Preliminary 2013 Winter Forecast

Third and Final Winter Outlook Issued. Click Here to View

Winter Weather Outlook 2012/13 – Issue 2

Issue Date: 31st October

The general layout of this outlook will be similar to the first. I’ll start by taking a look at the various different drivers of our weather before taking a look at what various long range models are predicting before giving a brief summary/conclusion of  what the most likely outcome for this winter is.

Firstly i’ll take a look at Arctic Sea Ice levels. We’ve seen some rapid ice growth over the past few weeks with a fairly large jump in ice extent, we have however just had one of the largest ice melts on record and this added solar absorption in the polar regions is thought to cause an increase in Northern Blocking, however at this stage it’s pure speculation.

We’re still currently the lowest on record ice extent wise for this time of year

Next I’m going to take a look at Eurotion, Russian and Scandinavian snow cover, whilst disputed by some, there is an idea that rapid snow cover during the course of October across Russia, Europe and in particular Scandinavia can lead to an increased chance of colder weather for us here in the UK. Taking a look at the charts and historic data, we currently have record breaking snowfall cover for this time of year. Over the last week we’ve seen rapid snowfall increases across the above mentioned areas.

Northern Hemisphere snow cover on October 19th

Northern Hemisphere snow cover on October 29th

Moving onto Solar Activity, something that has been largely popular with long range forecasters over the past couple of years. We’re still very much below where we should be this far into the cycle with the sun having remained very quiet since the first issue of the forecast. There’s now a lot of evidence which suggests low solar activity leads to an increased risk of blocked European winters.

Solar Activity forecast combined with real time observations. This cycle has been very quiet compared to the last solar cycle

Solar disk as of 29th October paints a very quiet, sluggish sun with very few sun spots

Onto the QBO and there isn’t much I can say that I didn’t say in the first forecast issue because the QBO remains unchanged.  Here’s what I said in the first forecast issue.

The Quasi-biennial oscillation or QBO for short is the measurement of the equatorial zonal winds between Westerly and Easterly in the tropical Stratosphere, the alternating phases develop at the top of the Statosphere and propagate downwards over a period of months. Current forecasts suggests going into this winter we’ll be in an Easterly Phase and this basically speaking can lead to a higher risk of Sudden Stratospheric Warming which I’ll go into in just a moment.

QBO – Whilst it might look complicated, it’s fairly easy to read this chart. The darker colours indicate a Westerly Regime and the White indicates an Easterly Regime, if we look at this year we can see the white moving slowly down towards the bottom of the graph, this is the Easterly Winds progogating downwards and tells us we’re in an Easterly Phase

Now onto perhaps one of the more important factors when it comes to long range forecasting, the Polar and Tropical Stratospheres. In my last update I mentioned the Polar Stratosphere but I couldn’t go into it very much due to how early in the season it was. We can now start to get a feel for how the Stratosphere is at the moment and how it may effect the first part of winter in particular.

Real time Polar Stratosphere Observation

The Polar Stratosphere has been calling as you’d expect moving into winter as the sun begins to set across the Polar Regions, we did see a period of below average temperatures but small warmings have recently brought us back up to around average, whilst not spectacular if you want a cold winter then being around average is far, far better than being below average. Current Polar Stratosphere forecasts, whilsts quite far out at the moment do suggest some warming around the middle of November across the Canadian side.

Stratosphere Temperature Forecast

Stratosphere Temperature Forecast

A warming of the Stratosphere helps to disrupt the Polar Vortex which can aid the development of blocking. Interestingly so far this Autumn the Polar Vortex has been very weak and very disrupted which is why we’re currently seeing high pressure over Greenland instead of a developing Polar Vortex. One of the reasons for this I think is down to the Tropical Stratosphere being well below average. This helps reduce the temperature differential between the Tropics and Polar regions which in turn, weakens both the Jet Stream & Polar Vortex.

Tropical Stratosphere temperatures are currently well below average, as this chart shows

With this in mind, I think the chances of a colder start to winter 2012/13 are increased.

Moving onto Sea Surface Temperatures things haven’t changed a great deal since the first issue. We still have that cold PDO across the Northern Pacific. We still have warmer waters, albeit slightly less warm than before in the Western Atlantic around Newfoundland, we still have warm Atlantic Tropic waters and we still have a cold pool of water to the North-East of Iceland. This very much favours a more negative NAO as we move into the first part of the winter season, we’re already seeing the effects with the NAO recently moving into the negative with little sign of going positive at the moment.

Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Chart

This takes us nicely into ENSO conditions across the Equatorial Pacific, we’ve seen some slight warming which perhaps hints towards an El Nino but it really is struggling to develop at the moment and it’s certainly a lot weaker than it was previously predicted to be. The latest predictions suggest we’re going to see a very weak El Nino or Neutral ENSO conditions as we move into the winter period, this looking increasingly likely to develop into a La Nina in the later and final stages of winter. With such a weak/neutral ENSO likely I think other factors already talked about above are going to be the real drivers, with ENSO taking more of back seat this winter.

Now that I’ve talked about some of the main drivers of our weather, I’m going to take a look at the longer range models to see what they’re showing and whether this correlates to the above.

Once again we’re going to start off with the JAMSTEC Model, I’m not going to be showing the Precipitation chart for all models because I find them to be fairly unreliable, I will instead be focussing on temperature predictions and pressure pattern predictions, I often find these to be more accurate. For the purpose of the forecast I’m going to be focussing on the period December – February.

JAMSTEC August Temperature Forecast Issue. The August issue of this model suggested average-below average temperatures across the UK this winter

JAMSTEC September Temperature Forecast Issue – The September issue followed on from the August issue with a prediction of average to below average temperatures

JAMSTEC October Issue – The latest update of this model has seen a big flip with Europe and the UK now predicted to be very much below average.

Whilst the model was consistent through it’s August and September updates, the latest update is much colder than it was previously predicting, this does tend to correlate with the previous discussed drivers. When it comes to Long Range models I like to look for consistency, this model may be picking up on a new trend, I’d like to see the November update to see whether that continues the cold forecast before making too much of a prediction based on this one model alone.

Next we’re going to take a look at the Met Office Probability Maps, when I issued the first forecast these charts were predicting a high probability of below average temperatures across the UK. This model is fairly difficult to explain so I’ll talk about exactly what it’s showing.

The first chart shows temperature probability. I’ve written below the predicted percentage is for a particular outcome based on this model.

Above Average – 0-20%

Average – 0-40%

Below Average – 60-80%

There’s quite a strong signal from this model for below average temperatures across the UK this winter. This model has been remarkably consistent in going for below average temperatures over the last few updates.

Met Office Temperature Probability Chart

Sticking with the Met Office charts we’re going to take a look at the Ensemble Mean Pressure chart. It suggests an increased risk of High Pressure to the North and East of the United Kingdom with quite an extensive blocking setup, this correlates very well to the strong signal for below average temperatures and also remains consistent with the previous updates.

Met Office Ensemble Pressure Chart

We’re now going to take a look at the Russian Model prediction. The temperature prediction chart below shows something quite different to what we’ve seen in previous updates and that’s a massive flip towards colder conditions across the UK & Europe with above average temperatures in the Atlantic and up into Southern Greenland. This is indicative of some sort of blocking feature.

I mentioned above that I like to look for consistency in these long range forecast models and up until now, this model was consistently forecasting above average temperatures so I think we need to take this model, like all other seasonal models with a big pinch of salt. It’s interesting to see it coming into line with some of the drivers of our weather though, nonetheless. Taking a quick look at the Russian Precipitation model we can see a large below average Precipitation anomaly being predicted over and around the United Kingdom.

Russian Model Precipitation Chart

We’re going to take a look at a model that wasn’t featured in the first outlook now and one that might be a little confusing at first but fairly easy to get your head around once you know what you’re looking at, this is the Brazilian Model. The key thing to remember for this chart is the colours appear to be the opposite to most models. Blues indicate high pressure and reds indicate lower pressure.

The chart below is the projected height anomalies for December, January and February. This model is predicting low pressure to our South and high pressure to our North, indicative of quite cold conditions across the UK during the winter months.

Brazilian Height Chart

This models temperature prediction doesn’t appear to follow the above charts prediction however and instead brings average temperatures across the UK, though I suspect it’s simply not picking up much of a signal either way.

The precipitation chart from this particular model however does go along with what the Height Anomaly chart shows and predicts below average precipitation to the North of the UK and above average precipitation to the South.

