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Why is the weather getting warmer?

  • 19-02-2019 10:35pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 253 ✭✭ noubliezjamais


    I've always been surprised by Irish weather. I lived in the States and it seems that no matter where you are (desert SW, humid South, temperate North East), the weather is predictable and stable, almost like continental weather in Geography. In other words, the weather throughout the day is more stable as well as throughout the seasons.

    Here in Ireland, it seems you can't predict the weather. Just last year, it was pretty cold at this time now it's almost spring weather. Why is this?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,409 ✭✭✭ Danno


    I've always been surprised by Irish weather. I lived in the States and it seems that no matter where you are (desert SW, humid South, temperate North East), the weather is predictable and stable, almost like continental weather in Geography. In other words, the weather throughout the day is more stable as well as throughout the seasons.

    Here in Ireland, it seems you can't predict the weather. Just last year, it was pretty cold at this time now it's almost spring weather. Why is this?

    Wind direction has a huge influence on our temperatures, especially with large oceans to our south, west and north. These oceans moderate the extremes of cold and heat. Meanwhile, an east wind will bring continental weather here and thus give us very warm summer spells and cold winter spells.

    Last year we had a cold east wind, this year a balmy southerly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,202 ✭✭✭✭ M.T. Cranium


    Variability is actually larger in most of North America than in western Europe. I do agree that the patterns are probably more "reliable" in terms of knowing that certain times will definitely be an identifiable season, but for example, this past month it has been running six degrees below average in much of the western U.S., the month before was about the same amount above normal. A few days at the end of January were as much as 25 degrees below normal (in Celsius, 40 in Fahrenheit) around the Midwestern states. Chicago has a normal January high of about 2 C or 35 F, but individual days range from -10 to +60 F.

    This current warm spell is partly due to that cold pattern in central North America driving a lot of cold air into the western Atlantic where it energizes the jet stream and sends it back up towards Iceland. Sometimes if that goes far enough west a block can form and allow cold air to get into Europe but this winter it has stayed east of Iceland mostly and allowed the mild Atlantic air masses almost unbroken access. There was a week to ten days of breakdown of this pattern at end of January but it wasn't very impressive compared to the big events last year.

    This warm spell is going to last to about Friday 1st of March then start breaking down gradually, or so it appears.


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