December 2010 was the coldest December across the UK since the national series began in 1910
Yet another long range forecasting agency has pinned its colours to the mast by predicting a colder than average winter 2011-12 across Ireland and the United Kingdom.
UK-based Positive Weather Solutions says the winter months will be colder than average everywhere and that some regions will experience significantly colder than average temperatures between December and March.
The agency, which has a relatively high success rate in its long range weather predictions, has also given a 36% chance of the Ireland and Britain experiencing a White Christmas. This prediction in reflected in the latest odds from Paddy Power Bookmakers who on Sunday shortened their odds of snow falling on Christmas Day to 11/4 in in London and 7/2 in Dublin.
The chilly outlook follows six weeks after another UK-based long range weather forecaster, also issued a severe winter weather warning. James Madden from weather organisation Exacta Weather is once again forecasting record breaking snowfall and freezing temperatures during November, December and January.
Though overall temperatures during the past two winters have been close to or slightly below normal for the season, both Ireland and the UK did experience periods of extreme weather.
Late November and December 2010 brought prolonged periods of cold weather leading to significant disruption to traffic and travel. Castlederg recorded a Northern Ireland record low temperature of −18.7 °C (−1.7 °F) on the morning of 23rd December 2010, while mercury levels dipped to minus 17.5c in Straide, Co Mayo on Christmas morning. December 2010 also was the coldest December across the UK since the national series began in 1910, according to the UK Met Office.
The “Big Freeze” of November/December 2010 also saw record low temperatures being broken.
Positive Weather Solutions Outlook For Winter 2011-2012:
These are the latest long term projections produced by the PWS System for the UK and Eire. These projections are for ‘general expected theme’ only. Unless stated, averages apply nationwide for UK and Eire.
Ireland Prepares For Possible Severe Weather
The National Roads Authority (NRA) has ordered an additional 80,000 tonnes of rock salt to treat the country’s national road network during winter 2011-2012. An NRA spokesperson told Irish Weather Online (IWO) that the supplies, which are scheduled to arrive from North Africa during the coming weeks, are in addition to existing grit supplies totalling 70,000 tonnes.
Sean O’Neill stated that a tender had been advertised on etenders.gov.ie for the supply of a further 40,000 tonnes of rock salt to be supplied to local authorities to assist them in their efforts to treat non-national routes.
“We used approximately 115,000 tonnes of grit to treat the national network last winter, which we would consider an unusually cold season compared to average winters in Ireland. In previous years we have not been required to use more than 50-60,000 tonnes of grit”, he said.
Mr. O’Neill noted that the decision to order additional rock salt supplies was made in light of an anticipated rise in demand for supplies closer to the coming winter as well as improved shipping conditions at this time of the year.
Meanwhile, local authorities across the country have already started preparing for any possible repeat of last winter’s Big Freeze. Dozens of additional salt barns are being constructed throughout the country while the storage capacity of many other existing facilities is being increased. Cork County Council has also submitted a tender for the purchase of Winter Maintenance Salt Spreaders and to carry out alterations to Council Trucks.
Elsewhere, the Dublin Airport Authority has already set about securing De-icing Materials for its airports at Dublin, Cork and Shannon.