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7th Annual Boards White Christmas Thread

  • 09-11-2016 2:43pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Greetings. Its long since time I think for the white Christmas thread - its usually up and running by last week and in fact some UK sites have had this thread up and running since September.

    As usual this thread is solely concerned with the weather over the Christmas period, primarily 24 & 25 December and, in particular, is concerned with whether it might snow on Christmas day itself.

    The last white Christmas (as in lying snow) for most of us was 2010 of course. However I don't think there was any Christmas day snowfall that year. The last actual white Christmas in my part of the country (1cm of snow lying I think?) was 2004.

    The CFS is probably the best source at this stage for making any sort of guess as to what weather we might have on the big day. At present it shows the following in terms of upper temps (usually you need -8 or so for snow)..


    16122500_0900.gif

    16122500_0900.gif

    As you can see upper temps on this chart are ca. -1 so no chance of snow there. In fact zooming out you see there is a large low pressure dominating our part of the world so that would be lovely cold rain. Lucky us....

    16122500_0900.gif

    Anyway there is a very, very long way to go so don't write off a white Christmas just yet. Arguably we are due one at this stage.....:)


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,852 ✭✭✭ pauldry


    We might get a White November 25th instead!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Well, with less than 1,000 hours* to go to the big day, the tension is palpable. ish.

    * (I didn't actually count btw, the relevant CFS chart is for +996 hrs...)

    So how are things looking in terms of the big day and sneachta?

    Not great I'm afraid. Here's the global position over western Europe as presently modelled which shows low pressure in chart with cold rain fed in on NW winds..

    16122512_1300.gif

    Looking at what that means for temps in our part of the world..

    16122512_1300.gif

    ..not very promising I am afraid.

    Alas 996 hrs is still, just about, FI in predicting terms so there is still a chance for things to change (and change and change and change) yet.

    Until then, here's a seasonal cheer up image of Dublin's Grafton St .....

    g20-500x375.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Under 5 weeks to go til the big day, so how are things looking?

    In general its pretty cool all the way to the New Year with upper altitude temps mostly -1/-2 on most days. Remember, crudely, for snow you need upper temps of -8 or so. Thus whilst the trend is for cool weather, snow is still not particularly likely.

    One UK site that runs a White Christmas forecast excitedly posted this map yesterday proclaiming a White Christmas was a real possibility..

    xcfsxmas2.png.pagespeed.ic.9RMMePwc_X.png

    On that map, the 528 line is well south of Ireland and again, put crudely, on this chart which measures thickness (I'm bluffing here somewhat) you generally need values of less than 528 for snow so all good on this map. Alas today's CFS charts below paint a less wintry tale...

    16122512_2000.gif

    16122512_2000.gif

    16122512_2000.gif

    Bottom line is that the trend is cool / cold and that's all you can ask for for now. The micro (and even macro) details will vacillate from one day to the next for quite a while more.

    I'll leave you with another wintry scene just to whet the appetite - this time from Cork's Mardyke...

    The%20Mardyke%20in%20the%20snow%20%20.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Well just over 600 hours to go (like you needed to be told).

    We are still relying on the CFS for guidance at this remove - the GFS will be coming into range in about 12 days time.

    The present CFS for the big day shows Ireland in between a mega area of High Pressure covering virtually all of continental Europe and low pressure systems on a path to our North:-

    16122512_2900.gif

    Temps on the big day are reasonably seasonal, see the 2m temp highs below:-

    16122512_2900.gif

    Still ages to go obviously so all can change. The most recent Christmas forecast on netweather, two days ago, is more upbeat saying "...again this week we've seen a trend for cold weather around the Christmas period. In fact this model, and a number of other signals are pointing towards cold air being with us for a good part of the second half of the December."

    Anyway I will leave you with another seasonal taster. This time its Galway's Claddagh Quay..

    galway-walks.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,830 ✭✭✭ RandomAccess


    Loving the photos on this thread.
    The clear frosty days recently have set us off on a good start. Fingers crossed!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,665 ✭✭✭✭ JCX BXC


    Loving the photos on this thread.
    The clear frosty days recently have set us off on a good start. Fingers crossed!

    Mild again in a few days!:mad:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,039 force eleven


    Mild zonal tripe ( if you are a cold weather lover) setting in next week. Could set a pattern lasting weeks, but you never know, maybe it will change in time for Christmas week. In the historic cold winters, that is when the turning point generally happens.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Time for another update. Lots of doom and gloom about the return of Atlantic sourced weather on other threads but just as an opening observation, much of the country can and does virtually every winter get snow showers (often only fleeting admittedly) from north westerlies so even a mobile Atlantic pattern is not fatal for White Christmas hopes.

