The Warm Winter of 2015

As I’m sure you’ve already noticed, the UK has had an unseasonably mild November and December. Aside from the terrible flooding in some parts of the UK, this has seemed a welcome change from the harsh winters of recent years. There’s been no need to dig out that winter coat, spend on fuel has decreased and generally people have welcomed the mild temperatures. However, nothing good comes without a price, especially for the gardeners among us. Plants are blooming way too early and insects are confused and could suffer a lack of food source in the crucial spring months.

What has caused the warm weather?

The Latin American phenomenon “El Nino” is, without doubt, a contributing factor. Occurring every two to seven years, “El Nino” is a series of complex climatic changes in the pacific equatorial region which can have dramatic effects on weather across the globe. Many experts are saying this is likely to be the strongest ever recorded.

Another contributing factor is climate change. While some scientists still dispute its existence, there is overwhelming evidence in favour and many experts believe it has contributed to around 25% of the increased temperature this winter.

Are we in for a cold snap?

Winter is coming. Probably.

After trawling through the various weather forecasters and mainstream outlets it seems that the general consensus is that it’s going to get colder over the next few months. But I think most of us expected that.

Met Office – “Temperatures should return to near or a little above average for most areas but further cold spells are possible.”

Weather Outlook – “Some colder incursions could occur, especially in the North.”

Channel 4 – “After the warmest December on record for the UK, with temperatures more akin to spring, winter is finally coming next week.”

The UK is not the only country experiencing weird weather.  Many countries in Europe and North Africa have seen mild weather over the last few weeks and parts of the USA as well.

In the next post we’ll be looking at how this could affect our gardens this year. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

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