In the big freeze - but for how long?

Monday 21 January 2013, 16:05

Paul Hudson Paul Hudson

Amounts of snow across some parts of our region are the deepest since December 2010, with 21 cms being reported at Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale at midday, and a notable 18 cms in the middle of Sheffield at Weston park.

Waddington in Lincolnshire is reporting 14 cms of snow.

There are some big contrasts though, with only 2cms reported at Church Fenton in the Vale of York.

The snow, on Friday and last night, was forecast well in advance and first signalled at the beginning of last week.



But contrary to what was expected by most computer models at that time, the weather front last night did not bring a change to milder conditions, with very cold continental air now with us for the rest of the week.

Further snowfall is likely on the North York moors tonight, but for many it should become dry, with the main hazard being that of widespread ice.

Patchy rain, sleet and snow in coastal areas tomorrow will push inland to affect some areas, but further snowfall amounts will be small.

A change to milder weather will come at the weekend, with rain, preceded by some snow; the last week of January looks much milder with rain at times.

The thaw, when it comes could be rapid and with the ground already saturated from last year's excessive rainfall, flooding is likely to be a concern.

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Comments

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 21.

    Thanks QV for doing all the maths
    From your post #13
    Is the figure for 2012 0.394 or 0.403?
    Whichever figure we take it looks like this years winners are Paul Briscoe, Gadgetfriend and myself.
    Here are our forecasts for 2012
    Figures in brackets are last year’s forecast


    “Warmists”
    +0.48 Met Office (+0.44)
    +0.45 Newdwr54 (N/A)
    +0.43 John Cogger (N/A)

    “Neutralists”
    +0.42 Mr Bluesky
    +0.42 Lazarus
    +0.41 quake (+0.36)
    +0.40 Paul Briscoe
    +0.40 Gagetfriend (+0.30)
    +0.40 NeilHamp ( +0.27)

    “Coolists”
    +0.37 Lateintheday’s Holly Bush
    +0.34 QuaesoVeritas (+0.31)
    +0.29 millinia (+0.24)
    +0.29 LabMunkey (+0.25)
    +0.28 ukpahonta (+0.35) (2011 winning entry)

  • rate this
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    Comment number 22.

    Book now open for 2013, which will be based upon HadCRUT4

  • rate this
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    Comment number 23.

    What's the MO prediction 0.43C?
    Put me down for 0.38C to get the ball rolling.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 24.

    Looks like the planet responded more quickly than usual (or expected) to changes in ENSO in 2012 - the 3-4 month lag didn't seem to apply. Perhaps it was because of the timing of the shifts? That is, the shift from negative ENSO conditions to positive, coincided with the onset of Northern Hemisphere Spring. Similarly, the shift back to negative conditions has occurred as NH winter set in.
    Latest ENSO forecasts are still on the cool side of neutral for the first half of 2013 and unless I'm mistaken, these forecasts are gradually shifting towards cooler conditions. Last time I looked, there was still a very large pool of subsurface cool water in the central and eastern pacific according to BOM.

    Not sure how all this translates into Hadcrut 4, but the hollybush tells me 0.35 should be close.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 25.

    Ukpahonta #23, I thought the UK Met.Office forecast was at

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/2013-global-forecast

    20 December 2012 - 2013 is expected to be between 0.43 °C and 0.71 °C warmer than the long-term (1961-1990) global average of 14.0 °C, with a best estimate of around 0.57 °C, according to the Met Office annual global temperature forecast.

    The trouble is I don't this forecast is based upon HadCRUT4. I have re-read the article many times and I am still not certain of the basis of their forecast. Based on their Best Estimate of 0.57 I will be proposing 0.49.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 26.

    25. NeilHamp wrote:

    “I thought the UK Met.Office forecast was at”

    So did I however it looks as though they have complicated the issue further by now quoting:-

    “WMO Global Temperature Anomaly”

    Which I understand is a combination of:-

    “The three international global temperature data sets are from the Met Office and University of East Anglia (HadCRUT4), NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NOAA NCDC) and NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA GISS).”

