Less Cold Then Very Cold

December 8, 2010

Weather Forecasts

You would  be forgiven in thinking this cold winter weather has finally been shifted this weekend as High Pressure builds in, temperatures look likely to recover to the dizzy heights of 5-7c across much of the country so if you do still have lying snow/ice this is expected to thaw this coming weekend. However as we move into next week current indications continue to suggest the colder weather will return.

At the moment High Pressure is developing over the United Kingdom and this will temporarily shift the colder air Eastwards and replace it with slightly milder air, though as we move through the weekend and into next week the area of High Pressure that brought us the less cold air will begin to build North-Westwards into the Atlantic and up towards Greenland, once again creating a block in the Atlantic and forcing colder air South and West across Europe and towards the UK.

High Pressure building into Greenland creating a "block"

Although colder air will begin to push across the United Kingdom early next week, the much colder air looks more likely to push in from around the 16th onwards as High Pressure really develops towards the North-West of the country, perhaps one of the more impressive blocks I’ve seen with a High Pressure cell reaching 1060MB which is really quite impressive. The models we’re seeing at the moment are supported by the teleconnections, the Arctic Oscillation is being forecasted to drop into a fairly deep negative and this suggests Low Pressure over the Arctic being replaced with High Pressure. You can see this indicated by the red lines on the chart below.

And finally, if we take a quick look at the GFS Computer Model Ensembles we can see that the mean (white line) drops below the -5c line from around the 14th December and beyond and when this happens, any precipitation that does fall will likely fall as snow.

So after a less cold weekend with temperatures recovering to around average for some areas, it will turn much colder as we move through into next week as high pressure pushes North-West into the Atlantic and towards Greenland bringing back the colder air from the North or East. The main question when cold is mentioned is “Will there be snow?” it’s looking likely that snowfall will return to the forecasts but how much and where is something that cannot be answered until closer to the time. But certainly the risk of snowfall does increase beyond 16th December and towards the Christmas period.



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17 Comments on “Less Cold Then Very Cold”

  1. Stuart Says:

    Can it last to Christmas and beyond? Here’s hoping so.


  2. john Says:

    do you think it will last till xmas
    and do you think it will be as cold or colder then the freeze we have now


  3. Snow mad Says:

    Hope the cold snap returns with lots of snow. We had very little last when everyone around us got loads. Fingers crossed for a proper white Xmas


  4. Daniel Smith Says:

    Hi John. I think the chances of the cold spell lasting through until Christmas look good, the Northern Blocking the computer models are showing is very extensive and will take a while to shift. We’re looking at a 10-15 cold spell at the very least. I think some areas are likely to see a White Christmas this year, but which areas will not be known until closer to the time.


  5. john Says:

    OK thanks for that sounds like good cold times ahead for all us cold snow lovers


  6. john Says:

    looks like it could be a mild xmas day
    models seem to agree on it now


  7. Stuart Says:

    Are these models which go beyond 10 days accurate? I don’t like the idea of a mild christmas. If mild air arrives from the south DURING CHRISTMAS it could bring a white christmas (however it would be likely to stay dry here in Scotland). Hopefully there is plenty of snowfall and lying snow which will last to the Big Day.


  8. Daniel Smith Says:

    There does seem to be some agreement on milder air coming in towards Christmas now, though in my experiance the models often underestimate the strength of the cold.


  9. john Says:

    if the models today where correct i think cold would arrive around 16th and be gone by 23 or even 22nd
    hopefully it wont


  10. Daniel Smith Says:

    I think we’ll probably see the models extending the cold spell at least 3 days further, the breakdown to the cold spell we’ve just came out of was showing for the beginning of this month and it kept being pushed back. The cold definitely returning later next week


  11. Stuart Says:

    What about lying snow for Christmas Day. Can it last?


  12. Snow mad Says:

    Where has all the snow gone. Most of the weather site are saying no snow


  13. Snow mad Says:

    Why do we talk about things that are not going to happen. All it does is make you look incompetent and me stupid for passing on the information


    • john Says:

      looks even worse today cold weather only lasts 2 days or so maybe even less


      • Snow mad Says:

        Many thanks John was looking forward to a possible White Xmas instead will have to settle for a another mild damp one. Do you think the winter will return as I a skiing in Scotland in February this weeks mild weather has melted a lot


  14. Daniel Smith Says:

    Hi Snow Mad. I’m not sure what you mean when you say

    “Why do we talk about things that are not going to happen”

    The weather models and therefore weather forecasts are a guide to the most likely outcome. When a forecast is put out it cannot be taken as fact, especially when it’s still several days away because things can change very quickly. I assume when you say websites are no longer showing snow you mean the post code forecasts? If thats the case, these are computer generated with no human input and they change whenever the computer models update, so they are generally not reliable outside of a 3 day time frame.

    At the moment, theres very little support from the models beyond three days which makes medium range forecasts almost impossible. I’ll be issuing an update on the situation a little later on today.


  15. Stuart Says:

    I don’t get why people are underestimating the cold spell. I’m sure it will last for a quite a while. Scotland today is cold, so you can say the Big Freeze is back. Thursday will be snowy here, it might rain further south. But after that it will be very cold. If it’s still wintry and cold by the 21st, I would say a white christmas with either falling or lying snow is on the cards. I think Scotland is very likely for a white christmas with either milder air arriving, milder air already arrived but wet snow falling, snow showers.


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