There are already comments on next winter in two threads-"Weatherline look at winter 2011/12 and "UK faces more harsh winters in solar activity dip".So its seems good time to start a dedicated prospects for winter 2011/12" thread.
Brian Gaze wrote last week that " I’ve seen nothing to suggest we’ve returned to weather patterns similar to those between 1991- 2006. So don’t count on a mild one, even though the May SST profile may not have suggested a cold winter this year. No one at this stage can be confident about the winter prospects, but my view is we’re starting with a higher than average chance of a cold one."
In looking at the various influences I start with ENSO.The latest NOAA forecast suggests a neutral position persisting into the fall,suggesting that there is little time for any significant influence to develop that could affect next winter in the UK.So ther factors than ENSO will have a stronger influence.
Brian has already noted that the May SST's are not suggestive of a cold winter.Currently there is a broad belt of negative anomalies stretching acroos the Atlantic from Newfoundland to the UK but that may be is more of an influence on current summer weather than next winter.
Solar activity continues to be low.Current sunspot number is 42 and NOAA are predicting that the current solar cycle 24 will peak in May 2013 with a number of only 90,the lowest of any cycle since no 16 in 1928.
Perhaps the most interesting factor is the similarity in the pattern of summer weather to recent summers.Nothern bolcking has continued over Greenland,the jet steam is currently back over southern england and looking at the poor METO forecast for the next month suggest a similar pattern.
So without getting too precise at this satge I would go for a colder than average winter.Be intersted to see your thoughts on inflencing factors and likely outcomes.
Edited by user 08 November 2011 12:09:14(UTC)
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In the same way, after 2006, we were getting newspaper stories saying "UK will face more Mediterranean summers".
It's all complete conjecture of the writers, nothing more, nothing less.
When we had 2007 and 2008 being as wet and cool as they were, there were some reports that then stated "UK may face cooler wetter summers."
When people actually start to realise that the UK climate is a temperate maritime climate, and by its very nature, we will always have forever changeable seasons, it would be a very good day for UK meterology.
Just because the last 3 winters have been colder than we've become accustomed to, does NOT mean that we are now in for a prolonged run of colder winters.
We may be, but that's got nothing to do with what has happened in the past 3 years.
On the other side of the coin, we MAY be in for a run of milder than average winters again now. The simple fact is, NO-ONE knows and NO-ONE ever will know!
There are just too many parameters to consider - and it's just just simply because we've had a few years of varying conditions that is how it will remain ad infintum.
Yes I know I do LRFs, but they are purely for fun, and should not be taken seriously.
I have some successes, and some failures. The truth is, I know as little about the British climate as anybody else.
As for this winter. There's a 50/50 chance of it being colder or warmer than average, just as there is EVERY year!
Edited by user 08 July 2011 13:55:56(UTC)
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LOL at this thread! We get an autumn thread started yesterday and a day later its winter
Anyway, agree with Moomin
I dont think its all down hill. With ENSO as it is, and low solar activity, the jet could dip south. It wouldn't surprise me if we get a cold early winter again (late october, november, december). Also, we've had cold winters recently, but not on the scale of 63 etc, i dont think.
I must be going soft in my old age!
Too far out, but the rough model of recent years seems to be:
Warm Spring / Wet Summer / Dry Autumn / Cold Winter
And so far seems to be continuing
Nobody Knows, its the weather
I don't care what anyone says, it's going to be cold with lots of snow!
We'll see what happens, but a couple of interesting pointers from the MetO.
1) They now believe El Nino leads to increased polar blocking and colder winters in north western Europe2) They think as much as 50% of the variability from year to year is caused by solar activity. Smell the coffee.
I wouldn't bet against another dry autumn and cold winter
.....and thirdly -
When sunspots and other solar activity are at a minimum, the effect is to mimic El Niño conditions, ie more easterly winds and cold winter weather for Britain.
I wonder if this is why so many LRFs are falling by the wayside and so much comment on how weather patterns are atypical of ENSO conditions.
This is the FT not a scientific paper. We have discussed winter temperatures vs solar activity recently looking at published papers, the link is there but it isn't very strong. As for El-Nino the evidence as I understand it is that it favours blocking in late winter, La-Nina in ealry winter. I wonder if this is a case of a journalist getting it a little confused.
The solar activity comment is a direct quote, “We now believe that [the solar cycle] accounts for 50 per cent of the variability from year to year,” says Scaife."
The Met Office aren't going beyond the peer reviewed research that we see from Jo Haigh, the Reading group and others. The variability introduced by solar effects is comparable to ENSO which is a relatively weak influence on the Uk winter weather but a significant one. If the effects were large then they would be easy to pick out from the solar cycle or the ENSO cycle but they clearly aren't. When it comes to a chouice between the published science , including that by the Met office and a 1 liner in a paper, well its obvious.
click here for the rest of it and others - and thanks to Kevin Bradshaw (Mr Data) for making the articles available
Edited by user 11 July 2011 10:53:21(UTC)
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I would say the Aleutian low is more of a factor than ENSO in winter weather. The Aleutian low has a large influence over patterns in North America. It appears that the most favourable conditions for a colder winter are a deep Aleutian low and El Nino conditions. This occured during the winter of 2009/10 where the Aleutian low helped create the unusual patterns, the SE US was very cold while the NE US was very warm indicating a weak jet stream.
2006 conversely saw higher pressure in the Pacific meaning US temperature profiles wernt as favourable.
Usually when the SE US is colder than normal the NAO is negative, the worst case scenario is for positive se and negative ne US as this shows a strong North to South temperature gradient and a powerful jet stream, at this early stage I think we are heading for a neutral negative NAO but this is the weather
How can the influence of the sun and ENSO be both "relatively weak" and "significant" at the same time?
If the effects are significant, then they must by definition be relatively strong.