Tag Archives: Snow

Winter bites over parts of Southern England

Hello, I am still breathing and I admit, my commitments as a blogger have been somewhat slipping under the radar. As for now, this will be a brief posting. I simply want to illustrate why the current weird weather pattern is occurring (yes it is very cold) and as to what the future may hold. Today, the 4th November saw some lying snow in parts and for others, simply cold wet rain. I personally missed the fun and games but the following, courtesy of BBC weather illustrates how difficult in reality, the actual task of forecasting snowfall, truly is.

Sunday 4th November snowfall in Southern England

Looking further ahead (longer-term forecasting) is an equally unenviable task but someone who is up for such things is Matt Hugo, as shown below.

3rd November update from Matt Hugo’s wordpress blog




naturestimeline – courtesy of Tony William Powell
on Google+

Full Moon Phenology

The first Spring Full Moon (meteorologically speaking) has been and gone and our distant planet is on the wane once more. I have found it intriguing over the years how the moon phases, more especially the Full Moon, alter the flora and fauna around us. Maybe it is my overactive imagination but with the lengthening of daylight also increasing, are there not observable changes? Let us recap the first ten days of March, phenologically speaking.

On the 2nd March I first observed the emergence of leafing Elder (Sambucus), the mean date of this event returning 4th March, based on twelve records. Come the 3rd March my brother confirmed a Thunder day (Thunder heard or lightning seen). Personally, I was away at a B.T.O conference so could not confirm this event. The very first Thunder day, based on sixteen records also returns a mean date of 4th March. Weather wise, the 4th March was a wet day, hoorah! Of the 12.6mm, which fell during that day, a small proportion was actually melted wet snow. Between the 5th and 7th March, things calmed down once again until the arrival of the Full Moon 8th March.

A Siskin (Carduelis spinus) visited our garden feeders for the first time in ages, although if you are lucky they may be heard calling in the vicinity. On this day (8th March), the raptors were very noticeable with two Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo) and two Red Kites (Milvus milvus) circling above our suburban patch. A Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) visiting us on the very next day. The phenological indicators were not overlooked with the following being witnessed. The first emergence of Flowering Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), Flowering Wild Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) and the first leafing of Hawthorn (Crataegus) all observed during the busy 8th March.  Looking closely once again at the dates of average occurrence of these events, they return the 5th March, 9th March and 12th March respectively.

Breaking news for today (1oth March) has been my first garden Frogspawn and first emergence of Brimstone Butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni). Once again when looking at the averages, the returns are the 9th March and 12th March, both being based on a healthy sample of records.

As to the future, many more phenological events will be likely as warmer weather is in the forecast. In fact, even as I type this, the warmest day of the year is happening with the Air Temperatures approaching the mid-60’s Fahrenheit. Oh how I love this time of year!

Kind Regards

Tony Powell

“All eyes to the South” once the snow clears

Today has been a mix of wet snowflakes and cold sleety rain. Temperatures, which had been falling earlier, are now on the rise, so I am somewhat glad to be indoors.

Now that the official winter climate statistics are in, it is time to have a look back at how the season fared. This is achievable courtesy of this link – here. My figures tie in nicely with the actual C.E.T. Temperatures, with my anomaly being approximately 0.6C above average. The rainfall figures continue to show their undeniably downward trend, with a deficit of 43mm or so. According to my figures, we have received only 73% of the average precipitation across the winter season with 82% officially reported for England as a whole. After the warmth and dryness of autumn, I do hope spring brings us much-needed rainfall. With plans locally for yet more urban development (many thousands of new houses), our natural ecosystems will face damage beyond recognition. 

On a lighter note, the spring equinox, is approaching fast and migrant birds are on the move. I like to track this phenomenon online and there are many ways to do so. A website that I would highly recommend is The Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society. The aforementioned website can be an excellent resource for tracking the incoming and outgoing African migrants due to its global position. In addition, from a UK perspective, I use reports from birdguides and it is from here, that I will quote a few recent highlights.

Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) have possibly overwintered in the UK once again, with more recent coming from Cork and East Sussex.

Sand Martins (Riparia riparia) are being quite widely reported in low numbers. Yorkshire, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Manchester and Pembrokeshire, has reported this species so far.

Reports of Stone-curlews (Burhinus oedicnemus) received from Devon and West Sussex and a Hoopoe (Upupa epops) from Nottinghamshire are interesting. I am also aware of two reports of Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), one being in January from West Yorkshire and a February sighting from Gloucestershire.

I suspect there are other tales of interesting sightings and it shows the build up to migration changeover is gathering pace.

Best Wishes

Tony Powell

A cold cold February

With not much talk of Phenology, I will attempt to make this post short. Meanwhile, my previous news still applies since the calendar is moving, see here – The Birds, they are a-singing and the daylight hours are 9 hours 38 minutes in length now and increasing rapidly. 

