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2015-2016 European Winter

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#1
Andie

Posted 25 September 2015 - 07:35 PM

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2015-16 winter is looking like it will be a strong on in Europe, so I'm creating a thread for It.

Austria had a very hot summer, however, winter has suddenly surprised the area with a heavy snowfall.

http://www.thelocal....sit-to-salzburg
This is early even for higher elevations which received 2 meters. A lot of snow even for them.

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#2
Andie

Posted 15 October 2015 - 11:42 AM

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Winter has arrived early in Germany

http://www.dw.com/en...many/a-18780737

Britain facing 'longest winter in 50 years'

http://travel.aol.co...-arrives-early/

Before You Diagnose Yourself With Depression or Low Self-Esteem,...First Make Sure You Are Not In Fact, Just Surrounded By A$$holes.


#3
Retron

Posted 17 November 2015 - 10:30 AM

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Hi all,

 

I'm from the UK (SE England) and as a winter fan will be making the odd post in here.

 

Swans aside, it looks like the first Arctic blast is about to hit the UK. It's about time too, as so far November so far has been one of the mildest on record (with records going back to 1659); temperatures so far are 4C above average. For a temperate island nation, that's a lot! We've already set records for the warmest November day (22.4C on the 1st, beating 21.7C in 1946) and the warmest November night (a minimum of 16.1C last week).

 

This weekend we'll finally lose the mild flow from the Atlantic, with frosts likely for much of the UK - and, for some at least, some sleet or snow.

 

We've not had any frosts down here yet, which is unusual this late in the year; normally there's at least been a ground frost or two. Snow in November is exceptionally rare here and so despite 850s of -7C or so and 1000-500 thicknesses hitting 518dam, cold rain is looking to be the most likely option.

 

Beyond the Arctic plunge it looks like milder air will topple in from the west, as yet there are no signs of any prolonged blocking to the north.

 

(Last winter saw around 20 minutes of slushy snow here, whereas 2013/4 had about three snowflakes at the end of a thunderstorm. The North Atlantic Drift has a lot to answer for if, like me, you like snow!)


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#4
Chris

Posted 20 November 2015 - 08:34 AM

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Hi all,

 

I'm from the UK (SE England) and as a winter fan will be making the odd post in here.

 

Swans aside, it looks like the first Arctic blast is about to hit the UK. It's about time too, as so far November so far has been one of the mildest on record (with records going back to 1659); temperatures so far are 4C above average. For a temperate island nation, that's a lot! We've already set records for the warmest November day (22.4C on the 1st, beating 21.7C in 1946) and the warmest November night (a minimum of 16.1C last week).

 

This weekend we'll finally lose the mild flow from the Atlantic, with frosts likely for much of the UK - and, for some at least, some sleet or snow.

 

We've not had any frosts down here yet, which is unusual this late in the year; normally there's at least been a ground frost or two. Snow in November is exceptionally rare here and so despite 850s of -7C or so and 1000-500 thicknesses hitting 518dam, cold rain is looking to be the most likely option.

 

Beyond the Arctic plunge it looks like milder air will topple in from the west, as yet there are no signs of any prolonged blocking to the north.

 

(Last winter saw around 20 minutes of slushy snow here, whereas 2013/4 had about three snowflakes at the end of a thunderstorm. The North Atlantic Drift has a lot to answer for if, like me, you like snow!)

 

Welcome.  I look forward to your updates.



#5
IbrChris

Posted 20 November 2015 - 05:07 PM

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Hi all,

 

I'm from the UK (SE England) and as a winter fan will be making the odd post in here.

 

Swans aside, it looks like the first Arctic blast is about to hit the UK. It's about time too, as so far November so far has been one of the mildest on record (with records going back to 1659); temperatures so far are 4C above average. For a temperate island nation, that's a lot! We've already set records for the warmest November day (22.4C on the 1st, beating 21.7C in 1946) and the warmest November night (a minimum of 16.1C last week).

 

This weekend we'll finally lose the mild flow from the Atlantic, with frosts likely for much of the UK - and, for some at least, some sleet or snow.

 

We've not had any frosts down here yet, which is unusual this late in the year; normally there's at least been a ground frost or two. Snow in November is exceptionally rare here and so despite 850s of -7C or so and 1000-500 thicknesses hitting 518dam, cold rain is looking to be the most likely option.

 

Beyond the Arctic plunge it looks like milder air will topple in from the west, as yet there are no signs of any prolonged blocking to the north.

