Great moments in forecasting – UK winter weather to be ' very mild, wet and stormy to extremely cold and snowy'

From the University of Sheffield:

Winter is coming: British weather set to become more unsettled

  • Britain hit by extremely unsettled winter weather
  • Three all-time high and two all-time low NAO values recorded in the last decade showing huge contrast in conditions
  • Month of December shows biggest variation in weather.

British winters are becoming increasingly volatile due to extreme variations in pressure over the North Atlantic according to scientists from the University of Sheffield.

The new research, published today (9 September 2014) in the International Journal of Climatology, shows that weather patterns over the UK have become distinctly more unstable, resulting in contrasting conditions from very mild, wet and stormy to extremely cold and snowy.

Last year's winter was mild and stormy

Last year’s winter was mild and stormy

Winter weather conditions are commonly defined using the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The NAO is a south-north seesaw of barometric pressure variations over the North Atlantic which indicates the strength of westerly winds impinging on the UK shore and resulting weather patterns.

When westerly winds are strong, known as a positive NAO phase, Britain experiences mild, wet and often stormy weather – like last winter. Weaker or reverse airflow, known as negative NAO phase, typically brings cold, snowy weather, which featured prominently in the winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11.

Climatologists Professor Edward Hanna and Tom Cropper from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography and the rest of the team of scientists from University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit and the Met Office Hadley Centre, analysed year-to-year monthly and seasonal changes in the NAO since 1899.

Although the experts found that most seasons didn’t show overall long-term NAO trends, winter – especially early winter including the month of December – showed a significant systematic rise in variation over the last century.

The researchers found that over the last 115 years, three out of five all time record high NAO values and two out of five record lows for the month of December occurred over the last decade (2004-2013) , indicating that British winters have become increasingly unsettled.

Winter 2010/11 saw extremely cold snowy conditions

Winter 2010/11 saw extremely cold snowy conditions

Researchers found from their statistical analysis that there was a less than 0.04 per cent probability of getting such a clustering of extreme NAO years by chance.

Though this trend could be due to random fluctuations in the climate system, it could equally have been influenced by various driving factors including changing pressure/weather systems over the Arctic, especially Greenland, and changes in energy coming from the Sun.

Professor Edward Hanna, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography, said: “Our study highlights the changing nature of North Atlantic atmospheric circulation patterns that has given the UK more variable winter conditions in recent years.

“We cannot use these results directly to predict this winter’s weather but according to the long-term NAO trend we can say that the probability of getting extreme winter weather – either mild/stormy or cold/snowy – has significantly increased in the last few decades. Further research is needed to show whether or not this increased volatility is linked to global warming. ”

The University of Sheffield and Met Office Hadley Centre are now carrying out further collaborative research to better understand these possible links. If this trend of increasingly variable winter NAO continues, we can expect more volatile UK winter weather in decades to come.

Dr Adam Scaife, Head of Monthly to Decadal Forecasting at the Met Office, said: “This new analysis of historical observations shows intriguing signs of a trend towards more variable winters over the last century.”

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116 thoughts on “Great moments in forecasting – UK winter weather to be ' very mild, wet and stormy to extremely cold and snowy'

  1. Don’t they already know that all extreme weather, including extremely cold weather, is tied to global warming?

    • Yes of course extremely cold weather is tied to global warming and extremely hot weather is tied to climate change. It’s all very sensible, if you ask me. Barkeep, another pint if you please.

    • I mean, of course, they must surely be see all the mass media news, and found those “truths” already well established. How dare they consider it a question for further research? (Oh the money, I forgot).

      • I saw the guy on UK TV news last night, he looked very shifty, had his arms crossed ver defensively and kept gazing furtively to the right. Even he new that this “newsworthy” item was totally vacuous. A new low.

  2. There are many things to be thankful for in Englands Climate.
    Instead of mild, wet, and stormy it could be severe, dry, and storm-lacking which would turn England into a desert. And of course instead of cold and snowy, hot and rainy would make England tropical.
    A lot of positives with climate change I’d say as I tip back another pint.

