoland; 2ºs and 3ºs in the CET zone.

    Exactly - good point Shuggee - I was trying generalize to make my point more pungent. :huh:

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastington Gloucestershire
  • Weather Preferences: Hot in Summer Cold in Winter
  • Location: Eastington Gloucestershire
    We haven't had any prolonged Stormy Weather just the GFS teasing us.

    Sometimes when you want something that much i just doesn't happen these sorts of things happen when you least expect it. :huh:

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    I don't think it's unprecedented. If you we're going to draw a graph, then I would say this winter would lie in between 'normal' and 'unusual' or in other words, slightly unusual. We have seen snow here, once exclusively on the top of the hill here, but we have seen snow this year, but not as much in the way of snow showers. Actually it's been alternating between very mild and very cold spells, and if you brought it together it would finish somewhere near average.

    Difference about this year is the snow we've had bar one or two showers in November, has been frontal snowfall - something we haven't seen in previous winters where the trend was reversed from frontal snow to showers.

    On the whole though I would not claim this winter is unsusual or special, I think it's is a slowly building trend of a drier, cooler winter, and I think if we look long and hard, the years have been getting drier, so drier, cooler - but nothing over the top, and drier warmer summers. I believe it's simply a short term trend, which has occassional fluctuations, as does any trend.

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    Posted
  • Location: Oldham, Gtr Manchester
  • Location: Oldham, Gtr Manchester

    Personally for me it's not been the most memorable winter so far. Last year was better for falling snow. It's been generally dry, and like previously mentioned by SP - either very mild, or moderately chilly. If we don't get any snow before the winter is out, then I won't be logging it as as an eventfull one. Frustrating probably (especially if we get a snowless February), but not memorable.

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    I don't think it's unprecedented. If you we're going to draw a graph, then I would say this winter would lie in between 'normal' and 'unusual' or in other words, slightly unusual. We have seen snow here, once exclusively on the top of the hill here, but we have seen snow this year, but not as much in the way of snow showers. Actually it's been alternating between very mild and very cold spells, and if you brought it together it would finish somewhere near average.

    Difference about this year is the snow we've had bar one or two showers in November, has been frontal snowfall - something we haven't seen in previous winters where the trend was reversed from frontal snow to showers.

    SP,

    I think I'd err slightly further across the scale than you, though experience will vary by location. Here we normally get some of the advantages of height and northerliness, so a flow any where around from W can bring snow, if only to the highest ground. All we've had is the cm or so in December, and whatever fell, but hardly settled, in November. I'm sure what we've had lasted longer (4-5 days here) than in any of the recent winters, but there's been less of it, against an undeniable backdrop of much cooler temperatures.

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    Posted
  • Location: Glasgow
  • Location: Glasgow
    Yes I agree that this Winter has been very unusual. November and December both below average??? And yet the ski resorts have barely opened in Scotland! The reason for this of course, is due to the persistance of High pressure over the British Isles - dry weather with cold nights and it's the nights that have really 'done the damage' with regards to below average temperatures. IMO, these below months give a very misleading picture. Incidently, it looks as if Aberdeen could experience a snow-free January...I wonder if that has ever happened before? January has been like a Spring month since the turn of the millenium it seems.

    WELL THE WEST COAST RESORTS HAVENT EVEN OPENED FOR SKIING YET THIS SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    I think the best anologue to this winter so far is the winter of 1964 which was cold yet dry and snowless in many areas however in my opinion, this has been the best winter i can remember and as a result it is clear that this is a winter of extreme regional variations in which the east will probably say it is a good winter while people in the west will think it is a bad winter, this was the case in summer 2003.

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    Posted
  • Location: Efford, Plymouth
  • Weather Preferences: Misty Autumn Mornings, Thunderstorms and snow
  • Location: Efford, Plymouth

    Well, in my 32 year life, i can bearly remember a quieter Atlantic. There were very little atlantic storms to sweep through in October/November, whilst the snow events of 25 Nov in the west, plus the snow here and inland North West/Midlands on 28th Nov. The easterly breezed in at the end of Dec following a quiet month and Jan has proved to be non descript so far.

    February to me is traditionally the best month for snow/cold, so there is hope. The mean event to me this winter so far has to be the frosts of November- 10 days of hard frosts which were very very spectacular.

    It's been different! :D :huh: :huh:

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    Certainly unusual when compared to the pattern of recent winters. Following a very mild autumn, the pattern flipped in the middle of November with blocking over Greenland and the last ten days of November had a CET of 1C, pretty remarkable given what had gone before. As was the five inch snowfall here on November 28 which caught the forecasters by surprise and resulted in me crashing my car, but thats another story :huh:

    Since December, the Atlantic has been generally weak but the strong Pacific jet has overridden what was a strong historical SST signal for negative NAO patterns. The zonal flow over the States, does however correlate with height rises over Eastern Europe, and that's where we have been looking for our cold this winter, rather than North.

