Every year there’s a huge amount of media speculation about what weather we’ll see during winter, and this year is no different.
After a recent slew of stories claiming we’re in for the coldest winter on record (which weren’t based on information from the Met Office), there are now stories claiming we’re forecasting the wettest winter in 30 years.
That’s not the case and appears to be a misunderstanding of our three-month outlook for contingency planners.
First of all, last winter was the wettest in our digital records dating back to 1910, so if we were to have a wetter winter than that it would be the wettest in over a century – not just for 30 years.
But that’s not what our contingency planners outlook says. As we’ve pointed out here many times in the past, this product isn’t like our short range forecasts – it doesn’t tell you definitively what the weather is going to be and that’s why it’s not really that useful for the public.
What it does do is make an assessment of the likelihood of seeing wetter or drier than average, and milder or colder than average conditions for the whole of the UK for the whole three month period.
Recent outlooks have been signalling increased risk of milder and wetter conditions for the past couple of months, and indeed that’s what we have seen through October and the start of November. So the most likely predicted outcome is what actually happened for these months – but that won’t always be the case.
While the recent three month outlooks also highlighted the risk of more unsettled than average conditions, this does not give specific details or tell us whether any records will be broken.
For detailed weather forecasts, our five-day forecasts and weather outlooks to 30-days give the best and most up-to-date advice.