UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

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Simon Culling
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UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

As if by good timing as we have move into meteorological winter, the weather is turning colder and this trend will continue well into next week. The last couple of days have been rather foggy over England + Wales as we have been in a rather flabby area of high pressure, and there has been little or no wind to mix things up. Here in Tiverton, yesterday (Thurs 1st Dec) was sunny after the morning fog cleared around 10am but the temperature only reached 7°C despite the sunshine. Fog rolled-in from the east around 3:30pm and this persisted into the evening. However, the fog cleared later and we have dawned today (Fri 2nd Dec) mostly clear and frosty - local sites to me have fallen to at least -3°C, so a decent white frost.

There has been a considerable build of pressure to our NE (Scandinavia to Siberia) in the last week and the latter area is experiencing almost record cold for the time of the year. We are now beginning to draw an easterly flow off the continent, but the source of the air is more central Europe rather than further north, so it will be chilly rather than bitter. We will see a run of rather cloudy and cold days through the weekend and into next week with a few showers to eastern areas - no snow yet to where anyone lives! Beyond the middle of next week (7th Dec onwards) the models diverge, but the majority are suggesting another build of high pressure but over Greenland this time, and this will turn the winds to the NE or N and bring the colder air south into the UK. If this happens, we will be looking at daytime temperatures near to freezing and some snow.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The forecast above is going to plan and the colder air is just about arriving in the far north of Scotland this evening (Tues 6th Dec). This great graphic from the Met Office shows the predicted drop in the freezing level as the colder spreads south over the next couple of days - unfortunately no precipitation down here in the SW to take advantage.

https://twitter.com/metoffice/status/16 ... 5107578882

Today has been a nice day here in Tiverton with the overnight Sc cloud clearing away mid-morning to give plenty of sunshine this afternoon, although the temperature only lifted one degree from the overnight low to 6°C in the early afternoon. I am not, at the moment, expecting any snowfall here in the SW early in the coming cold spell, but next week has quite a wide spread of options in the model output. For the coming few days frost will be the main issue with a run of cold nights to come from tonight. We will see the first <-10°C recording of the winter in the next few days.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

A much colder regime has established itself over the UK and looks set to continue well into next week. The weather has generally been dry with plenty of sunshine for most and the snow has been restricted to NE Scotland and few of the higher hills near to the coasts where showers have come in off the sea. There have been some sharp frosts in more western parts where the skies have been clearer. Nationwide minimums for the last few days have been:

Wednesday 7th December -6.0°C at Bewcastle (Cumbria)
Thursday 8th December -8.9°C at Shap Fell (Cumbria)
Friday 9th December -9.0°C at RAF Benson (Oxfordshire)

Here in Tiverton, we had a sharp frost this morning (Fri 9th Dec) with a minimum of -5°C and plenty of hoar deposits. The day was partly cloudy with sunny spells and a max of just 3°C. As I type (4:45pm) the frost is already re-forming and it will be just as cold again by tomorrow morning.

The CET for December was 3.2°C (-1.4°C) up to the 8th and the EWR was 6mm up to the 7th, which is 6% of the monthly average of 104mm.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The cold weather has continued in the UK and we had a surprise snowfall here in Tiverton on Saturday (10th Dec) morning. The winds had backed more to W/NW overnight and this brought some showers into Devon from the southern Celtic Sea around breakfast time with about an hour of snow giving us a full cover of 4cm by 09:30. The snow fell at a temperature of -2°C with some of the flakes up to 3-4cm across. Much of the snow persisted through the rest of the weekend as the highest temperature on both days was only 2°C.

