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Winter 2017-18: Discussion

  • 03-08-2017 11:55pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 901 ✭✭✭ snowstorm445


    Well after a fairly mixed summer thus far perhaps we can now turn toward the end of the year for the season that draws the most interest from boards.ie users (and which provides the most emotional volatility): winter. :p

    It's now been 7 years since the famous spell of late 2010, a world away from the consistently average-to-mild winters we've seen up until now. Since then there hasn't been a major cold spell lasting more than a day or two, with some parts of the country, particularly the east and south, having seen very little lying snowfall at all.

    Will we strike gold this year? Are there any indications of major patterns in long range forecasts? Any hunches? :D


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    I'll go over it all tomorrow :p.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,609 ✭✭✭ cena


    Does Ireland get cold enough for water to freeze each year?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,962 ✭✭✭ Dr Crayfish


    I'll take a mild dry (if I remember correctly) winter like last year again please


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,628 ✭✭✭ Elmer Blooker


    Well ... the sun has gone quiet, note we have already had more spotless days in 2017 (with four months left in the year) than all of 2010. Nothing like '09 though when the sun was as dead as a door nail!
    There was only THREE spotless days in the five years 2011-15 inclusive.
    I'm not saying a snowy winter is on the cards but a quiet sun greatly improves the prospects.
    http://www.spaceweather.com/


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 15,171 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gonzo


    If we end up with another snowless winter, i'll easily take a dry mild winter over a wet, stormy and cold one.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 15,171 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gonzo


    cena wrote: »
    Does Ireland get cold enough for water to freeze each year?

    by water freezing I take it you mean rivers, small lakes and harbours. It rarely happens in this country. Last time that happened was 2010, and before that I can't even remember, maybe 1991.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    Ok so I'm going to be doing a couple of posts on different aspects. In the ENSO thread here: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2057713492, I've been discussing about Winter 2017/18 on what it could be like given the possible outcomes of ENSO.

    I will go over what I have been talking 'bout since I made that thread in regards to Winter 2017/18. So yes, the topic of this post is ENSO.

    Back in the Spring, it looked like we could have been heading into an El Nino event and quite a moderate one at that. Normally, a moderate El Nino is actually a very good sign for a cold Winter. Winter 2009/10 had a moderate El Nino - though there were plenty of other factors at play also. This is my reanalysis on historical moderate El Nino winters:

    tCQeWzq.png

    The reanalysis clearly showed a high chance of a cold Winter with a southerly tracking jet stream and very intense Northern Blocking as the winds go clockwise into an easterly direction.

    As we eventually got past the Spring unpredictable barrier, the models were pointing more towards a weak El Nino and then ENSO neutral. I started looking at weak El Nino winters then, this is my reanalysis for them:

    UPCo3OG.png

    The reanalysis shows plenty of Northern Blocking but the jet stream is going through the country. This is very evident of Winter 2013/14 which had a similar chart. A weak El Nino is not a good sign at all for Winter. This was the trend on the models for a while then until late June and July. I decided to look at weak El Nino winters that were preceded by weak La Nina winters because as we know, Winter 2016/17 was a weak La Nina winter.

    8zVMu0A.png

    This was even worse than the previous weak El Nino chart as the jet stream is on a perfect westerly regime. With the very low heights and the intensified westerlies, it would be very stormy.

    Fortunately, there was also the chance of ENSO neutral so I had a look at ENSO neutral winters that were preceded by weak La Nina winters.

    This is the reanalysis of said winters.

    J1mrI8u.png

    It shows clearly Northern Blocking. It also shows a trough to the south with the winds coming in a clockwise direction from an easterly. This means it would be a rather unsettled but cold Winter. If the cold is intense then a very snowy Winter. This is a beautiful chart if that's the case.

    The Pacific then started to significantly cool down during late June and July. As a result, the models reacted to this cooling and then started showing the possibility of a weak La Nina - once again for 2017/18. El Nino by this stage was dead and long gone.

    I looked at the weak La Nina winters that were preceded by weak La Nina winters then. This is the reanalysis of said winters.

