It’s very early days – and we don’t easily cry wolf or market imminent Armageddon statements much as the Daily Express and their weather outputs tend to do; BUT as things stand, it’s currently shaping up to be the coldest and snowiest winter for several years in the UK and Europe.
There are some very solid reasons why this winter has a higher percentage chance of being a more severe winter than recent ones. It starts over the Arctic where the atmospheric pattern must be of a certain shape and colour to make possible for an an icy outflow to become established. That is already happening.
The second reason concerns the Atlantic weather producing factory and what we call the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). This, combined with the high level Jet Stream are the drivers of active lows and fronts that normally give western Europe relatively mild, relatively wet winters, with only occasional wintry intrusions. It’s the cold outflow from the Arctic that will help subdue the NAO and if that happens (which is more likely than not), then look to the far colder north and east for our weather, as per winter 2010/11.
The third reason concerns high pressure becoming fixed over northern Siberia and Scandinavia or rather Scandinavia, which means very freezing but largely dry for them, but freezing and snowy for us, as fronts come at us from mid to southern Russia.
Now, add in that the world has swapped an El Nino for a La Nina ocean current, which in itself tends to swap weather patterns around globally and you can see why the risks of a severe winter have risen from a normal 5-10% risk, to one closer to 40-50%, as it currently stands.
However, got to be careful here. The UK stands alone on the corner of all things – much as we do politically nowadays. We always tend to be on the fringe of matters weather-wise and even a freezing Europe may not always result in the UK joining in.
BUT and as ever in these situations, watch the space carefully and start the preparations early. At BWS we output seasonal, monthly, 1-10 day and weather alerts to clients who value early advice and service. Drop us a line if your company might benefit from any of the above, and we”ll ensure you are kept in the picture from now on in.
Finally, don’t forget. “For every flake of snow, for every early morning frost and for every iceberg on your drive, there is a commensurate rise and fall in the demand for… everything!”