Now we’re going to take a look at the CFS charts. In the last update the CFS was predicting above average temperatures across Europe and Southern England, before I move onto those charts I want to take a look at the monthly 500MB pressure anomaly charts.

The December 500hPa anomaly chart suggests we’re going to see quite a large trough sitting just to the West of the UK with High Pressure across Northern parts of England, this is suggestive of above average temperatures along with some rather wet weather

The 500hPa anomaly chart for January suggests low pressure out in the Atlantic with high pressure over or just to the East of the UK, again indicative of perhaps above average temperatures

The 500hPa Anomaly chart for February suggests high pressure very much centered over Greenland with lower pressure centered to the South/South-West indicating a mixed month with milder and colder spells

Sticking with the CFS model we’re going to take a look at the temperature anomaly charts. These charts continue on from the last update with above average or average temperatures predicted for the UK & Europe.

CFS Temperature chart for December

CFS Temperature Chart for January

CFS Temperature chart for February

The CFS chart whilst consistent, is very much on its own with regards to predicting above average temperatures for the UK with a majority of models now going for a colder regime with blocking heights to the North. Even models which were previously predicting warmer conditions are now seemingly showing colder conditions for the UK this winter.

Conclusion and Thoughts

In the first issue I mentioned that the models predicting above average temperatures were causing me to be slightly more cautious than I usually would be in making a seasonal forecast. The drivers talked about during the first part of the forecast all point towards colder than average conditions for the UK this winter. If the Stratosphere does indeed warm like it’s predicted to during the middle half of November then we are likely to see a much colder December than we did last year with things becoming increasingly blocked.  The atmospheric drivers are seemingly primed towards much colder conditions and now that we’re seeing many of the Long Range models also trending that way, I’m now more optimistic about the UK experiencing a cold and potentially snowy winter.

The Stratosphere needs to be watched over the coming weeks but at the moment I think the first part of winter could be cold or at times very cold. The second half of winter of course a little too far out to forecast but I’d imagine things would be slightly milder with more Atlantic interludes.

Winter Weather Outlook 2012/13 – Issue 1

Issue Date: 21st September

Firstly, I’d like to take a look at the current Arctic Sea Ice Levels, this year we broke the 2007 record for ice minima and there has been some speculation that lower sea ice levels lead to colder European/UK winters, whilst this is pure speculation  at this stage with little scientific backing or research,  it does seem to tie in with our colder winters since the previous record breaking 2007 Ice Minima, bar 2011/12, whether this is simply a coincidence or not is something that’s yet to be seen, but I thought it might be worth mentioning.

Arctic Sea Ice Levels – Click to Enlarge

Arctic Sea Ice Levels – Click to Enlarge

Next I’d like to take a look at Solar Outputs, despite nearing a Solar Maximum sunspot activity is still very quiet compared to the more recent solar cycles, there’s gaining evidence and agreement within the scientific community to suggest lower solar activity lead to a more sluggish Jet Stream during the winter months, this in turn can leads to increased blocking in the higher latitudes which leads to cooler European/UK Winters.

Chart showing the number of sunspots compared to the predicted value – Click to Enlarge

Solar Activity Forecast/Real Time. Currently lower than the previous solar cycle

Current Sunspot Activity – Considering we’re nearing a solar maximum it’s very, very quiet

Next we’re going to take a look at something slightly more technical, but I’ll try and keep things simple. The Quasi-biennial oscillation or QBO for short is the measurement of the equatorial zonal winds between Westerly and Easterly in the tropical Stratosphere, the alternating phases develop at the top of the Statosphere and propagate downwards over a period of months. Current forecasts suggests going into this winter we’ll be in an Easterly Phase and this basically speaking can lead to a higher risk of Sudden Stratospheric Warming which I’ll go into in just a moment.

Westerly QBO = Positive Phase

Easterly QBO = Negative Phase

QBO – Whilst it might look complicated, it’s fairly easy to read this chart. The darker colours indicate a Westerly Regime and the White indicates an Easterly Regime, if we look at this year we can see the white moving slowly down towards the bottom of the graph, this is the Easterly Winds progogating downwards and tells us we’re in an Easterly Phase

Above I mentioned Sudden Stratospheric Warming, a warmer stratosphere is usually indicative of High Pressure, the warmer air can disrupt the seasonal Polar Vortex allowing heights to build, Sudden Stratospheric Warmings are thought to bring colder weather to the UK a few weeks after occurring and at this time of year it’s hard to get an idea of what state the Polar Stratosphere will be in come winter. The Stratosphere temperatures are however incredibly important and can often over ride other global signals, SSW events often lead to a Negative Arctic Oscillation, the AO is the measurement of pressure over the Arctic.