    As ever with the MO it is a constantly moving feast. This one of the major reasons why the MO leaves itself open for criticism, nothing stays still long enough for interested parties to develop a long term understanding.

    Having said that HadCRUT4 should not be to far adrift, last year 2011 it 0.434 and the MO gave the WMO Anomaly as 0.42.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/data/current/time_series/HadCRUT.4.1.1.0.annual_ns_avg.txt

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/2013-global-forecast

  • rate this
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    Comment number 27.

    @26

    Correction:- HadCRUT4 2011 was 0.399c (0.40c) versus the WMO 0.42c.

    0.434c is the present number for 2012, history shows that it has the potential to be revised at a later date.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 28.

    #21. - NeilHamp wrote:
    "Is the figure for 2012 0.394 or 0.403? "

    If I am correct, and assuming the MO figure is up to date, the MO figure will be 0.394c and the CRU figure will be 0.403c. There is always a slight difference between the two figures due to MO methodology.
    However, we should probably use the MO figure when confirmed.
    I have e-mailed the MO to ask if the figure is "final".
    BTW, I have received figures for the MO "decadal" forecast but I haven't had a chance to look at them yet.
    They do say that there are no plans to extend it to 10 years, so I guess it will be re-named the "semi-decadal" forecast or possibly the "lustrumnal" forecast, if that is actually a real word.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 29.

    #25. - NeilHamp wrote:
    Ukpahonta #23, I thought the UK Met.Office forecast was at

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/2013-global-forecast

    20 December 2012 - 2013 is expected to be between 0.43 °C and 0.71 °C warmer than the long-term (1961-1990) global average of 14.0 °C, with a best estimate of around 0.57 °C, according to the Met Office annual global temperature forecast.

    "The trouble is I don't this forecast is based upon HadCRUT4. I have re-read the article many times and I am still not certain of the basis of their forecast. Based on their Best Estimate of 0.57 I will be proposing 0.49."

    It *might* even be based on the WMO average of HadCRUT4, NASA/GISS and NCDC/NOAA.
    Further clarification is required.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 30.

    @28 QV

    I think MO have posted 2012 numbers in their "Annual Series" HadCRUT4 at 0.434c and HadCRUT3 0.394C?

    Both of which are expected to be revised?

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/data/current/time_series/HadCRUT.4.1.1.0.annual_ns_avg.txt

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/

    Am I looking in the wrong place?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 31.

    #27. - greensand wrote:
    "0.434c is the present number for 2012, history shows that it has the potential to be revised at a later date."

    Sorry, I hadn't read your post #26 when I posted my #29.

    The average figure for 2012 quoted in the forecast is 0.45c, but my preliminary calculations using December, is 0.44c, against the current HC4 figure of 0.434c.

    The fall in December seems to have caught the MO out because they still didn't get 2012 right on December 20th.

    If 2013 starts with a figure of 0.269c, that's about 0.16c below their lowest range estimate for the year, so there is going to have to be some serious warming to hit 0.57c. Remember that figure is an average, so if the year starts low, it has to be correspondingly high at the end of the year.

    I am looking forward to an explanation for the December fall from the MO.
    I imagine there is some serious head-scratching going on in the forecasting department at UEA.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 32.

    #30. - greensand wrote:
    "I think MO have posted 2012 numbers in their "Annual Series" HadCRUT4 at 0.434c and HadCRUT3 0.394C?

    Am I looking in the wrong place?"

    No, those links and your figures are correct at the moment.

    I was referring to the difference between UKMO and CRU annual figures for HadCRUT3, due to different methods of calculation.

    I am not sure whether there will be any differences between the HadCRUT4 figures.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 33.

    31. QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    “If 2013 starts with a figure of 0.269c”

    Don’t know yet QV, normally it is possible to get a rough guide from the SSTs, but with the large drop in CRUTEM, not so sure..

