Spring season gets closer by the day with the days now getting longer and the nights shorter, so one would assume the weather would gradually start to get warmer and perhaps more pleasant as well. However this doesn’t seem to be the case, in fact as the winter season comes to a close its seems we may be heading into one of the coldest periods of weather we’ve had since 2013, when we had the coldest March on record.
That particular period of cold weather was brought about by sudden stratospheric warming event and in the next 24 hours or so this will occur yet again, as shown below with higher heights pushing in over the Polar region, completely splitting the polar vortex in two.
Now after these warming events, 2/3 produce a blocking regime over the N Atlantic which in turn, will produce a cold pattern across Europe, including the UK. What effectively occurs is our normal westerly flow is cut off and with it the wet and windy conditions. Instead we find ourselves with a northerly or even easterly flow which as we know is very cold at this time of year.
The latest long range models from the JMA (Japanese Met) & Beijing Climate Centre both show this blocking developing later in February with higher than normal heights to the north and west of the UK.
Another model, the European ECM shows both the Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation trending negative as the month progresses, which is a very strong signal for a blocked pattern.
Furthermore the american CFSv2 model, which admittedly as a single run is fairly useless but taken over a number of runs can be very good. Below is the mean average from last 48 runs and shows a cold pattern across much of western and northern Europe.
So taking all these signals into consideration one could assume a certain level of confidence in the forecast towards the latter stages of February and into March. The signals certainly point towards colder weather, which will bring drier weather as well, this likely as a result of fewer weather systems from the west as a result of northern blocking.
As ever forecasting at this range is a risky business but I’ve personally seen enough to convince myself of this pattern development, although things can change very quickly around this little island of ours so lets hope I’m not left with egg on my face later in the month. Be sure to keep keep up with all the latest updates via our website and social media outlets but also why not check all the model runs yourself via our weather charts tab on the main menu.