Winter expected to be Cold!

WEATHER experts are warning British & American citizens this week that the up-and-coming winter season may actually get cold and even wet at times, all depending on the temperature and rainfall amounts.

Forecasters said the change will even affect some trees, which will lose their leaves over the coming months.

Explaining the unusual phenomenon, meteorologist Martin Byrne warned that December, January & February will probably be colder than the rest of the months in the year, and advised people to wear warmer clothes than they would in spring and summer.

“I would advise everyone in the country to buy a hat, jacket and a pair of gloves in preparation for this sudden change in climate,” he said. “These items of clothing can be purchased in any good clothes shop, and will protect you from the cold air. If you don’t have any form of heating in your home, I’d advise you to get some quick. Note: you cannot buy jumpers or jackets for houses, as they don’t make them that size.”

Along with the cold, darkness is also expected, with light dissipating earlier in the evening than in previous months.

“Motorists will have to turn their lights on to drive in the dark,” Byrne explained, demonstrating with a torch and making ‘vroom vroom’ noises while steering an imaginary wheel. “It could also rain in the dark too, so make sure your car has windscreen wipers,” he added, now moving his head side-to-side.

The winter weather is expected to last right up to January, and even Febuary, before getting slightly warmer in time for spring, which is a whole other ball game altogether.

Will the UK get America’s huge SNOWSTORM?

One of the most common comments we see whenever the U.S has severe winter weather is ‘We will get that in a couple of weeks time’.

So is there any truth in this statement?

Well Yes & No.

Weather systems in the Northern hemisphere tend to head eastwards powered along by the jet stream.

This of course means weather systems to the UK’s West (America/Canada area) head in our general direction.

However the Atlantic is a large body of relatively warm water.

This modifies any weather systems as it heads in our direction so what once may have produced Cold/Snowy weather one side of the ocean will result in a spell of general wet & windy weather for us.

(There will be occasions when cold air over the UK prior to such weather systems reaching the UK can result in snowfall however the system itself would not be bringing the cold air.)

That is also presuming the weather system that would have gave snowfall to the U.S heads directly towards the UK.

Many systems will pass to the North or South or even weaken to the point they are no longer recognisable as the storm that they once were.

So unfortunately for anyone who was hoping for a mammoth snow storm in two weeks time im afraid to say dont get your hopes up.

The UK’s very own Tornado Alley has been identified by the University of Manchester

The area between London and Reading, in Berkshire, has the highest likelihood of a tornado in the UK, according to researchers mapping their location.

The University of Manchester tracked “tornado hotspots” in the UK between 1980 and 2012.

It found that there had been an average of 34 tornadoes in the UK each year – particularly in southern England.

 

Tornado map from 1980 to 2012 from the University of Manchester
Map showing incidence of tornadoes from 1980 to 2012. (White areas no tornadoes, bright green low frequency, pink and grey highest frequency) Source: University of Manchester

But a high proportion of these spinning columns of air had relatively low wind speeds and did not create much damage.

The researchers from the University of Manchester have produced a map showing the prevalence of tornadoes.

It found they were much more likely in England than in other parts of the UK – and if England was taken separately, it would have one of the world’s highest rates of tornadoes, relative to its size.

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A tornado caused damage costing £40m in Birmingham in 2005

It found there was a 6% chance of a tornado per year in the area between London and Reading. The researchers say that this means a tornado is likely once every 17 years.

There was a 5% likelihood in a zone from Bristol north to Birmingham and Manchester.

And there was a 4% likelihood of a tornado between north-east London and Ipswich.

But while tornadoes are relatively frequent in the UK, 95% of them are in two lowest categories of strength, classified as F0 or F1, with a maximum wind speed of 112mph.

Only one in 20 reaches the level of an F2 tornado, with speeds up to 157mph.

In 2005, an F2 tornado caused 19 injuries and damage costing £40m in Birmingham.

The scale goes up to F5, with wind speeds over 300mph, and it is these highly destructive tornadoes that can hit parts of the United States.

“Because tornadoes are capable of causing such damage it is important that we have some kind of idea where they are most likely to hit,” said Kelsey Mulder, of the university’s School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences.