Photo attached taken at 9am during the second snow shower.
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Simon Culling
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The very cold weather has continued and the London area was the subject of a decent snowfall on Sunday (11th Dec) and saw its heaviest fall since January 2013. More eastern and northern suburbs saw depths up to around 15cm which is not bad for the capital. A survey was conducted of the public to capture as many measured snow depths as possible and resulted in a brilliant map for this event. See the attached tweet.

https://twitter.com/weatherquest_uk/sta ... 2183262209

The cold will continue to the coming weekend when much milder air will spread in off the Atlantic.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Richard »

3-4cm flakes are a good size alright.
Simon Culling
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Indeed, Richard, and they were very delicate and quite difficult to catch without them breaking up. Many years ago, when I lived in Milton Keynes, I measured flakes up to 5cm on one occasion.

The cold weather has continued all week, but thankfully not too much more snow over the UK. The nights have been very cold in most parts with a run of temperatures below -10°C. These are the UK daily minimums for the last 6 days:

Monday 12th December -15.7°C at Braemar
Tuesday 13th December -17.3°C at Braemar
Wednesday 14th December -11.8°C at Drumalbin (Southern Uplands, Scotland)
Thursday 15th December -13.0°C at RAF Benson (Oxfordshire)
Friday 16th December -13.7°C at Dawyck Botanic Gardens (Scottish Borders)
Saturday 17th December -12.2°C at Writtle (Essex)

The run will end tonight into Sunday as milder air is approaching from the SW. The transition will bring a nasty combination of snow and freezing rain to more northern parts of the UK on Sunday.

The CET for December was 0.5°C (-4.0°C) up to the 16th and the EWR was 10mm up to the 15th which is just 10% of the monthly average.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The cold weather duly ended over the weekend of 17th/18th December and went out with more of a whimper than a bang. There was a little snow and freezing rain in the north, but nothing disruptive, and here in the SW it just became mild very quickly. Here in Tiverton the maximum on Saturday was 5°C and on Sunday it was 13°C and felt almost springlike.

Since then it has been mild and wet at times - so back to normal UK winter weather. Looking forward, the mild and unsettled weather will continue through to the New Year and beyond. There is much chatter about a possible SSW event in early January, but that is too far ahead for there to be any confidence in that prediction at this time. There is a brief incursion of colder air today (26th Dec, Boxing Day), but any snow has been confined to the high ground in the north. As a few sleet and snow showers were reported late on the 25th in Scotland this evidently counts as an official 'White Christmas' for the UK, but this cannot possibly apply to 99% of where the population actually lives. More media nonsense I am afraid.

The CET for December was 2.3°C (-2.2°C) up to the 24th and the EWR was 58mm also up to the 24th which is 56% of the monthly average. The CET will continue to rise, but this month will likely be the first (and only) colder than average month for 2022.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Happy New Year to all at NZ Weather Forum.

Still (just) in 2022 here in the UK and the last few days of the year have been mostly mild and wet in the south, but quite a bit colder in Scotland where there has been some snow + frost. The temperature contrast has been quite marked today - 31st December - with a high of 15°C in SE England, but only 2°C at Aberdeen way up there in NE Scotland.

Looks like this split in the weather will continue into early 2023 with the milder weather making a little further progress northward. After a wet start to the New Year there is a decent chance it will dry out a bit here in the south.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The mild and unsettled weather continues and the 10-day forecast has plenty more of the same. Very cold air is encroaching into eastern Europe (including the Ukraine), but a very active Atlantic jet stream is preventing any further westward progress of that cold air.

The final CET for December was 3.4°C (-1.1°C) and the final EWR was 102mm, which is 98% of the monthly average. Over the UK as a whole, December was colder, drier and a little sunnier than average. It was more noticeably colder in Scotland as the very cold weather in the first half was not fully displaced by the much milder weather further south in the second half. For those of us in the south, it was very much a month of two halves with the very cold start being replaced by much milder weather from mid-month. The Met Office have produced a good summary for their blog:

https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2022/12/3 ... rd-for-uk/
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

No change in the mild and unsettled weather for all in the UK and this pattern looks to persist until at least the weekend. Rainfall totals are not excessive, but we are getting enough rain to top up the reservoirs - which were quite low by the end of the summer. For my area, Wimbleball Reservoir on the south western edge of Exmoor, fell to below 20% of capacity by the middle of October, but is now back up to 70% and rising quickly - lots more rain to filter off the moors and into the lake. This reservoir supplies Tiverton and much of the county capital, Exeter. I have attached the latest capacity graph for this reservoir (courtesy of South West Water) which shows this rapid recovery.

