Met Office: Snowy UK winters could become thing of the past

Posted: December 6, 2020 by oldbrew in MET office, predictions, Temperature, weather

UK winter weather forecast [image credit: BBC]

It’s nearly Christmas so maybe time to get the old chestnuts out, and this one is now 20 years old. Let’s see how it fares in the next 20.
– – –
By the 2040s most of southern England may no longer get sub-zero days, new Met Office data suggests.

It is one of a series of projections about how UK’s climate could change, shared with BBC Panorama.

It suggests by the 2040s most of southern England could no longer see sub-zero days. By the 2060s only high ground and northern Scotland are still likely to experience such cold days.

The projections are based on global emissions accelerating.

It could mean the end of sledging, snowmen and snowball fights, says Dr Lizzie Kendon, a senior Met Office scientist who worked on the climate projections.

“We’re saying by the end of the century much of the lying snow will have disappeared entirely except over the highest ground,” she told Panorama.

If the world reduces emissions significantly the changes will be less dramatic, the Met Office says.

The average coldest day in the UK over the past three decades was -4.3 Celsius.

If emissions continue to accelerate, leading to a global temperature rise of 4C, then the average coldest day in the UK would remain above 0 Celsius across most of the country throughout winter.

Even if global emissions are reduced dramatically and world temperatures rise by 2C, the average coldest day in the UK is likely be 0 Celsius.

The Met Office says these temperatures are subject to variation and some years may see days colder than the average. Its projections explore how the UK’s climate might change.

“The overarching picture is warmer, wetter winters; hotter, drier summers,” Dr Kendon says.

“But within that, we get this shift towards more extreme events, so more frequent and intense extremes, so heavier rainfall when it occurs.”

The Met Office says we are already seeing dramatic changes in the UK climate.

Continued here.

  1. Graeme No.3 says:

    When in doubt recycle the old predictions of doom. In my records I have
    1923 Montana glaciers to disappear in 25 years
    1952 Montana glaciers to disappear in 50 years
    2009 Montana glaciers to disappear by 2020
    2014 Montana glaciers to disappear in 30 years

    Never been to Montana but they seem to have “slow melting” ice.

  2. tom0mason says:

    “This data confirms what many gardeners believe – winters are not as hard as they used to be. … And if recent trends continue a white Christmas in Wales could certainly be a thing of the past.” BBC, Dr. Jeremy Williams, Bangor University, Lecturer in Geomatics, 20 Dec 2004.

    “The rise in temperature associated with climate change leads to a general reduction in the proportion of precipitation falling as snow and a consequent reduction in many areas in the duration of snow cover.” Global Environmental Change, Nigel W. Arnell, Geographer, 1 Oct 1999.

    “In a warmer world, less winter precipitation falls as snow and the melting of winter snow occurs earlier in spring. Even without any changes in precipitation intensity, both of these effects lead to a shift in peak river runoff to winter and early spring, away from summer and autumn.” Nature, T. P. Barnett et. al., 17 Nov 2005

    “We are beginning to approximate the kind of warming you should see in the winter season.” Star-News, Mike Chancery, National Climatic Data Center, 11 Mar 2000

    “Milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms but could cause an increase in freezing rain if average daily temperatures fluctuate about the freezing point.” IPCC Climate Change, 2001.

    “Global climate change is likely to be accompanied by an increase in the frequency and intensity of heatwaves, as well as warmer summers and milder winters…9.4.2. Decreased Mortality Resulting from Milder Winters … One study estimates a decrease in annual cold-related deaths of 20,000 in the UK by the 2050s (a reduction of 25%)” IPCC Climate Change, 2001.

    “The lowest winter temperatures are likely to increase more than average winter temperature in northern Europe. …The duration of the snow season is very likely to shorten in all of Europe, and snow depth is likely to decrease in at least most of Europe.” IPCC Climate Change, 2007

    “Snowlines are going up in altitude all over the world. The idea that we will get less snow is absolutely in line with what we expect from global warming.” WalesOnline, Sir John Houghton – atmospheric physicist, 30 June 2007

    “In the UK wetter winters are expected which will lead to more extreme rainfall, whereas summers are expected to get drier. However, it is possible under climate change that there could be an increase of extreme rainfall even under general drying.” Telegraph, Dr. Peter Stott, Met Office, 24 July 2007

    “Winter has gone forever and we should officially bring spring forward instead. … There is no winter any more despite a cold snap before Christmas. It is nothing like years ago when I was younger. There is a real problem with spring because so much is flowering so an early year to year.” Express, Dr. Nigel Taylor, Curator of Kew Gardens, 8 Feb 2008

    “The past is no longer a guide to the future. We no longer have a stationary climate,”…Independent, Dr. Peter Stott, Met Office, 27 Jul 2007

    “It is consistent with the climate change message. It is exactly what we expect winters to be like – warmer and wetter, and dryer and hotter summers. …the winter we have just seen is consistent with the type of weather we expect to see more and more in the future.” Wayne Elliott, Met Office meteorologist, BBC, 27 Feb 2007

    “The data collected by experts from the university [of Bangor] suggests that a white Christmas on Snowdon – the tallest mountain in England and Wales – may one day become no more than a memory.” BBC News, 20 Dec 2004
    [by 2013 the BBC reported: “Snowdon Mountain Railway will be shut over the Easter weekend after it was hit by 30ft (9.1m) snowdrifts.”]

