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Warm autumns lead onto mild winters theory


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  • Location: Failsworth, Manchester - alt: 93m
  • Weather Preferences: Hot sunshine and thunderstorms. Mild in winter.
  • Location: Failsworth, Manchester - alt: 93m

    Autumn here on Netweather tends to strike up the warm autumns/mild winters debate. This is a theory that suggests that warmer autumns are often followed by milder winters. Since this debate pops up quite a lot every autumn, I thought that I do a bit of research myself, and either prove or disprove this theory.

     

    I have taken the mean average UK temperature for every autumn and its following winter for every year since autumn 1980 and the following winter 1980-81, all the way up until our most recent pairing of autumn 2013 and the following winter 2013-14. I then plotted all of this data on a scatter graph (below).

     

    The results show that there is a slight positive correlation between the two, meaning that there is a slight tendency for a warm autumn to be followed by a milder winter and a cooler autumn to be followed by a colder winter. However I must stress that the correlation is really very weak. This is because there are many instances of the opposite occuring (ie. a warm autumn followed by a cold winter and a cool autumn being followed by a mild winter).

     

    This means that my research would suggest that a warmer autumn does slightly increase the chances of us getting a milder winter, however it is only a very, very slight increase.

    post-21671-0-59352100-1412111518_thumb.p

    Edited by ScottRichards10
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    you imagine if it worked like that, but the forecast would be so easy that it would be a breeze. Not all of this does not work, there is absolutely no correlation. Above all, go back on a cycle of 30 years is much too small. It should at least go back over a century. And even go back over a century, you will see that there is no real correlation between a warm autumn followed by mild winter and vice versa

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    Posted
  • Location: Failsworth, Manchester - alt: 93m
  • Weather Preferences: Hot sunshine and thunderstorms. Mild in winter.
  • Location: Failsworth, Manchester - alt: 93m

    you imagine if it worked like that, but the forecast would be so easy that it would be a breeze. Not all of this does not work, there is absolutely no correlation. Above all, go back on a cycle of 30 years is much too small. It should at least go back over a century. And even go back over a century, you will see that there is no real correlation between a warm autumn followed by mild winter and vice versa

     

    Not necessarily. As I pointed out, there are some very large anomalies, most notably the autumn of 2009 and it's following winter. I'll admit that 30 years is quite unrepresentative, but in all honestly, this was only for a bit of fun in all fairness, but I do have a feeling that if you was to use all of the data that has every been collected, it would probably be something not too dissimilar, a very weak, but also a very slight positive correlation.

     

    Maybe someone else could try that..?

    Edited by ScottRichards10
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    Posted
  • Location: Birmingham (Solihull), West Midlands
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, thunder, hail & heavy snow
  • Location: Birmingham (Solihull), West Midlands

    you imagine if it worked like that, but the forecast would be so easy that it would be a breeze.

    I would say that's true if every/almost every warm Autumn equalled a mild Winter, otherwise I think Winter forecasters would still have to consider other factors, such as the ENSO conditions (La Niña, El Niño or Neutral), sea temperatures, snow cover advancement, Artic sea-ice melt, whether we get an negative NAO dominated season, etc, to get an idea of whether a mild Winter is likely to occur or not. I confess, though, a warmer Autumn could at least affect some of the factors mentioned above (such as possibly the surrounding oceanic temperatures), which in turn, could have implications on the Winter season.

    Edited by DiagonalRedLine
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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Not necessarily. As I pointed out, there are some very large anomalies, most notably the autumn of 2009 and it's following winter. I'll admit that 30 years is quite unrepresentative, but in all honestly, this was only for a bit of fun in all fairness, but I do have a feeling that if you was to use all of the data that has every been collected, it would probably be something not too dissimilar, a very weak, but also a very slight positive correlation.

     

    Maybe someone else could try that..?

    I think the problem here is that since the late 1980s, all seasons have been generally warmer, so it's hard to gauge anything. Its really only since 2007 have we started returning cooler seasons again. So there is a good part of the data that is bias to warm.

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    sorry SR, work done on this idea, with full statistical checks has never revealed any workable link. As your data chart shows the scatter is wide and for each year that 'proves' it there is another one, as you have written of that 'disproves' it. I remember decades ago doing research in the middle of night duties on data over 100 years and it never showed any strong correlation. Nor did the Met O agree with any of the work I showed. A senior bloke at the old main office in Dunstable in those days said the statistical analysis showed there was no correlation.