    I suppose if you include this week, we have now had three easterlies of sorts, with only the first one bringing significant snow, and that only to favoured Eastern areas. Easterlies have generally been very rare in the even larger teapot.

    Many have dubbed it a boring winter because of lack of snow, lack of Atlantic storms, lack of sunshine etc. but if we were going to get a blocking pattern there was always the chance that the blocks would not be in the right place to give people what they want, and thus it has proved so far.

    Difficult to say what February and early March hold for us, but the latest letdown was probably the best chance for the cold continental air to come our way. Either way, it has not been a typical even larger teapot and perhaps could be the start of a pattern of similar type winters.

    We can only, reasonably, clutch at so many straws; however, even if we don't get much "wintriness", I am willing to give this winter the benefit of the doubt as continuing a pattern that started the winter before last.

    Certainly agree with your "of sorts" rider. The only place we get long and straight draw Easterlies nowadays is on computer generated forecasts and, presumably, (wide) bits of wallpaper!

    We shall see.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    What has been unusual IMO about this winter has been the large potential for continental blocks to extend into Scandinavia and bring bitterly cold easterlies with snow showers, yet the blocks have either stayed too far east, or their westward ridging has been scuppered by a tendency for high pressure to form over Britain. The lack of a southerly tracking jet has certainly been a factor, but even so, months like February 1956 had no southerly jet and yet were very cold and, in places, snowy.

    What this winter does show up is the points I often make about easterlies not necessarily being the 'holy grail' that many people make them out to be. Yes, they are more reliable than northerlies and polar NW'ly flows for intensity of cold, and when precipitation occurs, it tends to be less geographically restricted, but the problem is that they can't be relied upon to produce much precipitation. As with northerlies and NW'lys, easterlies require a specific synoptic setup to be reliably cold and snowy- typically, we need low pressure to the south, and either a HP cell around Iceland, or a strong ridge towards that region from a Scandinavian, Russian and/or Greenland High. 27-28 December illustrated this perfectly, but the setup didn't last very long.

    Apart from the above, winters like this one haven't been unprecedented. Winter 1963/64 was quite cold in the SE but mild in the NW, and very dry, and Mr Data often points out that winter 1993/94 (a winter I remember well) was generally much snowier despite being much milder over central and southern Britain. Winter 1991/92 was also anticyclonic, dry, and quite cold in the SE, and during January 1992 in particular, there were attempted links with Russian and Scandinavian Highs that were scuppered by high pressure being too far south.

    Even recently, we had the anticyclonic winter of 2002/03. December 2002 illustrated the dark side of easterlies (quite literally) with a low level inversion, stratocumulus, temperatures of 3-5C and minimal precipitation, while February 2003 was far sunnier, but both months had Scandinavian Highs that never got, or ridged, far enough towards the Iceland area to bring a potentially snowy draw of easterly air.

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    Posted
  • Location: Abingdon - 55m ASL - Capital of The Central Southern England Corridor of Winter Convectionlessness
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Snow>Freezing Fog; Summer: Sun>Daytime Storms
  • Location: Abingdon - 55m ASL - Capital of The Central Southern England Corridor of Winter Convectionlessness

    But a mild winter couldn't be better for snow on average than a blocked winter? Could it? Could it? Or Could it?

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    But a mild winter couldn't be better for snow on average than a blocked winter? Could it? Could it? Or Could it?

    Jan-Feb 1978 had alternating spells of cold and snowy with mild interludes. In Yorkshire it snowed on four consecutive Thursdays as I recall, thereby saving me the penury of rugby / games. 1996 was zonal snowy.

    I'd rather have a warmer than average winter with cold spells embedded, than a cooler than average winter with little or no variation.

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
    But a mild winter couldn't be better for snow on average than a blocked winter? Could it? Could it? Or Could it?

    Indeed it could. A blocked winter promises High Pressure which as you know, tends to block fronts, and tends to ensure upper air ingredients are not there (unless it's an easterly). However westerlies and southwesterlies, will occasionally have returning PmT air, which bring frequent heavy snow showers, but mostly to mountainous and western areas.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
    I'd rather have a warmer than average winter with cold spells embedded, than a cooler than average winter with little or no variation.

    As would I, tbh...

    And as for the question about 'is it possible for a mild winter to be better for snow than a blocked winter', there's always Mr Data's favourite example I passed over above: 1993/94 was generally snowier than 1963/64, despite the latter winter being much colder over central and southern Britain, and far less zonal.

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