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Spring 2021

Initial look at the meteorological spring


20/01/2021

The meteorological spring

The meteorological spring runs from March 1st to May 31st. At the start of the season cold weather is a risk and March often brings more snow than December. By May genuine warmth is possible.

Winter 2020/21 has been varied so far. The provisional UK mean temperature for December was 4.3C, which is 0.5C above the 1981-2010 long-term average. January has been a mixed month with the provisional Central England Temperature (CET) until the 18th running 0.7C below the 30 year average. 

At the moment the outlook is a changeable one. In the south a mix of colder and milder spells is expected. Northern parts of the UK probably spend more time under a cold air mass. On balance the current guidance suggests February could be quite a chilly month.

Spring view across Berkhamsted
Berkhamsted in the spring

Seasonal models

Publicly available data from most of the seasonal models now covers the three month spring period.

Model Temperature Precipitation
UK Met Office GloSea (UK) M/A/M Near normal or above average Above average
Meteo France (France) M/A/M Above average Mostly no bias. Below average in Wales and the south west
ECMWF M/A/M Above average in the south and east Mostly no bias
DWD (Germany) M/A/M Above average Mostly no bias. Above average in the far south and below in the far north west
International Research Institute (IRI) D/J/F No bias Above average in the north and west
CMCC M/A/M Weakly above average Weakly below average in the far south and far north
JMA (Japan) M/A/M No bias No bias
C3S multi system (Combi) M/A/M Above average No bias
CFS v2 (USA) M/A/M Above average  Mostly no bias. Above average in the far south east


M/A/M = March, April, May

The Climate Forecast System v2 is available on TWO. View the latest CFS v2 charts.

At this stage aggregated temperatures for March, April and May are considered more likely to be above average than below. However, even in that scenario sharp cold snaps are still possible. The seasonal models do not show a clear signal for precipitation anomalies at this stage.

Summary

Tentative suggestions for the coming spring are:

1) Over the 3 month period temperatures are more likely to be above average than below

2) There is no clear signal for precipitation to deviate significantly from the 30 year average. Nonetheless, this could change in future updates

The TWO seasonal forecast will be updated to cover the spring months on February 28th.

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