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What If? ....


yukichon

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Posted
  • Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Weather Preferences: Snow or Sun
  • Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

I'm just an interested party and have no knowledge just real interest in all things weather but especially snow.

I've always wondered....if we didn't have the jet stream and gulf stream almost always coming our way, what would Great Britain be like?

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Posted
  • Location: Leicestershire
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy Winters and cool, wet Summers
  • Location: Leicestershire

I'd imagine we'd have winters like the November/December 2010 cold snap all winter long, with typical summer days reaching a maxima of 12C.

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Posted
  • Location: Leicestershire
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy Winters and cool, wet Summers
  • Location: Leicestershire

Yes but which part of Russia?

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Posted
  • Location: Wallasey Village, Wirral. 15.7m ASL.
  • Weather Preferences: Temps under 25 degrees, thunderstorms and heavy snow
  • Location: Wallasey Village, Wirral. 15.7m ASL.

I'd quite like that :-)

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Posted
  • Location: Leicestershire
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, snowy Winters and cool, wet Summers
  • Location: Leicestershire

I'd quite like that :-)

Quite like what?

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Posted
  • Location: Headington,Oxfordshire
  • Weather Preferences: Snow
  • Location: Headington,Oxfordshire

I am grateful we have a jet stream, as much as i would love winters like last year, i couldn't live with the fact summer temps not going above about 12c, would be dreadful.

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Posted
  • Location: Valencia, Spain or Angmering, West Sussex
  • Weather Preferences: 22-38C in summer with storms, cold in winter with some snow/or 15-25C
  • Location: Valencia, Spain or Angmering, West Sussex

I am grateful we have a jet stream, as much as i would love winters like last year, i couldn't live with the fact summer temps not going above about 12c, would be dreadful.

Not sure how you guys work this out? :cc_confused: , Kiev, Moscow and even Berlin (all on similar latitudes) have hotter summers than us and have little gulf stream influence, of course being an island would moderate temperatures anyway but thanks to Africa and nearby Europe, we would surely never be 12C even in mid-summer.

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Posted
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Anything but mild south-westeries in winter
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl

If the gulf stream didn't exist, Britain and Ireland would probably be a couple or a few degrees colder but certainly not as cold as Russia or Canada.

Our summers might be warmer then they are now with less of an ocean influence, but probably not by much.

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Posted
  • Location: Eccles, Greater manchester.
  • Location: Eccles, Greater manchester.

I feel ,though moderated by the seas around our island,our climate without the gulf stream waters bathing us would be on average around 4 or 5 c lower in winter and possibly a little cooler in summer ,thouh=gh hot eather would happen.

.........................my GOD i have no idea ,pure speculation...we know it would be colder in winter but by how much ..who knows?weather patterns would change as a result of the major shift in sea circulation

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

If we had no Gulf Stream we would still be warm for our latitude with the winds coming in from the west due to the spin on the Earth's axis. We would probably get a lot more "cold zonality" with a higher emphasis on more frequent and more intense polar maritime incursions, and those of us who like our "thundery wintry showers" would end up primarily looking west for them rather than east or north. Meanwhile our summers would probably end up rather cooler, with a higher incidence of grey damp weather, particularly towards the south-west which would feel the effects of the lower SSTs.

As for the question about no jet stream, that's pretty hard to imagine, if there was no jet stream then where would our low pressure systems go? If the jet stream was to be reversed, giving Britain mostly easterly winds, then we'd most likely see frequent heavy snowfalls in November due to convection over the North Sea, followed by a transition to a very dry, cold winter as the North Sea froze over, followed by dry cloudy and rather cool summers.

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Posted
  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Weather Preferences: Ample sunshine; Hot weather; Mixed winters with cold and mild spells
  • Location: Berlin, Germany

Well by all those accounts the loss of the Gulf stream would not be a good thing at all!

The Atlantic air masses currently affect all the way across into Eastern Europe and if we lost that source of warmth I can imagine devastating impacts on food production and quality of life across Europe and no doubt the entire world as everything is interlinked. Lets hope it never comes to that.

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Posted
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Anything but mild south-westeries in winter
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl

That would never happen Bottesford, the gulf stream doesn't play as much role as people think it does on Europe's climate.

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Posted
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)

UK would have a climate similar to Newfoundland..but a few degress warmer in the summer due to the configuration of the European continent.

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Posted
  • Location: Wallasey Village, Wirral. 15.7m ASL.
  • Weather Preferences: Temps under 25 degrees, thunderstorms and heavy snow
  • Location: Wallasey Village, Wirral. 15.7m ASL.

Quite like what?

#2

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Posted
  • Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Weather Preferences: Snow or Sun
  • Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Great responses peeps. I always wondered if we would be me like the Canadian coast or Northern Europe.

Is the occasional talk about the Gulf stream moving or even stopping a load of tosh then?

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

I think, if we're to take a comparison point, if we lost the Gulf Stream the UK's winters would probably end up quite similar to those of Vancouver (near the west coast of Canada and at a similar latitude). Vancouver generally has mild moist westerly-dominated winters but a couple of degrees colder than in most parts of lowland Britain, with a higher frequency of (mainly wet) snowfalls as a result.

For summer, the analogy breaks down as Vancouver's summers are characterised by a high pressure belt rather than continued westerlies, and with summer anticyclones tending to be clear, this translates to plenty of sunshine and average maxima of 22C. But if we were to imagine prevailing summer westerlies in such a summer climate instead, there's a strong implication that British summers would be significantly cooler- we might struggle with average maxima of 18 or 19C even in southern England. In my view we'd be able to adapt to the slightly colder winters after a temporary spell of repeated major disruption, but cooler damper summers could heavily hit tourism and crop development. The colder winters would be more of an issue in central and eastern Europe where temperatures are very sensitive to the penetration of Atlantic air, and thus the loss of the Gulf Stream could well shave several degrees off their average winter temperatures.

