I should know better. My recent seasonal weather forecasts correctly predicted the cold winter of 2012-13, and the July heat wave. Now should be the time to quit whilst I’m ahead, hang up my sea weed, bow out gracefully and retire from amateur weather forecasting. But I can’t. Weather is such an interesting intellectual challenge with so many variables and processes involved that forecasting becomes academically addictive. Besides, I need to give the Bursar a steer on how many shovels and bags of salt to buy in preparation for winter.
The location and strength of the jet steam will be key to predicting the winter of 2013-14. It looks as though the Atlantic jet stream could be weaker than usual this winter, with an increased likelihood of blocking high pressure systems developing to the west of the UK. These will displace moist and mild Atlantic air to the north and south of the UK, and increase the likelihood of a cold, dry winter. This will be especially so in the East where after a warm autumn, a late but long winter can be expected. Of course our weather is variable, and there will be times when Atlantic low pressure systems prevail, bringing milder and wetter weather conditions, but these will be the exceptions rather than the rule. Cold fronts toppling round the high pressure to the west of Britain will bring northerly winds and snow particularly in January and February. As a consequence we can expect another late spring. It will be a good year for ice skating in the fens, but Perse Lent Term sports fixtures are likely to suffer.
I will be asking the Bursar to increase the Perse’s stock