Britain faces longest winter in 50 years after earliest ever arrival of Siberian swan 

Posted: October 13, 2015 by oldbrew in climate, weather

Bewick swan [image credit: Maga-chan / Wikipedia]

Bewick swan [image credit: Maga-chan / Wikipedia]

That’s what Daily Telegraph headline writers are saying anyway. Seasonal weather predictions have a mixed record.

Britain is facing its longest winter in 50 years after the earliest-ever arrival of a Siberian swan which traditionally heralds the start of the season.

Each year around 300 Bewick’s swans migrate 2,500 miles from Arctic Russia to escape the approaching cold weather which follows closely behind them. They flock to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve at Slimbridge, Glos, where their arrival has been recorded since 1963.

The first bird arrived on Sunday – a full 25 days earlier than last year and the earliest date on record.

It coincided with the first frosts of the autumn in the area and experts say its early return could be a sign of a long, hard winter ahead.

The premature arrival of winter in many European countries has encouraged Bewick’s swans to flock westwards earlier than usual.

Full report: Britain faces longest winter in 50 years after earliest ever arrival of Siberian swan – Telegraph

Alternative Daily Mail report: The swans that say we’re in for a freezing winter: Arrival of Russian Bewicks from Siberia is earliest for 50 years and could herald harsh weather

  1. I would take this with a very large pinch of salt. Siberian October snow can often be replaced by screaming zonality (strong south-west winds and depressions off the Atlantic) by mid-December – just when everyone’s built themselves up for a white Christmas. What may be more likely this year than the last two years is a November / December cold snap. But it is far too early to predict what winter is going to be like at this stage of the year

  2. oldbrew says:

    We’ll have to review it next March or April 😉

  3. Joe Public says:

    Oh look what Aunty reported last year:

    “Bewick’s swans’ arrival at Slimbridge heralds ‘late’ winter

    The swans’ arrival is traditionally seen as the start of winter, but is two weeks later than usual.”

    Place your bets now – will the Biased Beeb report the equal & opposite news?

  4. Joe Public says:

    The link to the Telegraph report:

    We cannot find the page you are looking for.
    The page may have been moved, updated or deleted.
    There might be a problem with the website.”

    [mod] thanks, posted the Daily Mail link as an alternative, and amended the original link

  5. A C Osborn says:

    It was also on the BBC news this morning, but I am not sure that they mentioned a long winter.

  6. oldbrew says:

    The first swans turned up in early November last year.

    Possible El Niño factor this time round?

    ‘Siberian snow cover is already rapidly expanding, and based on forecast model guidance, that trend is going to continue throughout the rest of the month.’

  7. chilemike says:

    Interesting and although this seems to have some precedence I this ranks up there with the US analogy of ‘really’ fuzzy caterpillars and unusually busy squirrels hording lots of acorns. I’m glad the swans are hedging with the skeptical view, though.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Telegraph: ‘Are we setting too much (cold) store by one migrant swan?’

    ‘Regardless of whether they have science on their side, we all love homespun weather forecasters – and write them off at our peril’

  9. Richard111 says:

    I’ll take the swan’s judgment. Stocking up on smoke free fuel. Don’t trust gas and electricity.

  10. oldbrew says:

    ‘Is the UK in for a winter of snow chaos? Met Office responds to extreme European weather warnings’

    ‘Temperatures in the UK are likely to remain mild throughout the winter due to a high pressure system to the north of the United Kingdom.’

    Seems a bit odd to forecast high pressure for the whole winter. Could be a reporting slip-up?

  11. Mike says:

    Well I suppose swans have about as much chance of being an accurate predictor of weather as the Met’s super computers.

  12. kwillshaw says:

    I saw Brent Geese arriving in the Somerset Levels last week, they don’t normally turn up until November so it looks like its getting cold early in their summer feeding areas this year.

  13. Garth wenck says:

    Surely the migratory date is dependent on the weather where they come from rather than the weather at, or expected at their destination.

  14. […] tradisjonelt blitt regnet som et sikkert vintertegn i Storbritannia. Tallbloke har omtalt fenomenet her, og det hele er hentet fra avisomtale. I fjor ankom disse svanene sent og det ble en sen og mild […]

    [mod: — Norwegion rationals — Tim]

  15. ren says:

    The polar vortex similar to previously develops with centers over the Northern Canada and central Siberia.,99.50,300