Dec 31st – New Years Eve

Hi All,

As we tippy-toe into 2013, I’d like to start my last blog of 2012 by asking you for all those record rainfall totals that you’ve diligently recorded through the year. We’ll be putting them on a Google Map template and then adding the link in a future blog so you can see how you’ve fared in your area vs. all the other sad, wet, buggers across the U.K and Ireland. It’ll be downloadable so you can print it off and put it up in the clubhouse for all your members with their selective memory buttons. In 2011, we had for many our driest year ever, with the lowest figure – 223mm recorded at The Belfry (Bet it’ll be 3x that this year wee man 🙂 ) According to the Met Office, 2012 will go down as our wettest year since records began (1910 I think) and that’s taking into account the first 3 months were extremely dry. Here’s 2 pictures from the park behind my house that summarise this autumn and winter. (There’s never been lying water there before)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you could please email them to our resident I.T guru – Paul, by clicking here, that would be great, I know he’s eagerly awaiting them (ha ha, drove him mad last year it did)

For the start of 2013, I bring you glad tidings 🙂 as we have a high pressure, yes that’s a high pressure (and a warm,dry one at that) heading our way for the start of 2013, does this mark the start of a change from trough pattern to peak pattern maybe ????

 

General Weather Situation

Starting off for today, Monday, we have the last of the rain pushing through, together with mild temperatures and a strong south-westerly wind. The rain should clear all but the far south-east of England and Wales by this evening so if you’re out and about getting predictably smashed to celebrate the start of 2013 and dry weather, you should be ok. For Ireland and the west of England they’lll still be some showers around though, For New Years Day, we have some snow showers and rain over Scotland, but for the south of England, they’ll be some sunshine and it’ll be dry. Further north, they’ll be more cloud cover, but it should be dry, maybe a little mizzly, drizzle around. For Wednesday, we have a weak band of rain over Ireland and a heavier band of rain pushing into Scotland during the morning and this will push south into the north of England during the day. Winds will be light from the west, so not bad really. They’ll be more cloud about as well, but in places it’ll break to give a nice spell of sunshine and temperatures in the high single figures. For Thursday, we have more cloud cover and again a dry scene pretty much U.K / Ireland-wide and I haven’t said that for awhile :). Friday looks similar with a dry outlook, maybe a bit of weak rain over west Connacht, later in the day the sun should break through, particularly the further south you are. Temperatures will pick up a bit in the sunshine and it’ll feel spring-like, so lovely. The weekend looks like staying dry at this stage, perhaps a little cooler, but with bright conditions on the Saturday and a little more cloud on the Sunday. Winds will be light and westerly, south-westerly.

 Weather Outlook

Next week looks like the high pressure is going to slowly break down as a rain front pushes into the north and west for the start of the week. Temperatures will drop away so it’ll feel cooler with the highest chance of rain mid-week. Winds look to remain light, so not bad, just a bit dull, cool and dreary January, with an increasing risk of night frosts and fog developing from mid-week.

Looking on the bright side, we’re into January, the nights will soon begin to stretch out noticeably and we’ve got a weather window to give everything a chance to dry out. This may allow you to hopefully re-engage / engage with those winter projects, that supply much-needed focus and motivation, after a truly dull, wet and crap time of late.

No agronomic notes this time because I haven’t been out and about on golf courses, don’t forget to wing those rainfall totals to an eagerly waiting Paul 🙂 Many thanks in anticipation.

All the best and Happy New Year to you and your families, thanks for all the feedback through the year, much appreciated.

Mark Hunt

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Dec 31st – New Years Eve

  1. Nathan kim Sing

    Mark
    A big well done and thank you for all the hard work you’ve put into your weatherblog over the last year. Invaluable as always. Wishing you a happy and drier 2013.
    Cheers
    Nathan

    Reply
  2. Adi Porter

    Hi Mark,
    Sorry but I sent those figures to you before I read all your report!!!. Oops. I guess you will forward them to Paul.
    Happy new year

    Reply
  3. Stuart Green

    Merry all that and other stuff! A quick question or two…. Is there a pattern to the peaks and troughs? Are the occurrences becoming more sporadic or predictable?

    Reply
    1. mark.hunt Post author

      Hi Stuart,

      Last year, whilst researching for my BTME Educational Conference talk I asked Mike Lockwood at Reading University 3 questions related to yours, I thought it would be interesting to print his response ;

      My questions were these ;

      1. As we seem to be heading into a period of low solar activity, your work suggests that the potential for blocking events to occur may be higher in the near future (sun cycle 25 and beyond), but am I right in saying that these blocking events do not necessarily mean cold winters, as the current one is indicating ?