As mentioned above, the mild and wet weather will continue to the weekend, but there are some good signals now in the models for a shift in the jet stream a little further south and this should allow some colder air to sink south over the UK. There is some brutally cold air over much of Russia now (below -60°C in Siberia) and if the synoptics were right, the UK would be looking at another Beast from the East!!!
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

2022 was the warmest year for the UK as measured by the Central England Temperature Series, which starts in 1659. The CET is a series that is representative of the English Midlands and uses stations in a triangle roughly bounded by London, Bristol and Lancashire. Monthly (and daily) values from 1772 are wholly based on UK instrumental records, but prior to this, less so.

The annual figure for 2022 was 11.15°C which beats the previous record of 10.98°C set in 2014.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The mild and very wet weather has finally abated - at least for a while. It has been very wet over the UK so far in January and particularly in the more southern parts. The winds have gone round more to a NW-N direction and it is quite a bit colder today, Monday 16th January and this cold snap will persist until the end of the week. The main issue will be temperature rather than snow on this occasion as we will see some sharp frosts.

The CET for January was 7.9°C (+4.1°C) up to the 14th and the EWR was 80mm also up to 14th, which is 85% of the monthly average of 94mm.

The rain culminated here in the SW of England on Thursday (12th Jan) with up to around 100m on Exmoor to the north of me. Much of the moor drains into the River Exe which rose to one of the highest levels on record here in Tiverton with some minor flooding. Flood defences were strengthened many years ago following a significant flood in 1960, but the river was only just within its confines. A couple of photos below of the river as it flows through the town centre.

The flow gauge is at the Sewage Works which is about 3km to the south of the town. It peaked at 3.13m on Thursday which is less than the record value for this site of 3.58m which occurred on 23rd December 2012.
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Simon Culling
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

It has been rather chilly over the UK for the last week with plenty of sharp frosts and a little snow - we even had a dusting here in Tiverton on Wednesday (18th Jan) morning. It has been more about the frosts rather than the snow and these are the national minimums for the last 5 days:

Wednesday 18th January -7.1°C at RAF Benson (Oxfordshire)
Thursday 19th January -10.4°C at Drunmadrochit (Highlands)
Friday 20th January -8.3°C at Loch Glascarnoch (Highlands)
Saturday 21st January -10.2°C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire)
Sunday 22nd January -9.7°C at RAF Benson

Milder air has made it into the north and west of the UK over the weekend, but the cold air is stubbornly holding on further south due to a ridge of high pressure from the continent. It will hold into the coming week, but the general trend is towards milder temperatures but mostly dry + cloudy weather.

The CET for January was 6.1°C (+2.3°C) up to the 20th and the EWR was 91mm also up to the 20th, which is 97% of the monthly average.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The ridge of high pressure has persisted over the southern half of the UK into the new week and the cold air remains at the surface. This morning (Mon 23rd Jan) some very low temperatures were recorded in and around London - the lowest in over a decade - and with no snow cover and just from radiational cooling. These are the lows reported:

-8.8°C at Iver Water Works
-8.5°C at RAF Northolt
-8.4°C at London Heathrow
-8.2°C at Wisley (the site of the Royal Horticultural Society gardens)

These are all on the western side of London. For Heathrow, this was the coldest January night since 12th Jan 1987 (i.e. 35 years) when -8.9°C was recorded during a cold easterly outbreak. The lowest January value for Heathrow, in a record which extends back to 1947, is -13.2°C which was recorded on 24th Jan 1963 in a very cold winter.

