All the predictions look remarkably similar to my eye. It might be that my 1851-2015 statistics are much lower than there’s (which may well be because they are based on the 1981-2010 long-term average), but I would say that they are all predicting well above average totals for 2016.
My prediction for what it’s worth…
Even though El Nino is ending, I would have still thought that because 2016 already seems to be on course to become the warmest year on record globally, and even warmer than 2015, and because sea surface temperatures are closely linked to this, there should potentially be a lot more extra energy available in all the oceans of the world (with the exception of the Pacific) for tropical cyclone development. So just for the hell of it I’m going for a well above average year for 2016 in the Atlantic, and very similar to 2010.
The Met Office really must get there act together and site an automatic weather station in the heart of Devon. Not just on the top of a hill, or the coast, or too close to the sea for that matter – somewhere like Tiverton perhaps. Here in Bradninch in mid-Devon the temperature is in excess of 21°C at 12 UTC and knocking on 3°C warmer that Exeter airport.
Normally at this time of year we would be looking for signs of the first tropical cyclone, but thanks to Hurricane Alex that formed on January 13th (2016) that’s not the case this year, and the extratropical low pressure system of 1014 hPa that’s sitting around 27N 71W according to the National Hurricane Centre [NHC] is the second of the season. There’s a ship and buoy report that make that centre may be several millibars lower than that on the o6 UTC chart. The NHC say that the nameless storm has an 80% chance of making the leap to tropical cyclone in the next day or so, and be named Bonnie all things being equal. Bonnie has rather an illustrious names as far as Hurricanes are concerned and of course this disturbance may not make it that far.
The latest sea surface temperature [SST] anomalies look slightly above average for this time of year which can only aid any further development of the feature. I notice that stories have already started to spring up in the United States about whether Bonnie will form and impact the US East Coast during Memorial Day weekend, we shall see.
The latest on this feature (28 May 1015 UTC) is that now it’s been given a designator tropical depression 2 by the NHC, but looks like it won’t make a full-blown tropical cyclone in this version of the Universe.
Later that day tropical depression 2 officially became tropical storm Bonnie but only just according to the discussion at NHC.
Call me a bit picky but this latest documentary from the BBC to simplify the science of Meteorology did shoot itself in the foot when the presenter Alok Jha attempted to make a weather observation 1849’s style which would have James Glaisher spinning in his grave. Before I start I’m not going to criticise him for making the time of his observation 12 PM midday, personally I always think that 12 AM is midday, and that 12 PM is midnight, and yes I do know it’s never been officially defined, at least according to the National Physical Laboratory [NPL], safer to use 1200 instead!
Anyway let’s have a look at the wind and the camera pans up to one of the wind vanes of Greenwich Observatory. Yes it’s flitting around from somewhere between south and west – no it’s not, it’s an easterly according to the weather expert Peter Moore. Perhaps they forgot the concept that the wind vane always points into the direction from which the wind is blowing?
Next estimating the wind speed, but surprisingly not using the Beaufort scale that was devised in 1805, obviously Glaisher thought it was much too complicated, perhaps he didn’t like FitzRoy, it’s funny that the Glaisher screen he came up with never really caught on either, damn those Stevenson boys. Anyway I digress, what did Alok come up with after spending all that time in the wind tunnel assessing the Beaufort scale – calm. Yes, even though it looked a good force 1 or 2 and was moving the vane it was calm, perhaps the wind tunnel had permanently affected him in someway. Now to give them the benefit of the doubt, it maybe that they inserted the footage of the wind vane from a shot taken earlier or later in the day, but come on haven’t they heard of the butterfly effect? I’ll wager that chaos thing comes up in the final episode though.
As for the opening ‘red sky at night’ explanation I always thought the old weather saying had something to do with dust particles in the higher atmosphere being associated with anticyclones? I’m sure Alok said ‘red sky at night’ meant that the sky was clear in the west and therefore good weather was on the way – which is completely contrary to what I thought was the real explanation. Never mind I’m sure that no one ever noticed.
