Thursday 25 September 2014, 16:16
Latest forecast for the expected El Nino in the Pacific, news on the summer minimum Arctic ice extent and a review of this weekend's weather show.
Thursday 25 September 2014, 16:16
This year I’ve written regularly about the possibility of an El Nino event, the name given to describe an upwelling of warmer than average water in the Equatorial Pacific.
The implications of such an event on our climate are felt around the world, as I describe here.
But over the last few months talk of a ‘super El Nino’ similar to the one which propelled global temperatures to a record high in 1998, have receded.
And where-as back in June, the ECMWF model put the probability of an El Nino at a bullish 90%, the latest guidance from NOAA is for a 60-65% chance of an El Nino developing through autumn and winter, with the majority of models now only expecting a weak event.
That said, with global temperatures currently at elevated levels, even a weak El Nino could make 2014 or more likely 2015 the hottest year on record globally.
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, Arctic ice has reached its summer minimum this year, having dropped to just over 5 million square kilometres.
Although this is some way above the record summer ice minimum set in 2012 (3.41 million kilometres), it still represents the 6th lowest ice extent in the Arctic...
Wednesday 17 September 2014, 17:08
Driest first half of September for over 50 years
Figures released by the Met Office have confirmed how exceptionally dry the first half of September has been.
With high pressure dominating for virtually the whole of the month so far, rainfall across the UK has totalled just 6.7mm.
This makes it the driest first half of September since records began in 1960 and is just 7% of the monthly average of 96mm.
It has also been warmer than average, with the UK mean temperature 1.3C above normal.
And there’s little change expected, with high pressure forecast to remain with us well into next week.
Record global temperature for August
According to the NASA GISS global temperature data set, August was the warmest globally since records began 130 years ago.
This follows May and June which, on this particular data set, were also the hottest on record.
Monday 8 September 2014, 16:55
High pressure is expected to dominate our weather for some time to come, allowing fine weather to continue across the country.
An area of low pressure which brought a temporary spell of unsettled weather to parts of Northern Britain for a time this weekend is now in the North Sea, allowing pressure to rise once more.
At first there should be plenty of sunshine, but cloud amounts may generally increase later in the week, especially in eastern areas, with the best of the sunny breaks by then in the west.
Temperatures by day will be close to, or a little above, normal but at night there’s the potential for some quite low temperatures.
With clear skies last night temperatures at Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, fell to 3.3C and some rural areas will be as cold tonight.
Looking further ahead, although the second half of September is likely to turn much more unsettled, the current indications are that the fine weather will last into next week.
Monday 1 September 2014, 16:13
Provisional figures released by the Met Office show August was the coolest since 1993.
This brings an abrupt end to a run of warmer than average months which began in December last year.
It was also a wet month, with around 142% of average rainfall across the UK, but amounts of sunshine were close to normal.
Following a warm June (equal 9th warmest since 1910), and a warm July (equal 8th warmest since 1910), the cool August means that summer as a whole was very close to average, with mean temperatures just 0.5C above normal and average rainfall.
Early September, in contrast to August, is looking much more settled, with high pressure expected to dominate well into next week.
This means the emphasis is on predominantly dry weather, with the main forecasting headache determining the amounts of cloud across the country day to day.
Wednesday 27 August 2014, 16:59
After what has turned into a very disappointing August - certainly when compared with June and July - summer will return to much of the country next week.
It’s often the case that the weather in early September improves significantly after an unsettled August – as was the case in 2012.
There’s relatively high confidence in the scenario too - most computer models develop high pressure for early September – with a suggestion of some very warm air drifting in from the continent later in the week.
The American model, for example, has temperatures approaching 80 degrees Fahrenheit across some central and southern areas of the country by Friday, with prolonged sunshine.
Longer term, models suggest more unsettled and much cooler conditions may return towards the middle of September – which again would be very similar to the pattern that developed in September 2012.
Tuesday 29 July 2014, 16:46
A change of calendar month is likely to herald a change in the weather, with low pressure set to dominate conditions during early August.
Summer so far has, generally speaking, been a good one, with a distinct lack of low pressure.
But all that will change by Friday, with most models indicating the UK will be on the forward side of the Atlantic upper trough, with low pressure to the west of the UK.
Weather-wise this means showers or even some longer spells of rain can be expected, but with some decent drier, brighter spells too.
At least temperatures will be at or a little above normal for much of the time, with a prevailing south-westerly wind.
Finally, last weekend’s weather show featured an interview I had with Prof Matt Collins from the Met Office regarding the likely strength of El Nino and the possible implications for global climate and temperatures later this year.
It follows an international conference on the subject the previous week.
You can hear the interview on the BBC iplayer by clicking here.
Monday 21 July 2014, 17:30
After this weekend’s brief flirtation with unsettled weather, high pressure is again re-establishing itself across the country.
Some of the storms at the weekend led to localised flooding, for example in Market Weighton yesterday, but most areas avoided any such problems.
But with the barometer rising once more, we can look forward to another week of fine and warm weather in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
High pressure is expected to develop over Scandinavia, the resulting easterly breeze likely to bring low cloud in from the North Sea at times overnight.
Much of this low cloud though will...
Monday 14 July 2014, 17:04
In what, so far, has been a decent warm summer, the first real plume of continental warmth and humidity is expected later this week.
It’s a classic British summer set-up, apparently first noted by none other than King George II in the early part of the 18th century, describing the British summer as three fine days and a thunderstorm.
Professor Hubert Lamb, who studied summer weather patterns over 100 years, also identified the type of weather that will develop this week as the ‘thundery and cyclonic’ phase of the British summer.
This phase more often than not would become established...
Thursday 3 July 2014, 10:48
The world’s biggest annual sporting event comes to Yorkshire on Saturday, with all eyes as ever on the forecast!
The Tour de France cycling race begins on Saturday morning in Leeds, ending on Sunday afternoon in Sheffield, covering around 250 miles.
And right on cue, our weather is turning much more unsettled.
The biggest uncertainty centres on an active cold front heading in from the Atlantic later on Friday.
Its clearance on Saturday morning may be delayed by a wave on the cold front, which has been signalled in the last few days by several models.
However, in the last 12 hours the...
Thursday 26 June 2014, 17:35
Latest El Nino forecast:
A few months ago I wrote about the strong possibility of an El Nino event developing in the Pacific later 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.
The latest computer predictions give a 70% chance of an El Nino this summer, rising to 80% through autumn and winter.
And according to the ECMWF model, the probability of an El Nino is even higher, at 90%.
But talk of a very strong El Nino like that in 1997/98 appear wide of the mark...