Positive AO = Low Pressure, strong Polar Vortex

Negative AO = High Pressure, Weak Polar Vortex

Whilst all other factors could be pointing towards a bitterly cold winter, if the Stratosphere temperature is below average the risk of prolonged cold weather is significantly lower. Below is a chart showing how the temperatures at 30hPa look at the moment, the temperature in the Stratosphere is currently spot on average for the time of year.

Polar Stratosphere Temperature – Click to Enlarge

Now we’re going to take a look at the Sea Surface Temperatures, these can have quite a large impact on where pressure patterns develop and they can actually help us determine whether or not a negative or a positive North-Atlantic Oscillation is likely, the NAO is the measurement of pressure in the Atlantic.

Positive NAO = Low Pressure, unsettled weather

Negative NAO = High Pressure, blocked, potentially cold weather

The current Sea Surface Temperatures are fairly impressive, the excess and record breaking Arctic Ice Melt has lead to a very cold pool of water to the North of the UK and East of Iceland. Northerly Winds in this region have helped push the cold Arctic water down towards the Atlantic. Cold Sea Surface temperatures around this area often hinder Low Pressure development and favour High Pressure development, High Pressure in this area would bring colder weather to the UK, thats not to say High Pressure WILL develop here, but there is an increased risk if this cold anomaly continues into the winter.

We also need to take a look towards the Western Atlantic, off of the coast of New Foundland and to the South of Greenland we have these very warm Sea Surface Temperatures, this area here is what we call the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation or AMO and this is currently in its warm phase, we also have another area of warmer weather further South to the West of Africa and when we see Sea Temperature Anomalies placed in this particular way a negative NAO is favoured, as we talked about earlier a negative NAO can lead to cooler, snowier weather during the winter months.

The above SST chart as well as showing what I’ve just talked about above, also shows the state of the Pacific at the moment and whether we’re in a La Nina or El Nino, at the moment things are fairly uncertain whether El Nino is going to start to develop, the NOAA chart shows that if it does develop it’ll be a very weak affair so I think a Neutral ENSO/Weak El Nino is likely as we go into the winter months and whist this in itself is unlikely to have a major effect on our weather, it will allow other signals to effect our weather more strongly than they would if the ENSO signal was stronger.

Another thing we can gleam from the chart above which is interesting is the Pacific decadal oscillation or PDO for short, this is shown by the area of blue, colder weathers in the center of the Northern Pacific, this goes through varying 30 year phrases of warm and cold, it’s currently in it’s cold phase and because El Nino is a measurement of warmer waters across the Pacific, having a cold PDO does tend to hinder El Nino development.

ENSO Forecast showing a weak El Nino is forecasted based on the Mean

Now that we’ve spoken about a few of the more technical drivers to our weather, what they mean and what potential conditions they could bring, I’m going to talk about something slightly less technical and that’s the Long Range Model Forecasts. It’s important to remember that these models change fairly frequently and are subject to wild swings within their outputs, they are highly experimental and at this stage it’s really about spotting trends and consistency within the outputs rather than the what models themselves actually show, the drivers talked about above will probably offer more of an idea than the models below but I think it’s important to talk about what they show.

Firstly I’d like to talk about the JAMSTEC Model, to get a feel for this models consistency I’m going to post it’s July, August and September  issue for the period December – February. All three are fairly consistent in what they show which is an average-slightly below average winter temperature wise

July Issue

August Issue

September Issue

For the same December-February period I’m going to post the Precipitation predictions, what we see is fairly interesting. The model is forecasting average or below average rainfall across the UK with below average rainfall to the West of the United Kingdom so this is perhaps indicating High Pressure being out in the Atlantic more often than not during the winter months.

July Rainfall Issue

August Rainfall Issue

Whilst the model does change between the two issues slightly, the overall trend from the model is for average or below average rainfall, with average or slightly below average temperatures during the period December – February.

