Hi All,

Spring ?

I’m sitting here looking out at 4″ of snow that has now froze in these biting easterly winds and wondering if it’s just a bad dream and I’ll wake up some time 🙁

One year ago to the day nearly, we were sitting under a protective peak in the jet stream that had provided us warm, dry weather for most of the winter, but we were desperately short of water. At the beginning of April, 2012, that peak shifted and was replaced by a trough, the rest is history, so by Easter 2013, it’ll be a year of a fixed weather pattern and I for one are beginning to wonder if this change is permanent, so I’m going to try and find out this week, by talking to the scientists who are studying it.

So is there any sign of a change in this jet -stream pattern ?, not really, but there is a sign of slightly milder weather on the horizon, that said, it was supposed to arrive by mid-week, this week, but I think it’s arrival will be delayed now till over Easter, which is going to present a big problem to all of us with snow cover now, in terms of ground conditions and of course, lost business-wise. The south and west of the country seems to have escaped the worst, with the snow line starting between Northampton and Oxford and extending north, west and eastwards, so if you have no snow cover now, thank your lucky stars.

 General Weather Situation

As you’re probably well aware by watching the news, we have a high pressure sitting over Northern Europe and this is pushing an easterly airstream over the U.K and Ireland. Those winds are biting cold and even now the windchill in my protected location is -3.8°C, but I’ve had -7°C reported for Thame, Oxfordshire.  For Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we have a fixed situation, with a cold, dry, scenario, and from The Midlands north and east, little prospect of a thaw because of the windchill during the day. Further south and west, I think you’ll see a slow thaw for a couple of hours during the day. There’s a risk of some lighter snow showers mid-week in the north-east of England and Scotland and maybe also a chance of some snow coming off the continent into the south-east overnight Wednesday, but that’s a tricky one to call. For Ireland, a similar picture, brighter on Monday, but with more cloud cover and the risk of some light snow showers mid-week along the coast of Leinster. For Thursday, we have a similar picture, but with lighter winds, so the temperature will creep up a little allowing a slight thaw. There will be a chance of snow showers along the east and south-east coast blowing in off The North Sea. By the end of the week, there’s a battle going on between this stubborn cold air system and milder air from the west / south and it’s really tricky to say how it’s going to go. Certainly there’s a risk of snow initially as the 2 weather systems meet. For Ireland and the west, the wind will switch to the south by the end of the week and this will bring temperatures up, but it’ll be a slow affair. For the rest of the U.K, I don’t think that change will take place till into the Easter weekend and it may well end up that the winds are south-easterly, rather than southerly, so milder, but not mild if you get my drift. So for Easter weekend, I’ll stick my neck out and say we’ll be milder, with a southerly airstream and hopefully we’ll lose the overnight frosts, this is more likely over Ireland and the west side of the U.K, than it is the east, where you’re closer to the cold ridge of weather. They’ll be some showers around in the west, possibly heavy down in south-west Munster into Easter Sunday, but at this stage it’s not looking too bad as these should clear through quickly on a brisk wind.

Weather Outlook

A tricky one I think and much depends on how the battle shapes up between the milder westerly air and the entrenched, colder continental air. So rather than stick a meteorological finger in the air at the start of the week, I’m going to do an update on Thursday on how we’re looking for the weekend and the week following Easter.

Agronomic Notes

Not really a shed load to say here that I didn’t say last week in my mega-blog. Obviously a lot of you are either under snow or frozen solid. Disease-wise, we actually don’t want a rapid thaw because that’ll bring flooding and a potential increase in disease activity as soil temperatures rise.

If you’re looking to guesstimate how much moisture you’ve received in snowfall:rainfall, the rough conversion is 10″ of snow = 1″ of equivalent rainfall, less so if the snow is dry and powdery. (10″ = 0.7″ for powder apparently)

I’ll sign off this rather short blog quickly because I can see the BT van coming up the street and he’s going to render me wireless-less for a time I’m sure and I wanted to get this one out.

Grin and bear it for another week I’m afraid, I wish I could report otherwise, but let’s see what Thursday’s update brings…

Mark Hunt