Sudden Stratospheric Warming…
Heard of it before? Well dont worry if not because its likely everyone will be talking about it over the next few days.
First and foremost lets take a look at what Sudden Stratospheric Warming actually is…
‘A sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) is an event where the polar vortex of westerly winds in the Northern hemisphere slows down or even reverses direction over the course of a few days. The change is accompanied by a rise of stratospheric temperature by several tens of kelvins.’
So what does that mean for the UK?
This is of course the most important part.
Generally speaking the UK will see Westerly winds bringing in mildish air during the winter months which keeps snowfall and freezing temperatures at bay.
However an ‘SSW’ event results in Westerly winds being replaced by Easterly/ North Easterly winds as high pressure is able to take a firm hold over higher latitudes.
This does not always guarentee the colder air will land smack bang over the UK but increases the chances of this happening.
So on the back of this expected ‘SSW’ event the latest model outputs have been throwing up some very cold prospects for the UK.
Over the course of the coming days the exact weather we are likely to see should firm up so we can pinpoint how cold and which areas are at greatest risk of snowfall.
So if you had started to look forward to an early spring & warmer temperatures im afraid you may have to wait just a bit longer.
So how are the conditions where you are this morning?
Many in the UK are seeing heavy snowfall as a band of Rain, Sleet and Snow pushes in from the West.
On its Eastern flank this band is largely snow with many reports of hazardous driving conditions with snow readily sticking to all surfaces.
As the day progresses the snow will slowly turn to rain from the West as milder air moves in which will herald a change to warmer conditions for all as we start the new working week.
So if you want to build a snowman get out there why you can, If you need to travel perhaps consider holding off an hour or two if it is still currently snowing.
Otherwise enjoy your sunday.
The UK has seen a bit of a lull this week in terms of the weather.
Great if you need to be out and about but other than a bit of fog there hasn’t been much to talk about.
All thats about to change as winter returns.
On Monday a large powerful area of low pressure will send cold North Westerly winds hurtling towards the UK which will see temperatures plummet.
These strong winds will blow in regular heavy snow showers by Tuesday and onwards right up to the weekend.
This will see those in the most prone areas, Western Scotland, North West England & Northern Ireland with as much as half a metre of snow!
However despite these areas seeing the worst of conditions just about anywhere is likely to see snow fall as the showers are blown right across the UK at times resulting in blizzard conditions!
So enjoy the next 4 or 5 days if you like this calmer weather as things are soon to get interesting once again!
We will provide a detailed update at the weekend.
Large parts of the UK saw some incredibly heavy snowfall through the early hours with Thundersnow witnessed in the Rugby area!
As major roads became impassable snow ploughs took to the streets to help those stranded.
This afternoon will see that band of snow clear away to the South East so we’re taking a look at when and if any more snow is on its way.
So is it a case of IF or When?
That one is simple, When.
Snow looks set to return to the UK on more than one occasion over the next 5-7 days with the first noticeable falls expected on Friday for areas of Northern England and Scotland with the snowfall lingering all day for areas near the Lake District. This could see anything between 2 and 10cms depending on altitude.
Further ahead sees the Scottish Highlands battered by snowfall on numerous occasions before the risk extends south of the border once again later next week.
At such range any details are not certain so we will update you on that nearer the time.
Just over a week until Christmas and it looks as though it may be a white one for some!
The weather pattern being shown is largely Westerly however occasional Arctic incursions look likely with one being shown as we head in to Christmas day.
The cold air will be modified somewhat by the warm Atlantic due to being pushed south to the West of the UK prior to pushing across our shores.
The areas at the biggest risk will be the usual suspects with Scotland, NW England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Northern parts of Ireland seeing wintry showers.
Unfortunately any settling snow at this stage looks unlikely but even a short period of snowfall should help to make it feel extra Christmassy.
After the snow comes the bitter cold temperatures.
Many places have seen several inches of snow over the past few days with parts of Wales seeing in excess of a foot of snow!
As we go in tonight the skies will clear and many areas with snow on the ground will see temperatures tumble from highs of between -1 to +2 all the way down to -12c in some rural parts.