    More to the point there is little evidence of a storm train setting up over the next 2 weeks and there is plenty of high pressure around to disrupt.

    Looking more specifically at the weather models, we are still using the CFS for the big day but the gfs does now go out to 22 December and is worth looking at too.

    In terms of the cfs, it currently shows as follows for the big day:-

    16122512_0500.gif

    High pressure over Europe in charge with weak low pressure to our north - far from the mobile westerly pattern being mooted elsewhere.

    Temp wise this means uppers of:-
    16122512_0500.gif

    translating to

    16122512_0500.gif

    That's day time highs of 8c or so. In fact on the cfs, from 23 December onwards that makes Xmas day the warmest day left in 2016. Every other day over Xmas is colder, with typical samples below:-

    16122400_0500.gif

    16123012_0500.gif

    So no signs of "mild muck" or anything like that on the CFS. Admittedly with that low pressure to our north ever present there will be a fair amount of showers and it will be pretty cloudy. In the context of cold though, that will never be far away.

    The GFS as I said is out to 22 December now too and it again suggests the Atlantic will not be in charge by any means by Christmas week. Heres its chart for 20 December showing high pressure very much in charge:-

    16122012_0600.gif

    That translates into temps on the cool side as below:-

    16122100_0600.gif

    Thus it is thus all to play for and no way you can rule out a White Christmas - just yet anyway!

    I will leave you with another seasonal pic, this time its Limerick in the snow...

    7e555f2b1a96278e0a60253b10c1c568.jpg--a_heavy_blanket_of_snow_fell_on_limerick_this_wednesday__met_eireann_and_limerick_council_have_issued_a_red_weather_alert_for_wednesday_night__with_high_winds_expected__picture__adrian_butler.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Worth noting MTC's thoughts this morning...

    ".. I think the chances are fairly good that the Christmas holiday period will be somewhat colder than average with the chance of some kind of stronger disturbance around the 27th to 29th. No very definite signs about Christmas eve or day snowfall potential yet, so for the time being will suggest not very likely but possible in a few northern areas. ":)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,852 ✭✭✭ pauldry


    Could actually be mild or very mild until Dec 24th overall then a lot cooler but not a white out. A brisk SE is possible Xmas day with temperatures 5 to 8c which is a good 4 or 5 colder than now.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,834 ✭✭✭ Pa ElGrande




    Aerial shots of snowy Kysuce, Slovakia in recent days. It got down to -20 at night though. :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    12 days to go and still its all to play for in terms of Xmas day weather. Before discussing the chances of a white Christmas I think its useful to bear in mind how unlikely a white Christmas is on the law of averages.

    According to Wikipedia (I know, I know...) "...at Dublin Airport, there have been 12 Christmas Days with snowfall since 1941 (1950, 1956, 1962, 1964, 1970, 1984, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2000 and 2004). The statistical likelihood of snow falling on Christmas Day at Dublin Airport is approximately once every 5.9 years. However, the only Christmas Day at the airport ever to have lying snow at 09:00 was 2010 (although no snow actually fell that day), with 20 cm (7.9 in) recorded". So we are up against it in terms of getting a white Christmas. Always.

    And yet, I wouldn't rule it out just yet for 2016. At this stage, 12 days out, we can look more at the main models (ECM and GFs) for guidance and say thank you and see you next year to the CFS. Even at 12 days out though, the guidance you get from the GFS and ECM is limited.

    The GFS firstly has been showing a clear trend over the last week for it to cool down midway through Christmas week (around 23rd) due to local high pressure and for it to stay cool / cold til New Year. All very seasonal so you would take that straight away. As it happens this morning's GFS is somewhat different however showing a more mobile, atlantic influenced, flow with, unfortunately, a very mild 24 hr interlude falling exactly on Xmas day. See below:-

    16122500_1300.gif

    16122512_1300.gif

    Yuck.

    The ECM only goes out to 23 December BUT, to the very untrained eye of yours truly, is more promising showing a potential rain to snow event for western and northern counties on the cards for 23 Dec into Xmas eve itself. Again it is atlantic sourced but there is a lot of colder air accompanying the system crossing the country that day. See images below and imagine what they might look like if the ECM went out a day more...

    16122300_1300.gif

    16122300_1300.gif

    The difference in the two models though shows that nothing is remotely certain yet. To perhaps emphasise the point, these were the thoughts of the Netweather White Christmas Forecast 2 days ago - still about right...