For my locality, this February’s weather has brought 3 days where snow was seen falling. The 5th February produced a day of snow lying. However, the main story is that of the cold and frosty nights. Unusually for my location, I even recorded an ICE day (yesterday) and it is just possible that today will be yet another. By definition, an ICE day is a day whereby the temperature never exceeds ZERO Celcius (32 F). Although it is a rare event, it did happen 10 times during the record-breaking December of 2010. This was the coldest December in the UK for over 100 years and I must say at this stage, February 2012 looks like joining this elite band.

Check out below for some evidence, courtesy of my Davis weather station.

Davis February 2012 daily data to 1216 090212

Davis February 2012 daily data to 1216 090212

Davis annual data up to 1216 090212

Davis annual data up to 1216 090212

Please look closely at the figures enclosed in blue or red ink as these show the figures in question. I am a very keen amateur meteorologist as will have become obvious by now. More of my insights into the UK weather can found at netweather.tv where I post as gottolovethisweather

Now that the secret is out, all I can hope is that this spell does not become too detrimental for our wildlife and as humans; we all take care out there.

Best Wishes

Tony Powell

A wintry weekend in store

Tony:

So the UK’s winter is finally set to bite. Will I be getting snow or cold rain, come the weekend? Some answers to this being above, courtesy of the professionals.

Originally posted on Met Office News Blog:

This weekend will see a marked change in the weather as the dry spell makes way for snow and ice in many parts.

Over the past few days we have seen the coldest spell of winter so far, as very cold air has flooded across the UK from the continent. Temperatures have dropped as low as -9.4 °C in Shap, Cumbria, and -10 °C is possible in places tonight.

Snow showers are expected along parts of the eastern coastline today and tomorrow, but most places will continue to see bright, dry and cold conditions.

Things are set to change as we go through into Saturday, however, as an Atlantic front moves in from the west.

Paul Gundersen, Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, said: “As this front moves in from the west it will come up against cold air and we’re likely to see a mixture of rain, sleet and…

View original 145 more words

My latest Phenology news and the cold weather incoming

As nature’s circadian rhythms seem somewhat uncoordinated, here was I, hoping for colder weather come February. Well, some normality at last appears to be on its way, but first, some phenology.
  • My latest phenological event was yesterday, 27th January, in the form of a First heard drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker – Dendrocopos major. This event matches closely to the mean date of 28th January, based on 12 individual records.
Great Spotted Woodpecker, courtesy of BWPi

Great Spotted Woodpecker, courtesy of BWPi

However, alongside this, there have been other odd sightings. From various sources, I have heard of early/late Barn Swallows – Hirundo rustica, Honeybees on the wing and nesting Eurasian Blackbirds – Turdus merula to name but some. So, what of the weather hinted at earlier? To find out the latest, click on the attached link below.

Cold weather brings risk of snow to the UK.

Kind Regards

Tony Powell

A white Christmas? I think not…….

Oh well, here’s the view from the experts.

Whatever you do guys n gals, enjoy the festive period.

Festive Regards

Tony Powell

Will it snow? What! in the UK in November?

Tonight’s BBC2 program Will it snow? attempts to enlighten us, as to whether this winter will bring us snowflakes, or just plain ole rain and drizzle.

For those more technically minded, the latest 12z GFS (that’s an US based weather model) ensembles output suggests zilch likelihood for my patch. Basically, I would simply use these plots to look for trends and more so, this needs to be done over a series of output runs to be of any use. To look for a trend, one should follow the Red (mean) line firstly and then the Blue (control) and Green (operational) lines equally. A general guide, but no means absolute, is when the lines (particularly the Red mean) drop below -5 then SNOW is of increasing probability. However, as with anything, the farther we delve into the future, things become less certain.

So, looking below at the Berkshire 12z only, it’s looking mild or at least near average, in terms of temperature until the 21st November at least, based on current predictions.

  • NB. These are upper air temperature profiles and don’t reflect the near ground conditions.

    Berkshire, Southern England's forecasted upper air profile from 7th through 21st November 2011

    Berkshire, Southern England's forecasted upper air profile from 7th through 21st November 2011

Now let’s go to the other extreme end of the United Kingdom, Orkney in the Shetland Isles, Scotland.

  • NB. These are upper air temperature profiles and don’t reflect the near ground conditions.
Orkney Shetland Isles, Scotland forecasted upper air profile 7th November through 21st November 2011 and beyond

Orkney Shetland Isles, Scotland forecasted upper air profile 7th November through 21st November 2011 and beyond

So, looking at the above Orkney 12z only, it’s looking mild for a while but the trend is there for something much colder, in terms of temperature, approaching the 21st November. Alas, to be expected for Scotland.

So, based on these current numerical model predictions, SNOW at least, seems a long way off. Although, don’t forget the professional weather forecasters analyse these and other sources of data, over many days and weeks. They also have access to stuff, we, mere enthusiasts do not. Anyway, enough from me and I’ll watch “Will it snow?” with great anticipation.

Many thanks to netweather.tv for provision of the charts, shown above.

Bye Bye and sweet dreams.

Tony Powell