The glorious weather that has been with us for much of April is about to end this weekend.
Even though next week will be cooler and more unsettled, April is bound to turn out a warm, dry and sunny month when the monthly statistics are released by the Met Office, with the mean CET (Central England Temperature) currently running 2 degrees Celsius above normal for the month so far.
The fine weather comes at a time when tabloid headline writers have been having a field day, with predictions that the fine weather is the start of a spring and summer heatwave.
It reminded me of the link between the weather in April – and in particular rainfall – and likely summer weather conditions.
It’s one of the few links that we have here in the UK, such is the changeable nature of our weather, although it cannot be entirely relied on.
But there have been many warm and sunny Aprils – such as 1997 and 2007 – which have been followed by wet summers.
The late Bill Foggitt, Yorkshire’s most famous amateur weatherman, who kept generations of weather readings for over a century at his home in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, once told me to be very wary of fine and settled Aprils.
On this occasion it may be wise to...
On Friday morning, a partial solar eclipse will be visible across our region for the first time since August 1999.
Back then I was filming with Look North in Scarborough.
Conditions were perfect, with hardly a cloud in the sky shortly after sunrise, and the view from the sea front was spectacular.
This time, however, there’s likely to be a lot of cloud in many areas.
That said, there may be scope for cloud breaks especially in eastern areas to the lee of high ground.
The time for maximum coverage of the sun by the moon is 9.33am, with up to 90% of the sun obscured.
I’ll be returning to Scarborough for Look North hoping to see one of nature’s rare and spectacular shows, with a preview on Thursday evening’s program.
The long term decline in Arctic sea ice is continuing, with satellite data showing the third lowest February ice extent, in records which began in 1979.
The Arctic ice maximum usually happens towards the end of March, although last year there was a large increase in Arctic sea ice, so a new record is by no means certain.
The continued declining trend in Arctic sea ice has been well forecast by climate models, something that can’t be said at the other end of the planet.
Last month, Antarctica sea ice reached its annual minimum, which turned out to be the fourth highest summer minimum extent on record.
Remarkably, the trend for Antarctica sea ice extent in February shows an increase of 5% per decade.
The extent and positive trend for Antarctica sea ice continues to confound climate experts and computer models alike.
According to provisional Met Office figures, winter has turned out to be exceptionally sunny, with the UK enjoying its sunniest winter since records began in 1929.
And contrary to the many hysterical headlines of extreme cold, winter temperatures were close to normal, with rainfall just slightly above normal across the UK.
That’s a big improvement on last winter which was the wettest on record.
March has certainly come in like a lion, with strong winds and a risk of sleet and snow showers for many in the next 24 hours.
But by the weekend, there’s a real prospect of spring-like conditions, with...
A fine and dry week is expected with high pressure dominating our weather, but forecasting temperature levels will be challenging to say the least.
Firstly, air is flowing over the Pennines from west to east, drying and warming as it does so.
This is called the Fohn effect, resulting in temperatures in the Vale of York, for example, in double figures.
Yesterday 12C (54F) was recorded in Durham, with a definite feel of spring in the air.
The second complication is a lowering temperature inversion.
Counter-intuitively this results in temperatures at the top of a hill or mountain being higher than...
Snow showers have again been causing problems this evening in eastern parts of our region, with the Yorkshire Wolds around Fridaythorpe and Garrowby Hill worst affected.
These areas – mostly to the east of the A1 and M1 – will continue to be at risk from snow showers over the next few days.
The Met Office has issued a warning for Tuesday night into Wednesday for eastern areas, with the potential for frequent snow showers leading to significant accumulations on the North York moors and Wolds, with several centimetres at lower levels too.
Western areas will be generally dry, but with sharp...
Winter looks set to come roaring back later this week, as an arctic northerly develops across the UK.
For western areas, in particular the Pennines, this comes hot off the heels of last week’s snow, which amounted to 9 inches in places.
But most other parts of our region to the east of high ground have had no proper wintry weather at all so far this winter.
By the weekend, with a straight northerly, it will be north-sea facing coastal areas that will bear the brunt of the sleet and snow showers for a change, with significant accumulations possible, for example, on the North York...
Not for the first time this winter, westerly gales have been battering parts of the UK this evening, with gusts in our region reaching 72mph at High Bradfield on the South Yorkshire Pennines.
But the jet stream is set to weaken and alter course, and as a result the UK is in for the first proper cold spell of the winter so far.
It will mark a big departure from last winter which was almost completely dominated by westerly winds.
In the coming days the air will be cold enough for showers to turn to sleet and snow at times.
Sharp night frosts will also become a feature of the weather.
And by the...
A stormy spell of weather is expected across parts of the UK in the next 36 hours, as the jet stream reaches speeds of around 250mph.
Northern Scotland will experience the highest surface wind speeds, with gusts possibly in excess of 100mph later tonight.
Even the more populated central belt of Scotland may experience gusts around 80mph for a time.
Widespread gales will develop in our region too, with gusts on Friday morning reaching 60mph – but as high as 70mph in the most exposed spots.
With gale force winds expected again on Friday night and into Saturday morning, it’s likely to be the...
OUTLOOK EARLY 2015
With a jet stream of around 170 knots blasting across the UK today, it’s likely to be an extremely windy but also very mild start to the year – in fact one of the mildest New Year’s Days on record.
And a powerful jet stream looks set to feature strongly during the first half of January with a broad westerly weather pattern expected.
This means that heavy rain and gales are expected at times, especially in the west and north, but short colder spells, as the wind temporarily veers to the northwest, will bring wintry showers to some hills.
And there is absolutely no sign of any...