    • No, the Telegraph isn’t telling the public something – the presence of another 5GW of backout generation that doesn’t appear in the estimates. If the journo read her own paper she would know that Chris Booker (together with Richard North) has already covered this and explained why the lights won’t be going out. Not all good news though as this back up power will come at a huge cost which could have been avoided by a sensible energy policy. Of far more interest is the UK gas situation. Because of a lack of storage, the UK is vulnerable to any interruption to the supply during the winter but also to a prolonged cold winter such as the year before last when the gas nearly ran out before warmer weather arrived.

  3. The smartmoney’s on mild, wet, and stormy… considering that it is written that children won’t know what snow is anymore.
    One day, throwing warmists’ words back in their faces might get old. That day hasn’t come, yet.

    • A day may come when throwing warmists’ words back in their faces get’s old. But it is not this day.
      Sorry, just thought the form of Aragorn’s speech had a more dramatic impetus. 🙂

    • LeeHarvey, the exact quote from The Independent, Monday 20th March 2000.
      http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html
      “According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.
      “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.”
      Reminds me of that old Cole Porter song “Anything Goes” (especially in Climate Science).

  4. Complete and demonstrable nonsense. Phil Jones ought to know better.
    Looking at the mostly benign 115 year record tells us nothing of the climate that has existed through the warm and cold phases that we can observe over the last 350 years of the Central England temperature dating from 1659.
    The seasonality by decade of CET back to 1659 can be seen in this graph
    http://climatereason.com/Graphs/Graph04.png
    I have numerous references dating to the 11th Century that demonstrates the astonishing changeability of our winters and the extreme events recorded.. Prof Jones is welcome to look at them although as CRU holds the Hubert Lamb archives he ought to be familiar with the research.
    In 2006 Phil Jones wrote a good paper that examined the warm climate of the 1730’s brought to a shuddering halt by the very severe winter of 1740. Following that examination he declared that natural variability was greater than he had hitherto realised. Perhaps he has forgotten about it?
    tonyb

    • Looks like English winters are warming at about 1/3 deg per century ? Summers are also warming, just not as fast? Interesting dataset. Thanks.

    • Wow, the facts are most inconvenient. Good work, Mr TonyB.
      But in fairness to my old alma mater, the key question is whether the weather is becoming too inconsistent for us to cope with,
      Even if (as you point out) the weather isn’t changing much… it could still be a problem if our modern society can’t cope. If we are forced to build on flood plains or are so over-populated as to be near starvation, for instance.
      Of course, I don’t believe that is true.
      But if the Green policies come into force and our wealth is reduced (with our resilience) then this study may well be relevant for policy making.

    • When a man’s paycheck depends on his not remembering, he won’t remember.
      – someone else’s quote, not mine. but apropos.

    • Peter
      ““We cannot use these results directly to predict this winter’s weather but according to the long-term NAO trend we can say that the probability of getting extreme winter weather – either mild/stormy or cold/snowy – has significantly increased in the last few decades. Further research is needed to show whether or not this increased volatility is linked to global warming.”
      British winters are famously varied. The last 100 years are as varied as other century long periods and less so than others. They have the means to look beyond the period they have chosen but have selected a narrow window. then linked it to a suggestion that the non existent volatility (in a broader historic context) could be linked to the input of man.
      This from the University Dept concerned;
      ‘The results of our proposed research will be useful not only for improving the historical record of global storminess but also for feeding into and/or helping validate models of changing mid- to high-latitude storminess under climate-change (eg global warming) scenarios. The proposed work has practical benefits, eg for the insurance industry, as well as helping to improve scientific knowledge of climatic change.’
      tonyb

    • But CET winter (Dec to Feb) temps have fallen nearly 1.5 degC since 2000.
      All of this shows the misinformation behind global warming. Climate is regional, and its implications are felt on a regional basis. Some parts of the globe are warming, some are staying fairly static and some parts are cooling, but the material point is what is happening where ‘you’ live.
      UK policy needs to address what is happening to the UK, not what might be happening globally. The UK has been under prepared these past 6 or so years, because the Met Office refused to consider what was happening to UK winters since 2000, ie., they were cooling.

