Thursday 27 March 2014, 19:21
Computer simulations are suggesting El Nino conditions later this year in the Equatorial Pacific. As a result climate patterns around the world are likely to be disrupted.
Thursday 27 March 2014, 19:21
For the first time since 2009, computer simulations are suggesting that an El Nino event is likely as we head into the second half of this year.
El Nino is the name given to describe an upwelling of warmer than average water in the Equatorial Pacific, and is known to disrupt climate patterns around the world.
During previous El Nino events, much wetter winters have occurred in Southwest USA.
For California, the developing El Nino will therefore be very welcome news as the state has recently suffered the worst drought on record due to a chronic lack of rainfall.
Amongst other areas which will be affected is Northern Australia, where drought conditions are expected.
El Nino is also associated with warm and very wet weather during summer months along the coast of northern Peru, for example.
As for Europe and the UK, the consequences of El Nino are much less clear.
Research suggests that the main impact is more likely to be felt in winter, causing colder, drier conditions in Northern Europe, and wetter, milder winters through southern Europe and the Mediterranean.
During the last El Nino of 2009/2010, the winter across northern Europe, including the UK was exceptionally cold...
Thursday 20 March 2014, 16:14
Every year there’s a debate about when Spring officially starts.
Meteorologically it’s always the 1st of March, an artificial classification to allow easy year-on-year comparisons.
But the true definition of Spring is when the sun is directly above the equator as it moves into the northern hemisphere.
This year the sun is above the equator at 4.57pm today, the 20th of March.
And it is coinciding with quite a change to our weather.
A cold front is currently moving southwards across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, bringing a spell of rain followed by a colder showery regime with a risk of frost at night.
Some of the showers in the next few days may turn wintry at times, with a risk of hail and thunder, although there will be plenty of sunshine and dry weather in-between.
But despite this return to colder, more unsettled conditions, it’s still far better than the weather we endured this time last year.
In fact March 2013 turned out to be the coldest and snowiest for decades.
Wednesday 5 March 2014, 17:32
We have to go back to the first week of December for the last time high pressure was in charge across the UK.
It’s another example of how remarkably unsettled the weather has been in the last few months.
There was another eye-opening statistic from climatologist Philip Eden, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, who has calculated that February was the most cyclonic of any month in 142 years of records.
Bearing in mind the second half of February is, especially across some eastern areas, one of the driest and settled periods of the year, it again illustrates how remarkable our weather has been this winter.
But after a three month wait, there’s reason to be optimistic.
An area of high pressure will develop this weekend, with many parts of the country then enjoying a prolonged spell of fine weather which should last at least until the end of next week.
At this time of year the day to day details will prove tricky to get right.
There’s likely to be some low cloud or fog in places which may be slow to clear, and frost will be an issue at night.
But by day there’ll be some pleasant spells of spring sunshine developing, with temperatures reaching levels that should be well...
Thursday 27 February 2014, 11:08
Provisional figures released by the Met Office confirm that this winter has been exceptional and record breaking.
The England and Wales rainfall series is the longest of its kind in the world, with data first compiled in 1766.
Based on this data set, it’s been the wettest winter on record, beating the previous record set in 1915.
435mm of rain has been recorded in the England and Wales rainfall area in the period from 1st December until 25th February.
As you would expect there have been quite large differences spatially, with parts of southern Britain seeing exceptional rainfall totals, but with some eastern parts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire having totals not that far from normal.
According to the more modern rainfall dataset for the UK which began in 1910, it has also been the wettest winter on record – and the fifth mildest.
Climatological spring begins on Saturday, but low pressure will continue to dominate our weather into next week, with more rain and a risk of some hill snow.
Monday 10 February 2014, 17:26
With much more rainfall on the way in the coming days across all parts of the UK, this winter is certain to end up one of the wettest ever recorded.
The level of coverage in the media of the resulting flooding across the UK has been virtually unprecedented in the last few weeks.
The pictures of extensive flooding in Somerset, and the battering our coast has received, particularly in Cornwall, have been breath-taking.
But it is worth putting the current flood in context, and as distressing as it is to be flooded, the number of properties affected in the south of the UK is tiny compared to...
Tuesday 4 February 2014, 12:22
With no sign of any change to prevailing weather conditions, it’s turning into a remarkable winter.
Based on the England and Wales rainfall data set, the longest of its kind anywhere in the world which began in 1766, January was the second wettest on record, beaten only by January 1948.
And, according to Philip Eden writing in the Sunday Telegraph, January has turned out to be the most cyclonic January in 142 years of records.
It graphically illustrates the complete lack of settled weather throughout the month.
Most notable for rainfall has been South East and Central Southern England...
Monday 27 January 2014, 18:09
The global temperature in 2013 was 0.486C above the 1961-1990 average based on the HADCRUT measure, figures released by the Met Office show.
This makes 2013 provisionally the 9th warmest year in data which goes back to 1880
This compares with a headline anomaly prediction of 0.57C.
It means that so far this century, of 14 yearly headline predictions made by the Met Office Hadley centre, 13 have been too warm.
It’s worth stressing that all the incorrect predictions are within the stated margin of error, but having said that, they have all been on the warm side and none have been too cold...
Monday 20 January 2014, 16:28
With last week’s suggested cold spell by computer models (in particular by the usually reliable ECMWF model) failing to materialise, it will now take something exceptionally cold in February for winter as a whole not to end up in the mild category.
Based on the Met Office’s modern data set which started in 1910, December was the eighth mildest on record across the UK, and the mildest since 1988.
The warmth also shows up in Central England Temperature (CET) data, with December ranked 33rd in 356 years of data.
January is so far even more impressive, currently standing at 17th warmest since...
Wednesday 8 January 2014, 15:33
Forty-eight hours can be a long time in weather forecasting, and since I wrote my blog on Monday there’s been a growing trend for colder air to start influencing our weather from the near continent next week.
The award for the biggest flip-flop goes to the American GFS model which has performed an impressive volte-face in the last forty-eight hours.
As I’ve explained before, each model is run many times, with slightly different initial atmospheric conditions.
This allows forecasters to judge how likely a particular scenario is; in other words it gives us a level of confidence.
Monday 6 January 2014, 18:16
December 2013 was, according to the Met Office, the stormiest December in the UK since data was compiled in 1969 and the windiest month since January 1993.
It was a month notable for a North sea surge which was the biggest since January 1953; and for the lowest pressure observed anywhere over land in the UK since December 1886, when the barometer fell to 936.8mb at Stornoway.
It will come as no surprise that the month was mild (CET temperature 1.8C above average) and remarkably frost free; but with a huge contrast in rainfall totals.
At Bainbridge in Wensleydale 270mm of rainfall fell, which...