“It seems that most tornadoes in the UK are created along long, narrow storms that form along cold fronts,” said Ms Mulder.

She says there is no simple explanation for why some areas in the UK might be more prone to tornadoes and identification could depend on eye-witness reports.

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Birmingham 2005: The map shows a tornado belt running from Bristol through Birmingham to Manchester

Monster Iceberg pays a visit to Newfoundland

Each spring, ice blocks drift down from the arctic into an area known as “Iceberg Alley,” off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

One of the first massive icebergs of the season looks grounded in shallow water, just off the coast of Ferryland, Canada.

The first iceberg of the season passes the South Shore on April 16. Jody Martin / Reuters

Ferryland Mayor Adrian Kavanagh told the Canadian Press it could stick around for a while. “It’s the biggest one I ever seen around here,” Kavanaugh said. “It’s in so close that people can get a good photograph of it.”

A resident views the iceberg on April 16. Greg Locke / Reuters

So far this season, there’s been an unusually high number of icebergs. The Canadian Press reports that 616 have already moved into the North Atlantic shipping lanes compared to 687 by the late-September season’s end last year.

Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, said it is possible climate change is leading to more icebergs in the shipping lanes, but wind patterns are also important.

China To Get Vertical Gardens In 2018 To Help Tackle Pollution

What’s the best way to deal with urban smog? Well, here’s an intriguing solution – vertical gardens that scale up buildings.

Several such projects have already sprung up around the world, in places like Italy and Mexico. Now, an Italian architecture firm called Stefano Boeri Architetti is planning to build the first one in Asia, specifically in Nanjing, China.

The firm is planning to build two towers laden with greenery, known as a Vertical Forest or the Nanjing Green Towers, in Nanjing’s Pukou District. Due to be completed in 2018, the towers would be covered in 600 tall trees, 500 medium-sized trees, and 2,500 cascading plants and shrubs. In total, this would cover an area of 6,000 square meters (64,600 square feet).

“A real vertical forest that will help to regenerate local biodiversity, will provide 25 tons of CO2 absorption each year and will produce about 60 kg of oxygen per day,” the firm said in its statement.

Stefano Boeri Architetti

The taller of the two towers would be 200 meters (656 feet) high, with a “green lantern” on top, offices, a museum, a private rooftop club, and a “green architecture school”. The second tower would be 108 meters (354 feet) tall, with a Hyatt hotel inside and a swimming pool on the rooftop. Nice.

The firm said that these constructions help increase biodiversity, providing a place for birds and insects to colonize. The diverse plants also help to create humidity and absorb CO2 and dust, producing oxygen in the process.

Green urban architecture has been around for a while. In Stuttgart, Germany, for example, around a quarter of all flat roofs are green, while London has 121,000 square meters (1.3 million square feet) of greenery on roofs.

China’s smog problem is no secret, with Beijing in particular suffering immensely in recent years. Are vertical forests the answer? Who knows. But it’s a pretty neat idea – and they look pretty good too.


Stefano Boeri Architetti

Stefano Boeri Architetti

For more check out http://www.iflscience.com

Lunar eclipse, Snow Moon and New Year Comet to coincide tonight

Stargazers should cast their eyes upwards this month, as three celestial events – a penumbral lunar eclipse, the full ‘Snow Moon’ and the passing ‘New Year Comet’ – will all be visible to the naked eye.

Want to make sure you don’t miss this rare spectacle? Here’s everything you need to know…

When will the event be visible in the UK?

Curious Brits can catch a glimpse of the coinciding events tonight through until the morning.

What is the penumbral lunar eclipse?

A penumbral lunar eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when the Earth, Sun and Moon align, almost in a straight line. As this happens, the Earth blocks a portion of the Sun’s light and casts a shadow onto some of the Moon – this is known as the penumbra.

The penumbral eclipse is quite subtle and more difficult to spot than a partial total eclipse.

lastsupermoon1i.jpg
(Getty Images)

When is the penumbral lunar eclipse visible?

