2015/2016 Winter Predictions – El Nino Events

Winter 2015/2016 is fast approaching and as it stands, it’s predicted to be a cold one!

Since May, there has been talk about El Nino and that it could cause a harsh winter across the UK and the rest of Europe.

The term ‘El Nino’ is used to describe the warming of sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, due to a change in the normal wind direction. This has been proven to increase the risk of colder winters in Britain. The events occur every few years and have wider effects on other parts of the world. These include reducing monsoon rainfall in parts of the tropics, which can cause draughts as well as disruptions in food production.

Although El Nino was predicted for last year, the expected event never occurred. This year, experts around the world are far more certain that El Nino has already started and is likely to grow into the strongest weather phenomenon since 1950. In that year Britain suffered one of its snowiest winters ever.

In 2010 we experienced ‘The Big Freeze’ when the UK was swept by snow, ice and freezing temperatures. This was the last time the weather phenomenon occurred and we had average temperatures of -1°C in December – the coldest in 120 years.

How Exactly Will This Effect The Winter In The UK?

Right now it is hard to predict the exact effect of the weather phenomena, although a couple of sources have stated that by taking into account other initial factors and variables, the impact of El Nino for this winter could come at a later date. Meaning a mild start to the winter with average temperatures and the forecast to worsen into late January, February and even the start of spring 2016.

However, there is no surprise that British weather is once again unpredictable. For example, although ‘The Big Freeze’ in 2010 was brought about by an El Nino event, the weather phenomenon also occurred in 1997/1998, yet the UK had a particular mild, wet and windy winter.

Don’t forget, you can never be too prepared! Since 2008, UK winters are generally colder than average compared to winters 20 years before.