    Fun doing it though as I am sure you found.

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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)

    I remember in the early days of this forum many moons ago..the opposite synopsis was churned out that warm Autumns esp warm Octobers favoured cold winters..then 1978-79 was paraded as a classic example...since then there have been a number of warm Autumns and Octobers that have been followed by warm winters.

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    Posted
  • Location: Failsworth, Manchester - alt: 93m
  • Weather Preferences: Hot sunshine and thunderstorms. Mild in winter.
  • Location: Failsworth, Manchester - alt: 93m

    sorry SR, work done on this idea, with full statistical checks has never revealed any workable link. As your data chart shows the scatter is wide and for each year that 'proves' it there is another one, as you have written of that 'disproves' it. I remember decades ago doing research in the middle of night duties on data over 100 years and it never showed any strong correlation. Nor did the Met O agree with any of the work I showed. A senior bloke at the old main office in Dunstable in those days said the statistical analysis showed there was no correlation.

    Fun doing it though as I am sure you found.

    Fair enough... better really to leave this sort of stuff to the professionals. You're right though I did have fun doing it though... even if my data wasn't enough to go on. :)

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    Posted
  • Location: bingley,west yorks.81 absl
  • Location: bingley,west yorks.81 absl

    Nothing wrong with having a little play around with vig/stats ect for a little fun imo.

    Edited by joggs
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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Fair enough... better really to leave this sort of stuff to the professionals. You're right though I did have fun doing it though... even if my data wasn't enough to go on. :)

    Scott

    Try the severe winter CET less than 2.0C does not favour a subsequent warm summer.

    I suspect there maybe a bit more of a correlation.

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    Posted
  • Location: Exile from Argyll
  • Location: Exile from Argyll

    Scott

    Try the severe winter CET less than 2.0C does not favour a subsequent warm summer.

    I suspect there maybe a bit more of a correlation.

     

    I think the eastern US have just experienced their version of that theory.

     

    Much has been made of the tendency for weather to get 'stuck' recently - this being due to amplification of the jet stream - it will depend on the timing of the switch as to whether we get continuation of the autumn pattern or not. As things stand, in recent seasons, all kinds of weather type are back on the menu and not just in the season to which they predominately applied.

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    Posted
  • Location: Failsworth, Manchester - alt: 93m
  • Weather Preferences: Hot sunshine and thunderstorms. Mild in winter.
  • Location: Failsworth, Manchester - alt: 93m

    Scott

    Try the severe winter CET less than 2.0C does not favour a subsequent warm summer.

    I suspect there maybe a bit more of a correlation.

    Might do actually.

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

    If we look at statistical associations between seasons using a long-standing series such as the Central England Temperature, then I would expect there to be a slight positive correlation between warmth in season X and warmth in season Y, associated with long-term fluctuations in the mean annual temperature for north-western Europe (this is more important than the mean global temperature, because for instance the Maunder Minimum in the late 1600s/early 1700s caused a much larger temperature drop for north-western Europe than it did globally, leading to many cold autumns and cold winters).  Even just restricting the consideration to years since 1980 has that problem because mean regional temperatures have risen by between 0.5 and 1.0C since then.

     

    If we're looking for associations that relate to atmospheric circulation then the best way to check is probably to look for statistical associations between seasons relative to the most recent long-term average, with 30 years being the most popular standard, but I doubt that you'd be left with anything remotely approaching a statistically significant correlation in that case.

    Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m

    It may be someones theory but it will never be a fact !!!!

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

    sorry SR, work done on this idea, with full statistical checks has never revealed any workable link. As your data chart shows the scatter is wide and for each year that 'proves' it there is another one, as you have written of that 'disproves' it. I remember decades ago doing research in the middle of night duties on data over 100 years and it never showed any strong correlation. Nor did the Met O agree with any of the work I showed. A senior bloke at the old main office in Dunstable in those days said the statistical analysis showed there was no correlation.

    Fun doing it though as I am sure you found.

     

    In need this seems to come up every year and I'm sure the 330 + Years of the CET figures have been number crunched to death with no correlation found.

     

    Although 1795 Jan CET was -3.1 cf 2015 Jan both end with a 5 could that be significant ??

    Edited by stewfox
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