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Winter 2015/16 weather forecast

UK Winter 2015/16 Weather Forecast – Outlook

When looking at the winter period, there are a number of variables that can be looked at including seasonal forecast models, but also some global ‘indicators’ that may give some signs as to how the broader weather patterns may evolve through the winter period. At this early stage confidence levels are quite low, but there remains some signs and signals that can be used to gauge the possible developments through the winter period.


At the moment one of the primary global features that is dominating the news is the development of a very strong El Nino within the tropical eastern Pacific. This event is indeed one of the strongest El Nino’s in many years and is likely to have some impact on the weather across the UK and NW Europe in general through the winter period. There is a weak connection that El Nino’s can lead to the UK experiencing a colder than average winter, but other factors need to be taken into account as well.

Recent and latest seasonal weather models generally all point towards the period of December 15, January 16 and February 16 being dominated by lower than average pressure (low pressure) over the UK and NW Europe and hence a generally unsettled winter period. Rainfall totals are signalled to be above average and temperatures near or slightly above average. So, the latest weather models essentially signal a wet, relatively mild and most probably windy winter for the UK this year which does have some support from other atmospheric teleconnections and variables.

However, there are some other signs and signals that point towards the UK potentially getting a winter of two extremes with perhaps the early part of the winter period, so December and perhaps into January producing mild, wet and windy conditions but with then a possible much colder second half of the winter through the latter half of January, into February and also perhaps into March but of which is officially (meteorologically speaking) the first spring month.

At the moment here at UKWF HQ we prefer this outcome for now. Clearly there is a lot of time left before we get into the winter season and some of the global factors and indicators may well change. For now, however, we suspect that a winter of two halves may well develop with something mild, wet and windy orientated during the first half and with then a greater risk of colder conditions developing during the second half of the winter.

Stay tuned with us for further updates in the coming months…