Next we’re going to take a look at the Met Office probability model, whilst this is fairly difficult to explain the chart itself I will lay out exactly what the model is showing to make it easier to anyone who’s only just getting into the realms of the weather models. Like above, we’re going to be looking at the period December – February.

This first model is for temperature, and what it’s showing is this;

Above Average: 0-20% so at this present time, there is around a 20% chance of an above average winter

Average: 20-40% so at this present time, there’s a slightly higher chance that we’ll see an average winter than we will an above average winter

Below Average: 60-80% which means, overall, the signal is for a below average winter, however we have to remember there is also a fairly good chance that winter will also be average, going by this chart alone.

Sticking with the Met Office charts, we’re going to take a look at Ensemble Predicted Pressure Patterns, the first graph below is for the period November through to January and as we can see the model predicts Higher Pressure to be located in the Atlantic stretching up to Southern Greenland with lower heights over Europe, this is generally indicative of a cold, North or North-Easterly flow.

This second graph is going to again look at pressure but instead will be for the period December through until February, again it is an Ensemble mean run as above – This chart shows a slightly similar pattern although with High Pressure in the Atlantic closer to the West of the UK and low heights across Europe not quite so pronounced, this generally indicates dry, settled and probably cold weather

I’m going to post the Met Office Precipitation charts now, although unfortunately they don’t really give us a clear signal at the moment, I often find the models aren’t very good at handing overall precipitation amounts. The chart below shows an equal statistical chance of Above Average, Average and Below average rainfall

I’m now going to take a look at and discuss the Beijing Climate Center long range computer model. The chart below covers the period December – February and shows us pressure anomalies at 500hPa,  there’s quite an extensive high pressure system across Western Greenland and into Canada but lower pressure over the United Kingdom suggesting a very mixed weather pattern.

Beijing Climate Center

The temperature prediction from this website is going for warm being indicated by the oranges, this would generally make sense considering the 500hPa signal for low pressure.

Beijing Climate Center Temperature Prediction

The precipitation signal from this model, as you’d expect given the above to charts is going for quite a wet winter season

Beijing Climate Center Rainfall Prediction

Next we’re going to take a look at the CFS Model, again like the above models this model is also subject to wild swings within it’s output and at this stage shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

We’ll start with the Pressure Anomaly chart for the period December, January and February. The model is forecasting higher pressure down over the Mediterranean and lower pressure to the North of the UK, this indicates a mild and wet Westerly airflow.

Below is the temperature prediction for the months December, January and February, at this moment in time the model is predicting above average temperatures in the South and average in the North

CFS Temperature Anomaly

Below is the chart showing the precipitation signal, the model is forecasting above average rainfall for much of the country during the period December – January

CFS Precipitation Anomaly

Conclusion & Thoughts

If I were to base my thoughts on the atmospheric drivers talked about in the first section I’d be inclined to say that we’re heading for a below average winter with the potential for some cold, snowy outbreaks. The Weak ENSO, -NAO primed Sea Surface Temperatures combined with Low Solar Activity and a Easterly QBO really does point towards increased amounts of blocking across the Northern Hemisphere and a weaker Polar Vortex. However I also have to factor in the various Long Range Computer models.

At this current time I’m expecting winter temperatures to be slightly below average with more snowfall than we saw last winter. The models throwing up the milder patterns, despite being against current background signals do throw some caution into the mix which is why I’m holding back slightly on going for a significantly cold winter. I also have to think about the fact that we don’t really have an idea about how the Stratosphere will be this winter, as mentioned earlier the stratosphere can make or break a winter despite what seems like very good background signals.

My next update will be issued on October 31st, by then we’ll have a much clearer idea of the Stratosphere and I’ll hopefully be able to say with a lot more confidence, at least for the first part of winter, whether we can expect to see cold and snowy weather.

60 Comments on “Preliminary 2013 Winter Forecast”

  1. kieran Says:

    yay really hope it snows in the UK hard to ride with out it -_-


  2. Chris Mortimer Says:

    First time on your site and I would like to say I am very impressed with the way you have explained the rationale behind your thoughts. No evidence of hysterical “snowmageddon” guess-casts, just understandable explainations. I look forward to your thoughts going forward and many thanks. (I’m just a keen amateur btw)


  3. Jay Rush Longhurst Says:

    well done mate .very well put .thanks very help ful


  4. zak williams Says:

    Seems spot on ive been looking at a french model
    which suggests a very hard period ahead.


