Models Uncertain, Cold and Snow?

January 13, 2012

Weather Forecasts

I wrote an article a couple of days ago dismissing the chances of any prolonged cold weather, and low and behold in recent days models have started to become more consistent with bringing much colder, and potentially snowier weather to the United Kingdom during the second part of the month, currently, we’re keeping an eye on the period 19th – 28th January.

The key date at the moment is the 19th January, this is when the models tend to divert and begin showing different outcomes which is making this period very hard to forecast, for the last couple of days the ECM has been forecasting cold weather coming in from the East fairly consistently with new support from “lesser” models, the GFS however has also been fairly consistent in modelling a less cold, but more unsettled pattern during the period, the UKMO has been more of a half way house with cooler weather, but not as cold as the ECM, due to this, we’ll be focusing on the 18th in the charts below.






All three of the above models are for the same time frame, the UKMO and ECM are fairly similar in their evolution and positioning, whilst the GFS is fairly out on it’s own with a more pronounced Azores High. The lesser models are also more in line with the ECM in delivering colder weather to the United Kingdom.




So whilst this is a fairly difficult period to forecast with the huge differences in the short term between some of the models, there is an increasing trend towards colder weather with the strong consistency of the ECM, the slight trending of the UKMO towards the ECM and indeed, other models also now supporting a colder trend. I do think however it’ll be a good few days yet before the models come to any agreement/solution for beyond the 19th.

Forecast For Period: 14th-18th January

Under slack winds and a weak area of Low Pressure, temperatures will fall giving hard night time frosts, particularly across central areas with stubborn mist and fog during the mornings, this colder weather will last until roughly Tuesday before seeing a brief milder period. Highs of 6c early in the period, rising to 10c towards the end of this period as winds switch to a Westerly.

Forecast for Period: 19th – 24th January

An area of Low Pressure passing to the North of Scotland will switch winds round to a more North-Westerly direction once again bringing temperatures down to the seasonal average, perhaps slightly below in the North very early on in this period. This period now becomes very uncertain, between the 20-21st, Low Pressure looks likely to undercut a weak area of High Pressure developing to our North and this will begin to draw in much cooler weather from the East, however due to conflicting model outputs, confidence on this is low. One possible outcome is more much colder, Easterly winds to develop perhaps giving some areas their first snow flurries, another possible outcome is for Low Pressure to push away the weak High to our North, giving us a continuation of cooler, unsettled weather, again, confidence is low during this forecast period with two possible outcomes.



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12 Comments on “Models Uncertain, Cold and Snow?”

  1. Chris Says:

    On weather website there is no indication its happenin, they are goin for a more dry settled cold area of high pressure stayin to the south allowin a more mobile west to south west or at times a northwest flow for the north, wat i want to knw is wat the models show isnt happenin on


  2. Cliff Fleming Says:

    Bring it on. Cant wait where has the lovely winter weather gone?


  3. michael haydon Says:

    You could be right now, as BBC Forecasts, are Now talking of the first real Cold snap Starting end part of this weekend 29th. jan 2012

    According to the Weather maps, The european Cold air mass, will start to push west to start pushing away the warm Atlantic air we be enjoying most of the Winter. how long this will last, I’m not sure, but if it digs in like last year, we could be in for a period of Freezing weather for a time.


    • Cliff Fleming Says:

      Hi Michael,

      thanks for your new update.
      I done a weather check on line and was told that next Friday 3rd Feb 2012 we are expecting snow around my local weather station at Aston Cantlow, Warwickshire.

      They also told me it would snow in Hertfordshire EN11 9PT area about 3 days later.