To ensure that you don’t miss it, remember that the eclipse is due to start at 22:34 GMT on February 10 and end at 02:53 the next morning, with peak visibility at 00.43 on the morning of February 11.

What is the Snow Moon?

The term ‘Snow Moon’ refers to the full moon in the month of February, so called because the heaviest snow usually falls in this month. With temperatures plummeting to below zero and isolated snow showers forecast for today, the Snow Moon seems particularly relevant.

When is the Snow Moon visible?

The Moon is due to rise at 16:44 GMT and set at 07:30 the following morning.

What is the New Year Comet?

newspix1512b.jpg
(EPA)

This periodic comet, which follows the same path around the sun and can be seen from Earth every five and a quarter years, is actually called Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková. It is named after the astronomers who discovered it in 1948.

This year, it has been dubbed the ‘New Year Comet’ because it became visible in the skies of the northern hemisphere at the end of 2016 and was sighted on New Year’s Eve.

Solar-Panel Roads to Be Built on Four Continents Next Year

Electric avenues that can transmit the sun’s energy onto power grids may be coming to a city near you.

A subsidiary of Bouygues SA has designed rugged solar panels, capable of withstand the weight of an 18-wheeler truck, that they’re now building into road surfaces. After nearly five years of research and laboratory tests, they’re constructing 100 outdoor test sites and plan to commercialize the technology in early 2018.

Wattway’s solar road in Tourouvre

Source: Wattway

“We wanted to find a second life for a road,” said Philippe Harelle, the chief technology officer at Colas SA’s Wattway unit, owned by the French engineering group Bouygues. “Solar farms use land that could otherwise be for agriculture, while the roads are free.”

As solar costs plummet, panels are being increasingly integrated into everyday materials. Last month Tesla Motors Inc. surprised investors by unveiling roof shingles that double as solar panels. Other companies are integrating photovoltaics into building facades. Wattway joins groups including Sweden’s Scania and Solar Roadways in the U.S. seeking to integrate panels onto pavement.

To resist the weight of traffic, Wattway layers several types of plastics to create a clear and durable casing. The solar panel underneath is an ordinary model, similar to panels on rooftops. The electrical wiring is embedded in the road and the contraption is topped by an anti-slip surface made from crushed glass.

A kilometer-sized testing site began construction last month in the French village of Tourouvre in Normandy. The 2,800 square meters of solar panels are expected to generate 280 kilowatts at peak, with the installation generating enough to power all the public lighting in a town of 5,000 for a year, according to the company.

For now, the cost of the materials makes only demonstration projects sensible. A square meter of the solar road currently costs 2,000 ($2,126) and 2,500 euros. That includes monitoring, data collection and installation costs. Wattway says it can make the price competitive with traditional solar farms by 2020.

The electricity generated by this stretch of solar road will feed directly into the grid. Another test site is being used to charge electric vehicles. A third will power a small hydrogen production plant. Wattway has also installed its panels to light electronic billboards and is working on links to street lights.

The next two sites will be in Calgary in Canada and in the U.S. state of Georgia. Wattway also plans to build them in Africa, Japan and throughout the European Union.

“We need to test for all kinds of different traffic and climate conditions,” Harelle said. “I want to find the limits of it. We think that maybe it will not be able to withstand a snow plow.”

The potential fragility joins cost as a potential hurdle.

“We’re seeing solar get integrated in a number of things, from windows in buildings to rooftops of cars, made possible by the falling cost of panels,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Pietro Radoia said. “On roads, I don’t think that it will really take off unless there’s a shortage of land sometime in the future.”’

Arctic Outbreak to bring FREEZING temperatures on a widespread scale through the U.S!

The record warmth that much of the U.S. experienced this fall will just be a distant memory next week. A change is coming, courtesy of the first arctic blast of the season, arriving just in time for the beginning of meteorological winter.

Many cities from the East to the Pacific Northwest saw temperatures this fall rank in the top five warmest, and November 2016 was one of the three warmest Novembers on record for locations from the Midwest and Plains to the West Coast. A few cities in the Midwest even set records for latest first freeze.

As we head into early December, a pattern change is finally expected to allow arctic air to spill southward. Below is a look at where the coldest temperatures are currently located.