    • John Smith Says:

      Yes, I have been running my fingers over a French model also and all the indications are that it will be hot and moist in the southern hemisphere. This pattern usually results in short sudden bursts of percipitation across more northerly peaks.

      To fully appreciate this cycle its best to be up at the crack of dawn.


      • davidbryn Says:

        the monthly cycle in my opinion predicts floods


  5. stevester8308ve Says:

    I wouldnt beat yourself up about getting it wrong last year because as far as i can see nobody got it right . But ive still my fingers crossed for a real cold and snowy winter like 2010 . We had -19.5 here just outside Belfast on our coldest night just the perfect temperature for my bottle of JD buried in the snow at the back door lol .


  6. Debbie Stec Says:

    Really impressed. Look forward to the October update.


  7. Suzie Says:

    Hoping for a cold and snowy winter loved the winters of 2009 & 2010 🙂


    • Tyler Says:

      Me to no school 😀


    • Les, Belfast Says:

      You can clear my drive way for me each day if we have another snowy winter. It’s on a slope, so if there is snow or ice, I can’t get the car out.


      • Dawn Says:

        Sounds like a great excuse to stay in!


  8. LeeUK Says:

    Hi Daniel. An excellent, and thoroughly detailed outlook. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    I am part of the admin team on, and we’re wondering if you would be interested in sharing your thoughts with us on the forum? We’d be delighted to have someone of your expertise on our forum.

    Kind regards,


    • Daniel Smith Says:

      Thanks I appreciate that!

      If I get some time I’ll pop over and have a look 🙂


  9. John Rowlands Says:

    Very nicely done. Objective, wide-ranging consideration of the evidence available.


  10. Chris Mortimer Says:

    Interesting peice on Anthony Watts web site (wattsupwiththat) regarding Sudden Stratospheric Warming – link below


    • Daniel Smith Says:

      Thanks Chris,

      I’ll give it a read through when I get a bit of spare time


  11. Daniel Says:

    There seems to be some very sad individual who has given every single post on here a thumbs down….. LOL! Good work Daniel, keep the forecasts coming.


  12. Kate Says:

    Thanks Dan – a very interesting and informative read – the detail you went into is fab for amatuers (sp) like me. I look forward to the next update


  13. Bob Says:

    Saved this to my favourites… How refreshing to see someone admit they got it wrong and come back positively with a fresh outlook!! (excuse the weak pun)


    • Daniel Smith Says:

      All you can do is take it as a learning experience – I don’t see the point in trying to cover up a forecast that goes wrong, people catch onto things like that very quickly, I always try to be as open and honest as I can when it comes to forecasting, after all I do it for my own fun and enjoyment! Glad you’re enjoying the site 🙂


  14. Marcella Divine Says:

    An interesting forecast. UK weather drives me mad at the best of times but I find it easier to bare when I understand the science behind it. Might get myself a SAD lamp this year!!


  15. B Says:

    Thanks for that … Will stay tuned … Think i’ll go ahead and buy a tent to pitch in the living-room and keep me cozy, just in case 🙂


  16. suzanne Says:

    more snow than we saw last year! That would not be hard to beat. We saw 2 days of snow last winter in Aberdeen. Sketchy forecast at best really. As mentioned long range is not very accurate. We have a standing joke up here in the North: forecasters say severe winter, we pack away our jackets/boots. forecasters say mild winter, we look out our skiis 😉


  17. Tony Says:

    Thanks Daniel,
    A very insightful, informative and thought provoking read, I will continue to follow with great interest.


  18. brounosgr Says:

    Hello, this is a very interesting read – for someone who is weather obsessed!


  19. Tyler Says:

    I really hope we ( the uk ) get so much snow this year esspecaly at the beging and end of the winter. I have found this verry helpfull and i have bookmarked this page aswell as favrouted it( sorry about bad spelling im dexlexic) thanks 🙂


  20. Ali Says:

    Hi, was looking forward to your next Winter forecast (yesterday)?


