Winter Gritting Experts

Baby It's Cold Outside - GRITIT™ Warns Of Winter Weather Coming

November 27, 2019

As November comes to a close, polar winds are set to push down through the UK from the north and cause widespread overnight freezes, which will make the following mornings hazardous and icy. GRITIT's weather forecasters Metdesk concur with widespread weather predictions that a change is on the way towards the end of the week, when northerly winds will bring drier, chillier and icier temperatures across the nation.

Cold spell this weekend

The weekend in particular looks a cold one, as the chilly northerly winds will cause thermometers to struggle to nudge above zero in many mainland areas with sub-zero air gripping the nation, and even possibly snow striking parts of the country. The central Highlands and the north of the UK are at the greatest risk of snow; higher ground  and isolated patches here and there may have a dusting as the cold spell moves across Britain.

december chill gritit 

Accurate weather forecasting is a key start to our service, and whereas the Highways Agency operates to an 85% successful prediction rate, our weather forecaster MetDesk boasts an impressive 98%. Again, whilst other winter services suppliers maybe satisfied with air temperature predictions for winter forecasting, GRITIT uses bespoke local quadrant road temperature analysis developed for use in logistics and transportation. True to form, the weather map above shows the nation's ground temperatures in the great detail that is needed to perform a high quality winter gritting service. Other weather forecasters concur with our Metdesk map: The Met Office gives the same pattern but in less detail:

december met office

As does Netweather:

december netweather

Colder winds coming

What we're seeing is a change away from from southerlies coming in from the Atlantic bringing in moist tropical air, towards northerlies dominating, barrelling down from the Arctic with cold air. The moist wet southerlies will peter out and the winds will change direction, bringing much colder air southwards, gradually through this Thursday across much of central and northern Scotland. On a positive note, the Yellow weather warnings for flooding which have been issued for this week are likely to be called off towards the end of the week.

Perhaps the best illustration of the shift in the weather system at the end of this week is a look at the Jet Stream, with a clear change in the prevailing winds from before to after. As is clear, the shift in the Jet Stream allows a column of colder wind to come in from Iceland and Greenland:

jet stream before gritit

jet stream after gritit

White Christmas?

Forecasters always differ, but one possibility for December show a brutal cold working its way down Britain. According to Netweather charts, much of the UK maybe hit by snow storms before December 11, and only parts of the furthest south of England as well as the north-east are likely to avoid being hit.

After 40-50cm of snow fell in the Highlands and 70mph winds occurred on the Welsh Coast a few weeks ago, bookmakers already started offering odds on Christmas day snowfall in a number of cities across Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Currently bookmakers are predicting that the good citizens of Aberdeen are the most likely of all major cities to celebrate a Christmas dominated by the white stuff, with less probability further down the country.

2020 - a big chill?

January and February certainly do look set to be colder than usual as predicted by a paper put out by University College London at the at the end of August 2019, which predicted that temperatures will be colder than normal during January-February 2020. Their data points to a higher than normal likelihood that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) will be negative, which means that the central England temperature (CET) will be colder than normal for January-February 2020.

Specifically, their weather data analysis points to an 87% probability that the NAO will be less than the 1981-2010 mean, and a 65% probability that the CET will be the colder than the 1981-2010 mean. To back up their data, they point to 1953-2019 weather data analysis, which shows that in nine of the ten years where these predictor fields had the same sign and similar magnitude to that in summer 2019 were followed in January-February by a negative NAO and by a CET "colder than the climatology". You have been warned!

What if it's a cold winter?

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The indicators would tend towards a very cold early part of 2020. Slips, trips and falls in car parks and on footpaths are common in the wintry months, and should the weather deteriorate even further, you may find that business and operations grind to a halt if you're not prepared for inclement weather. As a business, school, facility or factory, you can cover yourself with a fixed budget for the entire season, or arrange a pay per visit service by speaking to one of the experts at GRITIT. We'll cover any claims against you and we'll always be there to grit your facility and clear away the snow.

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