Winter, fire and snow

by Gareth on December 26, 2010

Serendipity leads me to this great film: in the British winter of 1963, railway workers battle to keep the trains running. There’s one corker of a shot of a steam engine barrelling into a drift, plenty of impressionistic cutting and a wonderful soundtrack (an extended arrangement of Sandy Nelson’s Teen Beat). Directed by Geoffrey Jones, it was nominated for an Oscar. More on the film at the British Film Institute. Meanwhile, the current European cold snap (or at least the British part of it) looks like it might be about to end. Jeff Masters suggests that a major change of weather patterns is on its way, and to prove that for every cold spot there’s a warm one, parts of Bulgaria reported record warmth on Christmas Day. Novinite.com reports:

The highest air temperature in Bulgaria on Saturday was recorded in the northern city of Veliko Tarnovo – 20.1 degrees Celsius. The previous record on Christmas Day in Veliko Tarnovo was recorded in 1956, long before the more recent effects of the global warming started to kick in, and it was only 16.6 degrees Celsius.

It was pretty warm in Waipara, too… ;-)

[Anuna & Katie McMahon]

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Macro December 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Cool! ;)
The crates of milk bottles takes one back!
Warms the cockles of the heart. :)

John D December 26, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Well, it is certainly cool right now.
Interestingly, the UK Met Office are still sticking to their guns that these cold winters have a 1/20 chance of occurring, despite three in a row which would have an a priori probability of 1/8000 of occurring.

The UK Met Office are also in denial that they forecasted a mild and wet winter, when the evidence would appear otherwise.

http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/that-met-office-global-long-range-probability-map/

Kiwiiano December 26, 2010 at 9:58 pm

–20°C doesn’t sound very warm to me…… Veliko Tarnovo must be a dog of a place to be normally. ;^)

Dappledwater December 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Kiwiano – The photo caption in the link above shows the temperature as 20.1 degrees C & the accompanying photo shows a fountain, with pigeons. It certainly isn’t frozen over so the “-” is more likely a dash, not a minus sign.

John D December 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Massive snow storms are also now affecting many US airports. Many flights cancelled.

Gary Young December 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm

‘Massive snow storms are also now affecting many US airports. Many flights cancelled.’

And your point is….?

John D December 27, 2010 at 9:04 pm

‘Massive snow storms are also now affecting many US airports. Many flights cancelled.’

And your point is….?

What is your point Gary? Haven’t you had your instructions from your Alien masters on how to interpret the US snowstorms yet?

RW December 28, 2010 at 12:19 am

Idiotic comment. Go away, cherry-picking troll bore.

Gary Young December 28, 2010 at 7:45 am

My point, Mr. D, is that simplistic interpretations of complex phenomena lead to invalid conclusions.

‘aliens…?’ oh dear. Do grow up.

John D December 28, 2010 at 8:48 am

Simplistic interpretations? I was merely observing some facts.

Hilarious that I get accused of cherry picking. he original article mentions a one-off high temperature reading in Eastern Europe, while the rest has the coldest winter in decades if not centuries.

North America is also having a lot of severe cold weather.

As for the Met Office remark. again funny that Turboblocke picks up the official Met Office statement as proof that they are not in denial. Too funny.

Dappledwater December 28, 2010 at 9:10 am

North America is also having a lot of severe cold weather.

Meanwhile in the Arctic temperatures are way above normal. Leading to ice melt in the midst of the dark Arctic winter. Which seems pretty abnormal to me.

And if you look at the link that Gareth provided to Jeff Masters’ blog (above), you’ll see the NOAA graphic demonstrating that the Northern Hemisphere warm anomalies outnumber the cool.

The Northern Hemisphere Winter is still warmer than average dumbass!

Turboblocke December 28, 2010 at 9:26 am

Clearly the Met Office statement that Following public research, the Met Office no longer issues long-range forecasts for the general public; instead we provide a monthly outlook on our website. is not clear enough. Perhaps English is not your first language? Is this clearer? Weather man he no sayee long time weather. HTH

John D December 28, 2010 at 10:09 am

Turboblocke.

You are clearly having problems understanding my line of reasoning.

I will quote the relevant paragraphs.
One side of the Met Office clearly does not understand what the other side is doing. The maps and statements are all there for you to digest yourself.


Dave Britton, the Met Office’s Chief Press Officer, e-mailed the following statement to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF):

Following the entry on your blog regarding the Met Office please find the Met Office response below:

The Met Office has not issued a seasonal forecast to the public and categorically denies forecasting a ‘mild winter’ as suggested by Boris Johnson in his column in the Daily Telegraph.

Following public research, the Met Office no longer issues long-range forecasts for the general public; instead we provide a monthly outlook on our website, which have consistent and clearly sign-posted the very cold conditions.

This is all very interesting. Either the Met Office’s left hand doesn’t know what it’s right hand is doing, the Met Office has no idea what is being said by its employees, or the Met Office is playing semantics in a very disingenuous manner. Why? This bit of information issued by the Met Office in October…

The latest data comes in the form of a December to February temperature map on the Met Office’s website.

The eastern half of England, Cornwall, Scotland and Northern Ireland is in for temperatures above the 3.7C (38.6F) average, more than 2C warmer than last winter.

The map also shows a 40 per cent to 60 per cent probability that western England and Wales will be warmer than 3.7C (38.6F), with a much smaller chance of average or below-average temperatures.

