By Brian Gaze
The meteorological spring runs from March 1st to May 31st. The season coincides with a big transformation in the weather. At the start of the season cold periods are relatively frequent and March often brings more snow than December. However, very warm or even hot spells are possible in May.
Winter 2022/23 has been very mixed with cold and mild periods. December was colder than average overall, with a provisional mean temperature of 2.9C which is 1.3C below the 30 year norm. Rainfall was slightly below average overall and sunshine levels were close to it in most areas.
The early part of January brought very mild and unsettled conditions. Through the middle of the month colder and drier conditions developed as high pressure started to have more influence. Despite that change, the Central England Temperature (CET) to the 21st January is provisionally 2.0C above the 30 year norm.
At the moment the medium range computer models are suggesting that high pressure will continue to have a good deal of influence through the rest of the month and into the early part of February. Temperatures are expected to be close to the average.
View across the Bulbourne Valley in Berkhamsted
Publicly available data from most of the seasonal models now covers the three month spring period.
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. The seasonal models do not show a clear signal for precipitation anomalies.
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, although there is possibly a very weak one for it to be drier than the norm
Spring 2022 was up to 1.0C warmer than average in most areas and there was a lot of settled weather. Over the three month period the UK mean temperature was 8.9C which is 0.8C above the 1991-2020 average. Rainfall was 76% of the 1991-2020 average. Sunshine hours were 106% of the 1991-2020 average.
The TWO seasonal forecast will be updated to cover the spring months on February 28th.
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Models include UK Met Office UKV and MOGREPS-G, ECMWF, NCEP GFS, Meteo France Arpege and Arome.