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

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