The US forecasters who accurately predicted December’s bitter weather are warning of another Arctic spell.
Weather Services International, the US meteorologists who correctly predicted not only the recent Big Freeze but also the bitter weather at the beginning of last year, are stating the UK and northern Europe are in for another dose of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures from March into April. The only good news is February will probably be mild.
According to the US experts, the key factor is, again, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the same atmospheric pressure phenomenon which blocked warmer weather before Christmas and left the UK prey to bitter Arctic weather streaming down from the North Pole. They also state the figures which produced the previous accurate predictions were ‘at or near’ record levels.
As the worst weather for six years hit New York this week, WSI senior meteorologist Dr Todd Crawford warned the reversal of warm weather and Arctic blasts is due to be turned on again at the start of the British spring in March and is expected to last until well into April. He confirmed the present more relaxed pattern would persist well into February, confining the cold to the northern regions.
However, he added there is a possibility the reversal will come sooner than expected with the return of another Big Freeze over the UK and Europe as early as mid-February. Daily monitoring of conditions will continue and WSI will send out alerts if any signs of the re-emerging of the negative patterns are noted.
The Met Office recently gave up on long-range forecasts to avoid more embarrassment after a series of error culminated in a forecast of a ‘barbecue summer’ which, in the real world, saw unseasonable amounts of rain.