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Weather outlook for west Wales and the Midlands Monday 10th to Sunday 16th December 2012

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TonyH

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[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3][b]Headline: Cold, sunny and frosty to mid week. Unsettled and turning less cold, with rain at times from Thursday (outside chance of snow in places)[/b][/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]A mixed, unsettled and quite cold week gone, almost two inches of rain falling here. Few places saw more than a few flakes of snow during the week, and it looks as though this theme SHOULD continue. However, were I typing this guide last Thursday I would have been warning about an upcoming very cold, almost Siberian week ahead, with snow in places! During Friday this previous model consencus underwent a massive turnaround so that we are now looking at no more than a more run of the mill dry and cold snap, with milder and wet weather eventally to end the week (so ignore the dire warnings of an impending Ice Age from the likes of the Daily Express!).[/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Fairly mild and quite windy this (Sunday) afternoon with light rain and drizzle on and off as a weak cold front moves down from the north. Skies clear tonight leading to a slight frost as the wind drops off after midnight. High pressures ridges down from the north during Monday, so after a frosty start it's a dry and bright day with decent sunny spells. There will be a cold NE breeze with maxima generally only 3 to 5c, but milder on the west Wales coast up to 7c here. Clear skies Monday night, with quite a hard frost, down to -4c in places, with local fog patches also forming. The high slowly sinks south over the UK on Tuesday which is another cold and dry day. Mostly sunny then for Tuesday, a lovely crisp, cold Winter's day with highs of just 2 to 4c, so the frost persisting all day in the shade. Perhaps even colder for Tuesday night, minima between -4 and -6c widely away from coasts, and again a few fog patches in places by the morning. [/size][/font]
[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3][attachment=148132:PPVG89 (1) R from N cold sunny Mon.png][attachment=148133:PPVK89 hard frost Tue night.png][attachment=148134:ecmt850.048 cold frost sunny Tue.png][/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]On Wednesday the high edges away into the near Continent as a trough of low pressures heads in from the Atlantic. A dry, sunny but very frosty morning on Wednesday, and probably staying this way all day over the Midlands, but west Wales may cloud over during the afternoon. A very cold raw day, temperatures struggling to get above freezing for the Midlands and only managing 2 or 3c for west Wales. Patchy rain, with perhaps hill snow reaches west Wales through the evening and could spread to the Midlands overnight. With the ground frozen by the time any rain arrives to the Midlands this could well freeze on impact- so that first thing Thursday may be very icy underfoot here. Milder air over west Wales should prevent this from happening here.[/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Quite a high degree of variety in the model output Thursday onwards, with differences in the extent and alignment of the 'attack' of the low to the west, which means that subtle differences make a big difference to the actual weather, which begs questions such as: how far the milder air progresses? how quickly? wind direction southerly milder, or SE cold. Such are the differences between rain and snow! It was looking as though south to SW winds would get less cold air across the UK by Friday, but the some of the latter model runs have a different tilt to the trough resulting in cold SE winds off the Continent for Thursday, a sign of the block re-asserting perhaps?[/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Low pressure is then modelled to stay out west of the UK over the nearby Atlantic right through the end of the week and into next weekend even, prevented from getting further by the cold block over Scandinavia. Thursday looks a cold, raw day with further rain and drizzle, and possibly even sleet in places. Maxima between 3 and 5c as the milder air really struggles to cross the country. More active fronts look set to push into the cold air (IF it manages to hang on?) on Thursday night into Friday, this poses the risk of a spell of sleet or snow early on Friday, before turning to rain as the milder air wins out. However this is by no means the only option for the end of the week, and alternative scenarios are that some places get a good dumping of snow on Friday (obviously more likely for the hills in the north of our regions), or indeed the mild pushes through more effortlessly so we just get the usual wind and rain from the weather fronts? We will see![/size][/font]
[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3][attachment=148135:PPVO89 some rain less cold Thu.png][attachment=148136:ecmt850.120 cold SE flow Fri snow to rain.png][attachment=148137:h850t850eu rain Fri.png][attachment=148138:Rukm1441 L Fri night snow threat.gif][attachment=148139:ecmt850.168 SW flow less cold unsettled weekend.png][attachment=148140:h850t850eu unsettled weekend.png][/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Continuing unsettled but less cold next weekend, further rain at times, but with drier spells too, so that frost remains a possibilty at night should skies clear. [/size][/font]
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Freezing fog underestimated for the Midlands! This resulted in 2 successive Ice days at Coventry on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Wintry possibility did not materialise for Thursday.

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