28th February – Mini Update

Hi All,

I just thought I’d chuck a quick update your way before the weekend as we anxiously wait for the next storm system, Storm Jorge, to head our way.

Since it is named by the Spanish Met Office, it’s probably named after Jorge Lorenzo, the infamous MotoGP rider.

Let’s hope it’s doesn’t hang around for as long as he has…(not a fan)

Now currently we are staring down the barrel of a wet and windy weekend and a pretty unsettled week, next week with some southerly-orientated weather systems heading our way. That said the bulk of the rain may pass south of us for a change.

Now I accept you’d be right for thinking same crap weather, different week, however there is an increasing chance (hedge your bets) of a change coming in the weather and that’s why I thought I’d throw this update your way before the weekend 🙂

Many years ago when I had more hair and it was more err.. ‘ginger’, I sort of adopted the nickname of ‘Ziggy’ at school. This was further enforced by my liking David Bowie’s music, which remains to this day (tenuous link warning).

As I type this mini blog with ‘Changes’ playing away in the background, I feel (hope) that ‘could’ be quite an apt track for the weather and weather patterns looking ahead…(I’d like to make it clear though that I never wore / wear make up !)

Jet Stream Position

Since the start of the New Year as you all know, we have been in the grip of a very strong jet stream pattern which has ‘whisked’ low pressure after low pressure our way with very little respite.

Sitting here in Market Harborough, we haven’t had a particularly wet January and February compared to some of you out there but we haven’t had any respite in terms of dry-down days either.

So it takes a minimal amount of rain, 5mm or so, to turn the local River Welland into a surging torrent when normally it’d need 15-20mm to do this. Soils are saturated, drainage and ditches are full and there’s very little capacity in the river systems of the U.K & Ireland for them to drain down into. Any rain falling tops up rivers directly with no capacity in the soil to absorb it.

You can see from the graph above, locally we have had 4 dry days out of the last 75, so 95% of the days have been wet. It’s this feature of autumn / winter 2019/20 that has been the most damaging to our industry rather than just the amount of rain that has fallen. I’ll talk about this more on Monday as the clock is ticking down to a midday publish timeline 🙁

Getting back to that possible change.

The GFS projections are suggesting that the low-lying and very strong jet stream is going to change its pattern over the course of next weekend, shifting higher and thereby allowing high pressure to insert itself across the U.K & Ireland bringing a drier, more settled picture to our weather.

Now massive Mark Hunt caveat warning……it’s still a week or so away yet, it may change, but crucially the ‘signal’ has stayed constant the closer we have got to it, so this time it may hold.

Below is a projection of the jet stream position today and in 10 days time, you can see the difference hopefully and the pronounced ‘peak’ pattern that is projected to form. This will push rain above us rather than over us.

If this does occur it will also pull some warmer and drier weather into the mix and it could hold for a week or so. Critically that’ll give us some E.T and some dry-down.

So here’s hoping, everything is crossed…

Have a nice weekend despite ‘Jorge’

Mark Hunt