About xmetman

An ex-metman passionate about all things to do with weather, climate and clouds

Snowy Saturday…

During tomorrow it’s certainly set to become very windy and wet over large parts of the British Isles, but I have my eye set on developments during Friday and into Saturday, which if they pan out as the GFS suggests, might well bring a spell of snow to central and eastern counties before the deepening low exits into the North Sea during Saturday morning. Gradients around the low tighten considerably, even if a lot of that gradient can be discounted because of cyclonic curvature (fig 1).

Surface UK [T+108] 12 UTC on Sat, 25 November 2017

Figure 1 – Courtesy of OGIMET

The only thing I can get out of the Met Office is this T+120 image (PPVO89.tif) for the same time (fig 2). The Met Office model is much faster with this feature, and the low ends up being much more elongated and +5 hPa shallower than in the GFS.


Figure 2 – Courtesy of the Met Office

Crazy mild

Figure 1

The warmest place in the UK this afternoon is Hawarden in Flintshire with a temperature of 15.3°C at 13 UTC, contrast that with the 1.4°C at Aboyne in Aberdeenshire (fig 1).  Temperatures across England and Wales to the lee of high ground are around 5°C or 6°C above average for 12 UTC (fig 2). The record warmest temperature for the 20th of November in the UK according to the TORRO website is 17.2°C held jointly by Dunoon in Renfrewshire and Hawarden Bridge in 1947. If the sun continues to shine downwind of Snowdonia as it’s currently doing, that record could be in jeopardy. Cold weather in the north and milder weather in the south looks likely to be the theme this week by the look of things, how I do detest this kind of setup.

Figure 2

Exeter sunniest place so far this month

Figure 1

Exeter is the sunniest place in the UK so far this month with 64.8 hours of sunshine, in what’s turning out to be a remarkably sunny November. Further north I should imagine the anomalies are much higher, particularly in SE Scotland where Leuchars in Fife have already seen 60.2 hours of sunshine, but with a much shorter day length than down here in south Devon.

The fact is that November’s have been getting progressively sunnier over the years, this may have something to do with the Clean Air Act of 1956. The two joint sunniest November’s on record in the UK, occurred in 2005 and 2006 according to the Met Office gridded data records that started in 1929.

Figure 2

Peter IV and the week ahead

Figure 1

Low Peter IV has brought strong winds across Denmark and snow to parts of southern Sweden overnight (fig 1). It’s the first time that I’ve seen the Berlin Institute of Meteorology have multiple versions of the same vortex (fig 2), whoever sponsored Peter hit the jackpot with that name.

Figure 2 – Courtesy of the BIM & Deutscher Wetterdienst

We seem to be a bit left out of it when it comes to extratropical lows at the moment, with developments taking place just before they get here in mid-Atlantic, or just as they leave to the east of the meridian. This week things look set to change, across the British Isles because it’s looking decidedly mobile and cyclonic in the coming week according to the latest run of the GFS model (fig 3).  It looks like it could also be quite wintry in the north of Scotland if they manages to keep in the cold air, and there’s a touch of northerly in the chart for next Sunday to keep my idea of a weekly cycle in northerlies going!

Figure 3 – Courtesy of OGIMET

Report a fireball

This story has got very little to do with weather or climate, but what the hell I found it interesting, and it’s worth it just for this beautiful picture of the fireball as it plunges to earth as seen from the Dolomites in northern Italy (fig 1).

“Taken in subfreezing temperatures, the thoughtfully composed photo shows snowy, rugged peaks seen from a mountain pass on November 14. Below lies the village of La Villa, Alta Badia in Italy’s Dolomite Alps. Above the nestled village lights, the constellation Ursa Major hangs over the northern horizon. But most stunning is the intense fireball meteor. It was captured during the camera’s exposure by chance as it flashed east to west across the northern horizon, under Ursa Major’s familiar Big Dipper asterism. In fact, sightings of this major fireball meteor were widely reported in European skies, the most reported fireball event ever for planet Earth’s American Meteor Society and the International Meteor Organization. The meteor’s measured track over Germany is consistent with its origin near the active radiant of November’s Taurid Meteor Shower. Taurid meteors are associated with dust from Encke’s comet.”

The link in the article takes you to the American Meteor Society (you’d better believe it) where you can report any fireball that you might have seen. Below is a heatmap of the 2,009 sightings that they received for fireball 4299-2017, and an approximate track that the fireball took as it entered the atmosphere over central Germany (fig 2). Of course it could have just as easily have been an interstellar spacecraft sent from the planet Krypton just before it exploded…

Back in good old Blighty, you would have been hard pressed to see it in the eastern sky thanks to all the cloud around on Tuesday evening (fig 2).

Figure 3

Dry November so far in the SE of Scotland and NE of England

Figure 1

The northeast of England and the southeast of Scotland have had quite a dry November so far, it does seem to be that there’s a recurring dry theme going on in this part of the country in recent times. Driest place is Albemarle in Northumberland with just 3.4 mm of rainfall so far, Leuchars in Fife is not far behind with just 4.7 mm, although I don’t seem to have a 100% reception record on rainfall reports this month for some reason.

Figure 2

NASA: The Changing Colors of our Living Planet

Figure 1 – Courtesy of NASA

Figure 2 – Courtesy of NASA

Ramblings of an ex-metman

Figure 1

It’s coming to things when you have to write a story about a couple of nights with a touch of frost (fig 1), but it might be something I’ll have to do in the future as the seasons continue to warm as they have since 1772 (fig 2). The last lying snow in our part of Devon was over the Christmas period of 2010 if I remember correctly, and the last few Winters have only produced a few fleeting flakes of snow before it quickly turned to rain. I see that the GFS have already backed off with the two cold northerly outbreaks that they were hinting at earlier in the week, it’s quite obvious already that it will take a miracle to produce any snow in this part of the world.

Figure 2

Autumn seems to have turned much colder in northern Scandinavia in the last week (fig 3), I can remember plotting the upper air ascent for Sodankyla in Finland a few times in my time at Strike in the 1970’s, it just show’s you what a good snow cover and a long clear night can do at this time of the year.

Figure 3

Best sunset in a while

Unfortunately in our part of mid-Devon we are surrounded by hills, and for most of the year are deprived of watching the ‘true’ sunset or sunrise, but in Winter we are a little less restricted both towards the southeast and southwest, as it was this evening. It looks like we might be in for an early frost if the cloud doesn’t roll in later during the night.

BBC: Extreme flash flooding in Greece

You can trace back the low that ended up being the root cause of the flash flooding in Greece in recent days as originating from the remains of what was tropical storm Rina that crossed the UK on Saturday. The Meteorological Institute of Berlin quickly renamed it Numa, but I did think that it would cause problems as it deepened over southern Germany on Sunday. I can’t add much to the fancy graphics and smart suit of Stav Danaos (fig 1), so this animation of 06 UTC MSLP charts for this week over that part of the world will suffice (fig 2). Hopefully the plotted values are the 24 hour rainfall totals might give you an idea of how wet it’s been over parts of Greece.

Figure 2