  4. michael haydon Says:

    Hi Cliff, well of course, an easterly Airflow , does not always mean snow, just very cold Winds, apart from east coast regions that seem to get most of any showers, I live other side of the pennines near preston, Fylde coast, so , we just get hard frosts and clear sunny periods. It all depends wether a small low pressure trough would develop and move through the cold air, but only ever seen 3 inches of snow in the Lancashire area in16 years I lived thiis way. East sussex where I come from originally, used to get large amounts of snow regular in 70s and 80s. Anyway, plenty of time for my local DIY stores getting out there plastic sledges again. Not many people realise the big freeze of 1963 didnt start until after a MIld Christmas:P


    • Cliff Fleming Says:

      Yes I know what you are saying.
      I come from London and have lived all over the world DJing in the 80’s and 90’s.
      Lived in some Hot places and very cold places in them years.

      Last winter we had snow here in Shelfield, Nr Aston Cantlow Warwickshire for over 3 weeks. Couldn’t get the car home Sat before Christmas and had to leave it up the lane.


  5. Kevin B Says:

    Hi all,well i did say earlier this winter there could be a sting in its tail and this could be the sting! Its still a little early to say for sure but this time next week could well be freezing! Whether its snow might be another matter,im going for dry sunny and frosty as there might be more south east than east to the wind direction.


  6. michael haydon Says:

    Seems there’s a battle looming, with That eastern Airflow , maybe undercutting the Atlantic warm Low pressure area or is it a front?, approaching ireland.

    Anyway, Im rather Excited, because the battle is supposed to take place right above lancashire!! How far the wintry weather gets as far as eastern Britain, no one really knows, but this is a classic Scenario, For heavy Snow, and seen it in Sussex and kent many years ago, when I got interested in metorology. if theres a stand off, and the Two Airmasses stay put, then this could get very interesting, as that will dump Snow for many hours!! on other hand, if warm front wins, behind will turn to rain, But then, it could get pushed back again by the weight of the heavier cold air, steadily encroaching, which could then drop more snow, or it could push the cold air right back, then it will turn to rain, But I dont think so, the charts I have seen today, look like the easterly flow will take over. One thing which is going to be paramount, as to amount of snow and wind chill, is of course the Strength of the wind & wind chill effect, so all in all, an interesting Weekend coming I think. What say you?


  7. Martyn Flynn Says:

    Who knows?


  8. Martyn Flynn Says:

    It does seem exciting doesn’t it!


    • michael haydon Says:

      Don’t you love our UK Newspapers? lol

      Today I see the Daily Mirror Headline “From Russia With Glove”, warning of, not one, but 4 weeks of Total Siberian freeze up!!! As danial says, there are many scenarios out there right now, Im not metor’ist, and no good at maths, I go by my instincts. Ever since I was a nippper, always had this strange connection to the weather physically. meaning I can smell rain, especially in summer several hours before, I always get a bad tummy or head ache and Lethargy before a thunderstorm 4-6 hours before. I have lived by the sea all my life, and as an sea angler for many of those years, Its something that has taught me about coastal Micro climates, whats real fog or Sea Mist. I also learnt about, how, in humid weather, A visit to a beach where waves are breaking, releases negative Irons, which make you feel better, Positive ones, make you feel yuk!! Anyway, looks like a genuine nightmare for Forcasters, Met office issuing a Snow warning for our western fringes on Monday, but They not talking about 4 weeks of Siberian Weather yet, although interestingly its not the Daily Express whos giving the End of the Uk headline, mini Ice age this time. 😛 Actually, for those wanting snow, if you were around in those 60s and 70s Winters, even I had enough of trudging through 12 inches of snow for up to 2 weeks at a time. One day, as a lad of 15, I measured the snow on top of our Dustbin lid, it was 13 inches. Those were winters… hahaha!


      • Cliff Fleming (@clifffleming) Says:

        Winter 62/63 was very bad snow. I was only a few weeks old and although to your to remember I was told the snow was mega.

        70’s I remember some very bad snow, very hot long summers.
        81 winter was cold, snow and deep drifts.

        Love this weather we have in the UK.
        Ive lived in hot sunny places not to rain for 6 months but when it did I was splashing around in puddles like a little kid. I was 22 at the time. lol


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