 

(Last winter saw around 20 minutes of slushy snow here, whereas 2013/4 had about three snowflakes at the end of a thunderstorm. The North Atlantic Drift has a lot to answer for if, like me, you like snow!)

 

That is remarkable. In marine climates it's useful to look at the 1000-850 thickness...1292-1295 meters is generally 50-50 rain/snow for coastal areas, here as well as in the UK.

Typically -8c at 850 mb and/or 522dam is enough to get snow here in Portland, OR but not always. With a continental easterly flow in the boundary layer the 850 mb temp and 1000-500 thickness can be higher (sometimes -3c and 530+), but since a 1000-850 thickness of 1290 meters indicates a layer completely below freezing it indicates snow or sleet as likely precip type rather than rain.

Last winter (2014-15) was a dud here...a trace of snow in November 2014. Winter 2013-14 was much better with about 8 inches of snow in Feb 2014 at the airport and 10-14 inches in many suburban areas.


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#6
Retron

Posted 03 December 2015 - 08:49 AM

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Typically -8c at 850 mb and/or 522dam is enough to get snow here in Portland, OR but not always. With a continental easterly flow in the boundary layer the 850 mb temp and 1000-500 thickness can be higher (sometimes -3c and 530+), but since a 1000-850 thickness of 1290 meters indicates a layer completely below freezing it indicates snow or sleet as likely precip type rather than rain.

 

That's interesting, as we use similar values over here - I prefer -10C/520dam as an indicator of snow, but generally -7C/522dam are the 50% chance of snow numbers. I've seen rain at 512dam before and snow at 540dam (this was from the east, over 100 miles of shallow sea, so was continental rather than maritime air. Milder air aloft rode over the top of a thin layer of cold air at the surface.) Snow fans down here will look for a deep cold easterly in winter (ie -12C or lower 850s), but they've become very rare for some reason... we had plenty of them in the 80s and 90s, but the last one was 1997.

 

In the end the models handled the recent northerly plunge poorly: 850s fell to -6C and the 1000-500 thickness only fell to 525dam. We managed literally two flakes of sleet (using the UK term, ie mixed rain and snow) and temperatures fell to a couple of degrees above freezing while it was going on. We did get a frost the following night though, with temperatures falling to -2C. To be honest it's what I was expecting, as we see more "downgrades" here than "upgrades" when it comes to the models predicting snow! I will look out for the 1000-850 thickness next time around.

 

November ended up the third warmest on record, with records going back to 1659. It was also the dullest on record, with an average of just 38 hours' sunshine across England. Given that even now we have just over 8 hours of daylight in the south, that's really quite a remarkable statistic. It's been overwhelmingly cloudy, dull and mild.

 

Here's the Met Office's summary of the month - note that both Capel Curig and Aviemore are mountainous sites.

 

n2iaec.jpg

 

December has started off on an exceptionally mild note - okay, not as mild as say Winnipeg in Canada is seeing, but still pretty mild. There are no signs of a change to cold conditions, although the longer range ECM forecasts are showing a return to nearer normal conditions by the middle of the month. In the meantime the relentless Atlantic conveyor continues!


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#7
IbrChris

Posted 07 December 2015 - 12:45 PM

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That's interesting, as we use similar values over here - I prefer -10C/520dam as an indicator of snow, but generally -7C/522dam are the 50% chance of snow numbers. I've seen rain at 512dam before and snow at 540dam (this was from the east, over 100 miles of shallow sea, so was continental rather than maritime air. Milder air aloft rode over the top of a thin layer of cold air at the surface.) Snow fans down here will look for a deep cold easterly in winter (ie -12C or lower 850s), but they've become very rare for some reason... we had plenty of them in the 80s and 90s, but the last one was 1997.

 

In the end the models handled the recent northerly plunge poorly: 850s fell to -6C and the 1000-500 thickness only fell to 525dam. We managed literally two flakes of sleet (using the UK term, ie mixed rain and snow) and temperatures fell to a couple of degrees above freezing while it was going on. We did get a frost the following night though, with temperatures falling to -2C. To be honest it's what I was expecting, as we see more "downgrades" here than "upgrades" when it comes to the models predicting snow! I will look out for the 1000-850 thickness next time around.

 

Yes the reason for preferring 1000-850 thickness is that it more accurately predicts precip type (rain vs snow) and you can take a look at 850-700 mb thickness to note any warm air aloft (warm air advection) which could yield freezing rain instead of snow.