The reanalysis of the Royal Charter storm was interesting though, but I just wonder where all the detailed stream lines (especially over the open oceans) came from, when the pressure field looks quite crude. The stream lines also don’t really align with the isobaric flow even allowing for geostrophic curvature. I suppose HH Lamb managed to extend his weather types back to 1861 so the pressure observations must have been there for him to do that. The evolution of the Royal Charter storm certainly looks rather unusual if the animation shown in the program is anything to go by.
One final thing is the title of the documentary – “Storm Troupers” – surely it should be “trooper” rather than “trouper”? As far as I can see a trouper is a member of an acting group called a troupe, but the title surely alludes to the Stormtroopers of the Star Wars films. Perhaps they erred on the phrase that wouldn’t lead to any copyright issues – who knows.
I thought this program was going to be just plain boring but I’ve learnt a bit, not so much about the weather, but more about how science documentaries are put together.
The Met Office have launched their new weather forecast mobile app a couple of days ago (24th May) to little fanfare as far as I could detect. According to them the new app will enable people to stay both safe and one step ahead of the weather, and give confidence to those planning their day wherever they are. They say that they have developed the mobile experience by using real-time consumer feedback (I wonder if they consulted the Weatherlawyer), and apparently the new app delivers faster, more accurate forecast information and warnings to the public, across both iOS and Android devices for up to seven days in advance.
It’s true this app is mobile, in fact it’s so mobile that I can neither download it or install it on my Android Nexus 5 or Nexus 10, aren’t tablets classed as mobile devices? Why can it only be installed on a smartphone, even then that wouldn’t be much good to me because I use a Windows phone. I’m not clear why they’ve restricted the type of devices this app can run on when the old app worked just fine on tablets – perhaps they have something else in the pipeline – maybe a special device for tablets and even the desktop because I’ve heard some unenlightened people are still using them? I seriously doubt this will happen, but I can live in hope.
So instead of an in-depth review here are two screenshots of the app in action, judging by these images it looks like it has been smartened up a bit, but nothing has fundamentally changed.
The Met Office Weather app is the only app on the market to feature pollen alerts and a UK rainfall map video of both forecasts and radar observations, as well as real-time air pollution figures, to help users plan for the expected conditions. In addition to the new updates, the app can provide a weekly snapshot of the weather for multiple locations and also personalises the delivery of information to focus in on the user’s specific requirements. Hourly updates and push notifications are available for those on the go, while the delivery of UK National Severe Weather Warnings are vital to ensure planning and safety in the event of severe snow, strong winds, ice or fog.
What I would personally like to see is 5 minute lightning reports which would push out an alert for any walker or golfer if a storm was within a certain radius. It maybe in there it’s hard to tell on the basis of just four screenshots, I seriously doubt that would happen because of the risk of litigation if some golfer was struck down on the 18th and they hadn’t been alerted. I would like to see extended NWP forecast frames out to at least T+240 and not just MSLP fields either, but again that maybe too close to selling of the family silver for that to happen.
I bet yesterday – Wednesday the 25th of May 2016 – came across as a bit of a shock to some people in Eastern England. The first three weeks of May have been quite warm with the mean CET anomaly pushing +2°C, but yesterday the 06-18 maximum daytime temperatures at most sites in eastern counties were as much as 7 or 8°C below the long-term average. I noticed that St James Park in London was #2 in the largest negative anomalies, although it did manage to get to 14.8°C in mid-Devon.
It isn’t the first time this year that a particular weather situation has thrown up a low from the continent that tracks westwards rather than the usual eastwards, and looking at the latest NWP model forecasts for next week, it won’t be the last.
I’ve never used interactive charts before so this is a first time for me in WordPress. It uses the Amazon cloud to hold the chart and data but the lite version from Highcharts is free to use, let me know what you think. It shows all the monthly April anomalies since 1880 from NOAA’s GISS series. These values are combined land and sea mean surface temperature anomalies using the 1951-1980 long-term average. As you can see the trend is ever upward, and it’s plain to see that April 2016 was the warmest on record by far. Below is a screenshot from my Global temperature application showing the same thing, plus a 136 & 50 year linear trends.
The second graphic is a tabulated grid of recent monthly anomalies. The selected column and row coloured yellow is not working so I’ll have to try to come up with a fix for that and add it to my to-do list.