The Beast from the East is slain

Thursday 13 December 2012, 13:40

Paul Hudson Paul Hudson

The cold easterly which a large majority of computer models were predicting to develop this week has failed to materialise, with a much more unsettled weather pattern expected to return from the Atlantic during tomorrow.

Last week, 80% of the ECMWF model solutions wanted an easterly 'blocking' weather pattern, with the average of those solutions shown below.

Compare that with the atmosphere this morning (according to the GFS model), below.

Crucially the centre of gravity of the large area of high pressure, which should have been closer to Scandinavia, is further northeast than predicted.

This positional error means that Atlantic weather systems will now be able to make further progress eastwards across the UK.

It illustrates very well just how difficult it is sometimes to forecast general weather conditions a week ahead, even when there's high model confidence.

So after a temporary cold and dry spell, it now seems likely that the rest of December will be very unsettled, with showers or longer spells of rain, some of which will be heavy, with only very brief incursions of colder air.

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    First again. Better say something clever! The beast from the east may not have made a full entry onto stage but someone or something has sucked all the warmth out of my socks.

    3/10 must try harder

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    As per last topic (BftE) it is typical December weather . . . will probably stay mobile until later in Jan. Just what the ground needs just now - more rain !

    The forecast models do tend to over-state easterly PC in the winter. They also generally under-state the potential for cold air to remain stubbornly in situ once it is well established.

    I'll agree with #1 at 30% - but no reason to pull funding.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    2. chris wrote:

    "As per last topic (BftE) it is typical December weather "

    Good call chris and IIRC Boanta!

    I don't do forecasts, weather or climate. don't have the ability, just track actual observational data. Trust not too much rain and a little warmth will be appreciated.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    uh where's that big purple swirly thing heading?

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    I have just come back from a walk on the Chesterfield canal at Anston. The canal was just starting to freeze over, it would have been nice for a months cold like this, so that we can ice skate on the canal like our dutch friends.


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Hello, I’m Paul Hudson, weather presenter and climate correspondent for BBC Look North in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. 

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I worked as a forecaster with the Met Office for nearly 15 years locally and at the international unit, after graduating with first class honours in Geophysics and Planetary physics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1992. I then joined the BBC in October 2007, where I divide my time between forecasting and reporting on stories about climate change and its implications for people's everyday lives.

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