Science

Will it snow this December? The science says no

Will it snow in the UK and Ireland
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Science (and meteorology) can be cruel, not content with giving us one of the wettest Octobers in recent memory, this weekend the Met Office said we’re unlikely to see more snow this side of Christmas.

After a number of reports in the media last week the Met Office turned to their WordPress blog and Twitter account, @metoffice, to dispel, almost, all hopes of a white Christmas this year. 

Will it snow in the UK and IrelandIn their post, published on Friday the Met Office said we’re not likely to see a repeat of last year’s snow, which saw record low temperatures in Northern Ireland of -18.7°C (-2°F) and up to 76cm (30 inches) of snow on the ground in some places.

“To clarify, last year we had the coldest December in more than 100 years. The Met Office forecast for 30 days ahead, which still does not cover the whole month of December, suggests that we are unlikely to see a repeat of the persistent and extreme cold and snowy conditions that we saw last year.

“…The current Met Office forecast is for much more normal conditions for the time of year, with periods of wind and rain interspersed with colder spells bringing some overnight frost and a chance of snow – mostly over the higher ground in Scotland.”

Writing in response to users’ questions on Twitter the Met Office said,

Next 30days the odd colder spell, risk of some brief snow over hills, but otherwise mild for time of year, so very low chance!

The snow last year was so heavy that for a month it turned the UK and Ireland white, literally.  Over the month NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites under the operation of the MODIS Land Rapid Response Team recorded images of the British Isles, which appeared white from space.

Last year’s heavy snow came as a result of the Gulf Stream moving further south from the British Isles allowing colder Arctic air to bring prolonged periods of snow over the islands.

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).