      • Richard
        It seems to me that Britain, like most countries, gets fixated on one view point and fails to look at any other.
        We can see it at the moment with Scotland, whereby there is no Plan B for if they want to leave just like there is no plan B if climate change should happen to turn out to be a cooling world (or regions) instead of a warming one.
        tonyb

  5. I wonder if the UK and European foreign policy is being informed by their adherence to a belief in Catastrophic Human-Caused warming?
    That might explain the ability to convince themselves that warmer winters will allow them to weather a cut-off of natural gas out of Russia (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-08/here-why-europe-just-launched-nuclear-option-against-russia) and that making themselves slaves to Russian gas and not building nukes or new coal was a great idea…

  6. “it could be due to random fluctuations………could equally been influenced be various driving factors including changing pressure systems over the arctic…….”which are not random?
    Are they trying to imply, without mentioning it, “climate change ” is the cause? A change of climate caused by climate change? Or are they just shielding their arses because, as usual, they havn’t got a clue.

  7. As Stephen Wilde will no doubt point out, this ‘changeable weather is due to the latitudinal jetstreams and the progression of the Rossby waves in them. UK and western Europe are alternately in the cold or warm side of the jetstreams and as the weather in the Ferrel cells passes South over or North the weather changes considerably. The US is seeing the same effect but it has become known colloquially as ‘the Polar Vortex’. As the Arctic ice appears to have recovered from its ‘death spiral’, the meteorologists are going to need a new excuse for why the jetstreams have become latitudinal. I will leave it for Stephen to repeat his arguments for that.

  8. “Further research is needed to show whether or not this increased volatility is linked to global warming.”
    Surprise, surprise, a call for more $$$$ because they can’t figure this out with their current funds. Nice money making scheme.

  9. I have lived close to the west coast of England all my life i.e. 75yrs. At school I learned that we had a mild, wet climate due to proximity to the Atlantic plus the Gulf Stream. Nothing has changed.

    • Tom
      I live in the south west. We were taught at school about our climate being dominated by ‘warm wet westerly winds’
      When those winds cease and they come from the east in winter we get severe cold weather . The jet stream and the direction of winds are key to our weather as they have been as far back as the records can be traced.
      Tonyb

      • Tonyb: when was the jet stream first understood? IIRC it was first widely noticed (and became very important) during WWII with flights of high-altitude bombers, particularly B-29s. So what basis do we have to believe we know what the jet stream was doing 200+ years ago?

      • The jet stream was actually first discovered på Japanese meteorologists in c. 1940 and was used by the japanese to carry inciendiary balloons from Japan to USA in 1944-45.

  10. Now their weather predictions will be correct, no matter what happens — like the old stock market aphorism, “The market will fluctuate.”

  11. Using data from 115 out of 4.54 billion years –

    Researchers found from their statistical analysis that there was a less than 0.04 per cent probability of getting such a clustering of extreme NAO years by chance.

    Inspired, brave or naively arrogant?

      • Yup, could be more appropriate, however I occasionally try to be understanding. But mostly when I read such “research” findings, I am left to wonder at just how effectively we have dumbed down our education system.

  12. Given the vagaries of natural climate variability, I think this forecast “UK winter weather to be very mild, wet and stormy to extremely cold and snowy” may be the most intellectually honest forecast I have seen out of the University of Sheffield.

    • I believe the correct term is “ass-clowns”. There is a difference. Myself, I’m a dumb “ass-clown” because I’m paying for this “research”.