    Reynolds Global SSTs for Dec 2012 was +0.22c (1971-2000) and HadSST3 +0.347c (1961-1990)

    For the first 19 days of Jan 2013 Reynolds Global is averaging at +0.16c.

    http://nomad1.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh

    Also all BOM ENSO zones 1 through 4 are now showing negative values:-

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/indices.shtml?bookmark=nino3.4

    Actual values can be seen at “Data sorted by date” on the RH side.

    Though I don’t think that ENSO is going anywhere quick, up or down, and as always only time will tell.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 34.

    #25 neilhamp and others

    I think it's going to take some sifting to find out what we can compare against.

    I was under the impression that the MO had said 0.43 HadCRUT4 against (1971-2000) average, but am more than willing to concede this not to be correct!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 35.

    This may have been the cause of my confusion:

    'Global average temperature is expected to remain between 0.28 °C and 0.59 °C (90% confidence range) above the long-term (1971-2000) average during the period 2013-2017, with values most likely to be about 0.43 °C higher than average (see blue curves in the Figure 1 below).'
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/seasonal-to-decadal/long-range/decadal-fc

    They are saying values of 0.43C average for the period 2013-2017, so this is not their 2013 forecast.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 36.

    34. ukpahonta wrote:


    "the MO had said 0.43 HadCRUT4 against (1971-2000) average,"

    UK, could that be from the infamous "Decadal Forecast"

    "Global average temperature is expected to remain between 0.28 °C and 0.59 °C (90% confidence range) above the long-term (1971-2000) average during the period 2013-2017, with values most likely to be about 0.43 °C higher than average"

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/seasonal-to-decadal/long-range/decadal-fc

  • rate this
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    Comment number 37.

    #34. - ukpahonta wrote:
    "I was under the impression that the MO had said 0.43 HadCRUT4 against (1971-2000) average, but am more than willing to concede this not to be correct!"

    Whatever that was based on, it definitely was the lower limit of their forecast, and the "best estimate" was "around 0.57c".

    A figure of 0.43c for 2013 would be lower than their forecast for 2012 and the actual 2012 figure, and I don't think that would happen.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 38.

    Werner Brozek posts some interesting numbers on a WUWT thread http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/22/newsbytes-the-4-year-doom-cycle-gets-rebooted/#more-78036
    For those who follow these things, his comment, is quite near the the top January 22, 2013 at 10:35 am.

    Essentially, he's a bit miffed at how much GISS changes. When December 2012 came in at 0.44, he wasn't expecting that to cause a rise in the annual average. Then he saw these (and more) recent revisions.

    J 0.32 . . . now 0.36
    
F 0.37 . . . now 0.39
    
M 0.45 . . . now 0.49
    
A 0.54 . . . now 0.60

    M 0.67 . . . now 0.70
    
J 0.56 . . . now 0.59
    
J 0.46 . . . now 0.51
    
A 0.58 . . . now 0.57
    
S 0.62 . . . now 0.66
    
O 0.68 . . . now 0.70

    N 0.68 . . . now 0.68

  • rate this
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    Comment number 39.

    #34. - ukpahonta wrote:
    "I was under the impression that the MO had said 0.43 HadCRUT4 against (1971-2000) average, but am more than willing to concede this not to be correct!"

    I just realised you were referring to the anomaly v 1971-2000.
    As greensand says, that is probably from the "decadal forecast".
    The one we use is the standard HC3/HC4 anomaly v 1961-90, which is also the one in the MO forecast for 2013.
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/2013-global-forecast

  • rate this
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    Comment number 40.

    #38. - lateintheday wrote:
    "Essentially, he's a bit miffed at how much GISS changes. When December 2012 came in at 0.44, he wasn't expecting that to cause a rise in the annual average. Then he saw these (and more) recent revisions."

    Yes, it does tend to make one suspicious that they haven't adjusted the monthly figures to ensure that the annual figure didn't fall.
    I think that there were similar revisions in the HC3 figures but I will have to check.
    Something to be looked into.

 

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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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