Category Archives: Weather

The relentless wind

Damage from Storm Ciara was a lot less notable than further north though the relentless wind saw three records broken locally. Though the gusts were nothing like the St Jude storm in October 2013 the sustained wind blew at its greatest 1, 2 and 3-day rate since this particular automatic station was reset in November 2012.

wind run

Over the 3 days the wind direction was locked in a south-westerly, from 199 to 203 degrees.

9th10th11th

Dynamic early final warming and spring

In my search for some winter weather a tweet by Amy H Butler about dynamic final warmings piqued my interest.

According to the atmospheric scientist a winter where there was no major disruptions of the polar vortex (SSW) we are more likely to see a dynamic early final warming. A table published by Wiley shows the final warming dates.

FW
* means there was a SSW, bold means late FW (after the mean date of April 15).

So what could this mean for the weather in the London area? Considering all the above years with no SSW gives an average date of April 19th for a dynamic final warming.

I then looked at the TMax anomaly for those years for 60 days following a DFW and came up with the following graph.

june cold

The results suggest temperatures in April will be heading down in the final week for a  cold end. The average to cool theme continues into May before temperatures lift in the final week for a warm end, with anomalies up to 5C above average. June, however, looks shocking with temperatures nearly 6C below average by the 16th.

This winter has so far been very similar in type to 1990. The dynamic final warming that year was among the latest in the list and led to a cool and dull June with anomalies in the second week nearly 7C below average!

1990

2019 Wanstead annual weather review

This year finished as the 17th warmest on record – some 0.4C warmer than the 1981-2010 average. Although mild it was the coolest for six years.

After a dry start a wet autumn saw annual rainfall finish above average, the wettest for five years, 105 97 per cent of average.

Sunshine was down on 2018 though the total was just above average.

2019

2019 temp

2019 rain

2019 sun

For a review of each month, click JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune, JulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember

You can read the national review of weather events at the Met Office blog here.

 

Summary for 2019

Temperature (°C):
Mean (1 minute)  11.7
Mean (min+max)   11.7
Mean Minimum     7.3
Mean Maximum     16.1
Minimum          -6.5 day 30/01
Maximum          36.8 day 25/07
Highest Minimum  19.6 day 23/07
Lowest Maximum   1.3 day 23/01
Air frosts       43
Rainfall (mm):
Total for year  667.4
Wettest day      20.6 day 19/07
High rain rate   65.8 day 09/08
Rain days        158
Dry days         207
Wind (mph):
Highest Gust     36.5 day 10/03
Average Speed    2.5
Wind Run         22211.5 miles
Gale days        0
Pressure (mb):
Maximum          1053.4 day 09/08
Minimum          969.8 day 12/12
Days with snow falling         5
Days with snow lying at 0900   2
Total hours of sunshine        1451

December 2019: wettest for 17 years

The December monthly mean finished 6.3C, that’s 0.7C above average, making it the ninth month of 2019 where the monthly mean temperature finished above average.

The wet theme of October and November carried on into December; the 111.1mm collected was 209 per cent of the 1981-2010 average, the wettest since 2002.

Some 51hrs of sunshine were recorded, 126 per cent of average, the sunniest for three years.

There were seven air frosts.

To view full stats follow this link:http://1drv.ms/1kiTuzv

december t max

November 2019: coldest for nine years

The November monthly mean finished 6.4C, that’s 1.6C below average, the coldest November since 2010. It was the third month of 2019 where the monthly mean temperature finished below average.

The wet theme of October carried on into November; the 68.5mm collected was 116 per cent of the 1981-2010 average, slightly drier than last years.

Some 59.7hrs of sunshine were recorded, 102 per cent of average, the dullest for four years.

There were six air frosts.

You can find my thoughts on how winter is going to pan out here.

To view full stats follow this link:http://1drv.ms/1kiTuzv

nov t.PNG

Summary for November 2019 – to follow

London winter forecast 2019/20

For this year’s winter forecast, because of time constraints, I am sticking purely to what the local analogues reveal.

Meteorological autumn was the wettest for 18 years and the coolest for 6 years, revealing some interesting similarities with past climate. Considering data back to 1797 I was able to make the following suggestions on how the next 90 days may unfold.

December is most likely to be on the cold side with rainfall slightly below average.

January is most likely to finish average temperature-wise and wetter than December.

London’s February extremes temperature also look average overall and the precipitation signal also creeps up in comparison to the first two winter months.

Best chance for snow? Impossible to pin down but the coldest weather is likely to be at the beginning of February, the third week of January and just after Christmas.

The warmest period looks to be around January 10th while there’s also a signal for that often phenomena of milder temperatures just before Christmas day.

Most of the probabilities in the above statements are relatively low and are explained in the table below.

Mean temperature 2019/20

December January February
1981-2010 average 5.6 1981-2010 average 5.3 1981-2010 average 5.3
Forecast median 4.4 Forecast median 4.7 Forecast median 5
Rather cold 40% Normal 40% Normal 44%
Normal 28% Rather cold 32% Rather cold 32%
Mild 20% Very cold 12% Mild 16%
Cold 4% Mild 12% Cold 4%
Very cold 8% Cold 4% Very cold 4%

 

Rainfall 2019/20

December January February
1981-2010 average 53.2mm 1981-2010 average 55mm 1981-2010 average 40.1mm
Forecast median 48.3mm Forecast median 55mm Forecast median 40mm
Wet 32% Wet 32% Wet 36%
Normal 20% Normal 28% Normal 36%
Dry 48% Dry 36% Dry 28%

Months of perpetual cold

It’s been a while since this region has seen a sustained colder than average period. Though the past few weeks have seen colder than normal weather we have to go back to the beginning of 2015 where at least three consecutive months were colder than the 1981-2010 average.