  13. The key question is whether the public and governments would have been as tolerant of this type of prediction product 30 or 40 years ago. Universities have found a way to flaunt union (tenure) brazenness with low-quality agenda output. Society loses all around as institutions are hollowed out.

  14. “University of East Anglia” – ‘nough said. Their reputation was destroyed by Phil Jones et al., and unfortunately we now have one of their gang in New Zealand who is regularly quoted in the New Zealand Herald. However, that rag is so determined to push the AGW agenda that they will publish anything as long as it supports AGW!

  15. Researchers found from their statistical analysis that there was a less than 0.04 per cent probability of getting such a clustering of extreme NAO years by chance.
    That’s strange! It’s exactly the % of CO² in the atmosphere. Perhaps they were looking at the wrong output;

  16. The only thing those posers can guarantee, is that there will indeed be weather, and at times, the climate will change. That’s all they’ve got! 😉

  17. “Climatologists Professor Edward Hanna and Tom Cropper from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography and the rest of the team of scientists from University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit and the Met Office Hadley Centre”…..after a few years of making total fools of themselves……have finally given up trying to predict the weather

    • This is exactly right. They have been fools for 20 years – BBQ summers, dryest spring, warm wet winters. They are totally full of BS but they are essentially using this for correcting their former miserably failed forecasts by ‘discovering’ widening variability. If it weren’t for WUWT, they wouldn’t even have considered the NAO, PDO, etc. Their full belief in the CO2 control knob was the problem and their miserable failure in relying on it is perhaps the greatest falsification of the theory possible. They will include all these bad forecasts as part of that era of greater volatility. Shameful.

  18. To what use is the supercomputer they have?
    “Although the experts found that most seasons didn’t show overall long-term NAO trends, winter – especially early winter including the month of December – showed a significant systematic rise in variation over the last century.”
    I thought that the models and computers had outdated the old way of prediction weather.
    The models could see what no one else could see, and it was based on pure physics, so how could it fail.

  19. Not sure who did the math, but if they assume a totally random distribution of 5 of the top 10 extreme weather months occurring in the last 10 years of a 115 year period, it is 0.08% not 0.04%. If you take any ten year period instead of just the last 10 in the 115 years it would be 0.8% chance. If you take any month in any 10 year span instead of just December, the chances of finding 5 of 10 extremes within a 10 year period is 10%. If you assume that extreme hot or cold temperatures may cluster instead of being totally random, then the chances can quickly go above 50% of finding this anomaly in any month of any ten year period of any 115 year period. Talk about cherry picking data!!!!

  20. “We cannot use these results directly to predict this winter’s weather but according to the long-term NAO trend we can say that the probability of getting extreme winter weather – either mild/stormy or cold/snowy – has significantly increased in the last few decades. Further research is needed to show whether or not this increased volatility is linked to global warming. ”

    But the model shows it’s going to be winter? I mean, it’s definitely going to be winter, right?
    /sarc

    • The humming birds near Monument, CO, USA usually leave Sept. 15. This year they left two weeks early. This time of the year we are usually producing 20 cups of fluid (4 water, 1 sugar), for their feeders. The only birds we have been seeing since 1 Sept. are the tailend Charlie’s flying through.

      • Our hummers (southern NB in eastern Canada) seem to have left with the full moon a couple of days ago. Do they fly at night? Anybody know?
        Ian M

  21. rest of the team of scientists from University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit
    The home of Phil ‘the dog ate my data ‘ Jones who would rather delete data than let others ‘find something wrong with it .
    a’nd the Met Office Hadley Centre, ‘who stopped making long and mid term forecast public because they got them wrong so often even they got embarrassed by them , and by ‘lucky chance ‘ they were always wrong in a manner which supported ‘the cause ‘ the head of the MET is so clearly a addicted follower of.
    I rather take race relations advice from the KKK than trust these people on this subject , so often have them proved themselves unable to put facts before dogma in this area . Although to be fair if they forecast winter will possible be a wetter or direr , colder or warming , or average , then they stand a chance of being right . And although its sounds a joke they actual done that in the past . come up with a ‘forecast ‘ with range so wide that no matter what happened they be right

  22. They have both sides of their bread buttered with that forecast and I bet they will still get it wrong. They will find out they should have remembered to butter the crust as well.

