Wednesday 5 March 2014, 17:32
It's been a long time coming, but high pressure looks set to develop across the UK this weekend bringing some much needed settled weather next week.
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 other floods in previous years.
For example, up until this weekend the total number of properties affected by floodwater in Somerset in the last few weeks is 40.
But during the coastal surge in early December last year, 688 properties were flooded along the Yorkshire coast alone, and according to the Environment Agency, flood defences protected 66,000 properties in the Yorkshire and Humber area at that time.
Since last week, between 800 and 900 properties have flooded in the UK, primarily in southern Britain.
Although this number may rise significantly in the next few days, particularly...
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...
Monday 23 December 2013, 15:24
Stormy weather looks set to continue throughout December, with further spells of heavy rain and gale force winds.
The depression which is bringing today’s rain is deepening explosively, with a central pressure of around 930mb expected on Christmas Eve to the west of Scotland.
This won’t be a record, which was set way back in January 1884, but it’s still an exceptionally deep area of low pressure.
We will feel its force in our region on Christmas Eve, with widespread south-westerly gales.
Peak gusts will be in the range 60-70mph across more exposed parts of Yorkshire, but this is...
Tuesday 10 December 2013, 16:22
The tidal surge which affected the east coast last week was the biggest since the historic coastal flood of January 1953 according to the Environment Agency.
In 1953 hundreds of people lost their lives. In Lincolnshire the sea came inland by 3 miles in the area around Sutton on Sea and Mablethorpe.
There is little doubt that the flood defences developed and built since the 1953 flood prevented a national emergency on Thursday night.
The Environment Agency says that flood defences now in place protected 800,000 properties along our coastline.
In Hull, the tidal barrier constructed...