Met Office woolly forecast for Christmas 2014

Posted: November 25, 2014 by tchannon in Forecasting, humour, weather

Now the dank chill of late autumn gives way to winter frosts

english-winter-dusk

Dusk in winter, England, 1980s. The author.

 

Met Office 16 to 30 day forecast now stretches to Christmas Eve, not that it has changed over the past few days. A sudden weather change without a glimmer of notice for the 25th or 26th, I very much doubt it.

Met Office forecast for period day16to30 issued at 2014-11-25T16:00:00

 

Forecast for All regions (shared forecast) day16to30, from 2014-12-10 16hrs (Wed) to 2014-12-24 16hrs (Wed)

UK Outlook for Wednesday 10 Dec 2014 to Wednesday 24 Dec 2014:
  • There is no strong signal in weather patterns during this period.
  • However, the most likely scenario is a trend towards more unsettled and, at times, windy weather, especially in western parts of the UK, with eastern parts seeing the best of any dry weather.
  • Temperatures are generally expected to be around, or a little above, average for the time of year.
  • There is a chance of some overnight and morning frost and fog in places – this will be more likely across northern areas where there is also a chance of some snow on higher ground.

 

“There is no strong signal”. Aerial riggers called out…

Translation: Met Office crystal ball has misted up.

Temperatures around average or above… ah we have something solid, not below average. What exactly is average and who decides what is not around or where or ?

I’ll put this under humour.

More seriously, I suppose they would get into a lot of from-on-high-trouble for admitting don’t know instead of hand waving. I think being straight, saying when something is suspected and saying don’t know when that applies is how trust is built. We shouldn’t need to decode flapping.

Forecast from Datapoint, same I assume via the web site but might change, two forecasts issued every day.

Post by Tim

Comments
  1. ren says:

    If you see the current position of the center of the polar vortex, we understand the flow of air in the Northern hemisphere, and why in Canada will be as cold as Siberia.

  2. ren says:

    Another wave of stratospheric cold bodes in America and Asia.


  3. @ren – ever since the cold in the US, I’ve been trying to work out whether the pattern over the US will tend to make its way around the globe toward the UK and if so, roughly how long it takes. I’m not suggesting this will inevitably result in a cold spell – indeed, perhaps the “pattern” will have almost gone by then.

    So, can you give me a link for the image above – or better still a time series.

    On a similar vein – can anyone please show me a correlation (or not) between US and UK weather (particularly relating to cold). I would particularly like to see a fine detail correlation to see how much truth is in the statement “whatever happens in the US – we get a few days later).

  4. tallbloke says:

    Mike: If it’s coming from the southwest, we get it a few days later. If it’s coming from the pole, anything can happen.

  5. SnowDog says:

    “Temperatures around average or above… ah we have something solid, not below average. What exactly is average and who decides what is not around or where or ?”

    Averages are well defined 30 year norms. There’s nothing mysterious about this forecast. There’s just nothing noteworthy happening.

  6. tallbloke says:

    I think the cold snap will hit in mid December, but I might be wrong.

  7. ren says:

    Scottish Sceptic
    Yes in a few days you will see it in the troposphere.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.shtml

  8. ren says:

    Scottish Sceptic, actually the polar vortex pattern is strongly associated with changes in the magnetic field. Over Europe magnetic field increases slightly over America strongly decreases.

    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Swarm/Swarm_reveals_Earth_s_changing_magnetism

  9. ren says:

    The temperature in the UK depends on the temperature of the Atlantic.

  10. tchannon says:

    SnowDog indeed there is nothing, the point. It is couched in vague. How about, ordinary winter weather without extremes during the lead up to Christmas. Point at a description.

    I guess that why not is because of the invert, a good foresee of when things are extreme, no room for trying to wave away not seeing it coming. History suggests why not.

    The term signal in this context is silly, obfuscating and implying there is such a thing..

    Weather GCM are of limited use even at 7 days. For a month I suggest this is more about expert experience, an opinion, guessing. Quite possibly some kind of expert system could be constructed, hasn’t so far as I know, nor is there much to base it upon. A GCM always has output, a signal, doesn’t it? This includes typical, average or whatever, still in that context a signal.

    An old fart may seem to some ignorant on new fangled stuff yet encoding expert knowledge into machinery via all the ways it can be done is part of my history. That’s what interactive realtime does. This is awfully complicated when every eventuality has to be covered or protected.
    Which leads off into a very different conversation not in the usual Talkshop fare.

  11. tchannon says:

    Rog, we’ve not had a winter cold snap for awhile, tend to occur once a year but when varies. None in a calender year leads to declaration of a very hot year, two in a calender year to declare a very cold year. Doesn’t happen in Australia, winter there is in the middle. An artefact of the mathematics used.

    Several times in recent months I’ve looked to see if there is something to say on whether we are overdue some cold. Said nothing.

    Snow etc. prior to Christmas is uncommon, although I do have some ideas on where to look but needs information hidden from public view. Maybe eventually with something else I am slowly figuring out.