Not quite so cold down here in the SW with just -2°C recorded on the last two nights, but plenty of hoar frost. We did have a spectacular sunrise on Sunday (22nd Jan) morning as per the photo below showing the view over the Tiverton rooftops at just after 8am.
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Simon Culling
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The cold spell just fizzled out by the end of last week with no snow or dramatic weather at its terminus. Since then it has been mostly dry with temperatures close to average. All rather boring I am afraid. More of the same this week for us in the south, but much breezier and unsettled for the northern half of the UK.

The long run of frosty nights during the recent cold spell allowed flooded meadows in East Anglia to freeze over - the water would generally only be something like 6" to a foot deep in many of the meadows. This has meant that the old tradition of Fen Skating could take place and this does not happen that often nowadays.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-c ... e-64399819

These are the rounded night minimum temperatures for Santon Downham (Suffolk/Norfolk border), which is the Fenland area, for the recent frosty spell and they illustrates it was certainly cold enough for the ice to form and persist:

16th Jan -1°C
17th -7°C
18th -6°C
19th -7°C
20th -4°C
21st -7°C
22nd -7°C
23rd -10°C
24th -7°C
25th -8°C
26th -1°C
Simon Culling
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Much of the UK has been generally dry over the last week with average temperatures - rather boring and uneventful. Over the weekend a large anticyclone has developed and was at 1048mb and smack bang over the country on Sunday - see synoptic map below. This pressure is not quite a record for the UK or indeed February, but is only a few millibars away. The highest readings I can find on the synoptic network are 1048.3mb at both Pershore (Herefordshire) and at Bala (N Wales).

The high pressure will drift into Europe over the next few days and maintain the dry and settled weather for much of the UK, but fronts will flirt with the NW and especially Scotland. Quite chilly over England + Wales and especially at night with some sharp frosts. We had a decent frost here in Tiverton this (Mon 6th Feb) morning with a low of -3°C, but it fell to -7°C in rural areas of both Devon and other parts of England + Wales. Similar again tonight but with a much greater chance of freezing fog.

The CET for February was 7.4°C (+3.6°C) up to the 5th and the EWR has not yet been calculated - as is the case for the final January figure.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Speculation continues about the possibility of a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) this winter and even the Met Office is getting in on the act with this blog entry. Expectations are that it will commence next week, with probably a cold lobe shifting towards the Greenland area. This will increase the risk of an easterly flow for much of W + NW Europe, but it does not guarantee it.

There is a very good 4 minute video on the Blog entry explaining how an SSW occurs.

https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2023/02/0 ... c-warming/
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The weather remains rather quiet and generally mild here in the UK as high pressure dominates - some places in the S + SW of England dropped below 1030mb for the first time this month on Tuesday (14th Feb) which is quite remarkable. Mostly dry for all of the UK really, with just a little drizzly rain into the far NW. The pattern is changing a little at the moment with a few weakening fronts crossing these sceptred isles in the next few days but giving little if any rain to us in the south. High pressure looks to rebuild again from the SW.

To give an idea of how dry it has been, and particularly over England + Wales, these three sites are down the spine of England and the rainfall totals are for the month to 15th February. 1.0mm at Bramham (N Yorks), 1.2mm at Pershore (Worcs) and 1.4mm at RAF Benson (Oxfordshire).

The CET for February was 5.6°C (+1.8°C) up to the 13th and the EWR was just 1.8mm also up to the 13th, which is a mere 2.5% of the monthly average of 72mm.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

A low pressure system scooted across the north of Scotland today at around 980mb and still deepening. It was names Storm Otto by the Danish Meteorological Institute for its likely impact there later on Friday (17th Dec), so was not named by our Met Office. It gave very strong winds to Scotland and NE England (downslope enhanced by the Pennines) with the highest gusts at official sites being 83mph at Inverbervie (Aberdeenshire) and 81mph at both Tain Range and RAF Lossiemouth - both also in NE Scotland. The winds caused some damage and a few injuries.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-64662300

