Sunday, 20 October 2013

An interesting year so far but has it got a surprise in store?

2013 so far has been a very interesting year from a weather perspective, a very cold spring (one of the coldest since records began) was followed by a warm dry summer with a heatwave in July lasting three weeks, most unusual in the modern era UK climate.

And As I write this three quarters of the way through the first Autumn month, I was compelled to do so because so far this autumn I have not needed to wear a coat for walking the dog , unless it was to keep me dry, indeed I have not even needed to wear a jumper and the way this month is going it could be a record breaking warm month.

The CET for Oct 1-19th is 12.9 deg C which is + 1.5 deg C more than the average, when checking back on my own records Hawley's mean is currently  12.7 deg C,  +2 deg C  on 2012 and as the forecast suggests wet and very mild until the end of the month I will likely break my own record.

So whats my view on winter 2013/14?

grass is loving the warmth and the wet, not much colour
 on the trees either.
I have been trawling daily through the various global forecasting models and I can see no clear signal or trends to suggest a colder or milder than average winter for the UK, It would   be easy to get sucked into the hype and the sensationalist Daily Express headlines predicting a long hard freeze but the truth is there is simply no scientific facts to back up those claims.

Given the extremes of this year mentioned above my own view is that within the three month winter period the UK could see two or three weeks of extreme winter weather, similar to December 2010 but when? I have no idea and that is just the way it should be.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

December 2012

Ever been to a well hyped restaurant and been underwhelmed by the food? or gone to see the latest blockbuster at the cinema and it failed to live up to expectations?  well that pretty well sums up the first winter month of 2012-13.
If you're a cold weather fan, snow in particular, then the internet forums were full of excitement in November to the level I have not experienced in recent years, with talk of massive northern blocking. displaced Polar Vortex, Arctic sea ice melt and early extensive snow cover in parts of Russia and Scandinavia, all favourable indications for an epic start to the winter proper, indeed even the media jumped on the bandwagon with sensationalist headlines proclaiming another December 2010 scenario.
water levels continue to rise
But December 2010 was a one in a hundred year event and was unlikely to be repeated only two years later, and so it proved to be.
It started cold enough and up to mid-month it was slightly below average but then the Atlantic unleashed upon this poor island wave after wave of low pressure systems with the same determination and ferocity that has become the norm in what has turned out to be the wettest year on record for the UK (and that was after  drought restrictions were imposed in March!)
So no winter wonderland on Christmas day (again) and as I write this on the first day of 2013 the new year has brought with it a respite from the constant rains and it certainly was a pleasure to see blue skies today.
So what about the prospects for January?  the first two weeks look to be mild and much drier, thereafter things look like getting interesting due to the SSW (sudden stratospheric warming) that is currently about to get underway.
SSW's are scientifically proven to send cold Arctic air over the UK, but how cold and how snowy is anybody's guess but it sure looks interesting at this point.

                                                                                   Hawley stats:
Christmas day. Wet, windy and mild.Yuk!
High temp:        13.2
Low temp:         -6.1
Mean Temp:      5.5
Rain:                  45.2 mm
High wind:         41 mph

*not the coldest or wettest since my records began in 2005, an average month.

Friday, 21 December 2012

November 2012

The fact that I am writing this review 0n Dec 21st shows that there is not much to say about November other than wet, cold and depressing!
The only good thing to say is that its the last month of Autumn and with that my thoughts are wind and rain banished to be replaced by frost and snow as we head into winter proper.
As I am writing this 3/4 0f the way through December has that been the case? well no, but it has been cold and certainly colder than last year.

Hawley stats:
Mean Temp:          7.1c (3rd coldest since 2005)
High temp:            16.1c
Low Temp:           -3.4c
Rain:                      59.4 mm (3rd wettest since 2005)
High Wind:            42mph

Eng and Wales stats:
Temp anom:           -0.6c
Rain%                    128%
Sun %                    110%

Friday, 9 November 2012

October 2012 summary

October is my least favourite of the autumn months and this year bolsters that view, with the clocks going back that confirm endless dark evenings, muddy fields for dog walking and 25 days of varying rainfall this month has certainly been miserable and cold, -0.5c below the SE average and with only 78% sunshine. Yuk!
But from here things should get more interesting as the weather in November can give good indications of what the winter months may hold.
So goodbye October, don't rush back....