The piece even goes on to name the Met Office employee who spoke about the map and talked up the effort that had gone into producing the start point for a ‘seasonal forecast‘:

Helen Chivers, Met Office forecaster, insisted the temperature map takes into account the influence of climate factors such as El Nino and La Nina – five-yearly climatic patterns that affect the weather – but admits this is only a “start point” for a seasonal forecast. She said: “The map shows probabilities of temperatures in months ahead compared to average temperatures over a 30-year period.

http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/met-office-memory-or-honesty-deficiency/

Mike Palin December 28, 2010 at 11:10 am

Copy-and-paste does not a line-of-reasoning make.

RW December 28, 2010 at 9:37 am

DNFTT. YAL, GOTS.

Turboblocke December 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I know DNFTT, but he links to a screen shot that says in red letters:
“This does not constitute a seasonal forecast for a given location”
Obviously a comprehension deficiency going on somewhere.

John D December 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Too funny.

Watching this group defend the Met Office’s inability to produce a long term forecast.

You guys crack me up.

Turboblocke December 28, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Why is it so importent to you that the Met Office produce a long term regional, weather forecast? It has nothing to do with the projections for long term global climate change.

I note that you haven’t acknowledged that you were wrong about the Met Office issuing a long term forecast in October. Is that why you’ve changed the subject?

Gary Young December 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm

While on the subject Gareth, did you notice this item in today’s Herald?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10696652

Gareth December 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Thanks Gary, yes. It’s a piece that ran in The Independent in the UK a few days ago, from memory, built around a recent paper from the Potsdam Institute.

Dappledwater December 27, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Gary, did you see John D’s dog at the beach on the back page of today’s herald?.

Gary Young December 28, 2010 at 7:52 am

Saw the back page but didn’t make a connection. Will have to dig out the paper again.

Dappledwater December 28, 2010 at 8:52 am

I’ll save you the effort. There’s a photo of dog at Takapuna Beach? with its’ head buried in the sand.

Gary Young December 28, 2010 at 9:48 am

Ah yes. Nice one.

Turboblocke December 28, 2010 at 1:56 am

John D. said The UK Met Office are also in denial that they forecasted a mild and wet winter, when the evidence would appear otherwise.

Their news release from October proves him wrong…

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2010/pr20101028.html

Winter forecast?

28 October 2010

Following public research, the Met Office no longer issues long-range forecasts for the general public; instead we provide a monthly outlook on our website.

Despite this, you may have seen some reports in the media on Thursday, suggesting the Met Office has produced a forecast for the coming winter.

These media reports have based their interpretation for the coming winter on probability maps on our website. However, they have been selective about the information they have used and you should not take these interpretations as a guide to the coming winter. Instead we would recommend using our monthly outlook and short range forecasts.

RW December 28, 2010 at 9:35 am

How surprising! Trolls are not interested in truth.

John D December 28, 2010 at 10:11 am

See my reply above

Nigel Taptiklis December 28, 2010 at 11:51 am

A good troll does not let a narrow understanding or poor intellect get in the way of forming a strong opinion.

John D December 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm

The arguments expressed in the AM blog post are quite clear and unambiguous.

Clearly, when the likes of Taplikis refer to “poor intellect” they are projecting their shallow gasp of reasoning onto others.

Gareth December 28, 2010 at 9:43 am

Snow buffs will enjoy this timelapse video of the recent blizzard on the east coast of the US. Remarkable pictures! (h/t Boing Boing).

Lank December 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Attention Preacher Garth of COGWA the ‘Church of Global warming Alarm’ – you can’t explain the current freezing cold and snow records over most of Europe and eastern USA so instead, lets show a video and laugh it off with your ‘snow buff’ friends.
While the duffas claim that 2010 will probably be among the three warmest years on record, and 2001 through 2010 the warmest decade on record, England, just as it was last winter and the winter before, is deep in the grip of a very very cold snap, which has seen some temperatures plummet to minus 20C, in many places the coldest on record.
Meanwhile, in the eastern USA….. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8226708/Blizzards-cause-air-travel-chaos-in-United-States.html
… cold in many other places… snow and ice in China, Russia, Germany….even parts of South America and on the hills above Hobart and eastern Australia are seeing December snow.

But hey, its okay COGWA folks it’s only the weather!! No need to buy warm clothes or build new power stations Preacher Gareth says the world is warming!

Turboblocke December 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm
Carol Cowan December 29, 2010 at 12:28 am

Well now, Lank, what did you make of the extremely high temperatures in at least 19 countries over the last northern summer?

You see, there are seasons experienced in many places on Earth. We don’t look at cold winters in a few places and say, the world is cooling. If the summers in many places were cooler than average, year after year, then we can say, “Yes it appears the world is cooling.” But we see that while Britain and Eastern USA are experiencing snowy weather, many parts of the northern hemisphere are much warmer than usual for the time of year (their winter) – and that makes us wonder.

Check out Jeff Masters’ website for a summary of all the unusual weather this year (site link in the sidebar).

Carol Cowan December 29, 2010 at 12:42 am

Lank, if you’re going to point to cold weather in 2010 as evidence of something, you need to also consider the extremely hot weather many places have had, as evidence of something. Otherwise you are just picking cherries.

The Earth is doing the speaking, are you listening?

Carol Cowan December 29, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I didn’t mean post twice, the first one hadn’t shown up so I did a Reader’s Digest version in the second. Ooops.

adelady December 29, 2010 at 7:10 pm

It’s cold. It’s even snowing. Less than 10% of the earth’s surface for less than 10% of the year – during winter.

I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

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