The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

It's Hot - Quasi-Biennial Oscillation is Not

14 September 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

Warnings have been issued by Public Health England (PHE) following forecasts of hot weather for the coming days and nights.

PHE issued the warnings on Monday 12, the same day the Met Office said hot and humid weather would arrive in the East of England, the South East, London and the East Midlands, which were all put on heatwave Level 2 status.

Tuesday saw torrential rain in Manchester with City's Champions League game called-off (and re-scheduled for Wednesday evening).

Dr Thomas Waite, of the Extreme Events team at PHE, said with regards to Monday's warning: "Because the heat is going to arrive very soon, we are urging employers and individuals to think about what can be done for those around you."

PHE added: 'much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense and for most people there’s nothing to really worry about. But for some people such as those with underlying health conditions, summer heat can bring real health risks'.


Level 2

The Met Office declared a Level 2 heat-health alert on Monday morning. That means that was a high chance that temperatures would hit certain temperature thresholds for at least 2 days and the intervening night. Paul Gunderson, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: "It is going to be a very warm few days across parts of the UK. Temperatures are expected to reach around 28oC in the south east and London could see temperatures over 30oC. Night time temperatures are also looking warm with the south east dropping to just the high teens overnight."



Gunderson continued: "The heat is expected to be more widespread both during the day and overnight on Wednesday, although peak temperatures probably not quite as high as on Tuesday."


The day after tomorrow

One of the Earth's most regular climate cycles has been disrupted scientists declared at the end of last week as they discovered unprecedented atmospheric behaviour has played havoc with one of World's most repeatable atmospheric patterns.

The normal flow of air high up in the atmosphere over the equator, known as the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, was seen to break down earlier this year. These winds in the stratosphere are found high above the tropics, their direction and strength changes in a regular two-to three-year cycle which provides forecasters with an indication of what weather to expect in Northern Europe. Westerly winds are known to increase the chance of warm and wet conditions, while easterlies bring drier and colder weather.

Scientists from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at the University of Oxford and the Met Office were part of an international team that observed the unusual behaviour in February, noticing a reversal of the expected pattern in the winds.

The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation is a regular feature of the climate system. On average, these equatorial eastward and westward winds alternate every 28 to 29 months, making them very predictable in the long term. The team's findings published in Science this week, show that this unexpected change in wind direction was caused by atmospheric waves in the Northern Hemisphere.

Dr Scott Osprey, an NCAS scientist at the University of Oxford, said: "The recent disruption in the quasi-biennial oscillation was not predicted, not even one month ahead. If we can get to the bottom of why the normal pattern was affected in this way, we could develop more confidence in our future seasonal forecasts."

Prof Adam Scaife, Head of Long-range Forecasting at the Met Office and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter, said: "This unexpected disruption to the climate system switches the cycling of the quasi-biennial oscillation forever. And this is important as it is one of the factors that will influence the coming winter."

A return to more typical behaviour within the next year is forecast, though scientists believe that the quasi-biennial oscillation could become more susceptible to similar disruptions as the climate warms.

Later this month international research groups will meet in Oxford to discuss the origins and implications of this event.


De-ice weather report

Victoria Lopez predicted the hot spell for the south of England this week - she will return with a regular weather report from this Thursday.

Picture: It'll be OK on the beaches - but office, factory and city workers may find it a bit hot, hot, hot


Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 14 September 2016


Related Articles

Therm Welfare - Heatwave & Skin Cancer Warnings

As the Met Office warns that temperatures could climb even higher than first forecast, Cancer Research UK has revealed  that skin cancer rates have rocketed by 45%...

 Read Full Article
Summertime - Make The Living More Easy

Bosses and facilities managers have been urged to allow flexible working, even on a temporary basis, as temperatures threaten to hit 37oC. The Trades Union Congress -...

 Read Full Article
Breathing Life Into London's Lungs As Pollution Death Rate Rises

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has strengthened his commitment to protect London’s Green Belt and other important open spaces for future generations and set out...

 Read Full Article
RBS Swings Environmental Axe In National Tree Week

In one year, the energy saving additive EndoTherm has helped RBS to reduce its energy consumption by 29% and carbon emissions by 10 tonnes. The new innovation, a...

 Read Full Article
All Aboard On The Air Quality Charabanc

Local authorities and bus companies in Bristol, York, Brighton, Surrey, Denbighshire and Wiltshire have been awarded 11 million funding under the government’s...

 Read Full Article
Nine to Five & Five to Nine - We Want the Airwaves

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has encouraged leading TV and radio broadcasters to work with him to help inform Londoners in particular and the country as a whole about...

 Read Full Article
Tragic Cycle Death on Cycling to Work Day

An 73-year old woman pedestrian, struck by a cyclist on Tuesday 12 at about 4:30pm died in the early hours of Wednesday - Cycle To Work Day. Calls again have been made...

 Read Full Article
Draft Plans or Daft Plans?

ClientEarth is a high-powered group of environmental lawyers and activists. They say a High Court judgment delivered on Wednesday July 5 on air pollution is a 'shot...

 Read Full Article
See You All at ExCel?

We have busted through the mercury, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees with wall to wall sunshine for most of us, writes Vicky Lopez. I expect many of you are...

 Read Full Article
Surviving or Thriving in Mental Health Week?

The organisation leading Mental Health Week, the Mental Health Foundation, has conducted a survey to understand the prevalence of self-reported mental health problems,...

 Read Full Article