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Britain's Coldest Winter For Decade. Met Office Forecast.

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Interesting Times articlewith relevance to the UK economic situation;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8122-1819000,00.html

"THE Government has summoned industrialists and generating companies to an emergency meeting next

month amid fears of an energy crisis if Britain suffers a harsh winter. Long-distance forecasters are predicting that the country is facing its coldest weather for a decade."

"The CBI said that there were only 11 days’ gas held in reserve. In comparison, other European countries

keep an average of 55 days in reserve. The Met Office has already put the energy industry, the NHS and

the Government on high alert. Now there are fears that Britain could run out of fuel.

Sir Digby Jones, the Director-General of the CBI, said: “If we have a cold winter, we are going to throw the switch; businesses will shut down.”

“The Met Office is forecasting a negative NAO this winter. In the 1940s the NAO turned negative and brought some of the coldest European winters of the 20th century.... when homes were buried under snow and ice floes drifted in the English Channel."

"Last week Ofgem and National Grid Transco gave warning that gas supplies were at their lowest for ten years. Gas is used to fuel around two fifths of the country’s power stations. Malcolm Wicks, the Energy Minister, said: “It’s not about switching off the domestic customers but there could be problems for industry.”

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Could all the recent reports about 'energy shortages' and 'coldest winter on record' have anything to do with the governments re-evaluation of the future of nuclear energy?

I understand that such long term forcasts by the met are about 60% accurate - only just better than tossing a coin (50%).

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This is pure speculation and don't they say this every year? I'll run around my high street naked if we get more than one week's snow covered ground in London. I'd wager it will be a very mild and extremely wet winter this year.

Edited by Swipe

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Could all the recent reports about 'energy shortages' and 'coldest winter on record' have anything to do with the governments re-evaluation of the future of nuclear energy?

I understand that such long term forcasts by the met are about 60% accurate - only just better than tossing a coin (50%).

Exactly. Didn't the same muppets say that we were going to have a very hot August. They issue these warnings based on a 30-40% likelihood outcome. However, I am a bit of a weather watcher, and since February this year our weather has completely changed its usual pattern. Normally we get three to four weeks of Atlantic lows a month, with the odd ridge of high pressure, but since February our weather has come from the East, South or North, and the old weather maps of Atlantic lows trundling across the Isles seems to be a thing of the past. If this continues, we could have a very cold winter, but it would also be very dry. What i would be more worried about is water supply. Many reservoirs are already down to below 40% in our area.

Edited by large

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Guest rigsby II

Is this really how soft and namby-pamby we have become in this country ?

How totally incapable of looking after ourselves without blaming everyone and everything, this time because it might get cold in winter, well boo-hoo.

Just put a bleedin jumper on fer gods sake.

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What a load of nonesense!

I remeber, about this time last year, there was some prediction about how it was going to be one of the coldest winters for xxx years. It turned out to be nice and mild. It was quite widely reported.

This happens every year!!

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I'll run around my high street naked if we get more than one week's snow covered ground in London.

I have a feeling that the more unscrupulous members would have made a note of this and come winter you may have (if we have a harsh winter) several senior members of HPC armed with cameras waiting outside your house waiting for your performance

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Forget the weather for the moment.

The important point about this is that we have a Government seemingly not capable of ensuring adequate stocks of a strategic energy supply.

A Government that then, if problems should occur, would see industry shut down.

Borders on criminal neglect.

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From Metcheck.com

Negative NAO "Likely"

Added : Sun 9 Oct : 10:09:33 AM

More winter forecasts rolling out from various quarters, however, one really caught our eye.

The forecast issued by Benfield Hazard Research Centre for Winter 2005/6 indicates that a negative NAO this winter is three times more likely than an above average NAO. This information is based on ensemble forecasts using the well known link between June/July northern hemispheric snow cover.

The NAO, or North Atlantic Oscillation, is a loose-fitting index used by forecasters to gauge the activity of the Atlantic.

A positive NAO scenario is where pressure is high above the Azores and low above Iceland. This usually results in mild, South-westerly winds for much of the UK.

A negative NAO is the opposite. The result of this, is that blocking is a common theme and that colder outbreaks from the North or East are more frequent.

NCEP has backed this up, with the latest seasonal model also calling for a negative NAO this Winter.

Hope that helps!!

Phil

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There's a company looking to store gas in salt caverns in the north west. Can't think where it is but it was on the news yesterday as an inquiry has started.

So they're looking at storing gas to help with demand I spose.

""Salt caverns are high-deliverability, since there is little to impede the flow of the gas in or out of a cavern," Law explains."

http://www.bsinaturalgas.com/press3.html

The problem with nuclear is it'd also take ages to get planning through and then 8-10 years to build and commission a plant. Either way the govt has to make decisions fairly soon about our future energy sources.

Something else on the news this morning about offshore windfarm near a small gasfield - when no wind they will use the gas to turn the blades.

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From Metcheck.com

Negative NAO "Likely"

Added : Sun 9 Oct : 10:09:33 AM

A negative NAO is the opposite. The result of this, is that blocking is a common theme and that colder outbreaks from the North or East are more frequent.

NCEP has backed this up, with the latest seasonal model also calling for a negative NAO this Winter.