  23. The current narrative has no predictive value for time periods of 10 years or less and yet the science is settled and the models useful? Not even temp up vs down, dry vs wet, cloud vs sun?
    I wonder how many governments in the world really intend on bringing in harmful policies to themselves in order to potentially help other people to an unknown extent at some unknown point in the future. Including the Maldives.

  24. “We cannot use these results directly to predict this winter’s weather but according to the long-term NAO trend we can say that the probability of getting extreme winter weather – either mild/stormy or cold/snowy – has significantly increased in the last few decades.

    Well they seem to have learnt their lesson after some appallingly bad predictions in recent years that made them a laughing stock.
    So it will be either “extremely” mild (ie extremely not extreme ) this winter or snowy. I’ll bet ten quid each way if it’s even odds.
    And the weather for this evening, the 9th or September: there is a significant probability that it will either rain or go dark before the night’s out.
    If it is extremely not extreme, of course that will be extremely “consistent” with climate model predictions of what we can expect as the world warms.

  25. I think we’re looking at a new kind of mental illness – the belief that anything that happens MUST BE A TREND.
    Also, the belief that anything that happens MUST BE HUMAN CAUSED sounds like a mental illness, because of the sheer absurdity of it. I mean, billions of years this planet coasted along with absolutely no human intervention, but the moment we start driving cars we’ve ruined it all. Sure.
    So the forecast this winter is from cold to warm, from mild to bitter, from record dry to record precipitation. Townships should stock up on extra grit, but they won’t use it. Whatever happens, though, it will fall within the range predicted for climate change, and WE TOLD YOU SO. It’s worse than we thought. Oh, lord, won’t you think of the Children!

    • Mr Layman here. My impression has been that weather patterns tend (I didn’t say “trend.8-) to repeat every 60 years or so. (If that’s full of sh*t, please tell me but please do so nicely.)
      Are they positioning themselves to be able to protect us from harsh winters (human caused, of course)?

  26.  “This new analysis of historical observations shows intriguing signs of a trend towards more variable winters over the last century.”
    What are these fraudsters playing at.
    Am I stating the bleeding obvious that we have variable weather conditions every season and not just winter?
    Since time and eternity.
    In Australia we were getting crystal ball predictions during autumn (fall) that we were in for a poor ski season.
    Due to the unseasonably mild weather.
    Blind Freddie could see what was happening down south of the continent( think Turkey and the ship of fools) was at some stage going to impact Australia big time during the winter.
    I said as much over at Nova in early may and was shit canned by some alarmist “expert”.
    The resultant winter has just been declared the best snow season in the last 50 years.
    Some resorts saying ever.
    So much so they have extended the season into October.
    Not unprecedented but all the same pretty rare.
    So again.
    What are these fraudsters playing at now?

  27. Outright funny. If you have no clue of what is going on – especially as a scientist – just say nothing. The take away is: snow is a thing of the past, present and the future…. Congrats to the British education system – money wisely spent on this one.

  28. Who would ever have imagined that a British winter could ever have been: “very mild, wet and stormy to extremely cold and snowy”….Wow!, thanks Profs. Don’t forget to pick up your cheques on leaving the Hall.

  29. Well.
    What can I say. ‘Weather Happens’?
    Unfortunately, IFF there really is a large increase in the range of weather events between warm and cold, that is a Very Bad Thing; since that is what happens at the transition to / from a glacial cycle. Since we have been in a very non-glacial, the only direction this transition could be is toward the next glacial.
    ‘Somewhere’ I have a couple of papers stashed that lay out the volatiliy mechanics. IIRC, it is due to the Gulf Stream / North Atlantic Drift shifting a bit back and forth but slowly drifting more south and getting weaker as the glacial sets in. It was held as something of the hallmark of glacial onset…
    sarc;
    So one can only hope this ‘prediction / projection / flight of fantasy’ is as accurate as all their past ones…
    /sarc;
    Sigh….
    So English weather is rather like it always has been, or we are entering into the next glacial… and somehow this is supposed to be linked to industrial bad breath?

