Weather

Don't pack away the snow boots just yet

Winter set to return

March can be a month a wild extremes across the UK. As the sun quickly strengthens, with the spring equinox less than 3 weeks away, March can often give us a glimpse of warmer times ahead.

Last March was glorious and illustrated what potential there is so early in the year. It became the third warmest on record with temperatures across parts of the UK in the 70’s Fahrenheit.

But March can also be very disturbed, and with winter’s cold often lurking to the north and east, the risk of snow is never far away.

Easter Sunday in 2008, which fell on March 23rd, will long be remembered, with many people waking up to several inches of snow.

In fact it’s a little known fact that a white Easter is statistically more likely than a white Christmas.

So it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that wintry weather looks set to return into next week, with cold air pushing across most parts of the UK from the Northeast.

This will lead to a risk of snow, not just over high ground but perhaps at some lower levels as well.

It’s still a way off, so timings for the onset of winter’s return vary depending on which computer model you look at – indeed the American forecast model is much earlier with the colder air, introducing it later in the weekend.

But the message is clear: don’t pack away your snow boots and thermals just yet.

Global temperatures for February

The Global temperature in February fell to 0.18C above the 30 year running mean according to UAH satellite data, from an anomaly of 0.51C the month before.

This equates to a global temperature of approximately 0.433C above the more standard 1961-1990 measure.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 71. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 12 Mar 2013 18:20

    The provisional mean CET for March 11th is -0.06c, which makes it the joint 5th coldest mean CET for March 11th, since 1772 and the coldest mean CET for March 11th since 1958 which had a figure of -0.08c.
    As I said above, the provisional mean figures are often revised downwards, so it is yet possible that it might have been the colder than 1958, which would make it the coldest since 1858, which had a figure of -0.1c.
    The provisional minimum figure for the 12th is -0.35c, so if the max. for the 12th is the same as for the 11th, i.e. +0.1c, the mean for the 12th could be be lower than that for 1892 (-0.1c), making it the 3rd coldest March 12th since 1772 and the coldest since 1789, which had a figure of -0.19c.

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  • Comment number 70. Posted by greensand

    on 12 Mar 2013 12:16

    #68. QuaesoVeritas

    "This makes it difficult to say what HC4 will do in February, based on SST such as Reynolds"

    Agreed, that is why I am taking a look at it, first to see if the two SST data sets had a relationship and then how they related, if at all to CRUTEM4.

    One thing I do like about Reynolds is that it is updated on a weekly basis, first week in March cantered on Weds +0.189C so slightly lower than Feb.

    The last 3 months of CRUTEM4 are intriguing:-

    Nov 12 +0.856C
    Dec 12 +0.233C
    Jan 13 +0.892C

    The previous 3 months Aug to Oct were all +0.8C. So Dec was not to be expected.

    Now a big IF!

    If the 60 year cycle is to be confirmed by a continuation in the slowing of the 30 year rate of warming will CRUTEM4 reduce quicker and come down to the SST level?

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=24ee69h&s=6

    Nobody knows but the difference between the CT4 NH and SH warming rates is also interesting:-

    http://i47.tinypic.com/2d2j40g.jpg

    Only time will what will happen next, but as a resident of the NH I will watch with interest.

    The SH 10 yr rolling trend went negative in May 2011 whilst the NH 10 yr only turned negative in Dec 12.

    Think I have the numbers right but as always no guarantees. We live in interesting times.

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  • Comment number 69. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 12 Mar 2013 10:20

    #65.Adrian Buckland:
    "So when was the last time we had a Mid March sub zero day and one that matches the -2 in sheffield and -1 in Leeds? I suspect March 16th/17th 1979 but that was a snow situation so I guess temps might have been around zero degrees. To match these lower temps we may have to go much further back but to when? "

    The March 11th provisional CET figure hasn't been published yet bt it will be interesting to see how close it was to zero and how it compares with the same date in previous years.
    Of course that will only be a provisional figure, and as they are often reduced when the confirmed figures are published, it may be a few weeks before we know for sure.

