Guest post by Paul Homewood
Figures released by the Met Office show the UK mean temperature for the 2012/13 winter finishing at 3.31C. This is below the long term 1981-2010 average of 3.83C.
The winter ranked 43rd coldest since 1910, and continues the trend towards colder winters. In the last five years, only 2011/12 has been above the 1981-2010 average. The average over these five years has been 3.03C.
Interestingly, the average winter temperature for 1911-2013 stands at 3.52C, so by 20thC standards the last few years have been genuinely cold.
The mild winters between 1998 and 2008 increasingly look to be the exception rather than the rule, as Figure 2 shows clearly.
After claims and counterclaims of floods and droughts, the winter has been remarkably normal in terms of rainfall.
Total rainfall amounted to 346.7mm, against the 1981-2010 baseline of 330.5mm, although there have been regional variations, with NW Scotland being notably dry.
Met Office Predictions
I am quick to criticise the Met when their 3-month outlooks are so far adrift, so I’ll give them credit this time for forecasting below normal temperatures. Their prediction for rainfall of slightly below normal was not far off the mark either.
I was drawn, however, to this statement in the precipitation outlook:-
“The risk of snowfall over the UK is related to the occurrence of cold winter weather. As probabilities favour for this year a colder season than last year’s, the risk of snowfall is enhanced.”
It appears nobody thought to tell them about the new theory that snow is caused by warm weather!
It seems it is not just the UK that has had a run of cold winters. NoTricksZone reports that Germany has had exactly the same run of 5 cold winters, and, as they point out, what applies to Germany usually applies to much of Central Europe.
What makes this situation even more remarkable is that we are still in the warm phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, that began in the mid 1990’s (and, of course, coincided with the onset of milder winters till 2008).
As NOAA say
“The AMO has affected air temperatures and rainfall over much of the Northern Hemisphere, in particular, North America and Europe.”
We might be in for a few more cold winters when the AMO turns around.
All data from the UK Met