Current Temperatures

Current Temperatures

This change to colder temperatures will begin to evolve late this weekend and into next week.

A southward dip in the jet stream, or upper-level trough, will dig southward from the Gulf of Alaska and western Canada into the western U.S., and will then slide eastward as the week progresses. High pressure at the surface will then dive southward, allowing arctic air to spread into parts of the Lower 48.

Cold Setup

This will be the first arctic air mass of the season for the U.S., just in time to start December.

How Cold Will It Get, and When?

The coldest temperatures of the season so far are expected to arrive next week. Big temperature drops are ahead, with highs and lows dropping 20 to 30 degrees.

These very cold conditions will first be felt in the northern Rockies on Monday and will spread through much of the West and into portions of the northern and central Plains by Tuesday.

(FORECAST: Great Falls, Montana | Salt Lake City | Denver | Albuquerque, New Mexico) – Weather.com

The first sub-zero temperatures of the season for some locations are expected Tuesday through Thursday mornings from the Rockies to the northern Plains.

Forecast Morning Lows

Forecast Morning Lows

High and low temperatures will be as much as 30 degrees colder than average. This translates to high temperatures below freezing for much of the West and into the northern and central Plains and upper Midwest. In fact, highs will struggle to reach double digits midweek in parts of the northern Rockies and northern Plains.

Even with these very cold temperatures, widespread record lows are not expected.

(FORECAST: Bismarck, North Dakota | Omaha, Nebraska | Chicago | St. Louis) – weather.com

It will be windy as well, which will make it feel even colder than what the thermometer reads, resulting in brutal wind chills.

In addition, snow will accompany the cold temperatures, but it is too early to determine exactly where, when and how much snow will fall yet.

Forecast Highs Compared To Average

Forecast Highs Compared To Average

Arctic air will continue to plunge through the Plains and into the Midwest midweek. Above-average temperatures will be replaced with below-average readings. Highs will drop from the 40s to the 20s for much of the Midwest.

Late in the week, the colder conditions will reach the East Coast.

(FORECAST: New York | Washington, D.C. | Atlanta | Orlando) – weather.com

At this time, it appears that temperatures will not be as cold for the East as for the West and Plains. However, it will feel more like winter.

Next Week's Forecast

Next Week’s Forecast

The first freeze of the season may arrive for New York and Atlanta by next weekend, as lows will dip into the 20s and 30s.

High temperatures will drop from the mid-40s to the low to mid-30s for much of the Northeast, and many areas of the South will see highs in the 50s and 60s be replaced with highs only in the 40s.

The chilly conditions will reach all the way to Florida. Temperatures in central Florida will only reach the 60s by late week, compared to 80s early in the week.

The Polar Vortex is shifting increasing the chances of a bitter winter for America and Europe

Climate change has hit the Arctic worse than ever over the past few years, but that doesn’t mean the Northern Hemisphere is going to be experiencing a mild winter this year.

In fact, a new study shows that the polar vortex is shifting, and it’s going to make winters on the east coast of the US and parts of Europe even longer, with exceptionally cold temperatures expected during March.

The polar vortex is that lovely zone of cold air that swirls around the Arctic during winter. When parts of the vortex break apart and splinter off, it can cause unseasonably cold conditions in late-winter and early-spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

This happened in early 2014 – as you can see in the satellite image above – and caused an extreme weather event in the northern US and Canada.

But not many people realise there are actually two polar vortices: the stratospheric polar vortex, which is about 19,800 metres (65,000 feet) above the surface of the Earth; and the tropospheric polar vortex around 5,500 to 9,100 metres (18,000 to 30,000 feet) above the surface.

Usually, when the weather forecasters are talking about the polar vortex, they’re referring to the tropospheric vortex, which is the one that rips apart and plunges cold air towards mid-latitude cities, such as New York.

But this study looked at the stratospheric polar vortex, which can have a bigger, but more subtle effect on mid-latitude weather.

After looking at satellite data over the past three decades, the team showed that the stratospheric polar vortex has gradually been moving towards the Eurasian continent, and getting weaker over the past 30 years.