    53MOw5g.png

    This was quite similar to the ENSO neutral chart but even better! It shows a very January 1982 or December 1995-esque kind of setup. This means extreme cold is possible - both months got down to -27c in Scotland.

    What I think is the most possible outcome for ENSO is ENSO neutral. However, as can be seen from last year's extremely weak La Nina, a weak La Nina is certainly possible.

    I will explain how similar 2012 is to the situation now in regards to ENSO in a post soon.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,847 ✭✭✭ pauldry


    Has to be a fairly cold november and december or else our IMT in Sligo will be higher than any year by far

    Though having said that July was well over a degree below average after jan to jun above.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,440 ✭✭✭ pad199207


    If it so not going to me snowy and cold well then Mild and Dry will be better off


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    In May 2012, SST anomalies towards the eastern side of the ENSO region - over towards Peru, were increasing significantly. In Winter 2011/12, a weak La Nina took place just like in Winter 2016/17.

    anomnight.5.31.2012.gif

    It was a very similar situation in the February-April 2017 timeframe with the SST anomalies showing El Nino status towards the eastern side of the ENSO region thus why the models reacted to the situation of showing an El Nino event for 2017/18. However, by May 2017, these SST anomalies were beginning to cool down unlike in 2012.

    anomnight.5.29.2017.gif

    Eventually by the end of August 2012, the SST anomalies were beginning to cool down significantly. By November, the Pacific was in a cooler state and was on the negative side of neutral. Models such as the CFSv2 reacted to the situation of the cooling just like here in 2017 and they predicted a La Nina for Winter 2012/13. Of course that did not come off however as it was an ENSO neutral Winter. This goes back to me saying Winter 2017/18 will be an ENSO neutral Winter. Winter 2012/13 was a cold one but also an unsettled one. Then of course you had that cold Spring and of course the coldest March since 1962. As you saw from the reanalysis, Weak La Nina to ENSO neutral winters are good for a higher chance of a cold Winter.

    anomnight.8.30.2012.gif

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    Now onto the North Atlantic and the NAO. As you can see from the current Atlantic SST anomalies, the Atlantic is in quite a mix with some cold blobs here and there but also some warm bands. Near the end of July, I looked to see if there are any matches in regards to the distribution of the Atlantic SST anomalies. There have been some matches though of course not perfect matches - see them below.

    JP96H9x.gif

    2016:

    lji7y45.gif

    2010: :)

    5GTDE9G.gif

    2005:

    G0oFuNh.gif

    2004:

    CSfKqFQ.gif

    2001:

    jDPsnCY.gif

    Overall, I think 2010 provides the best match.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭ Hooter23


    Last winter was the most boring from what I remember...any weather is better than no weather


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    The NAO in May is considered to be a factor in predicting the Winter. This is because due to research, there seems to be a correlation between the setup in May and Winter. May is normally the quietest month in terms of westerlies or the jet stream during the year in Ireland. May 2017 had a negative NAO throughout the month as can be seen from NOAA's chart:

    kVMqu9n.gif

    However, there was no tripole. If you don't know what a tripole is, here's an example of a tripole in May 2010. Of course, we all know what happened after that - the December to remember of 2010.

    SKl4bql.gif

    This was the SST anomaly chart for May 29th 2017 (it's updated every Monday). As you can see like I said, there is no tripole as the bands are as follows: Cold, cold, warm when you want Warm, cold, warm so we were very close to a tripole.

    Ho2SRs0.gif

    However, in May 2009, there was no tripole either. The Met Office predicted as a result for Winter 2009/10 to be a mild one. Of course, they laughably failed on this prediction and it was the coldest Winter since 1978/79. In May 2009, we weren't even close to a negative NAO or a tripole - then the Winter of 2009/10 had a record breaking negative NAO.

    GAfcSjL.gif

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    It's not Winter but I thought I'd add it here. The CanSIPS model is showing very significant Northern Blocking for November 2017 and in turn, a negative NAO.

