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Alternative Winter '08 Forecast


Shandiman

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Posted
  • Location: Cumnock, East Ayrshire
  • Location: Cumnock, East Ayrshire

    As the Competition to write the Alternative Winter Forecast has now finished, and I didn't receive enough votes to win (Last place, in fact), I am now about to write my Alternative Winter '08 Forecast.

    This forecast is based on Nature and what signs have been presented this year. These signs can vary from the migratory pattern of birds to when the first berries started to show on plants. These signs will be explained at the end of the forecast.

    Overall Forecast for the seasonal period of Winter (Dec '08 to March 1st '09).

    Overall, the weather for the UK for Winter '08/'09 will be largely below the rolling average (by up to -0.4oC),more than being predicted by the Climate Forecast System elsewhere here on Netweather. Precipitation will be around, or slightly above the rolling average, but as we approach the end of the season, this will drop.

    In more detail, large parts of the UK & Ireland will be looking to experience a colder, but slightly drier winter than last year. However there will be short periods, up to 7 days long, of milder, and significantly wetter weather.

    In the colder spells there will be an increased risk of Snow that will last up to a few days at a time before milder conditions come in to take over for a short while.

    No single area is going to be immune from this shift in pattern this year, however (as always) the most significant areas that will be likely to see Snow is going to be more the coastal regions, leaving the heart of the country (i.e. The Midlands and surrounding Counties) will have less risk.

    The cold spells are likely to send temperatures during the day to around freezing, and overnight down to around -8/-10oC in the North and -4/-5oC in the South in the Town/City Centres. Rural/exposed/Coastal areas could expect to see these temperatures to be around a degree or so cooler when the cold weather sets in.

    The milder spells are likely to see temperatures in the day to be around 5-7oC in the North, and 7-8oC in the South, with night temperatures ranging from -3/-1oC in the North to +1/+3oC in the South (Again in the Town/City Centres).

    Now, with February's ending, the weather is going to make a subtle shift towards wetter & milder conditions. However the risk of a late cold snap cannot be ruled out as late as the middle of April, but this is more likely to happen in early March.

    The Natures' pointers have been many, and have been observed from across the country (as my family have friends on the South Coast), as well as here in East Ayrshire.

    Firstly, the migration of the seasonal birds has been erratic, but some seasonal visitors started to leave our shores as early as August. The Last of these left around Late October, and included a Bird from Scandinavia that stripped every plant that had berries on within days.

    Following the Birds (and coming closer to home), the more common garden birds have been eating us out of house & home. At least twice a day the three Nut Feeders are being filled/re-filled (2 of these are Mug sized in diameter, and twice the height of a Mug).

    Also, there has been a Peregrine Falcon seen (very Close up) in our local area and has been seen hunting successfully. This is a rarety up here as they are not supposed to venture 15 odd miles inland!!

    The action of the plantlife has been more gradual, but started their Autumn earlier than last year, although through October the moisture-loving plants (like Rhododendrons) did try to flower again, and were caught out by the first 'cold snap' we had a couple of weeks ago and have now stopped! The grass stopped growing late September, which was the last time I cut my lawn, when normally grass cutting carries on well into October, and the leaves on the plants started to turn around the same time. Some people would look up and say this is normal for the trees, but I am also encompassing shrubs and bushes in this.

    There are probably many more indicators in nature, but I have not included them here as this could turn into a book otherwise.

    Any comments/opinions are always welcome, and with these there may well be a revision in the New Year!

    Lets see what Winter brings :)

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    Posted
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
  • Weather Preferences: Storms storms and more storms
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side

    Nice one SM - I'll be adding mine in a few days and I know Andy is also working on his.

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    Posted
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)
  • Weather Preferences: Any weather will do.
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)

    Nice work Shandiman, I have to say you aren't far out I feel with this Forecast. My forecast is close to yours but in more detail and with the data to back it up. Fingers crossed we are correct.

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    Posted
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire
    Nice one SM - I'll be adding mine in a few days and I know Andy is also working on his.

    I am :rofl: , will post it next weekend in the hope that the days to at least T96 are fairly correct :good: !

    Yours reads well Shandiman, looking forward to seeing the others too.

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    Posted
  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL
  • Location: City of Gales, New Zealand, 150m ASL

    So the milder spells are going to bring conditions that are pretty much average? (~8C in the south)

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    Posted
  • Location: Cumnock, East Ayrshire
  • Location: Cumnock, East Ayrshire

    Pretty much so. The spells of milder weather will noticibly bring in average temps, but only for short periods. The precipitation will also increase to near, or above, average. However this will be more in the shape of heavy sporadic downpours rather than steady rain.

    With the amount of action from the beloved Red Squirrels (oh, and their threateningly horrible American cousins, the Grey ones) this is suggested, so that they can look for their food stores!!

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    Posted
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire

    Here you go, 3 days earlier than I said so more time for it to go wrong :) ...

