Still dithering…


No warnings out for the weekend just yet, but I’m sure that  they’ll be issued shortly…

there obviously leaving it to the day shift!


Satellite and weather radar animations – 17 November 2016

A couple of animations from today’s visible satellite images and weather radar courtesy of the Met Office. Answers on a postcard please to what exactly that fast moving trough like feature was that crossed quickly across North Wales and on across into Lincolnshire.


Courtesy of the Met Office


Courtesy of the Met Office

Worst of the winds in the channel – shades of 1987?

Courtesy of the BBC

I’ve already blogged this morning about how the Met Office seem to be prevaricating about what will happen with this weekend’s low pressure. Well the prevarication is over and they’ve just announced – courtesy of John Hammond in the 12.57 PM BBC forecast – that the strongest of the winds will stay in the English channel – well probably!

According to the Met Office the strongest winds should be here…


Courtesy of the BBC

Or less likely they could be here…


Courtesy of the BBC

It’s a bit like the old joke “I used to indecisive, but now I’m not so sure”. You can’t help but draw parallels with the situation on the 15th of October 1987 and on Sunday the 20th of November 2016 (I always said there was 29 year cycle), when Michael Fish just a few hours before the storm broke, issued these wonderful immortal words: “Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way… well, if you’re watching, don’t worry, there isn’t!“. That evening as most of you will know the worst storm to hit the southeast of England for many years caused record damage and killed 19 people. Forgive me as soon as I see charts with arrows on I can’t help  but think of Dad’s Army!


Courtesy of the BBC

And because named storms depend on having what they call multiple “impacts”, this looks like it won’t be a named storm either by the looks of things.  It does make you wonder since they are about to lose the BBC contract just how the Met Office in the future will get these kind of pontifications across to the general public – twitter, Facebook the ITV?

Below is the latest T+72 forecast chart from the ECMWF. Frustratingly they only produces images for the whole of Europe and the North Atlantic and just in 24 hour time steps – come on get real – Brexit has not officially started, and we still pay for this service and we can’t even zoom into different regions of Europe. Having got that off my chest – that chart does seem to support that the strongest gradient will run over northern France, so maybe they’ll be right – time will tell.


Courtesy of ECMWF

With gusts to 73 knots at Shawbury – who needs storm Angus?

A gust to 73 knots (84 mph) that has just occurred at Shawbury is quite high for an inland station. It occurred on a sharp trough as it passed the station in the preceding hour. As you can see it’s a fairly windy day across most of the west with some gusts to gale force.


The Met Office may have had a warning for storm force gusts in force earlier in the day for Shropshire, but not when I just looked.




Met Office prevaricating?


Courtesy of Google

It seems to me that the Met Office are doing a lot of prevaricating about the low that’s forecast to cross the country this weekend. I’ve already looked at the output from the three major NWP models and there does seems to be a divergence in how the UKMO model plays it when compared to other models, and exactly where the low will track and how much it will intensify is crucial. I suppose to be fair it’s still only around 60 hours away, but I imagine they are still very undecided in which way to play it, especially when it seems to be gunning for the southeast of England! At 1210 PM on Thursday there’s still been no news on if this will indeed be storm Angus, and still no warnings have been issued for this weekend.


Courtesy of the Met Office

If I were the Chief and looking at the T+84 for 12Z on Sunday, I would be naming that storm pretty sharpish, especially when you remember some of the lightweight affairs that they named as storms last season.


Courtesy of the Met Office

A little belter

The trough that’s heading into Northwest Wales is a bit of a belter. On the 1100 UTC chart  the pressure at Valley is slightly lower that at Ronaldsway so a circulation is starting to form on the tip of it due to the large pressure falls ahead of it.


The rainfall has been no less spectacular this morning with some very bright echoes coming into Cardigan Bay. Interestingly, the rain is running well ahead of the surface trough.


The latest 5 day forecast

This is a quick look at how four of the world’s leading NWP models are performing courtesy of Wetterzentrale. The image below is a 4 up of forecasts for each of the models for today made 120 hours ago on the 12th of November 2016.


And here’s out today turned out!


In my new verification application they all come out with flying colours on the simple Lamb Weather Type verification, but I gave best model to the ECMWF because of some slight troughing over Sweden and south of Iceland. The Met Office model just seemed to have the pressure a little too low and the shape of the low a bit elongated in a similar way to the GFS. One up for the ECMWF. I wonder if MeteoGroup could make use of their model data when they take over at the BBC?

Anyway all the models seem in a bit of a quandary at the moment with how to handle the low that’s expected to rush across the country this weekend and exactly what track it will take. It’s no different with the forecast for T+120 forecast for next week either, here’s the latest 4-up from the midnight run for next Tuesday.


The GFS and the ECMWF have a very similar solution with a quite intense low in the western part of the English Channel and the bulk of the British Isles in a very cyclonic northeasterly. The UKMO on the other have a low over Dogger with the whole of the country in a slacker northwesterly flow. Don’t ask me what’s happening to the Brazilian model [CPTEC]. I did think that it would be a good idea to include it with the other models, but having looked at some of its recent performances I am looking to replace it. The one thing you can always say about British weather is that it’s never boring.

As I said earlier, all images are courtesy of the wonderful Wetterzentrale.

Deflating the supermoon hype

Courtesy of Astronomy Picture Of the Day [APOD]

Courtesy of Astronomy Picture Of the Day [APOD]

Yet another slightly more interesting article ‘deflating the supermoon hype’ from The Guardian.

Why the Arctic waters are reluctant to freeze

Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Why the Arctic waters are reluctant to freeze another slightly less interesting article from The Guardian.

Another mild day in the south


Wow! 16.9°C at Exeter airport. If the sun had come out for any length of time it would have surely made 18°C.