Weather

Winter, from a climatological perspective, ends on Thursday, but with no sign at all of noticeably warmer weather any time soon.

 

As a reminder (because it’s normally a bone of contention!) for the purposes of being able to make like for like comparisons each year, winter is defined as December, January and February.

 

But the technically correct definition of the start of spring is the moment at which the sun crosses the equator into the Northern Hemisphere and is called the spring equinox.

 

Contrary to popular belief, though, spring does not always begin on the 21st of March each year, in fact this year it falls the day before.

 

Likewise summer, autumn and winter don’t always begin on the 21st of June, September or December either; hence using this definition can mean that the seasons year on year can be of differing lengths, making accurate comparisons invalid.

 

Today’s static weather, with high pressure to the north of the UK feeding in cloudy and cold conditions from the northeast (although not in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the far north of England where it’s gloriously sunny) is actually quite common at this time of the year.

 

In fact, February is climatologically one of the driest months of the year, because of such ‘blocking’ weather patterns, and this month is turning out to be no exception.

 

Looking ahead, this pattern looks set to remain with us into early March, with pressure remaining higher than normal, and a distinct lack of milder air from the Atlantic.

 

This means that apart from the possibility of a little light rain at times, a lot of dry weather is likely but with temperatures remaining mostly at or below average levels for the foreseeable future.

 

That said some sunshine is likely, particularly around the middle of this week, and with light winds it will feel like a big improvement compared to today’s gloomy damp and cold conditions.

 

Follow me on twitter @Hudsonweather

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  • Comment number 76. Posted by ukpahonta

    on 4 Mar 2013 21:32

    #75 Lazarus

    'Meanwhile the real scientists continue to research, gradually reducing the margins of uncertainty, and working out how much each of these types of climate affecting events is responsible for recent temperatures fluctuations.'

    'Our results indicate that the averaged AOD trend over global ocean is weakly positive from 1998 to 2010 and comparable to that observed by MODIS but opposite in sign to that observed by AVHRR during overlapping years. On a smaller scale, different trends are detected for different regions. For example, large upward trends are found over the Arabian Penin-sula that indicate a strengthening of the seasonal cycle of dust emission and transport processes over the whole region as well as over downwind oceanic regions. In con-trast, a negative-neutral tendency is observed over the desert/arid Saharan region as well as in the associated dust outflow over the North Atlantic. Additionally, we found decreasing trends over the Eastern US and Europe, and increasing trends over coun-tries such as China and India that are experiencing rapid economic development. In general, these results are consistent with those derived from ground-based AERONET measurements.'
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/12/8465/2012/acpd-12-8465-2012.pdf

    'We have analysed the trends of total aerosol particle number concentrations (N) measured at long-term measurement stations involved either in the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) and/or EU infrastructure project ACTRIS. The sites are located in Europe, North America, Antarctica, and on Pacific Ocean islands. The majority of the sites showed clear decreasing trends both in the full-length time series, and in the intra-site comparison period of 2001–2010, especially during the winter months. Several potential driving processes for the observed trends were studied, and even though there are some similarities between N trends and air temperature changes, the most likely cause of many northern hemisphere trends was found to be decreases in the anthropogenic emissions of primary particles, SO2 or some co-emitted species. We could not find a consistent agreement between the trends of N and particle optical properties in the few stations with long time series of all of these properties. The trends of N and the proxies for cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) were generally consistent in the few European stations where the measurements were available. This work provides a useful comparison analysis for modelling studies of trends in aerosol number concentrations.'
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/13/895/2013/acp-13-895-2013.html

    Looks as though 2000 onwards is the same as 1925-1960 but surely 1960-2000 should of had more cooling:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/

    'Earth's stratosphere is as clear as it's been in more than 50 years. University of Colorado climate scientist Richard Keen knows this because he's been watching lunar eclipses. "Since 1996, lunar eclipses have been bright, which means the stratosphere is relatively clear of volcanic aerosols. This is the longest period with a clear stratosphere since before 1960." Consider the following comparison of a lunar eclipse observed in 1992 after the Philippine volcano Pinatubo spewed millions of tons of gas and ash into the atmosphere vs. an "all-clear" eclipse in 2003:'

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  • Comment number 75. Posted by Lazarus

    on 4 Mar 2013 16:59

    73.
    ukpahonta

    "The misdirection is plainly clear because the effects that you mention, of which there is a great deal of science available both good and not so good, have no known explanation for an extended multi-decadal period."

    I see you get your 'science' from blogs which explains everything.

    Interestingly there has just been another paper published in the GRL with some press about it here;

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0301/Volcanic-eruptions-might-lessen-greenhouse-effects?nav=127-csm_category-leadStory

    It seeks to proportion the effects of the cooling bias between Volcanoes and Human sulphur emissions. If you look at the actual paper you will see that the researchers, because they are building on previous published science, accept the cooling effects of events such as those outlined in the links and video I gave. This is accepted physics. It is only those in denial of the empirical evidence, often bloggers ,that seek to portray the recent plateau in surface temperatures as some sort of unexplained scientific mystery.