      2. Blocking events appear to occur at other times of the year, although their effect appears short-lived, is this correct ?

      3. In your professional opinion, is it possible to forecast the development and character of a blocking event accurately ?(CRU NH forecasts)

      Here is his response…….

      Hi Mark

      Your questions are VERY good and important ones. I’ll do my best to answer them

      1. >> As we seem to be heading into a period of low solar activity, your work suggests that the potential for blocking events to occur may be higher in the near future (sun cycle >> 25 and beyond), but am I right in saying that these blocking events do not necessarily mean cold winters, as the current one is indicating ?

      The big complication here is the location of the centre of the blocking. Essentially to the west of the blocking event centre one gets warm, moist air drawn up from the south west whereas to the east you get cold air drawn down from the north east. So if the blocking centre is west of the UK we get colder in winter (and, incidentally, probably warmer in summer as the Eurasian land mass is warmed then) . But if it is to the east of us we are in the region of warmer air. This year we have had more of the latter and less of the former. There is some evidence from scientists in Lisbon that the blocking centre longitude moves with solar activity (in addition to our evidence that the blocking probability increases as the solar activity decays) but there are many other factors and the net effect is not yet clear. The solar activity is considerably higher this year than last (because we are on the rising phase of the current 11-year solar cycle, even though it is an exceptionally weak one) and that may be one factor in the difference between the two winters but I must stress there are many other factors (El Nino phase for example). In our research we were discussing the effect of solar variability with all other factors remaining constant.

      2. >> Blocking events appear to occur at other times of the year, although their effect appears short-lived, is this correct ?

      Two points here. The effect of the location on blocking is less marked in summer because the south westerlies to the west of the block bring warm air from the south but the north easteries to the east of the blocking centre are also warm because they have travelled over the now-warm Eurasian land mass which heats them up (rather than cooling them as happens in winter). Secondly, we only find a solar influence on blocking in winter. We think that we may be beginning to understand this in that the solar effect probably comes from solar UV heating of the stratosphere. In winter there is a large equator-to-pole gradient in stratospheric temperatures and this drives strong eastward stratospheric winds and it is perturbations to this strong wind that descend and are manifest as blocking events in the troposphere. In summer the equator to pole temperature gradient is much reduced and so the eastward stratospheric wind is also reduced.

      3. >>In your professional opinion, is it possible to forecast the development and character of a blocking event accurately ?(CRU NH forecasts)

      Blocking is a major research topic, especially in Europe, and I am confident that the research will improve our forecast skill – eventually. What it is hard to say is by when there will be a major improvement. It is not long ago that models failed almost completely to reproduce blocking events and although they still tend to underestimate their severity, duration and frequency, that situation has improved considerably in the latest models. My view is that we are getting much better at understanding the development of a blocking event once it has begun – what we cannot yet do is forecast accurately the onset of these events

      On a general point, I have always been sceptical about the claim that global warming will lead to warmer wetter winters in the UK. It seems to me that there are too many other possibilities that could change regional patterns and factors like the NAO. So I have always been concerned that warmer and wetter was not axiomatic for a given location. There was some recognition of this when folk talked of the potential for thermohaline driving of the gulf stream to weaken and this leading to lower temperatures in Europe. That appears to be less of a threat than previously thought, but the possibility of complex regional responses needs to be remembered

      I hope these comments help

      Mike

      Reply
      1. Stuart Green

        So basically, no. Just hold onto your underpants and hope for some stability??? If we are heading into a peak, it will be interesting to see how this pans out for the summer. Drought conditions on the cards, record temperatures and the possibility of a barbeque or two?? Still no sign of snowmageddon again, shame….

        Thanks Mark. A great blog. I always look forward to this on a Monday.

        See you at BTME!

        Reply
        1. mark.hunt Post author

          Hi Stuart,

          This new feature of the weather has caught alot of meteorologists with their pants down and in turn it’s proving a difficult nut to crack in terms of predicting its behaviour.
          Personally I believe this is now our lot, it’s never going back, so we have a to adapt, our industry has to adapt, in all areas. I was reading an interesting and somewhat depressing article in New Scientist this weekend that predicted most of the current locations in the world for growing Arabica coffee (the nice, smooth tasting one, as opposed to the bitter, Robusta bean) will no longer be viable after 2080, due to climate change….a world without coffee, I wouldn’t be able to survive that 🙁

          Mark

          Reply

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