  30. After my 60+ years of casual observation I suggest they are still wrong because they conflate cold and snow. When the winter weather comes from the west it is usually milder but often wet and windy. When the weather comes from the north-east it can bring exceptionally cold, but is more likely to be dry.
    Snow is obviously only going to happen when it’s cold but the heaviest snowfalls are most likely to occur at the changeover of weather direction, often the appearance of snow heralds a let-up after a very cold spell. (MInd you it’s just as horrible).

  31. Can they please explain the physical / physics where CO2 or all the other things they tax and regulate control the NAO? As they cannot, there is no human hand on the ‘control knob’.

  32. “The researchers found that over the last 115 years, three out of five all time record high NAO values and two out of five record lows for the month of December occurred over the last decade (2004-2013) , indicating that British winters have become increasingly unsettled. Researchers found from their statistical analysis that there was a less than 0.04 per cent probability of getting such a clustering of extreme NAO years by chance”
    This is not true.with regards to the high NAO values in December. The 3 highest December NAO values over that time frame(2004-2013) were:
    2011 +2.52
    2006 +1.34
    2004 +1.21
    Prior to that decade, these values were reported for the December NAO that were all higher than +1.21:
    1999 +1.62
    1994 +2.02
    1992 +1.56
    1982 +1.78
    1974 +1.50
    1965 +1.37
    1951 +1.32
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/norm.nao.monthly.b5001.current.ascii.table
    If you look at this graphically, the pattern is quite clear:
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/month_nao_index.shtml
    During modest global cooling, in the 50’s-70’s, the +NAO regime was weak/did not last very long. There were strong -NAO months that greatly dominated.
    That pattern took a major shift in the early 1980’s thru the mid 1990’s when +NAO periods were very dominant, along with global warming.
    Another shift took place around the end of that period after the mid 1990’s with -NAO’s becoming stronger and lasting longer, especially in the last 5 years. This is strongly correlated with the cold/snowy Winters in the US. The Winters of 2009/10 and 2013/14 were the 2 coldest overall Winters in 30 years in the eastern 2/3rd of the US.
    The only way somebody would interpret that last graph as showing 3 out of the highest 5 values of the NAO coming in the last decade and presenting it as evidence of extreme climate is if their cognitive bias disabled their brains from seeing the exact opposite……………….that -NAO periods increased after the mid 1990’s and since then, -NAO’s are stronger and longer than they’ve been since the 1950’s/60’s.

    • Great points Mike. Tied in with TonyB’s graphs and Dan’s analysis of MetO’s terrifying 0.04% statistical sham it is a slam dunk that the MetO verbiage is pure bafflegab and CYA.
      What might be missing from the discussion though alluded to several times is that the MetO not only chose shady records in making their point, but that they completely cherry picked which records to play number games with.
      Why use only record highs and record lows?
      Precipitation records?
      Frozen precipitation records?
      Wind records?
      Storms?
      Sunny skies?
      First frost? Last frost?
      Winter or Summer Solstice temperatures, weather?
      Spring or Fall Equinox temperature, weather?
      How about Boxing day weather records, surely they count for something?
      Add in all of the MetO’s poor intentions and even poorer use of their intelligence and it looks like their ‘statistical’ 0.04% for unusual records in the last ten years is a easy 100% because MetO would’ve found something to whine catastrophe about.
      And get MetO excused from making a legitimate weather prediction for 2014-2015. Weatherbell has already laid out their view of the approaching months, but all of MetO’s super computers and all of MetO’s modelers are unable to Ouija or Tarot a clear view of the approaching weather.

