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Winter 2019/20 forecast

Milder than average



The UK seasonal forecast headline is for winter 2019/20 to be milder than the norm.

Precipitation levels are expected to be slightly above average when measured across the UK as a whole, but regional variations are likely to be significant. 

The coldest periods are forecast to be in the second half of January and the middle of February with mild spells in all three months. Nonetheless, confidence is low and the possibility of a cold winter is not discounted.

Snow on Berkhamsted totem pole covered

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 for winter 2019/20 is low. Seasonal models and recent climatology suggest an increased chance of mild conditions. However, background signals such as low solar activity, the early spread of Siberian snow cover and the transitioning QBO suggest a greater chance of cold periods.

In conclusion the TWO view is cold periods could bring snow to most of the UK during January and February. Despite that the most probable outcome is for winter to be milder and wetter than average.  

TWO winter 2019/20 forecast

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