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9th Annual Boards White Christmas Thread

  • 01-11-2018 10:56am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭ Rebelbrowser


    Its that day again, 1 November, when, with Halloween over us, thoughts turn to the next big event on the horizon - yup Christmas is coming....

    This is the 9th installment of this particular thread - if you don't believe me the first from 2010 is still available at - https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=68686802 but in fact I found White Christmas threads dating back to 2004 (when there was a White Christmas for many!) at https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=2209623 . Some familiar names posted in that thread too I note!

    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 falling snow 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:-

    Uppers

    18122512_3100.gif

    Generally

    18122512_0100.gif

    Day time lows

    18122512_0100.gif

    Thickness

    18122512_0100.gif

    Subject to correction that's a very cold, settled day with a biting northerly wind and max temps of 2c to 4c or so. Uppers are of about -6c or -7 (typically you need -8c uppers for snow). There seems to be some shower activity in the NW in particular. So at the moment its all in all a very seasonal Christmas day with a definite chance of snow for some. Not a bad way to start the thread.....

    Lest you think this is ridiculously premature (and I appreciate it probably is), a few websites have had a White Christmas page on the go for a while now. theweatheroutlook.co.uk are always the most enthusiastic and run a forecast from 1 September each year. They have updated theirs today actually and are saying (admittedly on a UK centric site):-

    Update 9 makes no change to the percentage chance of a White Christmas. The possibility of snow is considered higher than normal in both the north and south of the UK.
    The primary reasons for this are:
    1) The QBO is switching back to a westerly phase. A westerly phase is associated with an increased chance of milder winters in the UK.
    2) We are close to a solar minimum.
    3) Since the Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) in February there has been an ongoing signal for high pressure blocks to have more influence on the UK's weather than normal. In the late winter and early spring northern blocking led to widespread snow as the Beast from the East made its presence felt. That was followed by one of the warmest (it could turn out to be the warmest once all of the data has been collated) summers on record in the UK due to the persistence of anticyclonic conditions. As we head through the meteorological autumn the elevated signal for high pressure still appears to be present.
    4) Some of the latest seasonal model updates are pointing towards a colder than average winter.
    5) Medium range models are suggesting quite an unsettled pattern during early November. Cold conditions in the early part of winter are considered more likely if November is cool and wet.
    Chance of snow on Christmas Day
    North of Yorkshire / Lancashire:25%
    South of Yorkshire / Lancashire: 15%
    The Computer says
    • It's expected to be too mild for snow in the south
    • It's expected to be too mild for snow in Wales
    • It's expected to be too mild for snow in the Midlands
    • It's expected to be too mild for snow in the north
    • It's expected to be too mild for snow in Scotland
    • It's expected to be too mild for snow in Northern Ireland
    • It's expected to be too mild for snow in the Republic of Ireland
    • It's expected to be too mild for snow in the Netherlands
    Forecast issued 01/11/2018 07:49:30


    Which is actually all very promising really.

    I will update this every 5 days or so in November but will update it more frequently in December, especially if things are looking in any way promising. Usually by 10 December or so we know that our goose (or turkey?) is cooked however.

    Until then, here's a seasonal pic to whet the appetite courtesy of theweatheroutlook.co.uk…

    xmas_tree_snow.JPG


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭ Artane2002


    The uppers required for snow depends on the wind direction (source of air mass really, because each air mass has different characteristics). Northwesterlies require lower uppers for snow than easterlies do.


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


    Meant to update this regularly. Damn work commitments...

    Suffice it to say its still looking good on the CFS for a cold run in to Xmas. This tallies with other LRFs like MTC's on this forum.

    On phone so not sure if the following link will work. See https://expert-images.images-weatheronline.com/daten/proficharts/web/en/cfs/2018/11/19/basis00/euro/pslv/18122312_1900.gif

    Will do proper post shortly


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,853 ✭✭✭ pauldry


    Looks cold for the next few weeks on the majority of runs but a few mild ones come and go.

    I feel this Winter will be "different" to most others.

    Will Christmas Day?

    No real Atlantic activity presently but by end of November the next stage will go a long way to determining if the Atlantic breaks the block and brings regular Winter rain and wind.


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


    I like this thread. Glad to see it here again

    I just hope we don't get a repeat of Christmas day 2009. We had a very cold surafce layer, but due to warmer air aloft we ended up with freezing rain. Horrible.
    If Carlsberg did a white christmas, it would start snowing very heavily on Christmas eve night for nine hours straight, with every bit of it sticking, so that when we woke up in the morning to look outside there would be 8 inches of snow on the ground.