This will then lead to an Ice day for some on tuesday as temperatures fail to recover above zero.
Looking further ahead milder air is expected with some rain around on wednesday before colder weather returns for the end of the week.
The cold air is here and there has already been up 5 inches of snow in parts of Wales & the West Midlands.
But the biggest threat for many of us is shaping up for Sunday as a dangerous snow storm moves in.
The heavy band of rain is expected to clash with the cold air currently in place over the British Isles and where that occurs large falls look likely.
Earlier today the UK Met Office upgraded the warning from a yellow warning to amber saying “10 cm looks likely quite widely within the warning area, with 15-20 cm in places.”
They also stated the risk for some rural areas to be cut off as the snow sets in for such a long period.
By Monday there is an additional risk of blizzard conditions as winds are expected to strengthen.
Check out our chart below where we have took a blend of the latest model predictions to give you an idea of snowfall amounts in various areas…
The weather is currently taking a turn for the colder with Scotland having already seen some quite widespread falls of snow.
As we go through today and into weekend the whole of the UK plunged into this bitterly cold arctic air.
By friday temperatures will remain below zero for Scotland with a continuation of the snowfall particularly in Western areas whilst further South max temperatures will be around 5-6c.
There will also be Snowfall for parts of England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales however latest model outputs have backed away from any large frontal snowfall event with the risk of any widespread falls reduced. Wintry showers restricted to Western areas producing temporary coverings is now the most favoured outcome.
Looking further ahead to the beginning of next week shows a risk of heavy snowfall for Scotland with the potential for 10cms+ quite widely before winds veer more towards a North Easterly direction giving those along the east side of both Scotland and England a chance of wintry showers Tuesday into Wednesday.
Ok before we start this wont affect every single part of the UK and likewise the same goes for the US, sorry Florida.
But lets take a look at the facts, The UK has thus far experienced an october which has seen repeated attempts at a blocking pattern for the mid Atlantic which if becomes sustained will allow a strong Notherly flow to take hold. Currently we have seen the attempts end up being shunted east with the UK left with a glancing blow but should this set up repeat through out winter it will almost certainly result in at least 2 or 3 significant cold spells.
Further to our East the march of snow across Siberia, Russia and in towards Scandinavia has been substantial. It is widely considered that the more snow on the ground in these areas helps to maintain a Northern latitude blocking pattern. This alone doesn’t guarantee the UK snow but it helps. We then have the fact we have low solar activity & LA NINA taking a strong hold which often sees a weakening of the jet stream.
The combination of these factors are expected to increase the likelihood of an early start to winter for the UK with model outputs already showing snowfall for Scotland, NI & Northwest England around the second week of November. Of course pinpointing the detail at this range is to far to call but its one we will keep a close eye on.
As we look over the pond to the US we see a massive increase in snow cover north of the border in Canada the likes of which bode very well for the coming winter.
As with the UK a LA NINA winter will bring with it increased snow fall as the Polar jet stream and Pacific jet streams interact, The polar bringing the cold temperatures whilst the Pacific brings the moisture.
Also like the UK the second week of November looks to herald potential for first Heavy snowfalls with the states of Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, North/South Dakota, Nabraska & Kansas all in the potential firing line.
For Snow lovers out there this winter could be shaping up to be a good one for the UK.
The last 4 years have been all but null and void of any low lying snow and for some you have to go back to the winter of 2010 since the last real taste of winter.
However as winter nears we are seeing some indications through various indices and statistical models, That North Atlantic blocking may be a little more prevalent this year than we’ve seen in the previous four winters.
While it is still early to say for certain we expect a higher frequency of cold spells this winter across northern and western Europe, especially as the winter progresses.
With a pattern similar to that shown above the UK will see numerous Snowfall events as areas of low pressure run into the cold air filtering down from the North on the Eastern flank of high pressure situated around Southern Greenland.
All parts of the UK would be at risk of Significant snowfall largely through the form of Heavy showers in Northern areas and through Frontal snowfall events as weather fronts bump into the bitterly cold airmass further South.