    2AcIO5h.jpg

    Weather and climate site - https://www.ukandirelandclimate.com/ (advised to view on PC, not optimised for mobile)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,609 ✭✭✭ cena


    Gonzo wrote: »
    by water freezing I take it you mean rivers, small lakes and harbours. It rarely happens in this country. Last time that happened was 2010, and before that I can't even remember, maybe 1991.

    I mean for something like this in my back garden.

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/de/8b/fc/de8bfc6768ec6f4af7dab1c78abde325.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 15,171 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gonzo


    cena wrote: »

    even that would be a rarity, maybe once every 10- 20 years. The most we get is puddles freeze with a very thin layer of ice if there has been a decent frost, some winters we barely even get a frost, nevermind snow.

    The last time I made water freeze was back in the 80s. We are well up there with the mildest winters in Europe, only places like Southern coastal fringes of Spain, Portugal would have a milder winter than us.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    Here's how the Winter is looking like today as courtesy of everybody's favourite model, the CFSv2 :rolleyes:. The three monthly anomalies show December-January-February as an option but for the individual months, we only have December and January to go off of right now.

    Winter overall - Very wet, mild and stormy.

    December - Looks to be quite a wet and mild one. Not as extreme in either case as January looks or even the Winter overall but nevertheless, still miserably wet and mild.

    January - Exceptionally mild and wet. Looks like a record breaking warm January and wettest January since 2014, even more so than January 2016.

    What a terrible outlook!

    Weather and climate site - https://www.ukandirelandclimate.com/ (advised to view on PC, not optimised for mobile)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,085 ✭✭✭ Billcarson


    Wouldn't be surprised at all if we get a mild stormy winter and the last few yrs every second winter has been a stormy one. 2013-14 very stormy ,2014-15 lack of storms,2015-16 stormy, 2016 -17 lack of storms. Will the storms return for winter 2017-18?????

    Anyway let's see what sept brings because if its a warm one that will be the first nails in the coffin of winter 2017-18 being driven home. Also don't want to see the likes of greece and turkey getting cold spells, always seems to be a bad sign for our winter,last winter being a perfect example.

    I think we probably won't see a proper cold spell again until the early 2020s, or perhaps 2019 at the earliest. The sun maybe getting ever quieter but we are on the wrong side of solar min, about the same point in the solar cycle as 2006. The early 2020s will be on the other side and that is where my hope lays


  • Registered Users Posts: 242 ✭✭ glightning


    I'm expecting a truly boring winter after what has been a truly boring summer with nothing of note. Last winter was like a constant October and I expect the same this year.

    The whole of this summer has been like a constant October too. Ireland might as well just rename the word climate to "constant October". For that's what it feels like all year round these days


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    glightning wrote: »
    I'm expecting a truly boring winter after what has been a truly boring summer with nothing of note. Last winter was like a constant October and I expect the same this year.

    The whole of this summer has been like a constant October too. Ireland might as well just rename the word climate to "constant October". For that's what it feels like all year round these days

    What do you mean by this 'cause on average, October is the wettest month here in the east of Ireland?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭ Hooter23


    Our autumn weather in the last few years has been quite good from what I remember....our autumn weather was usually alot wetter/stormier than it has been recently...


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    Hooter23 wrote: »
    Our autumn weather in the last few years has been quite good from what I remember....our autumn weather was usually alot wetter/stormier than it has been recently...

    Autumn 2014 was quite wet after a very dry September. November 2015 was very wet and stormy. October 2013 was also wet.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭ Hooter23


    sryanbruen wrote: »
    Autumn 2014 was quite wet after a very dry September. November 2015 was very wet and stormy. October 2013 was also wet.

    I stand corrected:D:pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    Hooter23 wrote: »
    I stand corrected:D:pac:

    I just think we've had our fair share of dry and unsettled moments in Autumn recently compared to a run of largely unsettled ones from 2008-2012. Of course even these Autumns had some fine months like September 2009 & October 2010.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 242 ✭✭ glightning


    sryanbruen wrote: »
    glightning wrote: »
    I'm expecting a truly boring winter after what has been a truly boring summer with nothing of note. Last winter was like a constant October and I expect the same this year.