The spell, which coincided with winter, was unremarkable with just one day of lying snow. The season finished 55th out of 73 of the most recent winters,  the anomaly for the 90-day period was -0.3C. For deep, lasting snowfall events a monthly mean temperature must be at least 2C colder than average.

For anything ‘snow-worthy’ you have to go back seven years to a 10-month long colder than average spell that began in September 2012 and coincided with probably the last winter I can remember that had more than one cold spell with snow that lasted longer than a few days. The average mean for this spell was -1.3C.

The most potent cold period occurred during the winter of 1984/85, a winter where snow lay nearly a foot deep by the end of January and where seven ice days were recorded – these days we’re lucky to record just one ice day per winter! Only just behind was the 3-month period January to March 1987.

As with previous blogs I have devised a way of ranking these cold periods, by dividing the mean with the length in months. The first nine months of 1986 achieved the highest ranking, a period that included the 5th coldest February in this area since 1797.

rank

And in chronological order…

chron

cold month index

It is looking like the mean this November will finish below average, making it the second month in a row, something that hasn’t happened since March last year. Will December make it three in a row and a new addition to the list?

 

October 2019: wettest since 2004

The wet theme of the final week of September carried on into October; the 100.3mm collected was 150 per cent of the 1981-2010 average, the wettest 10th month for 15 years.

The monthly mean finished 11C, that’s 0.8C below average, the coldest October since 2012. It is only the second month of 2019 where the monthly mean temperature finishes below average.

Only 72hrs of sunshine were recorded, 68 per cent of average, the dullest October since 2002.

The area’s first frost arrived 10 days before the median date back to 1959. And 3 days earlier than last year. A shower with >5mm hail was observed on the 9th.

To view full stats follow this link:http://1drv.ms/1kiTuzv

oct max

Summary for October 2019

Temperature (°C):
Mean (1 minute)  11.5
Mean (min+max)   11.3
Mean Minimum     7.6
Mean Maximum     15.0
Minimum          -0.8 day 27
Maximum          20.4 day 14
Highest Minimum  11.9 day 05
Lowest Maximum   10.3 day 28
Air frosts       1
Rainfall (mm):
Total for month  100.3
Wettest day      16.6 day 05
High rain rate   20.1 day 01
Rain days        20
Dry days         11
Wind (mph):
Highest Gust     21.3 day 25
Average Speed    2.0
Wind Run         1492.7 miles
Gale days        0
Pressure (mb):
Maximum          1026.6 day 29
Minimum          996.6 day 01
Days with snow falling         0
Days with snow lying at 0900   0
Total hours of sunshine        72

September 2019: wettest since 2006

Most of the rain of September 2019 fell in the last week making what was a fairly unremarkable month weatherwise the wettest September for 13 years.

Some 63.9mm of rain fell which is 123 per cent of average.

The monthly mean finished 15.8C, that’s 0.4C above average, the warmest September for 3 years, 0.6C warmer than last year.

Sunshine, at 150.5hrs, 107 per cent of average but over 30 hours fewer than last year.

To view full stats follow this link:http://1drv.ms/1kiTuzv

sept

Summary for September 2019

Temperature (°C):
Mean (1 minute)  15.5
Mean (min+max)   15.8
Mean Minimum     11.1
Mean Maximum     20.5
Minimum          5.2 day 17
Maximum          26.0 day 15
Highest Minimum  15.7 day 23
Lowest Maximum   16.1 day 09
Air frosts       0
Rainfall (mm):
Total for month  63.9
Wettest day      14.9 day 24
High rain rate   28.2 day 27
Rain days        14
Dry days         16
Wind (mph):
Highest Gust     23.5 day 27
Average Speed    2.5
Wind Run         1809.2 miles
Gale days        0
Pressure (mb):
Maximum          1036.8 day 13
Minimum          992.3 day 29
Days with snow falling         0
Days with snow lying at 0900   0
Total hours of sunshine        0.0

The year snow fell in London in October

Two hundred years ago this October the extremely rare phenomenon of lying snow in October was recorded in London.

A likely plunge of Arctic air on the 21st saw rain turn to snow which lay nearly 8cm deep by the morning and remained for nearly a week.

The month started dry and warm. On the 1st Luke Howard recorded 75°F at his laboratory in Stratford. The warmth remained into the second week with 77°F recorded on the 10th, 11th and 12th.

oct 1819
The values from Luke Howard’s Climate of London.

The wind swung into the north on the 18th and with it arrived the first hoar frosts that were cold enough to kill garden plants.

On the 21st the cold air further dug in and with it rain that turned to sleet. Howard said: “It began to snow about noon falling in very large flakes thick and rapidly for an hour and covering the ground. Some rain followed.

“In the evening the wind rose and it blew hard in the night from NNW. At midnight came a second heavy fall of snow which continued till 6am and though at first much of it melted it lay in the morning a full three inches deep.”

Howard adds that the surroundings ‘took on appearance of mid winter with the single exception of the foliage still remaining on the trees which mingled with an enormous burden of snow presented a very singular and grotesque appearance’.

The weight of the snow was also enough to break off large limbs from fruit trees.

The snow was still lying on the 23rd and, probably caught out by the earliness of the polar plunge, swallows were seen at Stamford Hill. On the 24th a very white frost was observed with a low of 31°F recorded at Tottenham.

More wintry weather followed in November, December and January.

Could snow fall here again in October? The probability is very low but it is not impossible, given the right synoptic conditions. Recent cases of notably positive and negative anomalies following in quick succession somewhat mirror the weather of Howard’s day.