    "...2 weeks to go until the big day, and if you're expecting a more definitive view of the weather for Christmas, I'm afraid you're going to have to wait a while longer, as there is still a huge amount of uncertainty. In fact this is shaping up to be one of the trickiest Xmas forecasts for many years.

    The reason is that the UK is set to be on or near to the battleground between blocking high pressure and Atlantic systems as we head into & possibly through the festive season. .......

    At the current time, the most likely, but certainly nowhere near nailed on scenario is for high pressure to be nearby, meaning a quiet, mostly green Christmas, unless you want to say a frost is enough to claim a White Christmas!

    The current uncertainty over the forecast for the festive period really shouldn't be underestimated though, so we could be set for a number of twists and turns as we move toward the 25th
    "

    Anyway, as always, I will leave you with a seasonal image - this time its a picture of a field near Letterkenny on Xmas morning, 2010.

    ireland-snow-n.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    From MT's forecast this morning "...OUTLOOK ... Becoming more unsettled towards mid-week, and possibly windy or even stormy around 23rd or 24th, then turning colder ... some guidance suggests that it will be quite wintry by Christmas Eve and Day, but we'll wait and see if these charts continue to appear before getting too definite about how cold, for now would expect a peak of about 10 C around 23rd and then falling to about 3-7 C during the holidays. If it got a little colder than that, snow showers might be in the mix. The wind could peak around 100 km/hr in gusts by about 23rd or 24th; here again, there is some potential for even stronger winds. ".:):):):)


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,307 ✭✭✭✭ nacho libre


    From MT's forecast this morning "...OUTLOOK ... Becoming more unsettled towards mid-week, and possibly windy or even stormy around 23rd or 24th, then turning colder ... some guidance suggests that it will be quite wintry by Christmas Eve and Day, but we'll wait and see if these charts continue to appear before getting too definite about how cold, for now would expect a peak of about 10 C around 23rd and then falling to about 3-7 C during the holidays. If it got a little colder than that, snow showers might be in the mix. The wind could peak around 100 km/hr in gusts by about 23rd or 24th; here again, there is some potential for even stronger winds. ".:):):):)

    So moutainyman might possibly get a white Christmas, while the rest of have to endure cold rain or sleet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    So moutainyman might possibly get a white Christmas, while the rest of have to endure cold rain or sleet.

    Bah humbug to you and your realism....:P


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Well weather for the Christmas is looking interesting anyway! This morning's ECM and the latest GFS are similar showing a big storm brushing our shores on Christmas Eve. Alas in its wake I reckon some lucky few could end up with a White Christmas! See below.

    The Xmas Eve storm looks like so:-

    gfs-0-216.png?6?6

    I will let others on other threads let you know how strong those winds might be, but that's a proper storm...

    However there's very cold air mixed in with that storm so by late Christmas Eve the whole country is covered by -5 / -6 uppers:-

    16122418_1506.gif

    Which in turn gives us the rather salivating sight of snow showing up on the GFS precipitation charts like so-

    gfs-2-234.png?6?6

    and

    16122418_1506.gif

    So downside is a huge storm, but the upside could, just possibly, be a White Christmas for some.... (to enjoy by candle light possibly!):D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,047 Clonmel1000


    Well weather for the Christmas is looking interesting anyway! This morning's ECM and the latest GFS are similar showing a big storm brushing our shores on Christmas Eve. Alas in its wake I reckon some lucky few could end up with a White Christmas! See below.

    The Xmas Eve storm looks like so:-

    gfs-0-216.png?6?6

    I will let others on other threads let you know how strong those winds might be, but that's a proper storm...

    However there's very cold air mixed in with that storm so by late Christmas Eve the whole country is covered by -5 / -6 uppers:-

    16122418_1506.gif

    Which in turn gives us the rather salivating sight of snow showing up on the GFS precipitation charts like so-

    gfs-2-234.png?6?6

    and

    16122418_1506.gif

    So downside is a huge storm, but the upside could, just possibly, be a White Christmas for some.... (to enjoy by candle light possibly!):D

    Freezing cold and no electricity and that's enjoyable? Anyway don't think there'll be any danger of too many of us having a white Christmas December has been its normal muck fest really and some of the experts on here who predicted snow are instead hearing birdsong it's that mild.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,047 Clonmel1000


    Deedsie wrote: »
    Huddled around a fire with your family discussing the year that was, people adapt to the weather conditions. Hot whiskeys all round. Ya I can see myself enjoying that.

