With reports of the strongest El Nino for 65 years already grabbing the headlines, we look set to have some very unsettled weather ahead.
The (El Nino) event occurs when the waters of the Pacific become exceptionally warm and distorts weather patterns around the world. However, as the rest of the world warms, Europe looks to get increasingly colder.
Its effect has recently bought flooding and typhoons to Japan, Taiwan, Chile and Brazil. Jump over to Australia and parts of the US and they have seen one of the worst years for drought and bush fires.
El Nino occurs every two to seven years, and it never behaves in the same way twice and is only one of the elements in play that will influence the winter weather to come.
Vicky Lopez, director at De-ice, said: “Without doubt during the last El Nino of 2009/2010, the winter across northern Europe, including the UK was exceptionally cold. Heavy snowfall brought transport chaos to much of the country with airports closed and train services suspended. In December that year, the average UK temperature was just 30F (-1C) the coldest since records began.
“Clearly only time will tell if we are set for similar weather trends this winter. There are other factors to take into account such as the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and Sun output. The long-term forecast is unclear but the more credible camps are erring towards a milder and changeable start to the winter with periods of high winds and rain. Any gaps in this pattern could see temperatures plummet and snow on lower ground. Indicators of the NAO changing later in the winter months would bring colder snowier weather conditions later in 2016.”
When British Summer Time (BST) ends on Sunday 25th October, De-ice, will officially start its essential winter service – providing gritting and snow clearance to hundreds of public and private sector organisations, across the UK.
“We have and always will continue to plan for the worse. That way, we and our customers will never be caught out. Our aim is to help keep Britain moving.” comments Lopez.
De-Ice also works closely with the MeteoGroup, Europe’s largest private weather forecasters to make sure they have the best advice available at the earliest possible opportunity both in pre-winter planning and operationally should severe weather occur.
Lopez states: “Enquiries have started really picking up. With the end of summer and talks of a long, snowy winter, it seems more companies are becoming aware of the importance of working with gritting companies, and the added value we bring in providing a solution to the needs of their business during difficult and uncertain weather conditions.”