    The whole of this summer has been like a constant October too. Ireland might as well just rename the word climate to "constant October". For that's what it feels like all year round these days

    What do you mean by this 'cause on average, October is the wettest month here in the east of Ireland?

    Well, I live in Northern Ireland and this summer has been consistently below average temperature wise. Consistently between 1 and 3c below average which translates to the temperature you would normally expect in October (14c to 18c maxes).

    Also, in July we had 40% more rain than the average for July. So yes, it's been more like October. Wet! That has been the theme for many July's here. Well above average rainfall.

    In fact, summers have become so consistently bad here since about 2006 that most people now think of the March to May period as our 'summer' as that period generally delivers better conditions that the actual summer does. its not just people into the weather that think that way either. Anyone you speak to feels the same about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    I kept speaking frequently about the comparisons of Winter 2005/06 & 2016/17 last Winter as a result of them being freakishly similar.

    They were both mild and dry winters. They were both in the same stage of the solar cycle.

    Now we're in the same part of the solar cycle as Winter 2006/07 and 2007/08 which was a very wet and stormy Winter. Two things different about it however was that it had a westerly QBO - unlike here in 2017/18 when an easterly QBO is expected, and a weak El Nino took place then. For 2017/18 as I spoke about a few posts back, we are expecting ENSO neutral but there is the possibility for a weak La Nina.

    These were my Winter 2017/18 "early" thoughts or predictions I set a few months ago:

    December - Cold, dull and fairly dry.
    January - Very mild, wet and stormy. Rather sunny.
    February - Very wet and mild but sunny.

    This would lead to a wet and stormy Winter. Despite all the reanalysis' pointing towards a blocked Winter and the fact that we will have an easterly QBO, I am not seeing a cold Winter at all. Looking at it now, I think December will be mild and rather unsettled but not exceptionally so. Remember that these are only early thoughts and I will release my actual Winter 2017/18 forecast on Tuesday, November 28th.

    Anyway, I'd rather predict a wet and stormy Winter and get shocked/stunned if it is a cold Winter than predicting a cold Winter and get disappointed. Last year was extremely disappointing - it could have been a cold Winter! One thing that ruined it was the sudden turn to a westerly QBO.

    GreyGD4.gif

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    glightning wrote: »
    Well, I live in Northern Ireland and this summer has been consistently below average temperature wise. Consistently between 1 and 3c below average which translates to the temperature you would normally expect in October (14c to 18c maxes).

    Also, in July we had 40% more rain than the average for July. So yes, it's been more like October. Wet! That has been the theme for many July's here. Well above average rainfall.

    In fact, summers have become so consistently bad here since about 2006 that most people now think of the March to May period as our 'summer' as that period generally delivers better conditions that the actual summer does. its not just people into the weather that think that way either. Anyone you speak to feels the same about it.

    Ok, I was just very confused over the odd comparison.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,043 George Sunsnow


    I would think it will be a normal Irish winter again
    The ones with significant cold spells/snaps seem to come only every 9 or 10 years since the 80's
    We're therefore not due one until at least 2019/20


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,030 ✭✭✭ Oneiric 3


    My 'hunch'* is that we'll have a colder than average winter, which does not necessarily mean that we will see significant or severe cold spells (but I'd not rule them out either).

    Personally I am hoping for some proper storms this year, not these watered down, 'millennial' types that we have accepted as 'normal over the past 15 years or so, but something with a bit of 70s/80s/90s oomph.

    * which is worth jack ****.

    New Moon



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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,554 ✭✭✭✭ sryanbruen


    Oneiric 3 wrote: »
    My 'hunch'* is that we'll have a colder than average winter, which does not necessarily mean that we will see significant or severe cold spells (but I'd not rule them out either).

    Personally I am hoping for some proper storms this year, not these watered down, 'millennial' types that we have accepted as 'normal over the past 15 years or so, but something with a bit of 70s/80s/90s oomph.

    * which is worth jack ****.

    So would you be up to something like this? (The Braer storm of January 1993)

    NOAA_1_1993011012_1.png

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