News

Easter weather surprises

Posted on: March 22, 2016

As Easter weekend approaches, the UK is waiting to see what the weather will hold. Although Easter is a Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, for many of us, it also symbolises the start of spring. But sunny spring weather is by no means guaranteed – in fact, Easter weather can vary hugely year on year. Check out these fascinating Easter weather facts to find out more.

Easter Dates
One of the reasons why Easter weather can be so different every year is because Easter can fall in a period of 35 days. On their website, the Met Office says: 

“[Easter] is calculated as the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. Since 1960, the earliest Easter was over the weekend of the 22-24 March in 2008 and the latest was in 2011 when Easter fell between the 23-25 April.”

Easter fall

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Naming our storms

Posted on: March 15, 2016

At Ice Watch, we’ve been blogging about extreme weather in the UK all this winter, including most of the winter storms. As you’ve probably noticed, for the first year ever our storms have been given names. If you wondered why, read on.

Why do our storms have names?
In the past few years, UK storms have been named randomly, meaning the same storm could sometimes be referred to by several different names. The Met Office felt that using one system to name storms would aid communication about severe weather across different platforms. We saw this in action in December 2011, when ‘Hurricane Bawbag’ trended worldwide on Twitter, although it was not reported by its popular name by national broadcasters. The Met Office hopes that storm names will raise awareness and help us to prepare for the worst.

In a statement, the Met Office said:

“In this way the public will be better placed to keep themselves, their property and busine

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Snow Jake brings wintry weather

Posted on: March 7, 2016

1st March might be the first day of spring in the meteorological calendar, but Storm Jake rolled into Great Britain that evening.

The Met Office announced that the arrival of Storm Jake would cause high winds in Ireland, where Storm Imogen hit just a month ago. Four weather warnings were issued for high winds, including a yellow ‘be aware’ warning for the whole of Ireland and orange ‘be prepared’ warnings for coastal regions. 

On its Facebook page, the Met Office stated:

“The strongest gusts will mainly affect Ireland with lower impacts for the UK. Winds will strengthen around southwest parts of the UK through Wednesday morning, particularly as a band of showers moves southeastwards across parts of Wales and southwest England.”

The Met Office recor

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White Easter a possibility?

Posted on: March 1, 2016

Sudden stratospheric warming ‘increases the risk of cold north easterlies and wintry weather for the UK over the next few weeks’, says the Met Office, as media outlets report that a ‘white Easter’ could be on its way.

The Met Office has issued a rare warning for a ‘sudden stratospheric warming’ event. Occurring every couple of years on average, sudden stratospheric warming triggered the Big Freeze in 2010, which saw the mercury plummet to a low of -22.3 C in the Scottish Highlands at its peak.

Professor Adam Scaife, the Met Office’s Head of Monthly to Decadal Prediction explained: 

“Sudden stratospheric warming events occur high up in the atmosphere and involve a complete reversal of the high altitude polar jet stream – they can even affect weather at the surface, and for the UK a sudden stratospheric warming increases the risk of wintry weather.”

Sudden stratospheric warming occurs when air over the North Pole warms, causing high altitude winds in the jet stream

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