Sunday’s snow warning oddities

Courtesy UKMO

Well the Met Office are quick off the mark, moving like oiled silk, to issue a snow warning from 18 UTC on Sunday evening to midnight on Monday for the north of Scotland. It’s rather odd that they think that heavy snow showers falling down to sea level won’t cause any any impacts across the northern Isles? I’m sure that this will impact sheep farmers in Shetland as here as much as it does on the mainland, especially after the quote from the chief executive of the National Sheep Association about the dangers of lambing snow at this time of the year.

Sheep and livestock farmers, especially in the UK’s uplands, are acutely aware of the potential for a spring cold snap which can bring devastation and soul-destroying losses during lambing time. The sector has endured several cold weather events during recent springs and these have wrought considerable hardship to both stock and hill farmers. However, being aware of the approaching change in weather type will allow farmers to buffer the impacts by taking action to avoid the worst losses.

Phil Stocker chief executive of the National Sheep Association.

Of course it may be that dead sheep and their lambs don’t register highly enough, if at all on the impacts scale to have extended the warning.

Courtesy UKMO

In recent years its very rare to see partial 1000-850 hPa thicknesses less than 510 dm (the brown line) across IONA as it’s forecast to be in the UKMO T+72 chart. These sub 510 dm thicknesses, although only temporary, are lower than any in the last winter, and give a indication of just how cold this air will be when it arrives later on Sunday across the north of Scotland.

The other thing that’s also rather odd about the warning is that it doesn’t commence till 18 UTC on Sunday evening? When as far as I can see from the ECMWF hires model heavy snow showers will be affecting much of the warning area from at least 15 UTC on Sunday afternoon.


2 thoughts on “Sunday’s snow warning oddities”

  1. The warning is not from when the snow showers will start, rather than when the impacts will start. It’s not the same thing.

    1. I would suggest that when the first of these heavy snow shower arrives, accompanied by gale force winds and near zero visibility, you have yourself an impact.
      For this particular combination of warning – heavy snow and strong winds – the impact starts with the commencement of the first heavy snow showers – ask any shepherd.

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