  33. Just completed a marathon statistical analysis of weather patterns in the UK … I can now predict with 99.9999% certainty that this winter will commence “very mild, wet and stormy” becoming “extremely cold and snowy” as the winter progresses.

  34. In business, failure isn’t rewarded; change your product or the business folds.
    However, in taxpayer supported enterprises, failure results in calls for more power and money; the bigger the failure, the more insistent are the calls for greater funding.

  35. The weather will be cold and snowy or mild and stormy except when it’s not. So they’re going to be at least partly right no matter what happens.

  36. This “extreme” variability is their way to get the horrible forecasts of the past decade inside the parentheses to ‘correct’ them. Gee they turned out right after all with their BBQ summers and children won’t know what snow is. Here is a more reliable forecast: with the halt in global warming for 18 years and with the cooling trend beginning in 2005, expect more cold and snowy winters, blizzards that shut down the highways, growth of the new glacier on Ben Nevis, and with the melt and spring rains some serious flooding. Hey, I’m only a geologist.
    Their horrible forecasting record for which they bought a several million quid super computer (and they didn’t know how to use exel) to make, has neutered these once bold climate buccaneers. How shameful and impotent they all are.

  37. “UK winter weather to be ‘ very mild, wet and stormy to extremely cold and snowy’”
    Out on a limb. What option is left out, other than “tropically sunny”?

    • What option is left out, other than “tropically sunny”?
      Er, cool dry and rainless?
      So that’s probably what it will be.
      It has been odd this year. spring summer and the fall seem to be early this year.
      And if you like old wives tales, the amount of berries and winter food about presages a bitter winter.
      Coupled with a crisis in electrical power generation margin, we have laid in wood for fires, and candles.
      And will be filling the oil tank

  38. Well, ya know: heavy political headwinds. Very difficult to forecast under those conditions… Best to toss in a bit of everything, just to be sure you please everyone…

    • When every observable weather phenomenon is the direct result of Climate Change, then the term ceases to have meaning. The warmistas are rapidly approaching that point.

      • They already there , noticed they no longer use the ‘weather is not climate ‘ trick , so often have they jumped on ever extreme but not usual weather has ‘proof’ this no longer make sense so its been drooped.

  39. The Farmer’s Almanac is probably right as often as climate scientists — and more fun and less expensive.

  40. I’d rather believer the Farmer’s Almanac than the pribble-prabble of those half-masters of the obvious.

  41. I can with all honesty say that in the 59 years I have lived in England, I have not noticed any change in winter weather, we have had mild ones and cold ones. I can make this highly accurate prediction of my personal circumstances next week.
    On Tuesday morning starting at 07:15 the outside temperature will fall from 8-9 Celsius to -60 Celsius and stay at that for 3 hours, it will then gradually rise to 30-32 Celsius. For the next 11 days night time temperatures will be around 16-18 Celsius with day time temperatures reaching 29-35 Celsius. After a severe cold spell of -60 Celsius on Saturday lunch time 27th September they will rise to mid teens and gradually cool as we go into October and Novermber.
    I am flying from Newcastle to Malaga and back on those dates! Can I have £1000 grant money for this “research” please?

  42. Over my 67 years of life the UK weather has been extremely volatile. Deep snow, no snow. Hot, cold. Storms, fine weather. Drought, flood. Thick fog/smog, light mist. You name it, I’ve seen it.

  43. In my 63 years in England I can say that the weather did get milder – mostly expressed as less sub zero weather – in the 90s. In that period I grew some escallonias. They are all dead now. Prolonged severe frost kills them.
    The last two years take me back to my boyhood in the 50s. The weather ‘feels’ similar.
    What is fundamentally certain, is that the climate hasn’t changed at all. 1962/3 remains the coldest winter I can remember and 1975 the hottest summer.

