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Current long range forecast

On The Weather FrontThe "not to be taken too seriously" long range forecast issued 6th November 2017, next update January 2017.“A lot of people like snow. I find it an unnecessary freezing of water" - Carl Reiner, American writer.After such a poor summer with just 11 days topping 20C, autumn made up for it and was one of the warmest on record. It was also dry but cloudy and windy – there were two gales in October, one courtesy of ex-hurricane Ophelia. Just before the storm struck, the warm air it pulled up from Iberia contained thick high-level smoke from Portuguese forest fires which gave Lynesack a dark, eerie feel. Autumn often is mild in Lynesack when the influential North Sea is at its warmest, but then the clocks go back and it feels colder anyway, whether it is or not. Winter does not start until December but as November progresses, things gradually turn colder and damper with the first noticeable frosts and perhaps a flake or two of snow after mid month. So what will happen next? The onset of winter in our region is often a case of two steps forward and one back as first cold polar air plunges down from the north-west, followed by cloudy, milder air from the south-west. However, the cold creeps up, slowly and steadily. The coldest conditions usually arrive after the New Year and much of December is normally mild, cloudy and windy. There are colder interludes most years though when snow can be expected together with frosts, but these last about a week and then the milder weather returns.Obviously, the timing of these colder spells is the key for forecasters. Will they arrive at the crucial time over Christmas? Not possible to tell at this range, but from 15th December I have a pretty good idea what 25th December will be like and I put it on the website updating it every day. The numerical computer models are really good these days but they are not foolproof. Nature can still play a trick or two as it did last Christmas when the snow shower that fell late on Christmas Eve left just a trace lying on the big day.The forecast until New Year then is for slightly milder than usual weather with wind and rain being a lot more prevalent than frost and snow, but things can change rapidly if the jetstream, influenced by events thousands of miles away, suddenly dips south. It happened in 2009 and again in 2010 and a repeat is long overdue. There are lots of berries this autumn as well! Expect stormy, mild condition early and late this December with a fine, frosty spell mid-month. I think the same will happen in January but the mid month fine, frosty spell could well last a little longer as we move into a colder second half of the winter.Remember that the earth is now warming at an unprecedented rate and the countries that used to supply us with cold air in winter are no longer as cold. Days that were just on the limit for snow 50 years ago would now see only rain. We remain the snowiest part of England though and if anyone has a White Christmas it is most likely to be us in Teesdale, especially the higher fells where temperatures are often 5 degreesC lower.If none of these forecasts work, then have a look at the old country sayings below:-Blame nature, not me, if these are wrong! :-"The first snow comes six weeks after the last autumn thunderstorm" (no thunderstorms this autumn, so no snow expected at all?)"Onion skins thin - mild winter coming in, onion skins thick and tough - winter will be cold and rough"(mine are thicker this year, so cold and rough?)"A coming storm your shooting corns presage and aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage""A wind from the south has rain in her mouth"“If the ducks swim at Hallowtide (as they did this year), at Christmas they will slide”I hope you have a Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year. (whatever the weather)If you don't like Lynesack weather, just wait a minute.My usual ode to the weatherman:- "And in the dying embers these are my main regrets, when I'm right no one remembers, when I'm wrong no one forgets."Keep up to date with my website and the Teesdale Mercury Enjoy our weather – it’s never dull and behind the clouds the sun is shining. Ken Cook, (follow the links for real-time goodies)

COPLEY CLIMATOLOGICAL STATION altitude 253metres(830feet) Met. Office manned observing site.