The 500 mb thickness has largely fallen out of favor among meteorologists...although it's a useful first guess for rain vs snow especially in continental areas where 540 dam is the traditional rain-snow line.

Personally I would use a combination of 1) 1000-850 thickness and 2) 925 mb temp. A 925 mb temp of -1C is often a precursor to snow at low elevations (generally 100-200 meters above sea level) and -2C can get snow to sea level.

A more crude approximation would be 500 mb thickness (522 being the typical rain-snow here) and 850 mb temp (-7 or -8C often needed for snow in onshore flow situations). Yes -10C at 850 mb will virtually always guarantee snow unless there's an above freezing layer above 850 mb at least 300 meters thick in which case sleet or freezing rain is favored.


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#8
Retron

Posted 07 December 2015 - 08:49 PM

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The snag over here is getting hold of those other partial thicknesses - all the main models (ECM, MetO (aka UKMET in the States), GFS etc) generally have 1000-500 thickness, but getting hold of say 850-700 on anything other than GFS is a tough one! The reason is that the European agencies generally restrict data like that in order to sell it. I've found Accuweather Pro to be worthwhile when it comes to ECM data, although it is a bit galling having to pay for data that's already been paid for via taxation!

 

Meanwhile we've set a new 24-hour record for rainfall, 341.4 mm fell at Honister Pass in the hills of Cumbria. This was the result of some truly torrential rain being squeezed out of the conveyor of cloud from the Atlantic and it's led to bridges being washed away, flood barriers being breached (even though many were extended just a few years ago) and two people have been lost in the floods.

 

You can see some pictures and updates here:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...ive/uk-35015243

 

This has been one of the warmest starts to December on record and over on the UK weather forums we're all desperately looking for a pattern change! Hopefully this weekend will see the end of this incessent mild gloom and murk, with a weak ridge bringing at least some respite from it.


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#9
Retron

Posted 08 December 2015 - 11:16 PM

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November's warmth has carried on unabated - we've now had the warmest start to winter* since daily records began in 1772! (The previous warmest start was in 1979, but we're half a degree above that at the moment). It was looking for a time as though high pressure would take over for a while, but the models now show low pressure becoming slow-moving in the vicinity of the UK. Not really what's wanted when there's been so much flooding of late...

 

* In the UK, meteorological winter runs from Dec 1st to Feb 28th/29th.


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#10
Retron

Posted 16 December 2015 - 10:34 AM

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The warmth here continues unabated. The overnight low for tonight, for example, is forecast to be 12C - the same as a typical July or August night here. It reached 15C earlier today, the same as the average early May high, but unlike May it's been overcast and humid all day... the dewpoint has been 13C or 14C all day long. Temperatures *should* be around 7 or 8C by day and 3 or 4C at night.

 

One or two very mild days isn't unusual in December, but this unrelenting mildness certainly is! At this rate we're going to see an all-time record warm December...



#11
IbrChris

Posted 20 December 2015 - 11:44 PM

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The snag over here is getting hold of those other partial thicknesses - all the main models (ECM, MetO (aka UKMET in the States), GFS etc) generally have 1000-500 thickness, but getting hold of say 850-700 on anything other than GFS is a tough one! The reason is that the European agencies generally restrict data like that in order to sell it. I've found Accuweather Pro to be worthwhile when it comes to ECM data, although it is a bit galling having to pay for data that's already been paid for via taxation!

 

Meanwhile we've set a new 24-hour record for rainfall, 341.4 mm fell at Honister Pass in the hills of Cumbria. This was the result of some truly torrential rain being squeezed out of the conveyor of cloud from the Atlantic and it's led to bridges being washed away, flood barriers being breached (even though many were extended just a few years ago) and two people have been lost in the floods.

 

You can see some pictures and updates here:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...ive/uk-35015243

 

This has been one of the warmest starts to December on record and over on the UK weather forums we're all desperately looking for a pattern change! Hopefully this weekend will see the end of this incessent mild gloom and murk, with a weak ridge bringing at least some respite from it.

I use WeatherBell as well as a paid vendor the company I work for subscribes to. WeatherBell is a good deal and the quality of the maps and data are well worth the sub price.

Being that I'm not in the EC member states there is no free Euro output besides the 500 mb and 850 mb maps on the ECMWF website in 24 hour increments. I use these other providers to view the full Euro and full Euro ensembles.