  44. “Researchers found from their statistical analysis that there was a less than 0.04 per cent probability of getting such a clustering of extreme NAO years by chance.”
    Throw a dice five times. Now, no matter what result you got, there was less than 0.04 per cent probability of getting it by chance.

  45. To be honest this is a not of a joke. First its supposed to be geting warmer. Then cold snaps can be explained on it. Now global warming is making it more volatile. All thats left is to have series of years with very boring weather and that will be our fault too.
    Their maths is also suspect. Need to look at any month in any 10 year period. Also need to look at all other months in last 10 years. Also look at 3 month seasonal records clustering. If the weather is getting more volatile then you will see it in other analyses.

  46. At the London Daily Telegraph where this paper is being discussed largely in the bun fight mode, one of the authors has made some contributions regarding the choice of NAO datasets.
    May interest:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/11084066/Winter-weather-is-growing-more-extreme-say-scientists.html#comment-1580914819
    The originator of the thread has made a follow up comment expressing disquiet about the study
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/11084066/Winter-weather-is-growing-more-extreme-say-scientists.html#comment-1582352192

  47. As one of the poor OAP’s,
    that has to live through this forecasted weather.
    I just pray that I do not become a statistic.
    Like the 12,000 EXTRA OAP’s that expired.
    No our children will doubtfully see snow in the Coming years. NOT! :-{

  48. One things for sure, soon ever this place (UK) gets a bit of snow or rain, most everything stops. Not the power totally yet, but the same transmission lines come down here and there. After so many years of knowing that and not preparing adequately it all happens again.
    I hope its pretty cold because that needs to kill the insects that cause problems later in the year. Unfortunately though and due to another type of preparedness the cold calls for higher power consumption that is at a high KW/h premium. Thanks to the sh*teheads of the UK Gov/EU.

  49. The NAO index goes back to 1870 why is their analysis back to 1899 the answer is pretty obvious if you look at the graph?
    Are they hiding the incline?

  50. “The researchers found that over the last 115 years, three out of five all time record high NAO values and two out of five record lows for the month of December occurred over the last decade (2004-2013)”
    For the all time record high NAO, there is definitely one in Dec 2011, I cannot confirm three. Apart from a couple of positive spikes in 2011, the trend is clearly an increase in negative NAO:
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/nao.timeseries.gif

  51. To summarize this article: “All of our forecasting models are crap, and we have no idea what’s going to happen next. And this proves CLIMATE CHANGE!!!!”

  52. All this global warming – over the last 17 years – has rendered weather to be entirely unpredictable? It’s global warming’s falult that we suck?

  53. If we’d suddenly had, say, an unprecedented 50-year period of variation at the end of 575 years of records, I’d start to be interested. But surely a sample of just 115 winters is way too small to start labelling a decade which includes some varied weather as anything other than a sequence to be expected at some point.

  54. British weather to be variable? Never! The classic British weather forecast is:
    Sunny periods with scattered showers

  55. I’m suspicious of why only the last 115 years were chosen. Why not, say, 125 years? I can’t find a list of monthly NAO values anywhere, but the Met Office does list the monthly CET values, so I had a look at the December values for the last decade of the 19th century, thus increasing the sample size to 125 years:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/mly_cet_mean_sort.txt
    At the top of the page there’s December 1890, with the coldest December in the whole 355-year sequence at -0.8, colder even than Dec. 2010, the only December from this last, supposedly extreme decade to feature among the 20 coldest or 20 mildest Decembers.
    Scroll down the page and there you’ll find 1898 as the 9th mildest and 1900 as the 11th mildest December of the last 355 years.
    It turns out that, according to the CET, if the sample size had been 125 years rather than 115 years, then the three Decembers with the highest and lowest CETs all occurred in the last decade of the 19th century.
    Maybe the NAO values say something different, but for now the choice of 115 years as a sample rather than 125 years looks like someone’s attempt at deliberately ignoring contrary evidence in order to generate a deliberately misleading conclusion.

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