Following on from the easterly temptations of the previous blog entry, the wait for Winter proper continued to tease and tempt. However, on the bottom line the mean pattern of the vortex in situe over Greenland, fuelling the Jet and spawning continued Atlantic systems prevailed.
The below re-analysis plot courtesy of NOAA / ESRL PSD, shows the pattern from January 1st up until Feb 12th. An ugly winter pattern for lovers of cold and snow, that trough pretty much tells the whole story.
Looking at the Northern Hemisphere view provides more stark relief, the respite of the ridging throwing up a Greenland Block and even temporarily providing a break, just not with a look in. The Arctic high, whilst throwing out some hope never connecting and the troughing and bombing systems continued.
Met Office charts for December and January below highlight the deluge, seemingly heralded way back in October with the St Jude’s Storm the advent of what would be a consistent theme throughout the core of Winter. BBC Article here highlights the 10 key moments of the Winter, whilst not strictly a meteorological review, a good essence of the despondency created by the cycle of continued cyclogenesis.
The latest musings grabbed by the media en masse concern the Jet stream and attempts to verify it’s changing condition. A worthy subject for review, from a quick skim read appears they are pointing at a decreased thermal gradient weakening the Atlantic Jet and creating a stuck zonal flow with the Jet stuck in a standing wave. Image below from this atricle and further discussion and video here.
This is certainly an area of interest and this season the jet has been of massive influence, however I think a lot of our Atlantic trains can be determined by the wQBO phase and the Polar Vortex undergoing a monster period of intensification prior to the turn of the year. Interesting to see the QBO find it’s way into the media pages.
Looking further up we can see the rampant vortex in this zonal wind series, it has simply proved to be a monster.
Anomalous cold vortex at the turn of the year, off the scale between 30hPa to 50hPa, any wave activity struggling to break the cycle and put simply it was the U.S turn for a belter of a winter, not ours !
I think it is fair to say the strength of this seasons vortex was unexpected, whilst an SSW was a statistical improbability, decent wave activity did provide some promise early January, however, propagation was not in our favour. The JFMA chart above hints at colder conditions into March and with the core of the vortex projected to split and the lead daughter vortice head to the Siberian sector, perhaps some height rises eventually will herald a die off in the Atlantic train.
Until then little respite from this mean troughing solution which has trashed winter for many and provided real heart ache for many of our Southern neighbours.
Elevation is the Winner
Into the Highlands and the Scottish Ski season is having bumper snowfall and superb accumulation, have read plenty of crazy figures and seasoned folks advising the amounts of snow present on the mountains is simply ridiculous. Heartening to read when at ground level we are soaked by more cold rain with the odd excitement brought on by transient back edge snow or slushy stuff brought on by evaporative cooling. Although the storm track continues to interrupt what would surely be an even busier calendar with the resorts road blocked.
Just don’t expect to get hold of anyone on their mobile when they get up there, this image courtesy of - https://www.facebook.com/GlensheeSkiCentre
Genuinely hope we see the back to this pattern soon, it’s pretty much killed the Winter fun. Always something to watch for and it’s over to the MJO and El Nino, and then an easterly QBO for next Winter…. Here we go again..!