Phil

We had a blocking high from Feb till April, and for much of the summer, which is why the weather has been so dry. So I do actually think there is a chance of a much colder winter. Our recent mild winters haven't been due to global warming, but persistant years of unbroken westerly atlantic weather. We had a similar run in the 1970s for about six years, only this one has lasted for well over a decade, but it does appear to have come to an end. It may be that global warming has affected circulation in the upper atmosphere through increased sea temperatures, and this could result in us having cold winters for a few years. Of course, if the north Atlantic drift failed (a 50% likelihood in the next three decades if Arctic ice melts at the current rate) then England would be subzero from December to April no matter where the wind comes from. But that would be the least of our worries as there would be global famines/wars etc.

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I wonder what else the met office are up to.

A few years ago I was talking to a foreman on the Exeter met office construction site. He told me that some of his team were working under the official secrets act, hmmm.

Was it not the spurious cold winter reports that helped to ramp up energy prices last year?

Edited by dom

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Guest rigsby II

I wonder what else the met office are up to.

A few years ago I was talking to a foreman on the Exeter met office construction site. He told me that some of his team were working under the official secrets act, hmmm.

I used to work for the old GPO before it became British Telecom.

I had to sign the official secrets act.

My mate works for the police in the garage mending dented cop cars. He had to sign the official secrets act.

Nothing sinister going on necessarily.

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I used to work for the old GPO before it became British Telecom.

I had to sign the official secrets act.

Nothing sinister going on necessarily.

Thats what I was going to say too. I've signed it about 6 or so times, so far. Job at a BT DQ, applications to various jobs, getting married, being posted to a NATO post etc.........

Edited by libitina

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Forget the weather for the moment.

The important point about this is that we have a Government seemingly not capable of ensuring adequate stocks of a strategic energy supply.

A Government that then, if problems should occur, would see industry shut down.

Borders on criminal neglect.

Exactly. I've recently written about this in a two part article:

UK Energy Part 1: The Winter Outlook

UK Energy Part 2: 2005 Quarter 2 Update

Energy Island

Until very recently the UK was an energy island, self sufficient in energy. This situation is changing rapidly. Domestic gas, oil and coal extraction rates are all crashing and the nuclear fleet is ageing, soon to be decommissioned. Whilst not impossible to sustain a successful economy and high standard of living on imported energy (see Japan). The rate of change could be devastating to the UK, both in terms of reduced security of supply and the negative effect on the trade deficit.

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Of course, if the north Atlantic drift failed (a 50% likelihood in the next three decades if Arctic ice melts at the current rate) then England would be subzero from December to April no matter where the wind comes from. But that would be the least of our worries as there would be global famines/wars etc.

Cool

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Forget the weather for the moment.

The important point about this is that we have a Government seemingly not capable of ensuring adequate stocks of a strategic energy supply.

A Government that then, if problems should occur, would see industry shut down.

Borders on criminal neglect.

Excellant point. Remember the BBC series last year where they looked at current challenges and what could happen if they were allowed to run their course to an extreme. They did one on energy shortages and a lack of gass storage was a main reason for energy blackouts. There was significant lose of life as people froze to death in their own homes. Not just the old either. How many have central heating that rely on gass to fire them and electricity to pump the hot water around, with no backup source of heating!

As I remember most people thought the BBC were scare mongering <_< . They may yet learn to savage lesson.

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Just been talking to a friend in the office. She is Spanish and it seems the Spanish are talking about the weather as well. A Spanish paper (not sure which) is reporting that Spain is expecting a lot of rain from the remains of Hurricane Stan. Not that unusal, but Stan is very usual, apparently.

Stan formed over water that would normally be too cold to create a hurricane. For a Hurricane to form the water must be above 27 deg C. The area where Stan formed is usually no where near that. This is being taken seriously in hurricane watcher circles and is causing a bit of a stir, because it suggests that the ocean temperatures may be changing / rising faster than first thought!!

Also, the hurricane watchers are running out of letters of the alphabet. They may start using the Greek Alphabet!

Interesting times.

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It's pretty much always the case that if you rely heavily on gas for power generation, as the UK does, then pretty soon you end up with no gas left for power OR ANYTHING ELSE and there are supply shortages, blackouts and so on.

With the oil and gas situation as it is with rising demand, faltering discovery and so on it's just plain crazy to be relying on either of them for electricity generation in the first place when renewable, nuclear and coal could meet 100% of electricity requirements with sufficient encouragement.

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The Met Office is forecasting a negative NAO this winter. Although they cannot tell how severe the weather will be, the past ten winters had such ridiculously mild weather that even an average British winter will come as a rude shock.”

I think this is quite true - we haven't had a really bad winter for 10 years - I'll never forget Christmas/New Year in 1995 when water froze in kettles - temperatures fell to minus 27 which were a bit of a shocker.

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I think this is quite true - we haven't had a really bad winter for 10 years - I'll never forget Christmas/New Year in 1995 when water froze in kettles - temperatures fell to minus 27 which were a bit of a shocker.

Oooh I remember that one! It started snowing on Christmas Eve (on Skye anyway) and didn't stop till there was 2 feet. Then it froze absolutely solid - temperature didn't go above freezing for a fortnight or so, dipping to -14 at night. I love that sort of weather anyway.

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Oooh I remember that one! It started snowing on Christmas Eve (on Skye anyway) and didn't stop till there was 2 feet. Then it froze absolutely solid - temperature didn't go above freezing for a fortnight or so, dipping to -14 at night. I love that sort of weather anyway.

I remember it quite fondly now, but I'm sure it was awful at the time. The pipes froze in my flat, and the landlord couldn't be contacted so it must've been pretty bad. The snow was amazing though - it was Arctic snow which was completely different from normal.

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