    Meanwhile the real scientists continue to research, gradually reducing the margins of uncertainty, and working out how much each of these types of climate affecting events is responsible for recent temperatures fluctuations.

    Such a shame you countered information based on peer reviewed research and some of the research its self with a blog.

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  • Comment number 74. Posted by ukpahonta

    on 3 Mar 2013 13:48

    Of course it's very topical at present which aroused my interest in the first place:
    http://climateaudit.org/2013/03/02/mikes-agu-trick/

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  • Comment number 73. Posted by ukpahonta

    on 3 Mar 2013 11:39

    #72 Lazarus

    The misdirection is plainly clear because the effects that you mention, of which there is a great deal of science available both good and not so good, have no known explanation for an extended multi-decadal period.
    The very fact that the model runs used in the IPCC scenarios do not have a period of this length without warming shows how poor they are at simulating natural cycles, something that many scientists are now alluding to even those at the MO.

    Don't know how you 'feel' about Judith Currys blog but this post discusses the scientists views rather than the propoganderists:
    http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/27/candid-comments-from-global-warming-scientists/

    Have fun...

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  • Comment number 72. Posted by Lazarus

    on 3 Mar 2013 10:30

    71.
    ukpahonta

    "I don't understand the neccessity for your misdirection and was expecting that you had something substantial to offer, shame really."

    Misdirection? Nothing substiantial? When was science either of these? Everything mentioned in that short video is confirmed with peer reviewed research using empiracle evidence. Are you not capable of using google scolar to search for the climate cooling effects of volcanoes like Pinatubo, or how the recent La Nina cycles have affected global temps? Not surprising if your only thoughts at sceaptically looking at evidence is to dismiss it as 'a cartoonist playing with lines on a graph'.

    It certainly looks bad to claim to be a skeptic when the page linked also includes further reading and viewing, including a link to a peer reviewed study.

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  • Comment number 71. Posted by ukpahonta

    on 3 Mar 2013 01:13

    Lazarus

    Correct, I don't understand the neccessity for your misdirection and was expecting that you had something substantial to offer, shame really.

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  • Comment number 70. Posted by Lazarus

    on 2 Mar 2013 09:56

    ukpahonta

    "You have got to be joking, a two minute video of a cartoonist playing with lines on a graph is your complete explanation of 17 years lack of increased warming."

    So you didn't understand it then....

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  • Comment number 69. Posted by QuaesoVeritas

    on 1 Mar 2013 10:44

    #54.newdwr54
    "Here's the rolling 50-year HadCRUT3 data you linked to, only this time with the rolling 50-year average plotted alongside: http://oi48.tinypic.com/ve9frt.jpg

    As you can see, during the period from the late 1950s to the early 1980s when the 50-year rolling trend was falling, the 50-year average temperature was steadily rising. So even if the 50-year trend does start to go down again in the next few years, it doesn't follow at all that global temperatures will cool, or even stop rising - they didn't during the last falling trend period."

    Rolling averages and rolling trends are two different ways of looking at the same thing. A moving average will continue to rise as long as the latest period is higher than the corresponding period dropped from the average, irrespective of the other figures in the series. The the other points in the series make no difference to the MA until they are replaced by the latest corresponding point.
    On the other hand, a rolling trend takes into consideration all of the data points in the series.
    Thus, the MA can rise, even when the rolling trend is negative and vice versa.
    That said, in general, where a trend is positive, the MA will tend to rise and when the trend is negative, the MA will tend to fall.
    A trend of zero will eventually result in a static MA, but only after the entire period being measured has elapsed, i.e. in this case, 50 years.
    The important thing about rolling trends, as opposed to simple static trends over the data, is that they show how the trend has evolved in the past, and that in some cases, that evolution may be cyclical.
    I may be wrong, but I don't recall anyone referring to rolling trends before I mentioned them here.
    If you know of any examples which pre-date January 2011, please let me know.

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  • Comment number 68. Posted by greensand

    on 28 Feb 2013 23:03

    #63. ukpahonta

    "How big is the back garden?"

    Pah! I am in the Peak District, quite a few suitable holes in the ground (quarries) to site one or two! Also a few other holes (mines) to deposit any by-products!

    No probs with planning, a Super Smart Meter (of the non-recording type) in the homes of local Councillors and selected MPs!

    Might even be able to light up the Emperor Fountain, must have a word with him when next down the pub :-)

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  • Comment number 67. Posted by ukpahonta

    on 28 Feb 2013 20:24

    #64 Lazarus

    You have got to be joking, a two minute video of a cartoonist playing with lines on a graph is your complete explanation of 17 years lack of increased warming. Can we get Morph to come and draw some forecasts for the next decade please?

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