    • Ali Says:

      Doh! I clearly cant read or I am living a month ahead of time! Sorry


  21. Ray Tooley Says:

    I re-read your post on how last year’s Winter forecast went ‘spectacularly wrong’. I know that the weather was,for the mostpart,unusually mild. However,your forecast was correct: a huge area of Northern and Central /Western Europe was plunged into intensely bitter conditions for quite some considerable time. I remember an occasion when some of this cold air filtered across the UK for a very brief period,but was pushed away again. The point I’m trying to make here is this: the potential for a very cold Winter as you predicted was spot on,but Britain being an island,it doesn’t take much to alter our weather quite considerably. Just look at the searing temperatures recorded in parts of Europe this year,whilst generally speaking we’ve had a wet,cool,cloudy and breezy year on the whole!
    But I can tell you one thing: I think we WILL get a severe Winter this year,’coz I can just feel it in my water…


  22. tim mather Says:

    i found this site because ive been trying to prove my 93 yr old granmother is off her rocker for thinking we are going to get arctic weather this winter. the basis for her prodiction is the large amount of spiders in her from yours and others prodictions i think i may have to eat some humble pie!!


    • Fraser Cormack Says:

      93,,,, im going with her forecast bet its spot on


    • Daniel Smith Says:

      Interestingly I was talking to a friend of mine this time last year who mentioned that there were more spiders around than usual in the last couple of years, last winter of course turned out to be above average but I think it’s something that should be monitored to see whether there is anything in it!


      • BobAJob Says:

        We seem to have a very ‘spidery’ garden (in a small village out in the sticks) and I have often noticed over the years that just prior to cold weather (ie a few days) they seem to move in closer to the house, eventually moving in with us – much to my arachnaphobic wifes displeasure! I always assumed they were sensitive to changes in pressure and humidity that warned of impending cold weather, but maybe it’s just coincedence!


        • Jonathan Says:

          i hate spiders!!


  23. kwikki Says:

    Excellent detail. However as a horse racing fan I hope you’re wrong!


  24. alec w Says:

    Seen some really daft forecast for winter 2012-13.
    I got last winter spot on.
    This winter very average.
    worst bit of winter this side of xmas.
    No silly minus 10 frosts for weeks etc
    Winter of cold snaps not blocks.
    Next summer early spring, then crap again.
    I use Swallow/swift data, never far out.


  25. Chris Mortimer Says:

    For anybody interested there is a radio event on blogtalkradio (link below) featuring Joe Bastardi and Joe D’Aleo. Fairly early on in the interview, Joe B states his concern for the up-coming UK winter and specifically mentions an expected Arctic incursion in the next 12 – 15 days. The piece is, of course, very American in its style but stick with it. UK bit is around 8 mins.–wise-guys-of-weather–joe-bastardi-joe-daleo


    • B Says:

      …. ‘but stick with it’ …. haaaa 😀


  26. syncopated666 Says:

    agreed with the other replying posters. A well described breakdown of data that would be too complicated for most of us mere mortals to understand.

    I eagerly await your oct 31 update 🙂



  27. Phil Says:

    A really interesting read , although a lot of it was technical thanks for explaining it where possible for us laymen . I learned a lot thanks again .


  28. Chris Says:

    Very well put, Looking forward to 31st Oct report thanks


  29. Dawn Says:

    First time on this site and very impressed. Enough scientific detail without overstating the situation. Will now be a regular visitor. Look forward to the update on the 31st.


  30. Jonathan Says:

    Brill, i hope your right. last year we had geared ourselves up for a cold one and it never came (we have a business which relies far to much on any adverse weather). Keep up good work. ps ive no excuse to stay in 4WD vehicle!! ;o(


  31. Eddie Says:

    Far to mauch waffle and not enough substance, all i wanted was an insight into what we may be expecting this winter not an exact fact of how it will be, as you stated it is near impossible to predict.


    • Daniel Smith Says:

      Sorry you wasn’t happy with the forecast – I like to back up what i’m saying with some science, if you look at the bottom of the forecast you’ll see a general overview of what i’m expecting, I certaintly haven’t stated what I have said is fact


  32. Twistedmoss Says:

    First time on this site. Very impressed with the way that you back up your theories with scientific data and the way that you are able to explain it to a novice like myself. I also like that you admit when you got it wrong, unlike so many other forecasters who will gloat when right, but not mention and even hide forecasts that they get wrong. I will now be a regular visitor.


