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Temperatures have reached 12C again today, in a meteorological situation that computers find very difficult to model.

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  • 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 those in the valley bottom, if the inversion is low enough.

    This is because with high pressure, the air gradually descends, and warms as it does so, hitting the top of the hill first.

    A low inversion also means that any cloud in western areas cannot get over topographic barriers like the Pennines, leaving clear blue skies to the east of high ground.

    The computer is often poor in modelling such situations, overstating amounts of cloud and as a consequence being far too pessimistic with temperature levels.

    Later this week as air pressure falls, the inversion will rise, with generally cloudier...

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  • 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 frost at night.

    Somewhat less cold air is expected over the weekend, with an Atlantic influence expected across much of the UK next week.

  • 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 moors.

    Before that, with increasingly cold air by Thursday morning, sleet and snow showers are expected more widely, with some nasty driving conditions in Pennine areas.

    The cold spell is expected to last into next week with some sharp frosts at night.

    END

  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • More settled weather conditions are expected as we head towards Christmas Day, as a ridge of high pressure develops across the UK.

    Most parts of our region will be cold, dry and sunny by then, but there is a chance of a few showers at first, which will become confined to the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coast.

    The technical definition of a white Christmas – that a flake of snow has to be observed in the 24 hour period in any given location – may be met for example on the top of the North York Moors, but for the vast majority of us, it will be another green one.

    Following a mostly dry and cold...

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  • It’s a feeling that many meteorologists like myself have had for some time, that breaking weather records seems to be becoming more and more common.

    I’ve not had anything to back this up other than a gut feeling, but new analysis by the Met Office suggests that the number of weather records being established across the UK is indeed increasing.

    The article in this month’s Royal Meteorological Society magazine Weather primarily looks at the modern data set which extends back to 1910.

    The work uses a scoring system to give more weight to the more significant records.

    The main findings are quite...

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  • Provisional figures released by the Met Office indicate that 2014 could become both the warmest year on record globally and across the UK.

    Across the UK, 2014 is currently the warmest on record, although there are still five weeks of data to come and a significantly colder December may change that. This is based on the modern temperature data set which began in 1910.

    The much more important CET (Central England Temperature) data set – the longest such dataset in the world which began in 1659 – shows that Jan to Nov 2014 is the warmest such period on record.

    Already, global temperatures, based...

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  • Provisional figures released by the Met Office show that autumn has been the 3rd warmest on record across the UK in data that started in 1910.

    The three warmest autumns on record have all occurred in the last few years, with 2014 behind 2006 and 2011.

    Rainfall has been close to average for the season, with wet conditions in October and November making up for the record dry weather of September.

    November itself across the UK is so far the fourth warmest on record.

    Based on the Central England Temperature (CET) measure, which dates back to 1659, it seems likely that 2014 will end up in the top...

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