The UK has not named a storm this winter which will be the latest date if one is subsequently named in the UK since this rather silly idea started in 2016. Down here in the SW of England it passed us by and we enjoyed a gloomy drizzly day with a maximum of 12°C. As per my last post, high pressure will rebuild for the south keeping us dry + mild, but weather fronts will trouble Scotland with a little rain. There are hints in the computer models of a change to much colder northerlies later next week.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

After the windy interlude last Friday the mild and mostly cloudy weather has returned and it has remained mostly dry over much of the UK. Where the cloud has broken during the day it has been springlike with a maximum of 17.2°C at Pershore (Worcestershire) on Friday (17th Feb) and 15.9°C at the same location on Saturday - areas sheltered from the SW winds do tend to get cloud breaks under this type of flow. Here in Tiverton, it remained cloudy and drizzly on both days with a high of 12°C - what John would call 'clag'.

The SSW duly happened last week (see 10hPa temp graph below) and the winds at 10hPa at 60°N have since reversed from west to east. Whilst it will turn a little cooler later this week, temperatures will only return to normal. About 10% of the model output is indicating a much colder regime into early March, but that is a long way off.

The CET for February was 6.5°C (+2.7°C) up to the 18th and the EWR was 8mm also up to the 18th, which is just 11% of the monthly average. Not much rain in the forecast until the end of the month.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

High pressure is building back over the UK this weekend and will be slap bang over the country by Monday with a central pressure close to 1040mb. We did manage a little rain last week, but it is still on course to be a dry month over England + Wales - see EWR figure below.

The high pressure will bring plenty of dry weather with a mixture of cloud + sunshine over the next few days and it will be a little on the chilly side, but nothing more notable than a touch of frost overnight. The high pressure is in the wrong place for anything significantly cold.......at the moment.

There was a small earthquake (magnitude 3.7) just before midnight on Friday 24th February centred over South Wales. I did not feel anything here in Devon.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-64769319

The CET for February was 6.8°C (+3.0°C) up to the 23rd and the EWR was 13mm also up to the 23rd which is just 18% of the monthly average.
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The settled and rather boring weather has continued and it has been a little on the chilly side. High pressure is currently (18Z on 28th Feb) located over NW Scotland with a central pressure of 1043mb and is only very slowly drifting and ridging to the NW. The weather will likely stay much the same over the next 3-4 days with some sunshine by day and a nip of frost where the cloud clears. All much of a muchness.

There are some signs of a northerly picking up by the end of the weekend, but the model output is all over the place. It does appear fairly certain that it will turn colder next week, but the detail is very thin at the moment. Whether this is the first effects of the SSW is still uncertain, but many forecasters, including the Met Office, are suggesting a colder than average March.

A recent coronal discharge has resulted in widespread sightings of the aurora over the whole of the UK over the last two nights. This phenomena is often seen on Scotland but it is rarely seen in more southern parts of the UK. I did not see it here in Tiverton as the light pollution in town is just too great, but these two BBC articles have plenty of picture - the second shows the lesser displays seen in more southern parts.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-64782372

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-o ... e-64783307
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Got a bit behind with the monthly summaries. This is for January 2023.

The final CET for January was 5.2°C (+1.4°C) and the final EWR was 98mm which is 104% of the monthly average.

For the UK as a whole, January 2023 was a little warmer + wetter than average but also a sunny month, especially over England + Wales. See this Met Office summary from their Blog which has a good daily summary of the winter so far at the end of the feature which shows three distinct spells of weather in the first 2 months

https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2023/02/0 ... k-weather/
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Re: UK Weather - Winter 2022/23

Unread post by Bradley »

Kinbrace in northern Scotland recorded -15C this morning I see, UK's coldest temp in 10 years. It is already showing -15C at 11pm so that should go way lower by tomorrow morning...
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