There has been widespread coverage across the media today on research from the Met Office with Imperial College London and the University of Oxford, that shows that low UV output from the sun can contribute to an increased risk of cold winters over parts of the northern hemisphere, such as recently seen in the UK.
Richard Black at the BBC reported accurately on how ‘Ultraviolet shone on cold winter conundrum’. Likewise Steve Connor at the Independent reported on how ‘Solar activity may be to blame for unusually cold winters’. On BBC Radio Four ‘Today‘ also covered the research.
Elsewhere there was some misleading reports that suggested this research meant we may see a ‘mini ice age’. There is nothing in this research that would indicate such as assessment and a full article on the research can be found on the Research pages of the Met Office website.
Over the weekend the Sunday Times reported on the countries plans to prepare for winter. In any winter we can see spells of severe weather and the Met Office is providing a range of services across many sectors to support winter preparedness. The Sunday Times reported on some of the support provided by the Met Office including embedding weather advisors into the National Traffic Control Centre on behalf of the Highways Agency and a range of advice and services we have provided to BAA. We also provide a range of services for the UK’s road, rail, airport, airline industries as well as the contingency community that provide accurate 1 to 5 day forecasts on which action is taken to minimise the impacts of severe weather.
Elsewhere there remains unprecedented levels of speculation on the prospects of a cold winter with numerous stories about the possibility of cold weather. In the short term our weather remains relatively mild this week, especially in the south, before turning a little cooler from the north with more typical autumnal weather. A full forecast for the UK for the next 30 days can be found on the Met Office website.