  33. Ben Mills Says:

    Brilliant forecast, other models such as the GFS has been going f


  34. Ben Mills Says:

    Brilliant forecast, other models such as the GFS has been going for f


  35. Ben Mills Says:

    Brilliant forecast the gfs is also going for a blocking in the atlantic letting a north to north to north easterly fl


  36. Ben Mills Says:

    Brilliant forecast, other models such as the GFS has been going for for a cold period at the end of november and december with a blocking in the atlantic giving arctic and siberian blasts to the uk with widespread snow in most places. So hope it snows!!!! 😀


  37. klaud uMaD BrO! Says:

    im loving it cant wait for it to snow:)


  38. michael haydon Says:

    Good to see some interest in Danials details, which, as a madcap Garden C oastal meterology buff, is a tad to scientific for an old un like me now, But then I seen Normal winters each year in seventies and very early eighties with our snow chains on and off for most of those winters even In places such As Dover, Hastings and Eastbourne, which have very high Downland and steep hills, making any driving almost impossible, but in those days, motorways werent any where near the Coast, and most people took there handbrakes off, put the car on blocks, filled it with the antifreeze of the day, and covered up the whole car in a tarpulin, until the spring. Most laid up there car for the winter.

    Now we have, as seen by some maps already, snow cover already starting to spread from Arctic hemisphere. The Piece danial says here, is actually part of what happened to Hurricane “sandy” Surely “The day after Tommorow” storms, which ironicly in the film did hit the Eastern Seaboard, but of course with end of world heights of storm surge , which was done just to make it look like a doomsday Scenario.

    “A warming of the Stratosphere helps to disrupt the Polar Vortex which can aid the development of blocking. Interestingly so far this Autumn the Polar Vortex has been very weak and very disrupted which is why we’re currently seeing high pressure over Greenland instead of a developing Polar Vortex. One of the reasons for this I think is down to the Tropical Stratosphere being well below average. This helps reduce the temperature differential between the Tropics and Polar regions which in turn, weakens both the Jet Stream & Polar Vortex.”

    The above , illustrates, why Hurricane Sandy, did not go straight into cooler waters of the Atlantic, and die off.

    The blocking in greenland, just wouldnt Allow sandy to migrate the usual way, so It could only go one way, and that was head straight for NY, and as it did that, it picked up a lot of lovely heat from oceanic waters after cuba, which is still several degrees higher than it normally is, around 20%-27%C. How it became 1000 miles across, I dont have the answer too, apart from mans intereferance and carbon emmisions, still not meeting targets set almost a decade ago.

    My Friends even in lower parts of Canada, are now seeing blizzards from the Northen edge of the downgraded sandy, even up to and past theGreat lakes, which indeed actually help precipitation of snow, because of the moisture along with the Winter cold front , now fimly embedded into Northen Canada. My friend is already shovelling out her car South of Edmonton, which is early even for them. USA Climatologists suggest, these events, due to the blocking in greenland will increase the likelyhood of Snowy,conditions,not just in USA but Northern Europe too. yes, there has been an all time melt of the Artic ice shelfs this past year or so, but seeing theres A sudden rise in Arctic ice formation, will give any weather forcaster, or even the latest Climate models A hard time trying to predict what this winter will bring!

    We have a soggy Halloween in UK, not a ghoul to be seen tonight,shame for the kids;(


  39. paul jupe Says:

    Too many if/buts/maybe’s for my liking however an impressive take on what may happen and brave of you to issue this considering last years c*** up of a winter forcast


  40. loki Says:

    O no, I can’t see the Oct 31st update yet :-[


    • Daniel Smith Says:

      Really? What can you see? I’ve labled it as “issue 2”, maybe try refreshing the page a couple of times and see whether or not that solves the problem?


  41. John Says:

    V goo thank u


  42. Ian Haskell Says:

    Great Site, I think you should really push this it is excellent and be encouraged that this was the best place i found on the entire internet for any sort of information about the winter coming up. I like how you did a summary to help people like me who don’t no the technical side of thing to help us understand. I look forward top the next update at the end of November, Have you got a personal twitter account? Thank you for your hard work.


  43. Rachel Says:

    So it’s gonna snow for 2012 for christmas


  44. scarecrow78 Says:

    Very interesting forecast, and thanks for taking the time for explaining how you came to your conclusions. It’s a refreshing change from some “forecasts” I’ve seen elsewhere.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s