From reading the Below report it looks like this winter could be just as much fun as the last two.
Forecaster predicts brutal UK winter weather for 2011-2012
UK-based long range weather forecaster has issued a severe winter weather warning for 2011-2012. The advisory has been issued following one of the coldest winters experienced in Ireland and Britain more than 45 years. James Madden from weather organization Exacta Weather correctly predicted the harsh conditions experienced over the last two years, and is once again forecasting record-breaking snowfall and freezing temperatures during November, December and January. One of Madden’s primary methods of analyzing long range weather conditions is his analysis of solar cycles. Last week Irish Weather Online carried a story from the National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) stating that a missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles are signs that our Sun is heading for a rest period even as it is acting up for the first time in years. Dr. Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network, said of the results: “this could be the last solar maximum we’ll see for a few decades. That would affect everything from space exploration to Earth’s climate. National newspapers, including the Irish Independent and Irish Times, subsequently carried stories warning that a decrease in solar activity will bring Arctic Winters to Ireland and Britain over the coming decades. Commenting on the solar cycle, James Madden said: “Periods of low solar activity at present and what we have seen in recent years influence the Earth’s atmosphere by allowing the stratosphere to cool. This has a somewhat more profound effect over Northern Europe and the UK in terms of colder and snowier winters, due to jet stream patterns that block warm air from reaching us and create more moisture.”
“Although sunspot activity has increased somewhat this year and there has been an increase in solar flare activity, the activity is minuscule in comparison to what it should be like during a solar maximum and in terms of frequency. Periods of low solar activity such as this have future repercussions of low solar activity in future cycles and produce extra cloud cover that reflects sunlight with a cooling influence on Earth. The lack of major sunspots and solar flares clearly indicate a slower conveyor belt within the sun. We are now in a very weak solar maximum and my observations indicate that the next solar cycle will also be weak”, he added. Mr. Madden also said that the dust and ash particles released by the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland and Chile would also contribute to cooling down of global temperatures. He said he expected the 2011-2012 winter to follow a similar pattern in terms of how November and December was in 2010 for the vast majority of the coming winter. “It will be exceptionally cold and snowy with well below average temperatures. I fully expect to see records broken with the highlands of Scotland being once again particularly hard hit. It is therefore vital to start preparing now in terms of high energy bills and raising awareness amongst the most vulnerable and elderly people of society”, Mr. Madden concluded. -IWO
The Image is of Phoenix Park – Dublin, in January this year, under about a foot of Snow.
Kilkenny photographer: Nigel Borrington