Here are the climate models with analysis, and the climate drivers analysed below to see our snowfall chances.
EC shows a consistent ridge across Europe, bringing dry conditions to the European Alps (both sides), the UK and the rest of Europe for the later stages of this month.
We certainly see a more zonal look in the last days of January for the UK and the Northern Alps, although the Alps and Southern Europe are still controlled by a ridge.
31st Jan-4th Feb
Similar themes on EC persist into February with a +NAO zonal look for the UK, reasonable conditions for the Northern Alps with the zonal wind kick from the NW, but mostly dry for the Alps and Southern Europe
EC shows the ridging influence waning in Southeastern Europe that may improve conditions there. The ridge persists over the Alps, and increases its influence over the UK and Scandinavia.
Southeastern Europe is certainly under a more snow conducive environment, helping out the Eastern Alps with snowfall. The zonal look continues, but ridging also dries out the outlook for the Northern Alps and the UK.
An Atlantic ridge blocks precipitation to the UK, but we see good conditions for snowfall in the Southern Alps, and the rest of Southern Europe on this final period on EC.
The GWO is currently in Phase 8-1, and is forecast to proceed through the lower phases of GLAAM orbit over the middle two weeks of January. This is likely to keep the current +AO/+NAO phase in a holding pattern, waiting for the next GWO cycle through the positive phases. The past cycle has been so far inadequate in getting the momentum deposits in the right areas for a less zonal outlook.
Frictional torque is currently negative, showing the ability for a negative orbit for the GWO, with the Mountain torque expected to follow.
What is likely is the continuing of a zonal climate in the Atlantic, and the development of European ridging in late January. There is potential for a change in this situation for Europe, and particularly the UK in early-mid February, but this is subject to various dynamic variables. That is when I’d have a chance for more cold and snowy conditions for the Southern Alps and Southern Europe (in the latter three weeks of February, and potentially into Spring). But the next month should favour snowfall for the Northern Alps, with periods of snowfall for the South as well.
The outlook for a more unsettled colder outlook for the UK and Southern Alps/Europe is exclusive to mid-late February into March for the time being, given the current zonal state will take a lot to dismantle.
Over the next 10 days, we are going to see MJO influence over the Phase 6-7 region, which is supportive of a -NAO after 10 days, so around the 15th-25th of January. Given the current climatic state, it’s unlikely to see a proper -NAO state, but we do see a reduction in the base state with neutral NAO conditions in this period, per EPS.
In my mind, the NAO will:
- Drop in the 15th-25th Jan period.
- Increase in the last week of the month into February.
- Then possibly decline in the second and third weeks of Feb.
I expect the next MJO cycle in Phase 6-7 to coincide in early-mid February. So maybe it might improve for the UK a little bit later in the month, with the best conditions for the winter in mid-late February…
The Stratospheric Polar Vortex is under some stress in the medium term, but is likely to remain strong (no SSW yet):
Conditions are somewhat conducive for a SSW in February or early March, per QBO and Brewer-Dobson Circulation factors. This favours the Northern Alps for the time being.
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Disclaimer: There is lower skill asssociated with using long range model forecasts to find snow systems.
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