Yet Another Mild Winter! - Review 2015/16
Firstly, may I apologise for the lengthy delay between website updates. Unfortunately, I suffered quite a significant back injury that required urgent surgery, and for which I am still in the recovery process (Please also see HERE).
For the third consecutive year/winter we have now experienced yet another mild winter!
An easy way out would be for me to say that these things sometimes just cluster together in this fashion, which they do, or that it's just the weather. However, I feel it is important to cover what I feel has happened and where we are heading in the future after a review of our methodology.
The problem over the last few winters has been the lack of any sustained heights to support any periods of prolonged cold and snow. Take last year as an example (2014/15), which was almost a cert for a very cold and snowy one from ALL the early signals. In essence, high pressure in Greenland and the Azores has not been playing ball to give us more favourable winter conditions for prolonged cold and snow. We have also continued to see storm after storm, and so much so, that they are now being named due to their frequency. This is not something we expect everyone to understand or agree with - However, we will see a continuation of these storms for most of our upcoming winter periods, and whether it be mild or cold in terms of temperature (something we have always stated and forecast before they arrived each winter). However, when we do get any prolonged cold weather across our shores, large low pressure systems will spin off the east coast of the United States and head straight towards the UK/Ireland due to long term Gulf Stream changes. This is also where the extra moisture will come from to encase us in ice storms and excessive amounts of snow in future winter periods, and just as they did in December 2010 (Ice Age Circulation Patterns).
The Gulf Stream is not a constant, and when it alters at a state of such magnitude, it holds long term implications on our weather patterns. The exact weather patterns may stutter along the way, but our indications and other ample areas of science favour cooling (Ice Age circulation patterns) and not warming for this developing scenario. This is also initially and intrinsically brought about by low solar activity, and a lack of earth directed solar flares/Gulf Stream changes.
Professor Stefan Rahmstorf is one of the worlds leading climatologists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Stefan also backs up our long term science on 'Gulf Stream changes' within the article below, and despite some short-range/seasonal inaccuracies from ourselves, the same article also features some largely based Exacta Weather science in relation to these Gulf Stream Changes and in terms of long-range climate forecasting (nothing to do with salinity in our science - more how the Gulf Stream is heated).
Stefan also works from the exact same office that Einstein developed relativity... and he also goes on to state the following about the Gulf Stream HERE:
Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, said it has slowed by between 15 and 20 per cent. This has resulted in cooling equivalent to switching off a million power stations with possible catastrophic effects this winter. “There is more than a 99 per cent probability that this slowdown is unique over the period we looked at since 900 AD. “We conclude that the slowdown many have described is in fact already underway and it is outside of any natural variation.”
After further analysis of our short-range and seasonal forecasting for the last 3 winter periods, we must also accept some responsibility for underestimating solar activity levels during this 'transitional' period to a much quieter sun. Some unexpected peaks in solar activity have taken us by surprise in their overall strength, and despite a continuation in the lack of sunspots and their overall size. We do feel that these factors have altered the accuracy of our overall forecasts, but we can assure you that we are now moving away from this stronger part of the solar cycle. We should have also give more weighting to the El Nino conditions, and how they can vary and bring milder winter conditions to our shores.
Despite the milder winter we did have some shots of cold and success with snow dates, in particular, with the snow disaster that struck the United States. We have also had several weeks of cool-cold weather as the 'more dominant' weather pattern. This type of pattern arrived in the second half of February and reduced the mean CET for this particular month by over 3C within this period. This cool to cold weather also continued into the start of the meteorological spring to deliver a cold March, and wintry incursions have also continued well into April (our seasonal forecast also favoured April to be a warmer month overall but with wintry incursions). We also expect some interesting developments in May - Although some warm to much warmer weather is also on the way, too.
SO HOW OFTEN CAN WE EXPECT A COLD WINTER THEN? WE'VE JUST HAD 3 CONSECUTIVE MILD ONES!
This is something that we have analysed repeatedly and for all our future winter forecasts we will be giving 2 possible outcomes with a percentage rating for each one to subscribers. This will be easier to manage and also more accurate due to the extra factors that we will be incorporating within the 2 outcomes. However, in the direction that we are heading in terms of solar activity at present, we can expect at least 70%+ of all our future winter periods to be cold/exceptionally cold and snowy (6-7 of the next 10 winter periods will be cold/snowy).
Further details will also be released on this and the new format in May/June within our Preliminary Autumn & Winter 2016/17 forecasts to subscribers.
To conclude; A recent scientific article within the Daily Mirror titled "A mini ice age is on its way and this is what the UK will look like" also heavily features Exacta Weather science and states the following:
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, has previously said the UK should brace itself for colder winters from this year onwards.
He said: “This serious climate situation is also something that is unlikely to correct itself overnight as repeated analysis of past cycles and other contributing factors in relation to the current solar output and size/frequency of sunspots reveal to us quite conclusively that we are heading into something like a Maunder Minimum. "A time when the Thames used to freeze over regularly in London - or a fully blown ice age is inevitable in the coming years and decades.” Episodes of low solar activity were seen during the Maunder Minimum between 1645 and 1715 and the Dalton Minimum from 1790 to 1830.
WINTER 2015/16 REVIEW UPDATE ADDED: Sunday 10th April 2016 - James Madden
Summer 2016 - Shades of 1976? Possibly...
Some of you will also be aware or have seen the following below from early March - Please be warned that this comes with caveats and subscribers should read their full reports.
Our forecast for last summer fared reasonably well for overall accuracy (see below) - and although August wasn't as hot as we had expected, it was only the month of summer that came in above-average in terms of temperature (CET).
The cold and wet 2015 summer for the UK/Ireland + media articles from several months ahead with accurate descriptions from Exacta Weather:
The Met Office also admitted it had failed to predict the wash-out endured by Britain in the below article and stated that it was 'impossible' to predict.