Tue. Jan 19th, 2021

In this issue, we’ll take a look at the UKMET (United Kingdom Meteorology) model and what it is telling us about this winter. This is just one of about 6 global models we look at to determine how a season might play out. It’s a puzzle and no one model solution can be relied on.

Let’s put some puzzle pieces together and see what the UKMET says about December, January, and February.

Keep in mind that the current El Nino is strong but projected to subside before winter and the global models are beginning to see how it will impact our weather.

500 MB Height Anomaly

Looking at the 500 MB heights, we see a ridge (red) over western Canada which is surprising as in an El Nino event, we would expect to see ridging more eastward…with more troughing coming down the west coast.

UKMET Sea Surface Temp

The Sea Surface Temperature (SST) clearly shows our El Nino off the coast of South America but it is trending back towards the Central Pacific. Note the cold (blue) off the coast of Greenland and how warm the west Atlantic remains in this period…

UKMET Precipitation

This model clearly shows a very wet southeastern US.

UKMET Temperature

Lastly, the UKMET gives us a likely Temperature. Here we see a few degrees below normal over the southeast.

UKMET Mean Sea Level Pressure

Sea Level Pressure is Low over the southeastern US especially over Florida. Low pressure=storminess. One thing that pops out is the remarkably High pressure over Iceland and Greenland.

The Bottom Line:

If this were the only model available and we had to make a forecast for the winter, it would be easy. What we are seeing though is…the other global models suggesting about the same thing!

The UKMET is telling us that the Southeast (NC included) has an increasing likelihood of a stormy winter with a higher than normal chance of winter precipitation.

Now, I know you want a solid answer without all the CYA terms…

  • Will it snow? – Yes. It’s Winter.
  • Will we see brutal cold like last year? – Not Likely but can’t rule it out.
  • How about Ice? – Chances are better for Ice Storms this winter so… Yes.
  • What is the most likely precip type we will see this winter?  – Best bet is Rain.
  • What are the other models saying?  – We’ll cover them as we go along.

This is just one model. The European is coming in cooler and wetter, the JAMSTEC (update coming soon) is similar to the UKMET, the Canadian, is out in La La Land, and the American (GFS) is similar to the European. We have a lot of puzzle pieces to put together, so sit tight while the picture emerges.

NC Weather Happens. Enjoy it!

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