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Winter 2021-22

Summary of the forecast


01/12/2021

Overview

The UK seasonal forecast headline is for winter 2021-22 to be colder than average over the three month period.

Precipitation levels are expected to be slightly above average generally. 

The coldest periods are forecast to be in middle January and the first half of February.

As is usual with long range forecasts in the UK, confidence is very low.

Beast from the East. March 2018

Beast From The East, March 2018

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

In particular the new Weather Analogue Index (WAI) generated a strong signal for a cold or even very cold period in February.

Summary

Forecast confidence for winter 2021-22 is low. Seasonal models and recent climatology suggest a milder than average season. However, background signals on balance support colder conditions and the La Nina phase correlates with an increased chance of cold periods during the early part of the winter. Finally, the WAI leans towards a colder than average season.

In conclusion the TWO view is cold periods, rather than cold snaps, are most likely later on in the meteorological winter. The chance of widespread snow is considered to be the highest in the first half of February.   

TWO winter 2021-22 forecast

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