UK weather affected by jet stream

Posted on: January 30, 2015

After last week's bitterly cold weather, many parts of the UK have been affected by snow this week. Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all expected to see more wintery showers, with between 5 and 10cm of snow expected. As a result the Met Office has issued an amber weather warning to make people aware of possible disruption to travel.

"An active cold front is expected to push south-east across the UK introducing an increasingly cold and unstable air mass" - The Met Office

In the UK our weather is influenced by 6 air mass types:

  • Arctic Maritime Air Mass
  • Polar Continental Air Mass
  • Tropical Continental Air Mass
  • Tropical Maritime Air Mass
  • Returning Polar Maritime
  • Polar Maritime Air Mass

These air masses are carried by the jet stream, which can best be described as a ribbon of very strong winds that carry weather systems around the planet. Situated approximately 7 miles above the Earth's surface, winds in the jet stream travel from west to east and can reach up to 200mph. The position of the jet stream determin

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Thundersnow - a winter phenomenon

Posted on: January 22, 2015

Last week we experienced some of the coldest temperatures and heaviest snowfall of the winter so far. Overnight temperatures fell well below freezing in many areas forcing the Met Office to issue yellow ‘be aware’ warnings for snow across parts of northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In some places the snow that followed was particularly significant and the media were quick to pick up on the latest meteorological buzzword - ‘thundersnow’.

Several areas of the UK reported experiencing this rare winter phenomenon last week, including:

  • Cornwall
  • Wales
  • Teeside

Now thundersnow might sound pretty exciting, but just like the ‘weather bomb’ we experienced before Christmas it is far less dramatic than it actually sounds.

Rare Winter Phenomenon

Traditionally a thunderstorm occurs when the ground is heated by the sun and warm air rises into the cooler air above it. These conditions are more common during the summer months, but it is not unusual for us to experience them during the winter as well. Th

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Middle East snow

Posted on: January 16, 2015

Despite a number of wintery showers in recent days, many of us here in the UK are continuing to enjoy what has been a relatively mild start to the New Year. Whilst we would usually expect to see temperatures at this time of year between 3 and 5 degrees centigrade, in many areas it remains several degrees higher than that and even reaching double figures in areas such as The Channel Islands.

But it is not just here in the UK where unseasonal conditions are having an impact. Last week there was snow in the Middle East as an unprecedented winter storm led to usually hot and sunny locations being transformed into white winter wonderlands. Large areas were covered including:

  • Turkey
  • Israel
  • Lebanon
  • Kosovo
  • Cyprus
  • Syria
  • Palestine

In Tabuk in north-western Saudi Arabia, Bedouin shepherds and their camels were forced to take shelter in their tents as snow fell and temperatures dropped below zero. This is the third consecutive year that the region has experienced some level of snowfall, but last week's storm was particularly inte

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Where the festive snow fell

Posted on: January 8, 2015

The big kids amongst you will have gone to bed on Christmas Day dreaming of waking up to a white Christmas. Unfortunately, whilst many areas of the country did experience freezing temperatures and icy conditions, the white stuff never fell. Fast forward 24 hours and it was a completely different story across much of Northern Ireland, Wales, central and Northern England and southern Scotland.

Snow and sleet on Boxing Day forced the Met Office to issue a yellow weather warning and resulted in the closure of Leeds Bradford Airport, the diversion of flights into Liverpool airport and warnings from police describing roads as “treacherous” and “almost undriveable”. Winter had well and truly arrived.

For many of us the Boxing Day flurries were the first snowfall of the season and on average we see 33 days of snowfall each year in the UK; though there are considerable differences depending on where you live in the country. For example, those of you living in Cornwall will receive on average just 10.2 days of snowfall each year. If you are a snow lover, here are the top 5 UK

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