Newfoundland is a decent analogy to what we could expect in the UK if the Earth's axis was to reverse leaving us with prevailing easterlies (as Newfoundland is an east-coast location, hence facing away from the prevailing winds). However, in the UK we have the North Sea to reckon with, which would almost certainly leave our summers considerably cooler than Newfoundland's.

The overwhelming majority of climate model runs btw suggest that if we see a Gulf Stream shutdown, it won't be until the globe has warmed sufficiently to at least offset whatever cooling it would produce (relative to late twentieth century levels).

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Posted
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Anything but mild south-westeries in winter
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl

Downtown Vancouver has milder winters then London, while Vancouver Airport has winters comparable to Leeds, if not, slightly milder..

I'd love to see the UK have Newfoundland's climate.

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

Admittedly Vancouver itself is right near the west coast, so in addition to my earlier post, it's fair to say that it represents how western coastal Britain might end up. Central and eastern parts by implication would end up colder and snowier.

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Posted
  • Location: East Devon
  • Location: East Devon

Note: I wrote this earlier and forgot to post it, and see TWS has now also mentioned Vancouver like me (which answers a couple things I was wondering about Vancouver) but I didn't want to waste a long waffling post so will post it anyway :lol:

I'd say it may actually be pretty complicated thing to work out, but I think TWS gives a pretty good idea.

I have heard that there is some debate about how much cooler we would actually be, but I think we may well still be warmer than some people would think in the winter, and warmer than Newfoundland due to us being downwind of the Atlantic Ocean still whereas the Newfoundland area is downwind of the North American landmass, and the gradient between the cold airmass over the land and the gulf stream offshore can often power strong lows that drag the cold off the main continent over Newfoundland/Nova Scotia as they move away. (I think Nova Scotia would be quite a good place to live weather wise as you often get interestingly strong lows and heavy snowstorms in winter (or heavy rain events if the lows are further inland or it isn't winter) and summers in Nova Scotia are slightly warmer than ours due to being slightly further south and winds off the continent more often than ours are off Europe)

Vancouver on the SW coast of Canada is a similar latitude to southern UK I think and the winters aren't that much colder there than ours are (unless you head up into the mountains of course). Avg. max is 5C in January according to the BBC (so a few degrees colder going by that comparison as it's more Southern England latitude) I'm not sure if they have any kind of warm current offshore though.

After the general temperature drop of the ocean there is then the issue that this will probably change the weather patterns in certain ways, it may lead to more blocking in a favourable location to give us more cold easterly winds for example. I would guess any westerly sourced wind would be at least a few degrees colder at any time of year. In summer this could mean very cool damp weather at times which I wouldn't be too happy about, though I imagine when winds are off the continent we may still be able to reach pretty hot temperatures with just the English Channel in between (this would have little effect on 850hpa temps and inland they seem to determine the max temps in the summer when it;s sunny) I'm also not sure how much the channel would warm anyway in summer being quite shallow. I'd imagine sea fog/low cloud would be more of an issue though with lower sea temps and especially with easterly winds in spring/summer.

Interestingly Vancouver actually seems to have slightly warmer summers than us despite being on the west coast and at similar latitude (Avg. max 23C in July/August according to the BBC) but this might be due to weather pattern and geographical differences. (it's on the mainland of the continent rather than an offshore island)

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Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

Great responses peeps. I always wondered if we would be me like the Canadian coast or Northern Europe.

Is the occasional talk about the Gulf stream moving or even stopping a load of tosh then?

Not completely but basically yes. The movement across the Atlantic varies in position and in the past has ceased changing the thermohaline circulation. But this a very complicated subject and as yet the Labrador current hasn't even been mentioned. Neither has the heat transfer by the GS.

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Posted
  • Location: Napton on the Hill Warwickshire 500ft
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and heatwave
  • Location: Napton on the Hill Warwickshire 500ft

That would never happen Bottesford, the gulf stream doesn't play as much role as people think it does on Europe's climate.

Yes that blue and green is for show only :sorry:

post-7914-0-83577700-1323216042_thumb.pn

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Posted
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Anything but mild south-westeries in winter
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl

The biggest contributor to the mildness of Europe is probably the Rocky Mountains in North America

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Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

The biggest contributor to the mildness of Europe is probably the Rocky Mountains in North America

A bit more detail would be helpful. I only ask because the heat transfer by the oceans and the associated ocean/atmosphere connection is a complicated subject and I would welcome a simple explanation.

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Posted
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Anything but mild south-westeries in winter
  • Location: Whitkirk, Leeds 86m asl

The Rocky Mountains force cold air south into eastern Canada/northern USA. The result is that eastern Atlantic Canada is on average 15 F colder than Northwest Europe, not a direct influence but there nonetheless

Also, the downwind location of Northwest Europe relative to the position of the Atlantic Ocean helps gives this high latitude location its relatively temperate winters. it's the westerly flow that is the main driver. The same can be observed in coastal Pacific Canada and parts of coastal Alaska.

The Atlantic Ocean itself transports very little warmth all the way up to NW Europe - NOT to say that no warmth at all is there, because the effect it has on the coasts of northern Norway is extreme, and I guess the same with Sea Ice in northern Europe.. though this could also be due to the fact the Ocean in northern Europe is much, much wider then say the Bearing Sea so cannot freeze over.

In short: if the gulf stream did not exist, not much would change, and we certainly would not be looking at winters as cold as Russia, Sweden, Finland or even Newfoundland and an Ice Age certainly would not occur

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