That might sound like a good thing for warm weather lovers, but a weaker polar vortex means a vortex that’s more likely to break, and those breakages are what send unseasonably late winter blasts of cold air down to the rest of the world.

When the polar vortex is strong, on the other hand, all that cold air gets contained nicely in the Arctic circle where it traditionally is at that time of year.

The weakening of the polar vortex isn’t necessarily new – it’s something several studies have shown over recent years. But this study also shows that the vortex is moving away from North America and towards Europe and Asia during February each year – and that could cause the east coast of the US to get even colder.

“The meteorology is complicated, but the study says this shift tends to result in more of a dip in the jet stream over the east coast during March, which leads to colder temperatures,” writes Jason Samenow for The Washington Post.

The study also found that this vortex shift is “closely related” to shrinking sea ice coverage in the Arctic – particularly in the Barents-Kara seas – and increased snow cover over the Eurasian continent.

But that link is still a little tenuous. The main issue here is that researchers have found a correlation, but no one has been able to show exactly how melting ice in the Arctic sea is causing the polar vortex to shift.

“I thought the paper presented adequate evidence to support its conclusions, but obviously one paper is not going to settle an issue,” James Screen, a climate scientist at the University of Exeter in the UK, who wasn’t involved in the study, told Samenow.

“The problem with most if not all of the Arctic/jet stream studies has been the lack of a clear physical cause and effect relationship, with correlations found but mechanisms as yet uncovered,” added Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric research, who wasn’t involved in the study.

The team admits they don’t have all the answers just yet, but that the relationship between the polar vortex and Arctic ice loss is worth investigating further.

“The potential vortex shift in response to persistent sea-ice loss in the future, and its associated climatic impact, deserve attention to better constrain future climate changes,” they conclude.

Unfortunately, researchers will have plenty of opportunity to explore this link this winter, with the temperature around the North Pole 36 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) warmer than it should be right now, and the ice sheets struggling to freeze up.

The research has been published in Nature Climate Change.

We’re about to see a Record breaking supermoon – the biggest in nearly 70 years

If you only see one astronomical event this year, make it the November supermoon, when the Moon will be the closest to Earth it’s been since January 1948.

During the event, which will happen on the eve of November 14, the Moon will appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an average full moon. This is the closest the Moon will get to Earth until 25 November 2034, so you really don’t want to miss this one.

So how do you get a supermoon? 

As NASA explains, because the Moon has an elliptical orbit, one side – called the perigee – is about 48,280 km (30,000 miles) closer to Earth than the other side (the apogee).

When the Sun, the Moon, and Earth line up as the Moon orbits Earth, that’s known as syzygy (definitely something you want to keep in your back pocket for your next Scrabble match).

When this Earth-Moon-Sun system occurs with the perigee side of the Moon facing us, and the Moon happens to be on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun, we get what’s called a perigee-syzygy.

That causes the Moon to appear much bigger and brighter in our sky than usual, and it’s referred to as a supermoon – or more technically, a perigee moon.

Supermoons aren’t all that uncommon – we just had one on October 16, and after the November 14 super-supermoon, we’ll have another one on December 14.

But because the November 14 Moon becomes full within about 2 hours of perigee, it’s going to look the biggest it has in nearly seven decades.

“The full moon of November 14 is not only the closest full moon of 2016, but also the closest full moon to date in the 21st century,” says NASA. “The full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until 25 November 2034.”

 

This one, shot in 2014 over Manhattan, is particularly cool:

If you’re planning on viewing the November 14 supermoon, be sure to get somewhere nice and dark, away from the lights of the city, if you can.

You’ll have some awesome opportunities to take pictures with your phone overnight, but if you want to see it at its absolute biggest, it’s expected to reach the peak of its full phase on the morning of November 14 at 8:52am EST (1352 GMT).

For those of youhttp://www.sciencealert.com/we-re-about-to-see-a-record-breaking-supermoon-the-biggest-and-brightest-in-nearly-70-years in Australia, you’ll need to wait until November 15 to see it, and the Moon will hit its full phase at 12:52am AEST.

Full Story: Biggest Supermoon for nearly 70 Years!