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Current long range forecast

On The Weather FrontThe "not to be taken too seriously" long range forecast issued 4th September 2017, next update November 2017.“It is always best to read the weather forecast before praying for rain" Mark Twain.Meteorologists put our seasons into neat three-monthly packages to make things simple. Summer is June to August, autumn September to November, winter December to February and spring is March to May. To me this is much easier than trying to remember when the sun passes over the equator and tropics. As we move into autumn then, a quick look back at last summer. It started off well and we were exceeding 25C in the shade during June but then it went downhill and I recorded yet another cool summer with August not passing 20C at all. It wasn’t all bad though and suited many in Lynesack as it turned out sunnier and drier than usual. There were not many days we couldn’t get outside and the continual feed of cool polar air from the west gave quite a pleasant feel. Plants and grass certainly enjoyed the good growing weather. So what will happen next? Powerful tropical storms across the western Atlantic have injected energy into the upper atmosphere and managed to shift the jetstream further north which should bring us into the fair weather Azores’ high pressure system. However it has not moved quite far enough for Lynesack and at the beginning of September we remain under the influence of Atlantic depressions passing to the north of Scotland with their bands of rain. There is then the problem of the sun sinking slowly southwards (or appearing to) across the equator. This tends to drag the jestream back south with it and bring us stormy weather towards the middle of September. Towards the end of the month fine weather often returns for The Old Wives’ Summer. These fluctuations between mild, settled spells and stormy interludes tend to continue into late autumn with fine weeks around St Luke’s Day (18th October) and St Martin’s Day (11th November). In between there are cooler, stormy spells but the really cold weather is often held back well into November as the milder late Indian Summer keeps making an appearance. Much of this late warmth is due to our surrounding seas, especially the North Sea, being at their warmest at this time of year because of temperature lag, so while the inner continents cool down rapidly we have nature’s hot water bottle around us. This cannot last though, especially in Lynesack which boasts the snowiest Met Office station in England at Copley, Inevitably snow showers will arrive, usually on a wind from the north behind an Atlantic depression that has passed close by. Normally this first taste of winter is during the second week of November followed by an even colder one towards the end of the month when lying snow will be seen especially on our higher fells. However, if we have a colder than usual autumn, my records show that more often than not the following winter will be mild. Conversely, should autumn be pleasant and warm, winter will make up for it by being cold and snowy. See if that works this year as I expect this autumn to bring some compensation for the cool summer with some fine, mild spells. I find that nature does a great balancing act in Lynesack and at the end of the year the averages are seldom far from the long-term normal values.If none of this works, then have a look at the old country sayings below:-"If a cat washes her face over her ear, 'tis a sign the weather will be fine and clear""I know ladies by the score whose hair foretells the storm. Long before it begins to pour their hair takes a drooping form""If the moon lies on her back she sucks rain into her lap""Trout jump high when rain is nigh""When cattle lie down during light rain, it will soon pass""When the wind backs (changes direction against the clock) and the weather glass (barometer) falls, prepare yourself for gales and squalls""When chickens scratch together, there's sure to be foul (not fowl) 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.