    2008 Winter Forecast by Andy Bown

    (2nd place in NW Alternative Winter Forecast vote)

    I have created this forecast with two sections for December and then with a general view for the whole months of January and February. The very early part of the forecast is based on what I read from the charts available at time of writing, whereas the remainder is partly what I hope will happen (because I don't want it to be wrong :doh: ), partly what could possibly happen and partly based on how conditions have panned out in my area in the last 4/5 years. My wintry predictions for the end of February are based on some extent of snow affecting my birthday on 3 of the last 5 years. As I have maintained all along, I am prepared for this to go wrong withing T96 - more likely by Monday 1 December though :) !

    1 - 15 December

    There will be something of a split weatherwise to start the winter period but all areas will be cold. As November ends with a filling low pressure system slipping into the continent two thirds of the UK - the Central, Western and Northern areas - will start December very cold with Northerly winds, snow showers (even to low levels) and penetrating overnight frosts. There will be plenty of sunshine in the West too with a large high pressure close by in the Atlantic and temperatures will range from -3c minimum to just 3c maximum. Meanwhile the South Eastern portion will be closer to the retreating low pressure with a lot of cloud and showery rain, maybe sleet/wet snow on high ground overnight. As a result temperatures will be a little milder but will still struggle to average maximums of 7c or 8c and minimums could dip to freezing under any clear sky overnight.

    As we approach the weekend of 6/7 December the Atlantic high pressure will move Eastwards introducing Northerly winds to all areas for a few days. Wintry showers will affect the East coast of both England and Scotland while the majority enjoy clear skies, sunshine and harsh frosts. Through the following week the anticyclone will settle over the UK bringing plenty more sunshine, harsh frosts with temperatures down to -8c and some patches of freezing fog, inversion conditions will gradually be created and high ground may be milder as cold air sinks to the surface. If freezing fog does linger then some places will record ice days, where the fog lifts or stays away entirely then temperatures will sneak up to 2c-5c.

    16 - 31 December

    This period of the month is the most talked about section of weather for the whole year with focus on the question of "Will it be a White Christmas?" My forecast says that it won't be a widespread White Christmas, but that some places will see wintry showers around the Christmas period.

    The anticyclone, with attendant inversion conditions, will continue to dominate until around 20 December, so a continuation of hard frosts, freezing fog and, outside of the fog, sunny days. Temperatures will continue to be below average with maximums between 2c-5c and minimums as low as -8c where fog stays away, more likely -3c if it's foggy and staying sub-zero in those places during the daytime so ice days are likely.

    A change will begin to happen between 21-22 December as the anticyclone pulls away to the West allowing NW then, as it settles into the mid-Atlantic, Northerly winds to develop across the country. While the actual air temperatures will rise to above freezing everywhere due to widespread sunshine, there will continue to be hard frosts. As always in Northerlies, the majority of the UK will have dry, sunny weather. However the Western, Northern and Eastern coastal areas will have wintry showers with snow overnight even to low levels - a pattern set to continue through until 27 December. Snow cannot be ruled out inland with the chance of a few troughs sliding South to increase showery activity.

    The end of the month will see a return to anticyclonic conditions in England and Wales as the high pressure returns from the Atlantic. Meanwhile Scotland and Ireland will turn a little milder with more of a Westerly breeze and the chance of light sleet/rain as temperatures rise to 6c-8c at best.

    1 - 31 January

    January will be a much more lively month than December with the milder conditions that began in the North moving Southwards during the first week. The high will only slowly give way, however, meaning that the South and South East remain dry and/or sunny/foggy/frosty until around 7 January until these areas see temperatures rise to around 10c and fronts begin to move in from the Atlantic. The fronts will mostly bring rain, however freezing rain/sleet/snow is possible at first in those areas that have stayed coldest for longest. High rainfall totals are possible in the North of England/Wales as well as Ireland/Scotland - as always snow is possible on the high ground with the temperatures lower than elsewhere.

    The Atlantic will be in full control for the rest of the month from around 10 January as the Jet Stream races in across the UK. A series of strong low pressures will race in bringing a lot of rain and gales/severe gales at times. Sleet/snow is likely in the Northern half, especially but not exclusively on higher ground, from time to time as colder PM air flows in around the low pressure systems bringing back-edge frontal snow and wintry showers to follow. There will be no snow in the Southern half as temperatures reach double figures, sometimes into the low teens during warm sectors, and only briefly threaten overnight frosts should the sky clear between systems/fronts.

    1 - 28 February

    The Atlantic dominated weather will continue into February with little change to the aforementioned conditions. By this stage flooding will be a real issue across prone areas of the Midlands, Wales and Northern England.

    A slow change will begin to take place around 10 February as the Jet Stream moves North, taking the low pressures with it, and allowing high pressure that has been over the Continent to edge into the South. This will mean continued unsettled weather in the Northern half and temperatures will actually rise here compared to most of the previous four weeks : 10c plus will be achieved quite easily. However in the Southern half rainfall will die out to be replaced by cloudy, dry conditions with little diurnal range between maximum and minimum temperatures for several days, figures of 8c/6c for example.

