The stratospheric Polar Vortex is currently at record-strong levels, based on the metrics of 10 hPa 60°N zonal-mean zonal-wind and 60-90°N average temperature. This is likely to be due to a combination of the timing and duration of the major Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) in January: the duration of easterlies (most of January) shielded the… Read More Final Stratospheric Warmings
The final week of February 2019 has been characterised by anomalously warm, record-setting conditions over NW Europe. The United Kingdom broke its all-time maximum record temperature for February on several occasions and at several stations – the previous record of 19.7C from 1998 was obliterated, replaced with a new record of 21.2C (a huge difference… Read More A “winter heatwave” in a warming world
This blog was originally published on 24 January 2019, and updated on 24 January 2020. January 24th, 2009. This was the ‘central date’ (defined as the day on which the 10 hPa 60N zonal-mean zonal wind reverses from westerly to easterly) of a remarkable, record-breaking major Sudden Stratospheric Warming event, and there are several reasons… Read More The January 2009 SSW
Non-downward propagating SSWs? Major stratospheric sudden warming events (SSWs) attract widespread attention because they are now known to have significant impacts on the tropospheric circulation (e.g. Baldwin and Dunkerton 2001, hereafter BD01). Anomalies in the stratospheric circulation (often expressed as the Northern Annual Mode (NAM) index, or polar cap geopotential height anomalies) propagate downwards through… Read More Not all SSWs were created equal
I study the stratosphere, the layer of atmosphere that extends above the troposphere from about 10-50 km. Friends and colleagues of mine often joke (I hope…) that “nobody cares about the stratosphere” *, primarily because it contains no real ‘weather’ – such as what happens in the troposphere. With little to no water vapour, it… Read More The Stratosphere – why do we care?
Sara Thornton (co-owner of Weathertrending) recently shared an article highlighting how one particular careers adviser in her past told her to ‘give up on her dreams’ of presenting the weather on TV. Now, clearly that didn’t stop Sara! But it got me thinking about careers advice from my past – especially since meteorology is a… Read More Careers ‘Advice’? Follow your dreams!
I was on a long train journey a few days ago, and ended up in conversation with the person next to me. When I explained what I’m doing (a PhD project looking to improve sub-seasonal forecasting), I was greeted with the all-too-familiar response of “oh, that’s good because they get it wrong 90% of the… Read More “They get it wrong 90% of the time”
Imagine you are an astronaut who has just returned from the International Space Station and you meet a Flat-Earther… how would you even go about that argument? Climate science and evolution are two sciences denied by many. In the case of evolution-denial, a creationist view is faith-based. Those who believe that God made the Universe… Read More Why deny climate science?
Sunday, July 22, 2018, 9:31 PM BST. I put out a relatively simple tweet comprising of two NASA GISS global temperature anomaly graphics – one for June 1976, and one for June 2018. After listening to the media and meteorologists alike comparing and contrasting the current UK heatwave with that of 1976 (something which I… Read More Going Viral: Some thoughts one week later
2018 has been a remarkable summer. On the back of the warmest May on record (since 1910) for the UK, we saw the 3rd warmest June (featuring the 2nd warmest daytime maxima) which was also the 5th sunniest and 9th driest (3rd driest for England). The first half of this summer has been the driest… Read More Heatwave Summers: There’s more than 1976 & 1995