  12. Ulric Lyons says:

    The warm SST’s in the NE Pacific are still effecting the jet stream pattern to give us more of an Atlantic feed, which is probably what the MetO are going on.

    The main features of my forecast for this season, was for Arctic outbreaks to occur from around Nov 10/11th for around 2 weeks, which was a very similar planetary ordering to the March 2013 major cold shot, from around Dec 27th 2014 for around 3 weeks, and from just after mid March is a major one. From around mid Dec should slowly cool until it drops faster just after Xmas, and earlier in Feb may see some minor colder dips. With the current QBO phase, the cold shot from late Dec into Jan is more likely to see UK cold.

  13. tgmccoy says:

    As an old friend, who was a forecaster for the US National Weather Service once said:
    “If you forecast partly to mostly with a chance of..You will never get in trouble.”

  14. craigm350 says:

    The contingency plan is as much use as a chocolate teapot especially as, on closer inspection, the warranty appears to preclude any actual use. It’s of note that Adam Scaife has admitted that much is made of previous charts but these only backdate to a zonal 1990s which gives me little hope for future understanding of the meridional patterns Lamb noted so well.

    FWIW I think some aspects are quite identifiable. The wet patch 2012 was apparent as a rebound from the dryness beforehand – UK records abound with flips (I was looking at the unusually wet 1870s-early80s followed by the late Victorian dry period). Mar 2013 was picked out in a comment I made here in Jan 13 as, for me at least, it stuck out quite well. No clear indicators this year/winter (UK) that I’ve used before except 2015 should be a cold year CET wise but prob expected as a rebound to the current rather warm year (what effect UHI is up for debate, but has been warm by virtue of ‘averageness’ rather than extreme – Paul Homewood has noted the lack of days 29C in CET despite obvious warmth which as a lay person put yesterday ‘we had a lovely year since early spring…it went on and on’).

    What I am saying is we have had a long stretch of above av CET but it will not continue. It will switch as it did in 2013 and the hemispheric signs are foreboding. Last year laid the foundations and already the tracks seemed to be followed making it ‘easier’ for the next, now I expect an amplitude of that – the path having been worn. Already the cold has decided to not limpet itself to Greenland and is much more spread over the hemisphere resembling Jan 14 to a fair degree but without the same angling (which, in effect, set up the vorticity) nor Atlantic power to hem it back – at least for now. Check jetstream profile late Nov 13 vs 14

    http://weatheraction.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/siberia-monster-breathes-winter-into-middle-east/

    (Top 2 images via earth.nullschool.net)

    Tim you mentioned last year the potent Gulf which was oft ignored. This year seems more fragmented versus the same timeframe and crucially a different angle of attack. Do you see anything there this year? Still meridional (although the Atlantic track 13/14 was arguably ‘zonal’). I can’t see it this year and the angling of the cold waves off the US seems more set to push the energy up or down not across our stretch of water so that by the time it reaches the UK it is much modified and ‘tamed’ creating a gap (at whatever point) for the easterly influence (aided and abetted by an negative qbo and large snow cover). Also I’d add the warm SST anomaly off Alaska from last winter has migrated to off the coast of Oregon (at least when I last looked) so the angle of attack is similar but crucially different. A close but no cigar to last year with different consequences?

    To a degree this can be seen in the next low due to push south (and west) to Iberia rather than swashbuckle across the UK. I liken it to the acute angle of bouncing a ball off the wall to hit a target. All the force is absorbed in the (current) wave so it has little to offer when it hits the target – unlike last year when it bounced & then direct hit.

    Personally I see wet and cold not wet ‘n’ mild although returning to the post, I struggle to find much of use in the contingency plan with the caveats that it seems to be unsuitable for any actual use. The monthly outlook oft returns to type and was why in 2010, in my former warmist incarnation, I sought out the white stuff (which was of course a ‘thing of the past’). I’m sure the current cold block is long overdue to have faded as we revert to ‘type’ yet here it remains and is yet again forecast to wane. Cold air masses seem not to be a modelled speciality.

    I have noted the analogy by the UKMO blog news site that this is like ‘backing the favourite’ but as I have said when the favourite performs so poorly (12/13 too warm upto last year & the last was far too cold in outlook – making it 1 of 14 favourites) past the post a stewards enquiry is the least to expect?

    strange to use a betting analogy as any sane person would be demanding a stewards enquiry as the ‘favourite’ is keeps being nobbled.

    “for 12 of the last 13 years, the Met’s temperature forecast has been too high. As Warren Buffett likes to say, forecasts tell you little about the future and a lot about the forecaster. Recently, the Met Office has decided that global warming means colder summers in Britain (due to North Atlantic sea temperatures pushing the jet stream south)…

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8959941/whats-wrong-with-the-met-office/

    Last winter was another case in point. After failing to predict several cold dry winters the 2013/14 form horse was Cold and Dry. It never left the traps.

    The Met Office’s ‘pitiful’ forecasts were under fire last night after it was revealed it told councils in November to expect ‘drier than usual’ conditions this winter.

