First cold snap of the season

Thursday 25 October 2012, 16:23

Paul Hudson Paul Hudson

After a relentlessly gloomy week, much clearer but colder air is on its way from the Arctic in the next 12 hours, giving us our first cold snap of the season, albeit a short lived one.

Some of us, mainly in eastern parts of the region will see showers, and the air will be cold enough for some of these to have a wintry flavour - with hail, sleet and some snow.

By Friday night, the North York moors and Wolds could have a slight covering of snow, as you can see on the figure below, although this will melt very quickly on Saturday.



Further west, skies will be mainly sunny on Friday and Saturday, with excellent visibility for those who enjoy a bracing walk in the Pennines, but a widespread frost expected at night.

It's perfectly normal to get a cold snap at this time of the year, and it will prove to be temporary, as less cold Atlantic air moves back in on Sunday, bringing cloud and some rain.

But it comes after what has been quite an exceptional few weeks of below average temperatures.

According to climatologist Philip Eden, the period from mid-September to mid-October was the coldest such period since 1974, and in the last century only 1952 and 1905 was colder.

As for next week, it's a familiar story, with low pressure set to dominate, leading to changeable and unsettled weather across many parts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, with temperatures at best close to average.

But with winds from the west, there will be some dry, bright weather at times, with eastern areas most favoured.

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Comments

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 1.

    "According to climatologist Philip Eden, the period from mid-September to mid-October was the coldest such period since 1974, and in the last century only 1952 and 1905 was colder. "

    Whilst the Met Office report:-

    "Top ten: Mildest temperatures recorded last night"

    I think they were referring to Monday 22nd and I don't think they are claiming that they are records? They just seem to have listed the 10 warmest places?

    http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/top-ten-mildest-temperatures-recorded-last-night/

    I wonder if such announcements will become a regular feature?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    I have just got some Cold Snap out of the freezer for dinner to celebrate Diwali lights turn on in Barnsley

  • rate this
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    Comment number 3.

    October looking to be sub 1961-1990 average for UK which means only 4 months this year have been above average so far in a period since 1988 where it's normal to have at least 8 months above average. Are November and December going to rise above the average?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    Strange how these cold snaps are becoming more and more regular now the sun has gone into a slumber.

    Interesting stuff about the Michael Mann. I wonder how the upside down sediments will look in court?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 5.

    3. ukpahonta wrote:

    "... only 4 months this year have been above average so far in a period since 1988 where it's normal to have at least 8 months above average."

    Sorry, what do you mean by "in a period since 1988"? Have we suddenly got a new start point from which to adjudge 'average'?

    According to the MO's own data (since 1910), five months are above average and four are below average. I prefer to follow the MO's advice and base averages on the previous 30 years. Using that baseline yields the same 5/4 warmer/cooler result.

    Another point worth making is that already in 2012 two months (Feb and March) are inside the top ten warmest on record. No month has been in the top ten coolest on record.

    According to the MO data, UK to date is about +0.3C above its Jan-Sep average.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 6.

    Newdwr54, are any of your figures significant? I suspect not. Hey but why worry about significance when we can turn sediments upside down.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 7.

    #5

    'According to the MO's own data (since 1910), five months are above average and four are below average. I prefer to follow the MO's advice and base averages on the previous 30 years. Using that baseline yields the same 5/4 warmer/cooler result.'

    That's the sort of thing I'm interested in, do you have a source?

    I was looking at monthly HadCET (since 1669) mean from:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/data/download.html
    using a standard 1961-1990 average.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 8.

    NASA Combined Land surface air sea surface water -

    1880–1889 −0.274 °C (−0.493 °F)
    1890–1899 −0.254 °C (−0.457 °F)
    1900–1909 −0.259 °C (−0.466 °F)
    1910–1919 −0.276 °C (−0.497 °F)
    1920–1929 −0.175 °C (−0.315 °F)
    1930–1939 −0.043 °C (−0.0774 °F)
    1940–1949 0.035 °C (0.0630 °F)
    1950–1959 −0.02 °C (−0.0360 °F)
    1960–1969 −0.014 °C (−0.0252 °F)
    1970–1979 −0.001 °C (−0.00180 °F)
    1980–1989 0.176 °C (0.317 °F)
    1990–1999 0.313 °C (0.563 °F)
    2000–2009 0.513 °C (0.923 °F)

    BEST
    In an op-ed published in the New York Times on 28 July 2012, Richard Muller announced further findings from the project. He said their analysis showed that average global land temperatures had increased by 2.5 °F (1.4 °C) in 250 years, with the increase in the last 50 years being 1.5 °F (0.8 °C), and it seemed likely that this increase was entirely due to human caused greenhouse gas emissions. His opening paragraph stated:

    "Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause."

    Ironically, Judith Curry was a member of that team. Ironically Anthony Watts said he would stand by Muller's results until he read the results. Hmmm!

    Global temp records here Doctor Keith Strong http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsDFji7DwyQ

  • rate this
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    Comment number 9.

