Following one of the warmest Autumns on record the big question is will winter 2014 bring another prolonged period of widespread travel disruption, increased sale of snow shovels and a Yorkshire ski season?
Forecasters have warned that winter 2014 could bring exceedingly cold temperatures and Malcolm Booth, chief executive of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners said the ‘public should not be lulled in to a false sense of security following the recent mild weather conditions’.
Currently, a ‘conveyor belt’ of winter storms sitting in the Atlantic continues to dominate the weather in the UK. The low-pressure systems bring extremely wet and windy conditions that can result in localised flooding and widespread disruption. The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of rain for most parts in the South of England and all of Wales for Tuesday however their long-term forecasts for December, January and February remain undecided.
The UK weather forecast website states that all current long term signals suggest a winter opposite to the warmer, unsettled winter of 2013. A much drier, stable winter is likely with significantly lower temperatures and freezing conditions. This is thought to develop at the beginning of December through to February.
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather suggested the anticipated cold weather could sit over the UK until early spring with January being the biggest threat to host record breaking low temperatures.
The UK will be subject to ‘blocking’ patterns that result in intense periods of sub-zero temperatures and little rain. These conditions are often associated with snow that is thought to affect all areas of the country
The nature of long-term weather forecasts brings several limitations and hence why the Met Office refrain from offering too much advice. The Met Office has referred to winter weather being ‘inherently difficult to predict’ therefore it must be understood that all predictions are the most probable and not guaranteed. The Met office has likened the forecasts to a horse race stating ‘it’s always possible the favourite won’t win.’
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