Weather

Rest of November outlook - and what about winter?

High pressure looks set to become dominant across much of the UK for the rest of November, ensuring a lot of dry, fine and settled weather.

Although cloud amounts are always difficult to determine in these situations, by day there should be at least some sunshine, with a risk of some frost and fog by night.

It won’t be entirely dry though, for example a weakening weather front around mid-week will bring a little rain from the Northwest.

There are indications by the end of the month and into early December that more unsettled conditions will return from the west, although in forecasting terms that’s a long way off.

As for winter, it’s been impossible not to have noticed some of the newspaper headlines suggesting it could be one of the coldest on record.

But these headlines are identical to the ones published each autumn for the last few years.

They were a focus of an article I wrote in November 2012, which you can read here, showing a selection of front pages from The Express all based on predictions from the same sources.

So is there any truth in the headlines?

Readers of my blog will know that I have written many times about how a decline in solar activity over the coming years and decades could mean severe winters across the UK become more frequent.

But from a forecasting perspective it’s not possible to define whether any particular winter will be severe.

Indeed there are other important variables which help determine how any specific winter, or season, turns out.

This type of long range forecasting remains the holy grail of weather prediction, and headlines like the ones we have again read this autumn should be treated with extreme caution.

Comments

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  • Comment number 56. Posted by ashleyhr

    on 28 Nov 2013 23:34

    Daily Express again, for tomorrow. "Big Freeze to last 3 Months. Met Office warns new icy blast will go into New Year".

    I haven't been able to read it so far, but my hunch is that they are saying we are ALREADY in a 'big freeze' and thus this three months of awful cold weather might last until 19 Feb (and get a bit colder which would not be difficult).

    I have emailed the Met Office. I expect they will issue a denial.

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  • Comment number 55. Posted by greensand

    on 28 Nov 2013 21:38

    54. JaimeJ

    "It has been an extraordinary late summer/early autumn."

    Yup, think it goes back to a soaking wet 2012, a cool first 6 months to this year followed by a good late summer. Just the sort of a natural variation expected for the UK location?

    "And flies . . . . massive blue bottles STILL invading the house.."

    Are you sure you have not buried anything under the new patio?:-)

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  • Comment number 54. Posted by JaimeJ

    on 28 Nov 2013 20:57

    ashleyhr & greensand

    Been here 10 years and this is the latest I can recall our willow hanging onto its leaves. I've a feeling they're just going to drop en masse in the next few weeks. And flies . . . . massive blue bottles STILL invading the house, It has been an extraordinary late summer/early autumn.

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  • Comment number 53. Posted by ashleyhr

    on 28 Nov 2013 18:52

    Rowan trees on this road are looking today, leaf-colour wise, more or less as they did on 18 Nov last year (though with lots more berries this year).

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  • Comment number 52. Posted by greensand

    on 28 Nov 2013 17:06

    46. ashleyhr

    "Looking at the trees it's still definitely autumn around here and will be until the month's end."

    Noticed the same here in the Peak District one magnificent old Ash still in virtually full leaf only a week ago. But now things are changing very fast. I think it has been a very good year for trees, plenty of ground water early in the season followed by 3 months of good solar energy. Well watered, healthy they tend to hold on to foliage longer.

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  • Comment number 51. Posted by ashleyhr

    on 28 Nov 2013 16:54

    However, today the Met Office 15 day forecast implies that any wintry spell in early December with northerly winds is likely to be short-lived.
    And there's too much damned CLOUD in the forecast for next week - grrr.

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  • Comment number 50. Posted by quake

    on 28 Nov 2013 12:47

    argo data shows warming over the last 15 years
    www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/‎

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  • Comment number 49. Posted by John Marshall

    on 28 Nov 2013 10:43

    Further to comment #10, and my reply:

    ocean temperatures have cooled in the past 15years, as data from ARGO shows. The claim by NASA that surface waters have warmed is due to their choice of start point. They start in 1980 and maybe there has been a slight warming since then, I don't know, but 1980 marks the end of a cold period, when fears were of global cooling. I maintain that ocean waters are now cooling due to lower solar activity.

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  • Comment number 48. Posted by ukpahonta

    on 28 Nov 2013 06:08

    #47 newdwr54

    No.... I'm shocked by this revelation!!!

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  • Comment number 47. Posted by newdwr54

    on 28 Nov 2013 02:31

    44. ukpahonta

    Would you rather that I just plan said that I think the solar explanation for the recent observed warming is nonsense?

    Okay; that is what I think.

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