Yes,its that time of year again, when I get my tea leaves and tarot cards out and make speculative guesses at what the winter for the coming season will be. As usual, I’ll be using my collection of pine cones and sea weeds to really get the best results. Last year’s wet and mild European winter but very harsh American winter was interesting, so what will the coming winter bring ? Here in France, Autumn is early, with very cold mornings and people already harvesting mushrooms and blackberries.
Its very difficult to get these predictions on the button. What can we say then?
1)Solar activity is very low. When this happens, there are less sunspots, which is associated generally with cooler weather. If the solar slump really decreases, then we’ll have a humdinger of a winter. If not, Winter will be average/normal.
2) The uptick in Icelandic volcanic eruptions means the risk of sulphur veils hitting the atmosphere.Although the current emissions are at ground level, the fissure eruptions are emitting 20,000 tons per day (source http://www.jonfr.com/volcano/) Should this change/gain height, we could see the sulphur veil blocking the sun and causing a very cold winter. For this to happen the sulphutr has to drift up into the stratosphere, or be pushed up by a big volcanic eruption; At the moment, however, Volcanic explosivity index for the Icelandic eruption is 1/or 2 and sulphur veils are typically plinian and above, 4, 5, 6 on the scale. That’s possible, but honestly, not likely. So probably no volcanic influence and a ‘normal’ winter
3) A lot depends on the northern blocking from the Siberian ice fields. Should they grow, winter will be average, but if they don’t, winter will be like 76/77, bitterly cold. (source http://kasimsweatherwatcher.com/uk-winter-2014-15/)
4) El Nino looks weak and this controls precipitation across the northern USA. This means dry, cold conditions for USA. However, the farmer’s almanac predicts…
The swallows, swifts and house martins are leaving now instead of at the end of the month, and as I said earlier leaves are falling already and mushroom enthusiasts are out with their baskets. Morning temperatures are chilly, but September will remain fairly good, at least for the first two weeks. But this was the coldest August I can remember!
Patches of ice have survived on Scottish mountains through this cool summer, signalling the return of glaciers to Scottish mountains. (sourcehttp://realityweather.eu/evidence-glaciation-beginning-scotland-signs-little-ice-age/)
So as usual, many ifs and buts which don’t answer what the winter will be like.
My best guess…… Winter will be slightly harsher than normal, in Europe. America will see a hard winter too.