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#12
IbrChris

Posted 20 December 2015 - 11:55 PM

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You can calculate the partial thicknesses directly from sounding data as the 1000, 850 and 700 mb levels are mandatory for WMO member states. That won't help you a lot besides providing a baseline then you can look at warm and cold air advection at 850 and 700 mb to get a feel for the evolution of those thicknesses.


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#13
Andie

Posted 31 December 2015 - 08:28 AM

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Winter Storm Frank certainly delivered a lot of damage and flooding to the UK. Historic storm hit Iceland as well, and the Arctic has a minor identity crisis. Quite a start for winter.

http://www.accuweath...-winds/54464926

North Pole 50 degrees above normal after storm.

http://ocean.dmi.dk/...meant80n.uk.php

https://www.washingt...s-above-normal/

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#14
Retron

Posted 02 January 2016 - 04:34 AM

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Winter Storm Frank certainly delivered a lot of damage and flooding to the UK. Historic storm hit Iceland as well, and the Arctic has a minor identity crisis. Quite a start for winter.

It's been an amazing start to winter, that's for sure.

 

Until now, the warmest December in central England - with monthly records going back to 1659! - was 8.1C. December 2010 came in at 9.7C, not just breaking the record but absolutely wrecking it. It was warmer than November, and *that* was the 3rd warmest in recorded history.

 

This graph of daily temperatures from the Met Office shows it well. Essentially, since September temperatures have remained much the same. Winter, where are you?

 

f3tso.jpg

It's not just the UK, of course. As well as noteworthy warmth in the USA, there have been record months set in the likes of the Netherlands and Switzerland as well. The Alps are practically snowless and spring flowers are out in bloom across much of western Europe.


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#15
Retron

Posted 22 January 2016 - 10:29 PM

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Three weeks on and it looks like we've had our "winter" here - 3 frosty nights (-5C, -3C and -3C) and 3 days where the temperature only reached 5C instead of the 6C average at this time of year. It did at least mean I had to scrape ice from the car before heading off to work!

 

Normality is restored today, though, with temperatures back up in double figures and overnight lows forecast to be higher than the average daytime high for January. There's no end in sight to this, either, with both GEFS and the ECM ensembles showing rock-solid support for a prolonged mild and zonal period.

 

There have been plenty of posts on the UK weather forums about a sudden stratospheric warming and pattern change towards a much colder outlook, but that's been going on since December. Although it looks a little bit more likely to happen as we go into February, we only have 3 weeks left of "deep winter" here in the lowland south of the UK... after mid-February the sun's strength starts increasing noticeably and it becomes much harder to attain ice days.


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#16
Retron

Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:55 AM

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The remnants of Jonas have hit the UK. The main story is meant to be the rain, with orographic rainfall bringing potentially 100mm of rain to the Welsh mountains.

 

The other story remains the warm temperatures - new national records were set for highest minimum temperatures yesterday:

 

2ib127c.jpg

 

Bearing in mind the average January minimums range from +3C in southern England to -3C or below over the Highlands - that was one warm night!



#17
Retron

Posted 15 February 2016 - 09:38 AM

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An Arctic airmass has affected the UK over the last couple of days, although the flow has already being crimped off. There was a dusting of snow around 30 miles to the west last night, but it stayed dry here (and at +0.5C, just above freezing). There may just be an air frost tonight, before more cloud and eventually rain moves in from the Atlantic tomorrow and Wednesday. Thursday has the prospect of some wet snow further west as a front stalls over the Midlands but here in the southeast it's thought to be likely to stay as rain.

 

After that, back to the double-digit highs for the weekend.

 

February is currently running at a mean temperature of 5.9C (compared to a 61-90 average of 3.9C). This will fall over the next three days, but the weekend will bring it back up again. Beyond that is less certain, but if it manages to stay at 5.5C or higher we'll have the warmest winter in recorded history.

 

Quite amazing, really.


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#18
Retron

Posted 02 March 2016 - 04:33 AM

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It's all over now (what with it being spring and all)... and the final result is a snowless winter for many and the 2nd warmest going back to 1659. Hopeless, roll on next winter!

 

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2016/winter-statistics

 



#19
iFred

Posted 09 March 2016 - 03:54 AM

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It's all over now (what with it being spring and all)... and the final result is a snowless winter for many and the 2nd warmest going back to 1659. Hopeless, roll on next winter!

http://www.metoffice...nter-statistics


I've been following the Met Office on Twitter and they seemed pretty down after what felt like a bust. The cold was there, just lacking any cooperation from moisture.