  • Registered Users Posts: 503 ✭✭✭ Wine Goddess


    We are in Belfast for Christmas, at quite a high elevation....... here's hoping for a little drop of snow, the kids would be thrilled...... .never mind me!


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


    Just to quickly update this. CFS still showing a (shortlived) cold outbreak around Christmas Eve. MT seems to hint at similar in his outlook this morning. See below from today's CFS. That's probably cold enough for some Irish sea streamers but not a whole lot and shortlived.

    18122412_2100.gif

    Otherwise the Net Weather Christmas forecast from yesterday stated

    "...

    We're still with the CFS model for now, and we're still trend hunting too. And that trend is on the way to becoming our friend, with quite a few hints that colder weather could be a regular visitor as we move toward the Xmas period.

    Christmas weather forecast:- Tonight's chart shows a bit of eastern cold coming with us on Christmas day, which is indicative of some of the patterns being shown quite frequently. Could we be on Beast from the East watch as we move toward the big day?

    As usual, Santa has been updated with the lates snow risks, not too much changing from the last update at this point, as the positive start to this years forecast continues".



    The TWO equivalent from today states:-


    "...Update 12 makes no change to the chance of a White Christmas in both the south and north. The possibility of snow is considered notably higher than normal.

    The primary reasons for this are:

    1) Medium range models continue to show colder and blocked periods, although there is a lot of uncertainty about how things will develop.

    2) Since the Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) in February there has been an ongoing signal for high pressure blocks to have more influence on the UK's weather than normal. In the late winter and early spring northern blocking led to widespread snow as the Beast from the East made its presence felt. That was followed by one of the warmest (it could turn out to be the warmest once all of the data has been collated) summers on record in the UK due to the persistence of anticyclonic conditions. As we head through the meteorological autumn the elevated signal for high pressure still appears to be present.

    3) Some of the latest seasonal model updates are pointing towards a colder than average winter.

    Chance of snow on Christmas Day

    The Computer says
    It's expected to be too mild for snow in the south
    Snow is expected in Wales 
    Snow is expected in the Midlands 
    Cold conditions in the north are expected, marginal for rain or snow.
    Snow is expected in Scotland 
    Cold conditions in Northern Ireland are expected, marginal for rain or snow.
    Cold conditions in the Republic of Ireland are expected, marginal for rain or snow.
    Cold but dry conditions are expected in the Netherlands
    ..."

    All in all, pretty promising for those of us hoping for a white one. Its been 14 years without a White Christmas (2010 doesn't count as it was lying snow) so we are due one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,215 ✭✭✭✭ M.T. Cranium


    One factor which makes me think the chances are a little better this winter would be that an energy peak is likely to occur around 22-23 Dec which raises the chances that the wind direction on the 24th and 25th will swing around to a northwest or northerly direction even if it's mild and rainy a few days earlier. Realistically, the chances of a white Christmas for most parts of Ireland from one year to the next are about 10% at best rising to perhaps 20% in the higher northwest hilly regions, but maybe this year as high as 30%. That's not bad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 475 ✭✭ bazlers


    One factor which makes me think the chances are a little better this winter would be that an energy peak is likely to occur around 22-23 Dec which raises the chances that the wind direction on the 24th and 25th will swing around to a northwest or northerly direction even if it's mild and rainy a few days earlier. Realistically, the chances of a white Christmas for most parts of Ireland from one year to the next are about 10% at best rising to perhaps 20% in the higher northwest hilly regions, but maybe this year as high as 30%. That's not bad.

    (the northern max event is the most reliable storm correlative in my research model too, just tuck this factoid away, the next full moon almost simultaneous with the northern max as is always the case with late December full moons, so 21-23 December a possible stormy period, if the upper level pattern conducive to Ireland being in a storm track).

    Is this the potential white storm! Or is the mere thought of it going to guarantee the weather God's will inflict us with mild south westerlies until April : -)

    Mmmmmm... Maybe not the outcome I was hoping but perhaps a sting in its tail. (Good weather God's, good :-) )


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


    Just to update this and right now the CFS (which we are still looking to) is predicting lots of atlantic based weather between now and the big day (just 650 hours away!). Still a few weeks before the more reliable (ahem..) models like GFS come into view.

    For the big day itself the CFS has the mother and father of low systems sitting over Iceland pumping cold, but modified by the time it hits us, air all the way from north east Canada to us. It would be cold and wet, an awful day really. Some higher slopes might see some white stuff but nothing for most of us.