    From 15 February the high pressure will drift North to bring settled conditions to all with drier continantal air allowing plenty of sunshine to develop before a repeat of the inversion set up from December seems likely with hard frosts, freezing fog and sunny days outside the fog.

    Into the last week of the month the high pressure will pull away to the North West and allow an Easterly to North Easterly wind to develop across the Southern half of England/Wales. This will not be a cloudy/damp flow as happened in early November, but will serve to bring a bitter feel and, because of the more NE flow, wintry showers are likely to come in from the North Sea to affect not only the coastal areas but will penetrate a long way inland - significant snowfall could occur locally as snow streamers set up in prone locations of the SE. It is also possible that fronts will approach from the South and, as they meet the cold air, snow is possible in Southern counties with temperatures ranging from 3c to -2c from day to night. Western and particularly Northern areas will see plenty of sunshine and more frosty nights.

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    • 3 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: Cumnock, East Ayrshire
  • Location: Cumnock, East Ayrshire

    It will be nice to see if other forum members have views on all the alternative winter forecasts including The Watchers Official Forecast.

    It looks like all the forecasts have been right so far, although we do have another 2 and a Half months to go :winky:

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    Posted
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)
  • Weather Preferences: Any weather will do.
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)
    It will be nice to see if other forum members have views on all the alternative winter forecasts including The Watchers Official Forecast.

    It looks like all the forecasts have been right so far, although we do have another 2 and a Half months to go :cold:

    I wouldn't go as far to say mine is completely correct, I forecast the Atlantic to come back in during this week, not next week. Also the HP forecast for Christmas may sink too far North, I only had it skirting the South bringing dry cool weather there and More unsettled transitional Lows to the North of Scotland bringing some very short cold bursts. Although after Christmas I went for a week long cool spell before the Atlantic roars back in. We can never be 100% correct but we do try our best, all of us. :doh:

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    Posted
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
  • Weather Preferences: Storms storms and more storms
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
    It will be nice to see if other forum members have views on all the alternative winter forecasts including The Watchers Official Forecast.

    It looks like all the forecasts have been right so far, although we do have another 2 and a Half months to go :rolleyes:

    So far I'm not too unhappy with mine "After mid-December we are due a change back to the milder, westerlies, a couple of windstorms before Christmas mostly affecting the north and west but for the rest of the country mild and relatively dry. This will take us through the Christmas period."

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    Posted
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)
  • Weather Preferences: Any weather will do.
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)
    So far I'm not too unhappy with mine "After mid-December we are due a change back to the milder, westerlies, a couple of windstorms before Christmas mostly affecting the north and west but for the rest of the country mild and relatively dry. This will take us through the Christmas period."

    Looks like Female intuition has beat us all hands down then :rolleyes:

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    Posted
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
  • Weather Preferences: Storms storms and more storms
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
    Looks like Female intuition has beat us all hands down then :D

    :D:D:yahoo::yahoo: :yahoo: -As someone pointed out - the weather wouldn't dare do anything different.

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    Posted
  • Location: Cumnock, East Ayrshire
  • Location: Cumnock, East Ayrshire

    :lol: :lol:

    Well, Mother Nature is the one thing that Humankind cannot control, only influence.

    We can only do our best at forecasting with whatever methods we use, and hope that we can get somewhere close to what actually happens :wacko: !

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    Posted
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
  • Weather Preferences: Storms storms and more storms
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
    :lol: :lol:

    Well, Mother Nature is the one thing that Humankind cannot control, only influence.

    We can only do our best at forecasting with whatever methods we use, and hope that we can get somewhere close to what actually happens :wacko: !

    As you say mother nature - not father nature!

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    Posted
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)
  • Weather Preferences: Any weather will do.
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)
    :lol: :lol: :wacko: :wacko: :lol: -As someone pointed out - the weather wouldn't dare do anything different.

    Ain't that the truth. :D

    Can I stroke your fluffy bumble....*Pets the bee*

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    Posted
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
  • Weather Preferences: Storms storms and more storms
  • Location: The Wash - Norfolk side
    Ain't that the truth. :lol:

    Can I stroke your fluffy bumble....*Pets the bee*

    You may pet the bee - he's lovely isn't he - landed on the windowledge two years ago on a bright February morning. Just took his photo when he got ever so slightly pi**ed off and tried to attack me!

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    Posted
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)
  • Weather Preferences: Any weather will do.
  • Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland (20m asl, near coast)
    You may pet the bee - he's lovely isn't he - landed on the windowledge two years ago on a bright February morning. Just took his photo when he got ever so slightly pi**ed off and tried to attack me!

    You can actually stroke them, but you have to be very careful not to Swearing AGAIN them off......I've done it before but at that stage I was fearless.

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