On the weather forum members are wondering what type of solar minimum will we be entering in either a Sporer, Wolf or a Maunder-type solar minimum. The cold weather enthusiasts are seeing the prospect of cold winters during solar minimums as something to get very excited about. Many of the forum members want to see a repeat of the 1962-1963 winter and want the solar minimum to be a Grand Solar minimum. Forum members have stated that we could be having a blocked winter due to the UV changes in the quiet sun which is cooling the troposphere. There are expectations of the weather forum members are that we could be having a bitterly cold winter. Colder winter weather for the UK will be coming, it is not a case if but when. Will it be last only for a few days or more. Solar activity is at a very low level, less than earlier in the solar cycle. There is a possibility we could achieve 220 sun spotless days by the end of the year. I think that we could reach 208 days as today is the 20th consecutive sun spotless day and there has been 186 sun spotless days. In the next two years the sun spotless days could total 300. I believe that the low solar activity is a factor for Europe, The British Isles and Ireland along with weak polar vortex winds and temperatures of the oceans especially the pacific (El Nino/La Nino), Baring Straits and the Atlantic as well the Hurricane season. There is a strong correlation between an active Atlantic Hurricane season in the winters that follow. In UK weather it is not a guarantee that there will be colder winters but the averages are increased but other factors have to be in play.
Many say that there could be a very cold trough dropping onto Europe with Northern Blocking ushering a start to winter. Many weather analysts are predicting a collapse of the Polar Vortex winds. This could be due to an imminent Sudden Stratospheric Warming event. There are predictions for the lowering Central England temperatures. When this happens it won't take long for the cold weather to be ushered in.
A Scandinavian High could be waiting in the wings bringing in possible Easterly winds. A combination of a low solar activity and a weak El Nino. The Scandinavian Heights are more prominent and amplified. The Arctic troposphere vortex has split as the zonal winds are also forecast to plummet. Cold weather could reaching the British Isles and Ireland by the last third of this month.
Some have likened the weather we having this November to the November of 1978. That was the year that the Met Office weather forecasters gave a warning of heavy snow fall. Rain was moving Southwards over to the UK which brought snow to Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire. The next day heavier and persistent snow showers to all of Eastern England including all of Essex. Later on parts of England, Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland received heavy snow showers. Even on Christmas day snow fell (which is very rare) parts of Scotland, Northern & Central England as well as North Wales. The last day there was any snow was on the 25th January. This could be happening this winter and it will probably happen when it is least expected and when it has not been forecasted. Even in November 1978 where it was very mild to the 24th with no sign that cold weather was to come. It began to snow from late November until January 1979 when the Met office forecast said that winds will be turning Northerly at times, later in the month with snow. It has been forecasted that there were signs in 1978 of the colder temperatures and snow.
In November 2008, the UK was experiencing very unsettled weather from the start of the month but rain was coming from the East. The maximum temperature between the 1st and the 7th November was 14.8 °C and rain was heavy at times. From the 7th November it became windier and rain coming from the West where gusts exceeded 50 miles per hour with maximum temperature of 14.9 °C . There was a brief dry period from the 12th to the 13th November when there was high pressure building up from the South West. There was low cold with brighter intervals with mild day and night temperatures. East Bergholt in Suffolk reached 16.0 °C on the 14th November and Ness Gardens in Cheshire reached 16.1°C on the 15 November. During the 16th November these weather conditions continued across Southern countries but across Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England a Northerly winds set in bringing colder and clearer days. 17th to the 20th November become drier even though there was fine rain at times but with sunny intervals. Colder weather conditions had arrived with the Northerly winds with wintry showers spreading. The maximum temperature recorded at Teignmouth at Devon was 15.9 °C on the 19th November. From the 21st to the 23rd November much colder temperatures spreading wintry showers across many Eastern areas. Lying snow lay in Copley in County Durham had 5 cm of snow on the 23rd November at 9 am. The showers in the West was mainly rain with temperatures close to average. There was a good amount of sunshine especially in Central England. It became very cold and windy with gusts of 50 miles per hour exposed areas in the Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England on the 24th November. There was a brief respite from the cold weather was on 25th to the 26th November as rain died away with milder North Westerly winds. The rest of the month was very unsettled with further rain which turned to sleet or snow for a short period of time, by the end of the month. There was widespread dense fog which lingered in the Midlands and Northern England. The maximum day time temperature was -3.0 °C in Warcop in Cumbria on the 30th November. There were severe frosts on the 28th, 29th and 30th November, with Shap in Cumbria who recorded a minimum temperature of -8.9 °C on the 30th November. Colder weather was set to come in December although there were periods of mild weather. The first 10 days were very cold with prolonged and severe frosts after that the weather became very unsettled with rainfall close to average with more sunshine than average. Then at the end of January colder temperatures where forecasted to come from the Continent of Europe with widespread snow to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The West QBO* has now descended below 30 hPa although the lower stratosphere remains in an East** QBO favouring tropical tropopause upwelling and the upward prorogation of the Kelvin waves to the westerly shear zone. The Sudden Stratospheric Warming Events occur mostly during an East QBO to West QBO transitions also there is a delay in the effects from the West QBO as the weather behaves as though it is still in an Easterly QBO. A very strong and intense Sudden Stratospheric warming will decimate the polar vortex winds. The ingredients is in place to bring for the stratospheric vortex being greatly weakened during the latter part of December. Then there is the failure of the path of the Polar Jet winds to push into the British Isles, Ireland and continental Europe. There is ridging of the high pressure nearby the British Isles which is featured of the International weather model maps which is show that has featured colder weather in the last days of November where the temperatures will get very cold. Even though is mild temperatures in the day time, the temperatures at night will drop quite a lot which will produce dense fog. When this happens for several days, it won't be long before colder weather is being heralded in with a late Northerly in late November to early December.
*West QBO Mild, wild rainy weather, the course of the jet stream goes North bringing milder temperatures to the UK
**East QBO colder and snowier weather, the course of the jet stream goes South letting in colder temperatures to the UK