From top: Today’s Irish Independent; UK Met Office graph depicting the relationship between the El Nino and cold winters in Ireland.
The coldest winter since the 1950s?
Not so fast, weather fans.
Mark Dunphy writes~:
There are some scientific/meteorological reasons to suggest that the building blocks for a colder than average winter to verify are in place. They include record-breaking cold seas surface temperatures in the North Atlantic, entrenched early season cold in Russia and soon Eastern Europe, a strong El Nino, and periods of High Pressure blocking in recent weeks dragging in a polar continental airmass across Ireland and Britain.
But – strong El Ninos and cold Atlantic waters have come and gone without record breaking cold occurring in this part of the world in the past. For example, the strong El Nino year of 1991-92 winter season saw Oct-May in Ireland/Britain producing warmer than average conditions. Furthermore, the below UK Met Office data shows strong/very strong El Nino years (circled in red) not exactly supporting the circulating theory of impending record breaking cold.
Furthermore, the UKMO [UK Meto Office] plot (pic 2) confirms the relationship between the El Nino and cold winters in Ireland doesn’t hold for STRONG events.
The Irish Independent article bases its article on the fact that migratory birds have migrated to this side of the world. Nothing too unusual about that you might think. The birds in question migrate to the UK every year and have arrived early for two reasons.
Easterly winds have been persistent in recent weeks meaning that they have decided to take off west while the going is good (easier flight than the flight they normally make against westerly winds).
The other reason is that Siberia has seen winter kick in rather early. Eastern and central Europe too will experience some snow over the next few days. Many other similar newspaper articles have appeared in recent weeks with no evidence other than supposition to claim that Ireland is set for its coldest winter since 1963.