    See:-

    Northern Hemisphere

    18122500_2800.gif

    Ireland and the Former European Republic of Brittania

    18122500_2800.gif

    Upper Temps
    https://expert-images.images-weatheronline.com/daten/proficharts/web/en/cfs/2018/11/28/basis00/nhem/pslv/18122500_2800.gif
    18122500_2800.gif

    Theweatheroutlook.com have also updated their forecast as follows:-

    "...
    -Update 13 reduces the chance of a White Christmas in both the south and north. Despite that the possibility of snow is still considered notably higher than normal.

    The primary reasons for this are:

    1) Medium range are pointing towards more unsettled weather during early December but in the longer term there is a sign of a more blocked and colder periods.

    2) Since the Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) in February there has been an ongoing signal for high pressure blocks to have more influence on the UK's weather than normal. In the late winter and early spring northern blocking led to widespread snow as the Beast from the East made its presence felt. That was followed by one of the warmest (it could turn out to be the warmest once all of the data has been collated) summers on record in the UK due to the persistence of anticyclonic conditions. As we head through the meteorological autumn the elevated signal for high pressure still appears to be present.

    3) Some of the latest seasonal model updates are pointing towards a colder than average winter.

    The Computer says
    It's expected to be too mild for snow in the south
    It's expected to be too mild for snow in Wales
    Cold but dry conditions are expected in the Midlands
    It's expected to be too mild for snow in the north
    It's expected to be too mild for snow in Scotland
    It's expected to be too mild for snow in Northern Ireland
    It's expected to be too mild for snow in the Republic of Ireland
    Cold but dry conditions are expected in the Netherlands

    Forecast issued 28/11/2018 08:59:43...."


    Obviously still very much all to play for.


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


    Just one last quick point about the CFS and other indicators for 4 week's time. 4 weeks ago the same indicators were showing ice and snow right about now with a blocked Atlantic. So don't dispair - it would be an understatement to say nothing is written in stone!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,317 ✭✭✭ ZX7R


    Eight years since my last white Christmas, same for most I would assume


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


    Very seasonal (but not a White Christmas:() outlook from the CFS this morning.

    Shows a cold plunge from the North / North East in days leading up to Christmas with Christmas day itself cold, dry and frosty ("cool and crisp and even...."). I'd take that any day....

    Rain to snow event in the SE on 22nd Dec

    18122212_3000.gif

    A cold push from the north on Christmas eve with possible NE Streamers off the Irish sea (these are upper air temps)

    18122400_3000.gif

    A cold, dry Christmas day (min sea level +2m temps)

    18122512_3000.gif

    Nice:)


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


    Not a whole lot new to report here. MTC is hinting at a stormy Christmas Eve in his outlook this morning. Otherwise the CFS has, for a few days now, suggested a vist from the Azores High in time for the big day, meaning a cold Xmas Eve would give way to a mild (but dry at least) Xmas day.

    Still about a week away from any of the major models modelling as far as 25/12 so 'tis all guesswork still really.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,537 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Loughc


    Otherwise the CFS has, for a few days now, suggested a vist from the Azores High in time for the big day, meaning a cold Xmas Eve would give way to a mild (but dry at least) Xmas day.

    In lieu of snow I will gladly accept a dry Xmas day. Hopefully any storms Christmas Eve don't materialize.


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


    Well still 18 days away but signs aren't great right now.....

    The GFS is still two days away from showing its hand for 25/12 but the forecast for up to 23/12 is for Atlantic front after Atlantic front after.... (you get the picture). Its last frames tend to suggest the Azores High then coming to visit. Snowbie hell....

    The CFS looks similar I'm afraid with a very mild Christmas day forecast. Should be dry though. This is the forecast where we say goodbye to the CFS til next November. Its the main models from now on really.

    Charts below if you can bear them. Still plenty time to change at least and I note references in other threads to the ECM long term model showing signals for blocking by late December so we live in hope.....

    CFS Pressure chart

    18122512_0500.gif

    CFS Temps

    18122512_0500.gif

    GFS 23/12 Pressure Chart

    18122300_0700.gif


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


    Can't post pictures but as mentioned in other threads the GFS now goes out to 1am on Christmas day and shows a visit from the North Pole area to Ireland around that time... oh and it isn't the big man in red.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,894 ✭✭✭ BLIZZARD7


    GFS feeling in a festive mood this morning - a brief put potent north easterly, it would deliver Irish sea streamers

    gfs-0-324.png?0

    gfs-1-324.png?0


    gfs-0-348.png?0

    gfs-1-348.png?0


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


    Hard to be optimistic about anything weather related (in fact, anything fullstop!) looking out the window this morning - a truly offensive day. If its a white Christmas you are after then you can easily see how this Atlantic sourced muck might continue over the festive period but, equally, all hope still not lost by any means. Still some positive straws in the wind out there. Looking at the charts the GFS is still the only one going out to 25/12 - and it is not bad at all, showing -6 uppers over most of the country. Crudely (and I know this is not a hard and fast rule) you need -8 uppers for snow so we are not far off where we need to be. The ECM only goes out to 23/12 but to the untrained eye its chart for that day is trending ok as well with a bit of a block forming out in the Atlantic to hopefully cut off the present storm fest.

