SSEN's Weather Watch for December 2020

The statistics are in for November and we can say it was the sixth warmest November in a series from 1884, with the Met Office data showing the UK rainfall was 84% of average and sunshine was 93% of average.


Elsewhere, the Atlantic hurricane season has now drawn to a close with a record-breaking 30 named storms and 12 landfalling storms in the continental United States.


Some of these tropical storms impacted or influenced our weather during the summer and autumn. This superb infographic from NOAA National Weather Service, which you can see at the top of the page, tells the story about the hyperactive season. 

Back home and the first week of December is looking particularly cold with the first of the season’s snowfall in some places. Icy patches are likely to form on untreated roads and pavements each night, and both day and night time temperatures are expected to be below or well below average. 

The MetDesk chart  in our main page image shows the temperature anomalies around Europe for the five days starting Monday 7 December. The numbers on the map give the predicted mean temperature (Celsius) and the colours shows the departure from average (key on the left hand side). The dark blue shadings are notable across parts of France and Spain, but nearly all areas in western Europe have below average temperatures for the time of year. Parts of Scandinavia and southeast Europe are relatively mild. 

This weather pattern not only brings below average temperatures, but mostly cloudy skies with above average rainfall, more likely across the Mediterranean countries. Wind speeds are forecast to be below average in the UK and Germany but well above average across Spain. 

As we move through the second half of the month, the weather is looking changeable with spells of Atlantic weather bringing some milder and wetter interludes, but this will be interspersed with days of high-pressure dominated weather which will bring dry, calmer and colder periods.

As we go to the New Year and during January a more general weather pattern change is likely when the mild, wet and windy spells become more typical and frequent, especially for Scotland. But for most of December, it’s looking colder, drier and calmer than usual for most of the UK and Ireland. The jet stream will take very wet and windy spells to Iberia. 

The highest risk of snow for the UK and Ireland in most likely to be in the first week of the month. 

We’ll return later in December with an update for the Christmas week and the start of 2021. In the meantime keep warm and safe. 


For more weather information you can follow our meteorologist, Simon Cardy on twitter @weather_king. 

About the author

Headshot of Simon Cardy

Simon Cardy Senior Meteorologist for SSE

Simon is the Senior Meteorologist at SSE and a Fellow Member of the Royal Meteorological Society. Through detailed analysis of the weather and climate, Simon provides valuable information to departments across SSE, including Networks (power distribution), Renewable Energy (wind farms and hydro dams) and Energy Demand Forecasting (how much electricity and gas we need each hour).

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