Backloaded Winter. Cold Comes Late
We are expecting Winter 2015 to start on a wet and windy note for much of the British Isles as the Atlantic becomes the main driving force.
Some notable storm systems are expected to track across the UK during December as the colder air which has been pooling to the North during Autumn interacts with a strengthening jet stream.
We are expecting the El Nino to have minimal or little effect on the Winter across the British Isles and instead we think the cooler than average Atlantic will be more of a driving force with regards to developing weather patterns.
During the winter we expect significant cold to develop across Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Continued Northern blocking is also expected with high pressure becoming more likely to develop to the West or Northwest of the British Isles during the second half of Winter.
If the pattern which has become common during Autumn 2015 develops then the most likely outcome will be that the jet stream will split in the mid-Atlantic resulting in one branch going South of the UK whilst the other will allow low pressure systems to come in from the Northwest.
In this scenario we would expect some brief cold shots of air to come in from the Northeast or East during the second half of Winter as the low pressure systems cross the UK.
Colder Than Average
We are expecting an interesting Winter across Germany this year.
Initially, like much of Western Europe, Germany will see an unsettled start with some notable Atlantic storms coming in from the West.
During the first half of Winter though we expect to see a continued build up of cold air to the North across Scandinavia and also to the East across Siberia and Western Russia.
As the Atlantic begins to lose its influence during the second half of the Winter this cold air is likely to head further West resulting in some brief periods of much colder and snowier weather than average across Germany.
Warmer Than Average
The general synoptic pattern expected across Spain is one where low pressure systems are initially expected to track to the North of the country allowing high pressure to become dominant during the first half of the Winter. This will bring drier and warmer than average conditions across much of Iberia.
The second half of winter we are expecting high pressure to dominate to the Northwest of the country which will bring cooler than average conditions to the far North, but allow low pressure systems to stagnate to the West of the region which will bring milder and wetter than average conditions for the second half of Winter.
Slightly Colder Than Average
One of the most dominating factors of the weather across Ireland over the last few months has been the cooler than average Atlantic pool which has kept temperatures slightly below average.
This winter we are expecting initially wet and windy conditions as the Atlantic becomes the main driving force during the first half of winter. Couple this with the cooler than average Atlantic waters and temperatures are likely to be around or slightly below average.
Into the second half of Winter and we expect winds to dominate from the North-westerly or Northerly quarter which once again will bring slightly lower than average temperatures.
We are expecting the days of recorded frosts to be above average for Ireland this winter.
Wet Start, Colder Later
A rather different setup is forecast this Winter across France as it is expected to sit in between colder air to the East and a rather dominant Atlantic.
We expect the Winter to start off wet and windy as the Atlantic becomes a dominant force during the first part of Winter, however during the second half we expect colder air from the East to start to make more inroads across Western parts of Europe with some brief incursions of colder air from the East and North.
As such, the forecast for France for this Winter is one which will be remarkably average for the region with the exception of above average rainfall from Atlantic storms during the first half of the season.
Colder Than Average
Scandinavia is likely to be affected by two main weather systems over the winter months.
The first is the Atlantic cold pool which is expected to promote ridging of high pressure to the West of Norway and also high pressure to the East across Siberia.
The end result is much colder air than average pooling across Scandinavia and also to the East which will bring frequent incursions from Russia and Siberia.
Although temperatures are expected to be below average, this does not equate always to snowfall, especially as high pressure is likely to be near or around Scandinavia this winter.
As a result, we expect Scandinavia to see below average temperatures this Winter but below average snowfall too.
*Potential* Epic Season
A lot of uncertainty around the Alpine region this year as we are expecting a South tracking jet stream throughout the winter months across Europe.
Whilst this has the potential to bring large amounts of snowfall, especially during the second half of Winter, we expect the first half to be dominated by very active weather systems coming in from the West but still with temperatures above average as warmer air is drawn in from the South. This will mean a slow start of the season for more lower laying resorts.
We expect the change to happen during January where the jet stream tracks to the South of the Alps and allows colder air incursions from the North and also the East. This, combined with moisture from weather systems to the South will provide the recipe for potentially an epic season for many resorts.
If the jet stream doesn't track South far enough then the Alps will see periodic heavy rain which will affect the conditions of already fallen snow. Whichever way it goes we expect active and unsettled weather to dominate the Alps this winter.