    Hard to make bit whiskey with no electricity though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Just a quick update and everything still up in the air. The 6z gfs downgrades the violent storm potential as high pressure prevents it from being a direct hit for Ireland. Still the 6z suggests a very windy and wet Christmas / New Year period full stop (but without it ever being truly stormy). There's plenty cold air mixed in though so you couldn't possibly rule out a White Christmas, and 9 days out I will settle for that. Northern and western areas probably best positioned in this set up. The below chart from the 6z shows some of Connaught and Ulster getting the white gold just as Santa sets off for Ireland. Small changes could make big differences either way and at 9 days out there is plenty time for that...

    16122418_1606.gif

    As all the best Christmas movies urge, "Believe!".


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Merry Christmas from the 6z gfs (netweather chart)...

    5853d15e250a3_prectypeuktopo(2).png.5f665c9e1ba871ba0c0efb7d3a6aceaa.png

    :):):):):):):):):):)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    16122418_1606.gif

    Current Christmas eve chart of 12z gfs

    bracka20041225.gif

    Last time we had falling snow at Christmas...

    Whilst the 2004 chart shows a much more direct polar flow over us, the similarity in positioning of the High Pressures and the 970mb low to our north are at least worth mentioning (even if for a bit of fun...)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Tonights ecm keeps up theme of Christmas eve snow risk, especially for higher ground. More western and Northern you are the better your chances.. ..


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,852 ✭✭✭ pauldry


    Its going to be close this year. Prob a 5 to 8c day but could be a 3 to 6c day bringing some wintriness

    For sure the 100 dry day spell is at an end well most of them were dry


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Probably easiest just to paste MTC's thoughts (see below). In short though, wind is the real headline but a White Christmas for some is still very much a possibility. Didn't think I'd be saying that just 5 days out..... The higher you are, and the more northern / western the better your prospects. As these wind systems come through they are going to drag down very cold air turning rain to sleet and snow.

    "...SATURDAY (24th) ... Windy and cold, passing showers will become wintry and snow could accumulate on some northern hills, winds westerly 60-90 km/hr, temperatures steady around 3-5 C. Overnight (Christmas eve) it will stay very windy with temperatures slowly rising, any snow or sleet will change to rain and winds will become southwest 80-110 km/hr.

    SUNDAY (Christmas Day 25th) ... Very windy with squally rain showers, temperatures peaking at about 10-12 C in south, 7-9 C north, during the morning hours (possibly before dawn), then turning sharply colder during the day with a return to mixed wintry showers as winds turn more to west-northwest at 80-110 km/hr. Potential for damaging wind gusts to 120 km/hr in exposed areas notably Connacht, west Ulster, and parts of west Munster, as temperatures fall gradually to 4-5 C. Snow appears possible at times on higher terrain if not more widespread...."


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Just to add a couple of charts.

    GFS precipitation chart for 6pm on Christmas day is like so (pink = sneachta)

    16122518_1900.gif

    Upper temps impressively cold by then. Will feeling skinning in that wind...

    16122518_1900.gif


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Odds on White Christmas have certainly lengthened in the last 24 hours as the storm track has moved north. Still a small chance for more north westerly areas later on Christmas day as temps drop. In fact MTC this morning was still holding out some hope...

    "..SUNDAY (Christmas Day 25th) ... Very windy with squally rain showers, temperatures peaking at about 10-12 C, during the morning hours (possibly before dawn), then turning sharply colder during the day with a return to mixed wintry showers possible, as winds turn more to west-northwest at 80-110 km/hr. Potential for damaging wind gusts to 120 km/hr in exposed areas notably Connacht, west Ulster, and parts of west Munster, as temperatures fall gradually to 4-5 C. Snow appears possible at times on higher terrain if not more widespread. Strongest winds will probably occur when the temperatures begin to fall off around mid-day..."


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,047 Clonmel1000


    Anyone?


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,252 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    Snow way.
    Snowflake in hell chance.
    uksnowrisk.png


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Yeah, going to be a day of two halves as the football cliche goes. Very mild until mid afternoon but much colder air following storm conor and you might see the odd flake on higher ground in the north west before midnight. Still, there was a chance of more wide spread snow 5 days out which, by this thread's standards, is a close call.....

    Happy Christmas everyone!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,384 ✭✭✭ JanuarySnowstor


    I wouldn't rule out a flake or two anywhere after about 6 pm tomorrow.
    An outside bet for places like Knock or Belfast airport it certainly not without a chance.


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