    “Spring is arriving earlier each year as a result of climate change, the first ‘conclusive proof’ that global warming is altering the timing of the seasons, scientists announced yesterday.” Guardian, 26 Aug 2006.

    “With the pace of global warming increasing, some climate change experts predict that the Scottish ski industry will cease to exist within 20 years.” Guardian, 14 February 2004
    [In early January 2013: “Nevis Range, The Lecht, Cairngorm, Glenshee, and Glencoe were closed due to the heavy snow and strong winds.”]

    “Unfortunately, it’s just getting too hot for the Scottish ski industry.” David Viner, Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, 14 Feb 2004

    “The latest runs are generally in favor of a milder than normal winter, especially over northern Europe.”
    “Spring is arriving earlier each year as a result of climate change, the first ‘conclusive proof’ that global warming is altering the timing of the seasons, scientists announced yesterday.” Guardian, 26 August 2006.

    More at with a 100 other ‘predictions’.

  3. Jamie Spry says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Climate models from the 1970’s have consistently predicted that “CO2-induced global warming/climate change” should be causing a significant decline in total snow cover. However, Global snow cover has actually increased since at least the start of the record (Connolly et al, 2019), leading to some scepticism within the scientific community about the validity of the climate models…. but not in the lame stream media, and never by industry members of the climate change cult, of course.

    ❄️“RESORTS could lose up to 40% of snow by 2020” @CSIRO (2003)
    ❄️SNOW “will become a very rare & exciting event. Children just aren’t going to know what snow is” Dr.Viner (2000)
    ❄️“DECREASE heavy snowstorms” @IPCC_CH (2001)
    ❄️“END of Snow?” @NYTimes (2014)

  4. Chaswarnertoo says:

    See also Dr David Viner. Around 20 years ago….

  5. oldbrew says:

    – – –
    Even if there isn’t any snow, it doesn’t tell us that human activities are a factor.

    The Guardian, Fri 27 Nov 2020
    “There is certainly a big demand for skiing and snowboarding at the moment,” said Andy Meldrum, majority owner of Glencoe, Scotland’s oldest and steepest resort, “and it is likely to be even bigger than normal this year due to the staycation effect.”

  6. Phoenix44 says:

    It’s amazing that in the midst of the Climste Crisis the weather just refuses to be anything other than normal so much of the time.

    Would interesting to analyse UK data and see how much of the time its differs by say 2 standard deviations from the long term average?

  7. Margaret Smith says:

    Quote from tom0mason:
    “The past is no longer a guide to the future. We no longer have a stationary climate,”…Independent, Dr. Peter Stott, Met Office, 27 Jul 2007:  
    Perfect example of ‘begging the question’  There has NEVER been a stationary climate for us to no longer have!

  8. Mack says:

    As Jamie Spry noted above, the actual recorded data of annual Northern Hemisphere snow/ice extent does not match the Met Office theories. In fact, the extent increased markedly in the years after their ‘children just won’t know what snow is’ prophecies back in 2000, and although 2019 was well down on recent peaks, it was still @500,000 km2 more than the halcyon days of 1985 when co2 was at the ‘ideal’ 350ppm level. Whatever co2 is up to it’s slow and steady rise since emerging from the Little Ice Age seems to bear no relation to the rise and falls in snow cover.

  9. oldbrew says:

    It’s all part of the ‘net zero’ promo…

    How green politicians and “civil society” sold Britain’s democracy
    — Ben Pile

  10. dennisambler says:

    The original Charles Onions article is still on Wayback:

    Also quoted: “David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes – or eventually “feel” virtual cold.”

    It was virtually freezing last night in West Wales, minus 7C on my max-min in the garden.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Look Back At December 2010 – The Coldest In 100 Years

    In the Central England Temperature (CET) series, which goes back much further, December 2010 was the coldest December since 1890. Mean temperatures that month were 5 °C below the 1971-2000 average.—the-coldest-in-100-years

  12. Paul Vaughan says:

    5-10 C warmer in winter would be delightful and welcome, but that’s in the hands of God, not humans — so I’ll keep praying to God for warmer winters.

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