Know in 10 Seconds Whether or Not It Will Freeze Tonight!

Posted by Giles Bennett on Monday 16 November 2020
Giles Bennett

Now in its fourth year, Corgin’s FrostAlert subscription service has been relaunched for the coming winter season and will now run with daily updates through to March 2021.

This increasingly popular service is designed to cut through the hyperbole of media weather forecasting and deliver specific, no-nonsense advance warning of freezing weather directly to your Inbox.

During the last three winter seasons, FrostAlert has helped countless clients to be better-prepared for frost, giving notice that measures should be put in place to protect their plumbed dust or odour suppression systems.

So, what are we to expect this winter?

This is a question I often get asked by friends and relatives, to which the short answer is: nobody knows. Despite all the amazing achievements of modern science, the simple fact is that nobody can yet predict with any certainty what the weather will do beyond a few days (and sometimes much less).

Seasonal forecasting is, however, a rapidly developing science and is an essential one for those whose business depends on seasonal demand. The Met Office, our own world-leading meteorological organisation now issue a 3-month Contingency Planners Outlook, which is updated monthly. This is a probabilistic forecast based on certain global ‘drivers’ of weather patterns, such as:

  • La Niña
  • Madden-Julian Oscillation
  • Quasi-Biennial Oscillation
  • North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures
  • Solar activity

Each of these drivers may either increase or decrease the likelihood of cold weather affecting the UK, but each pass through different phases and may conflict with each other. So if one driver favours a colder winter, others may negate this—hence the challenge with accurate seasonal forecasting.

The latest Met Office update summarises that for this winter as a whole, “the likelihood of above-average temperatures moderately exceeds that of below-average temperatures. Nevertheless, the chances of cold spells are higher for this season than has typically been the case in recent years.”

The important thing to understand with probabilistic forecasts is that no outcome is ruled out—one outcome will be just less likely than another, based on current evidence.

However mild or cold this season turns out to be, you can be sure that there will be some frosty mornings and often these may come at short notice.

So be prepared—subscribe to FrostAlert today by clicking here!

FrostAlert - a unique frost forecasting tool