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  • Comment number 68. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 12 Mar 2013 10:15

    #62.greensand:
    "Month Reynolds HadSST3 HadCRUT4
    Nov12 +0.243 +0.409 +0.518
    Dec12 +0.219 +0.343 +0.265
    Jan13 +0.176 +0.294 +0.433
    Feb13 +0.196 +0.??? +0.???"

    Thanks greensand, I thought that February's HadSST3/HC4 had been published and I had missed it!
    In relationship to SST, the January HadCRUT4 figure is surprisingly high, i.e. a rise in HC4 of 0.164c, despite a fall of 0.043 un HadSST3.
    And the diff. between HC3 increased from 0.036c to 0.045c.
    This was of course due to a big increase in Crutem4 between December and January.
    This makes it difficult to say what HC4 will do in February, based on SST such as Reynolds, but based on UAH/RSS, it should be down to about 0.34c

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  • Comment number 67. Posted by ukpahonta

    on 12 Mar 2013 09:46

    #66 chris

    That study would indicate a lesser role for the effect of CO2 but unfortunately there are are other papers that disagree with the figures:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/blogpaulhudson/posts/Still-no-real-sign-of-spring?postId=115529637#comment_115529637

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  • Comment number 66. Posted by waikuku

    on 12 Mar 2013 08:17

    Just for info . . .

    http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/5378/20130305/global-warming-stemmed-volcanic-aerosols-eruptions-keep-cool.htm

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  • Comment number 65. Posted by Adrian Buckland

    on 11 Mar 2013 23:59

    Despite the last contributor's comments which are perfectly understandable
    March 11th 2013 must go down as a remarkable day. I heard Paul Hudson say that the last sub zero March day was in March 1986. But that was in the first few days in March and came at the end of a severe spell that began about January 25th 1986.

    This is different as there has been a milder interlude after the end of a cold February and March 11th must be classed as mid March (11th to 20th) and those 7-8 days at this time of year make a significant difference. So when was the last time we had a Mid March sub zero day and one that matches the -2 in sheffield and -1 in Leeds? I suspect March 16th/17th 1979 but that was a snow situation so I guess temps might have been around zero degrees. To match these lower temps we may have to go much further back but to when?

    And thinking further afield when would the Channel Islands have last experienced their weather conditions in Mid March?

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  • Comment number 64. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 11 Mar 2013 19:09

    #61.newdwr54
    "Strange morning in N Ireland. Both temperature gauges in garden showed overnight low of -3.5C and current temp. -1.5C but no ice formed anywhere, including on car windscreen. Not sufficient moisture in the atmosphere I expect. Very unusual for us!"

    What about standing water?
    Here in the NE of England, any water was freezing over quite quickly, despite the temp. never falling much below zero.
    It's true howver, that humidity was unusually low at around 50%, so no frost.

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  • Comment number 63. Posted by Sensetalk_913

    on 11 Mar 2013 18:53

    This weather for March is ridiculous it's supposed to be milder for this time of year, where rainy or windy weather is the norm'. Granted the fact that the weather is'nt normal any more, and I remember last year being warmer and drier than normal so it's different.

    What annoys me is the big grin on Paul Hudson's face , what's he so happy about, you shouldn't be pleased about talking about freezing Winter weather for March , whatever the explanation.They may be fascinated by this daft weather as meterologists but to ordinary people it's annoying. I'm not one to complain about weather , but we've already had Winter it should start to feel more milder for this time of year not freezing! Roll on spring.

    I find the BBC weather forecsters a bit patronising when they read the weather and also they give too much detail. There's a forecaster Darren somebody he's ok. Most have that mamby-pamby clean nice-man image with a silly patronising tone to their voice and the stupid way they walk onto the set , what's that about , for effect! They seem like their trying to promise people good weather occasionally and sound like their apologising, they should'nt do that they don't control the weather they only forecast it!
    This is my one and only comment on this site then I'm signing off it.
    Bring back Ian McCaskill.

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  • Comment number 62. Posted by greensand

    on 11 Mar 2013 17:38

    Feb 13 Reynolds Global SST confirmed:-

    Month Reynolds HadSST3 HadCRUT4
    Nov12 +0.243 +0.409 +0.518
    Dec12 +0.219 +0.343 +0.265
    Jan13 +0.176 +0.294 +0.433
    Feb13 +0.196 +0.??? +0.???

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