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Winter forecast issued

Cold core expected


Winter weather outlook

The UK winter 2016/17 forecast headline is for a close to average temperatures over the season as a whole. However, a very cold and potentially snowy spell during the middle of the winter is forecast to be sandwiched in between milder spells and there is considerable uncertainty. Rainfall is predicted to be slightly below the average.

Forecast factors

The forecast was produced by looking at a number of factors, including:

  • Seasonal forecast models
  • Persistence patterns during recent seasons and historical analogues
  • ENSO conditions
  • Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO)
  • Atlantic sea surface temperatures (ssts)
  • Solar activity
  • Autumnal weather patterns and the development of snow cover in Siberia


Forecast confidence levels for this winter are very low. A number of indicators such as the neutral (or weak La Nina) ENSO, low solar activity and weak polar vortex all suggest an increased likelihood of colder spells developing. Nonetheless, medium range computer models don't really support the idea of high latitude blocking and a negative North Atlantic Oscillation pressure pattern taking hold during the early part of the season.

In conclusion the TWO view is the greatest risk of disruptive snowfall and very cold weather will be during the middle part of January.  

TWO winter 2016/17 forecast

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