Winter 2016 UK Weather Forecast
Friday, January 08, 2016, 19:50 GMT - Winter 2016 should see more snow days compared to last year as the season starts mild but ends on a cold note.
Normally by the end of winter, temperatures begin to pick up as spring looms. But this winter keep those thermals on right until the end of the season.
There are links between the strong El Nino and the expected winter trend of a relatively mild start followed by a colder end to the season.
El Nino is an important factor in determining long-term weather trends but it is not the only factor used to forecast the winter.
Warmer than average water in the North Pacific and Indian Ocean, as well as the colder waters in the Atlantic also play a role in determining the weather trend for winter in the UK.
February is expected to be the coldest month of the winter – meteorological winter is from December–February – with indications of a more prolonged cold snap bringing widespread frost and fog.
The start of winter though follows the trend of autumn – beginning mild.
In December wind and rain dominates, especially in Scotland and across Wales, western England and Ireland, with southern and eastern areas tending to be drier.
Things turn colder later on in the month and we cannot rule out a White Christmas over northern hills. This winter, we should see more snow days compared to last year.
The reason for this trend through December is the path of the jet stream. At the beginning of December there is a strong jet stream coming in from the Atlantic bringing the wetter weather to western parts of the UK.
Depending on how far north or south the jet stream flows is crucial to determining where the wettest weather will be as it is the jet stream that steers the low-pressure systems across the UK.
Towards the end of December we expect the jet stream to split north and south across the UK, which allows a colder airflow to come into play. Throughout December we could see some severe gales due to the position of the jetstream.
2016 welcomes back the wind and rain, the colder air not returning until later in January and into that cold February.
Of course long-range forecasts are subject to change but with the milder start and colder end to the season it’s a winter of two halves!
MONTH BY MONTH BREAKDOWN
A wet and windy start to December but mild most rain in north and west bringing a risk of some localised flooding. Turning colder later in the month with snow showers over northern hills.
Watch out for a stormy start to the New Year with heavy rain in the north and west. Changing late in the month as things turn colder once again.
The coldest month of the winter as high pressure builds, bringing frost and fog. Snow could be a problem early in the month, things turning drier overall.
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