End in sight to extraordinary November weather
It is turning out to be a remarkable November, with mean temperatures way above what would normally be expected at this time of the year.
If temperatures were to remain at these elevated levels then it would become the mildest November ever recorded on the Central England Temperature (CET) measure, which dates back 350 years.
These very mild conditions come off the back of what was a very mild October, where new records were set quite widely across the country.
This flies in the face of stories in the press earlier this autumn, originating from several small independent weather forecasting companies, which talked of snow and ice as early as October http://tiny.cc/8hmlu and Siberian weather by mid-November http://tiny.cc/nbzb3
This illustrates graphically the danger of reading too much into long range forecasts, which remain extremely difficult to get right.
There are definite signs that the current stationary, or blocked, weather pattern, which has fed mild air from the south for virtually the whole of November, is about to give way to a more traditional weather pattern as we head towards the end of November, and into December.
A mobile westerly weather pattern should become established through next week. This means stronger winds, and some rain, heaviest in the north and west, with lower totals in the south and east.
An example of what lies on store can be seen on the chart from the GFS American model, for Friday 25th November.
The details are unlikely to be correct, but the broad signal of a run of strong westerly winds, with areas of low pressure to the north, and high pressure to the south, is agreed by most computer models.
Towards the end of November, and into December, there is a trend in some models for winds to switch to the Northwest.
This would bring somewhat colder temperatures, with some precipitation falling as snow across northern parts of the UK, more especially over hills - but this is perfectly normal for the time of the year.
Finally I though it was worth highlighting the forecast that was issued by Weather Action a few weeks ago.
They have recently had some notable successes: last winter's severe weather (although February was a notable exception in being much milder than they expected); they correctly highlighted that this summer would be unsettled; and they also forecast a generally mild autumn some months ago.
So it is with interest that Weather Action have forecast that from Nov 27th to Dec 28th the UK and Ireland will be affected by exceptionally cold weather, with the potential for some 'huge snowfalls' because of solar considerations.
The main computer models only forecast as far as the first week in December, and as it stands at the moment, although some are trending colder later in the period, none are signalling anything as dramatic as Weather Action is suggesting.
It will be very interesting to see who comes out on top.