Hawley Stats:
Mean Temp      10.5 ( second coldest since 2005)
High temp:        18.2
Low temp:         -1.5
Rain:                  64mm (highest since 2005)
high wind:          33mph

SE England Stats:
Temp anomaly:    -0.5
Rain %:                137%
Sun %:                  78%

Thursday, 11 October 2012

September 2012

The grim summer of 2012 tried to make amends by stretching warmth into the first month of Autumn,  the first half of the month was pleasantly warm and bright with sunshine amounts one couldn't grumble about but typical of this summer it wasn't to last and soon after mid-month the rains returned and the temperatures fell in sympathy.
The sun did shine in Sept
In terms of statistics for the month the most interesting is the mean temperature of 14.0C, this was the coldest September since I started keeping records in 2005 and 0.1 colder than the second coldest which was in 2010.
Why is this interesting? 2010 had the coldest December for one hundred years in the UK, with the first snows hitting in late November so could we be heading for a repeat?
As I am writing this on October 11th there is plenty of excitement on the weather forums about the prospect of a hard winter, more so than I can remember at this early stage of Autumn, and this excitement is being fuelled by medium and long range forecasting models indicating northern blocking which if came to fruition could plunge the UK into an early taste of winter, indeed its entirely possible that some low lying areas of Scotland could see its first snow this month and its not even winter!
Anyway more on this on my next blog early November.
Apple and Lexi happy that the crop has been cut at last!

Hawley Stats:
Mean Temp:            14.0
High Temp:             29.6
Low:                        2.7
Rain:                        40.4 mm
High Wind:              31 mph
Dominant wind dir:  West

SE England Stats:
Rain                          98%
Sun:                          127%                      
Temp Anom:            -0.7

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

August & Summer summary 2012

As the shadows grow longer and the daytime heat is hastily overtaken by the cool of the evening gloom, my thoughts turn to Autumn and of course winter, for me this is the most exciting time of the year, colourful displays by mother nature and farmers in fields collecting the harvest lead ones thoughts to frosty winter mornings and snow covered fields and roof tops.

But first how was summer 2012?

I have covered the months of June and July in previous blogs, which just leaves August, my favourite summer month for reasons other than the weather!
August was a much better month than the previous two with a welcome respite from the wave after wave of low pressure systems that characterised June and July ( and indeed spring)
A true (and rare) taste of summer hit mid-month with 3 days of temperatures hitting the late twenties and early thirties, and would you believe some of us were moaning that it was too hot!
The fact that I singled out three days really does highlight what a shocking summer this has been.
Official figures released by the Met Office confirm that this summer has been the wettest for a hundred years And one of the dullest with sunshine amounts much reduced.
When you consider that Spring 2012 was also one of the wettest on record then that is six months of dreadful weather, I blame the hosepipe ban!
So with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and most outdoor events a wash-out (Wimbledon having been very lucky for the most part) Summer 2012 will be one to forget from a weather perspective but at least we will remember Team GB and their stunning performances at the Olympics and Paralympics, imagine how miserable we would all be feeling if it wasn't for them!

Hawley Stats:

High Temp:    33.6
Low Temp:    7.7
Mean Temp:   17.9 (second warmest since 2005)
Rain:               32.4mm (second driest since 2005)
High Wind:     33mph  

SE temp anomaly: +0.9
Rain %                   68

Thursday, 16 August 2012

July 2012- not much improvement

Blue sky being somewhat rare this summer so far
The second month of summer only offered a slight improvement over the first, this courtesy of the Jet stream that moved further north than it had been and sat roughly mid-country. The jet stream had a buckle to our South West which was was still allowing low pressure systems to hit us from the atlantic.

A real taste of summer hit around the 22nd with temperatures soaring to the late twenty's and locally even higher and 6 glorious days of zero rainfall!

Mud tracks at the war and peace show, Hop Farm,
Paddock Wood, Kent
This brief respite only served to highlight what a shocking summer we are having in 2012, and despite those high temperatures July was the second coldest since I began keeping records in 2005 (marginally beaten by July 2011 by 0.2C and that was the coldest for quite a few years.

August will have to be exceptional to rescue the summer, and thats not looking likely!

Hawley Stats:
Mean Temp. 16.4
High.             31.1
Low.              7.9
High Wind.    32 mph

SE England Stats:
Temp anomaly: -1.1
Rain %.             176
Sun %                86