    Richard Muller was a fake sceptic.

    http://muller.lbl.gov/TRessays/23-Medievalglobalwarming.html

    Now the question is why would you lie about someone converting from scepticism to fanaticism when you knew you were not being fully honest?

    If global warming was such an open and shut case, you would not need to fabricate.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 10.

    6. PingoSan wrote:

    "are any of your figures significant?"

    What do you mean by 'significant'?

    Also, didt you ask ukpahonta the same question?

    If not, why not?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 11.

    7. ukpahonta:

    UK data from the MO are available here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/datasets/

    Make sure you select 'date order'. Then select 'UK - Mean Temp'.

    The HadCET data is too region specific.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 12.

    9. PingoSan:

    If Muller was a 'fake sceptic' (ha!) since 2003, then one must ponder on the wisdom and foresight of one Willard Anthony Watts, North California resident, who gave Muller and the BEST project his unambiguous backing - until he found out their results!

    Talking about 'fake sceptics'....?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 13.

    From the previous topic:

    #72. - theelasticjesuz wrote:
    "BTW I do have a petrol driven car and I do eat meat. But that isn't to say that I wouldn't jump at the chance to drive something more eco-friendly if the forecourts weren't full of petrol, petrol or diesel engines and fuel stations weren't controlled by Exxon, Exxon, Exxon, Chevron, BP, BP, BP, and Shell. "
    Wonderful to have choice in this great free market, is it not?"
    You do have a choice.
    *if* you are really so concerned about "climate change", or even the environment in general, you could have tailored your lifestyle to match those concerns by not having a car at all and only using public transport. It's always someone else's fault.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 14.

    #1. - greensand wrote:
    "I think they were referring to Monday 22nd and I don't think they are claiming that they are records? They just seem to have listed the 10 warmest places?"

    Yes, it's difficult to know what the purpose of that list was. It does just seem to be a list of the 10 warmest places, and I think it is linked to the fact that a warm spell had been forecasted. No doubt we will get a list of the 10 coldest places in due course.
    There was a list of the top ten coldest temperatures in the UK since 1961, no doubt designed to show that there have been none since 2010.
    http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/top-ten-coldest-recorded-temperatures-in-the-uk/

  • rate this
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    Comment number 15.

    I'm not sure about this being the "first cold snap of the season".
    On the NE coast, the temperatures are forecast to fall to about 3c, for a short period, but on the 10th, I recorded a temp. of below 2c and figures of around 3c between October 14th and 17th.
    Last night, one of the forecasters on the BBC news channel said it was the first cold weather "this winter", which is strange, considering it's still Autumn. I notice that Paul hasn't fallen into that trap. One at least expects the BBC forecasters to know when the seasons begin and end.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 16.

    I remember Watts being warned at the time (by lots of his blog followers) not to to trust Muller. He was well aware of the risk, but was prepared to give Muller the chance to prove himself genuine. In my opinion, Muller has wrecked his credibility through his inappropriate behaviour ever since. That is to say, while I don't doubt that his BEST project is a genuine attempt to reconstruct an accurate temp record, I do think that he's gone about it in the wrong way, both professionally and personally. As far as I know, BEST still hasn't passed peer review and there has already been criticism from both consensus and sceptic sides.
    Losing credibility from the sceptic side is of course, no problem for Muller - that's hardly going to affect his career. However, I doubt if the consensus side would now trust him with their preliminary data either, and that's the sting in the tail. He appears to be 'Billy no mates' at the moment.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 17.

    My subjective impression is that these Arctic blasts are frequently predicted to be over the UK, but actually end up being of relatively short duration and further east than predicted. Any thoughts?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 18.

    #11 newdwr54

    Thanks for the link, I get the same result, didn't think that the data would be that different, just less of it.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 19.

    "My subjective impression is that these Arctic blasts are frequently predicted to be over the UK, but actually end up being of relatively short duration and further east than predicted. Any thoughts?"

    That used to be the case until around 2008. Since then, the solar minimum has led to soggy summers and cold winters. Cold plunges tend to cover all of Europe rather than just the east. The prime reason for this is the now semi-permanent Greenland high. Once meteorologists understand why this happens, we will start to see more accurate seasonal forecasts, and less of the BBQ Summer sort.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 20.

    PingogSan,
    Thanks for your views. This Arctic outbreak certainly seems to support my subjective impression and its duration over the UK look like being pretty much over by Sunday with Europe getting the worst of it. However it will be interesting to see how further incursions persist over the winter. Incidentally, for those of us in the eastern Grampians this is not our first cold snap of the autumn, with Braemar getting down to -8C earlier this month.

 

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Hello, I’m Paul Hudson, weather presenter and climate correspondent for BBC Look North in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. 

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I worked as a forecaster with the Met Office for nearly 15 years locally and at the international unit, after graduating with first class honours in Geophysics and Planetary physics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1992. I then joined the BBC in October 2007, where I divide my time between forecasting and reporting on stories about climate change and its implications for people's everyday lives.

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