    In the worst weather prediction since Michael Fish reassured the nation in October 1987 that there was no hurricane on the way, forecasters said a large area of the country which includes the Somerset Levels – still under water after more than two months of flooding – would most likely see rainfall levels well below average.”

    Am I being hard? After the hawking by Slingo that the reason for failure was a lack of computational power (the solution to all poorly thought out woes apparently) I hope so! Especially in light that cpu (close resolution) not assumptions were the reason apparent for perceived failure (because deterministic forecasts cannot be wrong you just didn’t understand their ‘success’) …from the same coding for the climate machines (at least according to Slingo who makes much of this now. What actual diff is hard to tell.)

    Whatever the weather it is highly unlikely the contingency plan – nor the monthly summary for 16-30d – will be of use, however I suspect any stratospheric action may be well picked up better (they do at least pay this attention) albeit with so many caveats it will be nigh upon our heads before admittance.

  15. Stephen Richards says:

    “There is no strong signal”. Aerial riggers called out

    Weather forecast riggers, Richard you’re needed

  16. Stephen Richards says:

    The best at these long range forecasts is Joe Bastardi. What he does can be programmed into a fairly small cheapish computer and would provide as good a forecast as possible (bearing mind we are dealing with a choatic and not a deterministic system. With his system you will do better than any £97m computer with a crapy model.

    You poor Brits have been totally conned by the scammers at your Met Off.

    JAMSTEC is showing a warm winter for NW Europe, cold N.Atlantic and a cold soring and early summer for NW Europe.

    Much the same as last year and the weather patterns at the start of winter are much the same as last year except for a weak to moderate El Niño.

  17. Stephen Richards says:

    UK Outlook for Wednesday 10 Dec 2014 to Wednesday 24 Dec 2014:•There is no strong signal in weather patterns during this period.
    •However, the most likely scenario is a trend towards more unsettled and, at times, windy weather, especially in western parts of the UK, with eastern parts seeing the best of any dry weather.
    •Temperatures are generally expected to be around, or a little above, average for the time of year.
    •There is a chance of some overnight and morning frost and fog in places – this will be more likely across northern areas where there is also a chance of some snow on higher ground.

    This crap cost £130m. If you are a brit complain to your MP and if you get the usual BS tell him you will be voting UKIP. That’ll ruin his Xmas.

  18. Ulric Lyons says:

    Stephen Richards says:
    November 26, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    “The best at these long range forecasts is Joe Bastardi. What he does can be programmed into a fairly small cheapish computer and would provide as good a forecast as possible (bearing mind we are dealing with a choatic and not a deterministic system.”

    We are actually dealing with short term planetary ordering of solar activity that can be forecast deterministically at any range required. This Arctic outbreak is due to a configuration highly similar to the March 2013 cold shot. My forecast for it start around Nov 10/11th 2014 was given months back.
    The main aspect of the cold signal is the bisector of Earth and Venus towards Jupiter:

  19. tchannon says:

    Wow, a long comment.

    Last year circulation stuck over North America leaving a continuous autumn flow rather south of usual with frontal system coming up from the south, hence only the south was particularly wet.

    This year is different in a number of ways but we have to get into February to be sure it won’t happen again. I suspect the Gulf region is cooler too.

    A modal shift is what I’ve been mentioning, perhaps snapping back from the 1980s shift.

    Fairly recently I was reminded of an idea I reached but then dismissed again. This is the raining out of hot times at a long time scale related to the pseudo 60 years or whatever it is. This originally came from looking at the far east and india where there are long anecdotal records. Also there is a good deal of talk about paired regions, wet here, dry there, etc. Australia may be part of this.

    I think it is an idea to keep in mind as maybe,

    On computing power, well, I was part of introducing computers, a lot of firsts and always done at the edge of what is economic, almost. Space and speed count very strongly, whereas today there is massive and unnecessary waste. The kiddies took over, we couldn’t stop them.
    What can be done with very little is shocking provided it can be kept person sized, teams are disaster.

    An area which is still widely ignored, to our detriment, is expert systems, which do not involve AI, a dead end until some fundamentals about reality get into some thick skulls, which is unlikely.

    What I think is particularly difficult is keeping bias and spin out of expert systems, imposing how, what and so on. Experts are usually wrong but useful if they stay on the rational side, know they get it wrong. Nevertheless an expert has thoughts, tends to be intuition, which is surfacing subconscious ideas, related perhaps to emergent processes which are it seems feasible in AI, not as done though. Can’t do that without coffee, water cooler and so on. Independent random outside shaking up.

    Which leads to the linearising effect of noise, a subject for elsewhere. Without this there is clockwork, nothing interesting happens.

  20. tchannon says:

    Day after forecast received today. Written out the here as HTML so I put this on a static wordpress page. As is, the whole forecast for all regions.
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/mo-forecast-to-25-dec-2014/

    Slight change for 16 to 30 days.

  21. tallbloke says:

    Forecast: Ed Miliband will be feeling blue this Christmas.

  22. ren says:

    This is an illustration of what I showed above.

  23. ren says:

    Please see a strong increase in temperature in the stratosphere over the polar circle, correlated with a decrease in the magnetic solar activity.