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 … Continue reading 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 … Continue reading 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 … Continue reading 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 … Continue reading 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 … Continue reading 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 … Continue reading Careers ‘Advice’? Follow your dreams!
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 … Continue reading 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 … Continue reading Heatwave Summers: There’s more than 1976 & 1995
Yesterday (May 11), at about 10:50am, I completed my Master's Degree in Meteorology and Climate (MMet) at the University of Reading. The exam - Oceanography (perhaps not the most typical way to end a meteorology degree, but I guess it highlights the diversity of the subject). The way I finished it? Ending a question on … Continue reading Thoughts upon finishing the MMet
This year's Reading Half Marathon was cancelled at ~6:40 AM on the day of the race (Sunday March 18) due to substantial snow in Reading and the surrounding area (indeed, across most of England...). The cancellation of the event only ~4 hours before runners would be taking to the course was far from ideal, with … Continue reading Reading Half Cancellation: Do people believe forecasts?