200 mph jet over UK

I notice the max winds in the northwesterly jet across the UK last night were over 170 knots at a number of stations. Here’s the 300 hPa chart for western Europe (fig 1), and here are the special points from the Castor Bay ascent in more detail (fig 2). At 43,425 feet the wind there was blowing 174 knots (200 mph) from 290°, very high, but not exceptionally so. Don’t you just miss the Stornoway ascent?

Erie lake effect snow event

The 165 cm of snow (65.1″) that’s fallen on Erie Pennsylvania during the last few days does put into perspective the recent snowfall we’ve seen in the UK so far in December 2017. Here’s the BBC news report on the snow emergency that’s going on there right now in Erie. The city of Erie does have a few advantages that we don’t often see in the UK during winter, and that’s copious amounts of very cold arctic air flowing directly from Arctic Canada, and being situated on the southern shores of Lake Erie in a howling northwesterly. These two things combine to produce a lake effect event and masses […]

Another interesting satellite image…

Another very interesting satellite image today with a good part of eastern Dartmoor stuck up above the low stratus that’s been plaguing much of the country this week. The NOAA visible image (fig 1) shows the island of high moorland up as well over Devon as well as the warming effect of the W’SW foehn over the Welsh mountains, and the clear skies to the lee of the high ground. Not only that, but there’s also the continuation of ship plumes that were visible yesterday of SW Ireland, today they are a number over the Celtic Sea and Cardigan bay. Here’s the flow outlined by streamlines in the 14 UTC […]

Yes Tor and the appliance of science

I thought that I would download the latest Camborne ascent and see what all the fuss was with all the talk of warm air over the higher hills, but unfortunately the 12 UTC didn’t fly, so I had to make do with the one launched just before midnight (fig 1). So basically if you hiked your way up to the top of Yes Tor from Meldon reservoir just before midnight last night, there would be some good news and some bad news: The bad news is that you would probably be blown over by the southerly severe gale force nine that was blowing at the time. The good news […]

Nice day at 925 hPa

I was just looking at last night’s ascent from Watnall to gauge the size of the inversion that’s trapping the SC sheet beneath it across the eastern regions of the UK. The inversion is quite sharp, at 2,615 feet the temperature is just above freezing 0.3°C, but by the time you ascend to 2,841 feet it’s shot up to +6.8°C and the humidity as fallen to just 4% (fig 1). If the Pennines where a little bit higher they would stand clear of this particular inversion, and it would have been a lovely scene last night as the radiosonde balloon pushed through the inversion, with a lovely moonlit sea […]

The sun shines on the righteous and the unrighteous

A lovely sunny morning down here in Devon after a sharp overnight frost, the 18-06 minimum at Exeter Airport was -3.4°C. But I notice that the edge of the SC sheet has just taken Yeovilton out, and a few bits of cloud have appeared on the eastern horizon as I type, so the sunshine might not last the morning out. The SC sheet itself looks very uniform across the country, with a base of 3,000 feet and tops of around 5,000 feet if the Herstmonceux midnight ascent is anything to go by.  

Extreme cold winters fuelled by jet stream and climate change

Yet another news item in the Guardian and other similar media outlets about more scientists doing some airy-fairy research this time into what role the jet stream plays in the winters of the UK and the eastern United States. Of course it’s only available to download and read from the Journal Nature Climate Change for the sum of $32. Why, if the research is so important does it cost so much, or cost anything for that matter? I know a couple of outfits that will buy it, and they are the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, and they’ll make good use of the research and build a story […]