EuroTempest has issued its fifth and final assessment of seasonal weather forecasts and climate signals for the autumn and winter period across the UK. The summary assessment covers the next three months: January, February and March (JFM).
The general indication from forecast models and current climate signals is that a relatively cold and dry January-March is unlikely.
- Storms: Indications are that the frequency of storms moving into the UK from the North Atlantic will most likely be around or above average during the three-month period.
- Precipitation: UK precipitation totals will most likely be around or higher than the long-term seasonal average.
- Temperature: UK temperatures will most likely be warmer than the long-term seasonal average.
- Long-range models: Numerical Weather Prediction models strongly favour above average temperatures and generally favour average or above average precipitation totals.
- Climate Signals: There are few dominant climate signals (e.g. ENSO is neutral) but the North Atlantic is relatively warm in the vicinity of the UK and the QBO is in a state consistent with a decreased chance of cold and dry weather. The chance of a very cold and dry period by winter’s end is diminshing.
There has been a regular succession of low pressure systems moving in from the Atlantic and no sustained period of high pressure through most of the season so far. Unusually however, most of these low pressure systems have generally not developed very strong winds over the UK. The number of windy days so far this season has been below average overall with, for example, 18 days so far where more than 20% of stations have recorded gusts of over 45mph against an average for the Sep-Dec period of 27 days. In recent weeks stronger winds have developed but these systems have tracked to the north of the UK and delivered only a “glancing blow” here. At other times there has been unusual storm activity to the south of the UK, with wind damage and flooding affecting Portugal and Spain.
The low pressure systems coming into the UK have, however, delivered significant amounts of rainfall. Autumn 2019 (Sep-Nov) has been officially confirmed as the fifth wettest autumn on record for England and Wales (from records dating back to 1766) and, though not as significantly wet, December 2019 was another wetter than average month in all regions of the UK except Northern Ireland.
Looking forwards the weather models and some climate signals suggest that the next few weeks will likely be characterised by a continuation of recent unsettled conditions. The last few weeks of January are likely to start unsettled. A continuing mild and wet period is the most likely outcome, though there are some indications that particularly the south of the country may be increasingly influenced by continental high pressure, leading to generally colder and drier conditions here.
To read the full report, which explains some of the factors that may influence the next 3 months of UK weather conditions, click on the link below:
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