    I have also pasted below the "postage stamp" view of the 0z GFS which shows 21 different permutations for the big day. They are are a bit of mixed bag - being honest you would need someone wiser than I to comment on them.

    Anyway, keep the faith on this awful, awful, day.

    Charts below...

    GFS 25/12
    gfs-1-300.png?0?0

    ECM 23/12
    ECM1-240.GIF

    GFS Postage Stamps 25/12

    EUROPE_PRMSL_HGT500_300.jpg?0.00510721834651523


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


    Getting interesting....

    18122412_1400.gif

    18122500_1400.gif


    The Estate of Bing Crosby could yet do very well from Spotify play royalties between now and 25 December.....


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


    The ECM is saying no to a white christmas.
    The latest GFS seems to have swung towards it too. I am hoping to be surprised in the morning, but i don't think i will be. Feck it anyway:mad:


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


    Can't post charts but it does at least look like it will be dry and a bit cooler for the big day. In fact charts look a little odd to me (though I'm pretty limited in that dept) for the Xmas period so there is still a small chance things could be even more seasonal than that. Still 8 days away and a possible start warming ongoing so never say never.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 961 ✭✭✭ esposito


    Can't post charts but it does at least look like it will be dry and a bit cooler for the big day. In fact charts look a little odd to me (though I'm pretty limited in that dept) for the Xmas period so there is still a small chance things could be even more seasonal than that. Still 8 days away and a possible start warming ongoing so never say never.....

    Once it’s dry and cool with temps in the 5-8 C range that will do for me considering all the wind and rain we’ve had.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,317 ✭✭✭ ZX7R


    esposito wrote: »
    Once it’s dry and cool with temps in the 5-8 C range that will do for me considering all the wind and rain we’ve had.

    I don't like wind and rain, but the funny thing I do on Christmas Day,the kids playing with Christmas toys , nice smells coming from the kitchen,I like too sit by my Christmas tree with a big mug of tea looking at the rain hitting the window.
    Thinking of Christmas gone and looking forward to Christmas in the future, while enjoying the present.

    But snow on Christmas Day that is just something special ,at any age


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,853 ✭✭✭ pauldry


    Very unlikely a white Xmas now. Looks even 9 or 10c

    And bland too.

    Still at least it will be trafficable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,215 ✭✭✭✭ M.T. Cranium


    Seldom do we see such a jumbled mess of weak signals, models create different outcomes from each other and from previous runs too. Nothing too exciting among them, but they keep returning to a sub-plot of turning colder on 24th then milder through the 25th. I think a little frost is the most we can reasonably expect, perhaps a stray flurry to be found in Ulster on the 24th, probably not.

    There is some time left for an unexpected change to colder, when signals are this weak and out of focus, something unexpected can happen. There's quite a powerful storm developing in the Gulf of Mexico heading northeast up the east coast of the U.S., so perhaps that will shake a response out of the Atlantic. Anything new would probably show up by Thursday's model runs at the latest.

    A couple of dry days without a lot of strong wind would probably be a good break at this point.

    We are in approximately the same rut here where I live, every other day a bit of rain in the valleys, sleet or wet snow up higher, then a dry day but cloudy in between. We could use a few snappy cold sunny days to see if the mountains are still there or not.


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


    Thanks for that MT. Yeah, it looks like for the 9th year running it won't be a white one (no falling snow on our first year, 2010, before you ask).

    Still it looks like it will be pleasant and dry during the main bit of the holiday period so that's a relief given the attrocious weather this past fortnight. Night frosts likely to be as seasonal as most of us get. Of course you can never say never and we will keep an eye out for any changes to the expected conditions.

    My little ones will be particularly glad to know it looks like great travelling weather for the big man on Christmas Eve!:)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,047 Clonmel1000


    Can't post pictures but as mentioned in other threads the GFS now goes out to 1am on Christmas day and shows a visit from the North Pole area to Ireland around that time... oh and it isn't the big man in red.

    Who is it? Suspense is killing me!


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