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Latest weekly weather guide: Monday 14th to Sunday 20th January 2013 (west Wales and the Midlands)

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[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3][b]Headline: Very cold with persistent hard frost, snow for many places[/b][/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]The anticipated change to colder weather has happened and looks set to last throughout the coming week. Another relatively dry week gone, especially for the Midlands, just 2mm falling at Coventry, and merely 11mm here, near Lampeter, a chance for the rivers to drop to more normal levels and the fields to dry out somewhat. The very mild start to January has brought out the rose and honeysuckle leaves in our garden, as well as unseasonably early snowdrops in some places, and I have heard snatches of Song Thrush, however, we should not be fooled into thinking an early Spring is on the cards![/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Quite a hard frost this morning, a low of -4.7c here in Ceredigion, and -3c in Warwickshire. Mostly dry, cold and bright this afternoon for the Midlands, just the outside chance a few places could see a snow flurry. Already west Wales has clouded over as weather fronts from a low pressure system north of Scotland approach. This system is set to bring a mix of rain, sleet and snow across England and Wales during the next 36 to 48 hours as it gradually tracks southeast. There is a less cold sector within the system which helps to complicate what actually falls from the sky! It was looking like the Midlands would get a fair amount of snow during Monday, however recent model runs have relented somewhat so that more of a mix of snow, sleet and rain can be expected, with the more snowy picture further east in the Midlands perhaps. [/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Already a wintry mix into north-west Wales, and this generally light rain, sleet and snow spreads across the rest of west Wales this afternoon. Light rain for coasts, but snow inland, at least for a time. Hills above about 200m in for an inch or so this evening, but probabaly little or no accumulation below this level, so Lampeter, for example expected to remain untroubled by snow this evening. This snow moves into the Midlands too this evening giving a couple of inches in places, although after midnight, as less cold air moves across, this may turn to sleet or rain over the West Midlands. The East Midlands set to wake up to a good few inches on Monday morning, and it could have stayed as snow all night east of Coventry with temperatures still close to zero by dawn? A real knife-edge situation for the Midlands during Monday, and potentially further snowfall in places here, while for others, especially west of Coventry, sleet and rain showers more likely through the day. Enough snow about for the Midlands to cause some traffic disruption through the day. Very cold for the MIdlands on Monday, maxima only 2c at best. For west Wales, showery and rather cold sums it up for Monday, these showery outbreaks probably falling as rain and sleet away from high ground above about 300m, although as it turns colder through the evening they tend to turn to snow more widely inland, so even Lampeter and Carmarthen may have a slushy covering by midnight. Hills of mid and north Wales getting a good few inches snow covering through Monday night as wintry showers continue. [/size][/font]
[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3][attachment=153376:prectypeuktopo snow tonight Midlands.png][attachment=153374:Mon wintry mix.png][attachment=153375:h850t850eu wintry Monday snowy E Midlands.png][/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]Probably not enough snow to cause problems in south and west Wales below 100m on Tuesday morning, so for Aberystwyth, Carmarthen, and Llanelli traffic should not be affected compared with higher up and futher inland. Most of the sleet and snow will have cleared the Midlands by midnight on Monday, although a few snow showers still making it through overnight, and a frosty night too, away from coastal west Wales. The low pressure has moved away by Tuesday morning, so a largely dry, bright day for most, just the chance of a snow shower in places; cold maxima only around zero for the snow covered east Midlands and 3c for west Wales. [/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]High pressure asserts over Scandinavia from Wednesday, this often a sign of an impending very cold spell, especially when the UK is already in cold air as it will be, and with the snow cover for some areas enhancing the severe frosts. Wednesday and Thursday both set to be very cold indeed with severe night frosts, and temperatures struggling to reach zero by day, especially for inland Wales and the Midlands. Fairly sunny and dry days, just an isolated snow shower affecting the East Midlands perhaps. Temperatures down as low as -9c by night and close to zero by day. Freezing fog could also be an issue in places, and were this to persist then highs well below freezing, just -3c or so where this happens along some of the river valleys.[/size][/font]
[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3][attachment=153377:PPVK89 H asserts Scand Wed.png][attachment=153380:h850t850eu R from Scand Wed.png][attachment=153378:ecmt850.096 cold block Wed Thu.png][attachment=153379:PPVO89 v cold H Thu dry frosty poss fog.png][/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]This cold blocking high should keep the Atlantic at bay through into Friday, although signs are that by then weather fronts attempt to push towards the west. This could well make things interesting regards further snow potential at the end of this week and into next weekend! For Friday and the weekend then, it looks likely to stay cold but with fronts edging in from the west attempting to make it milder. As usual this begs the questions of 'battleground snowfall' possibilities and 'will the cold relent'? The Atlantic looks like having quite a difficult time against the Scandinavian high over the weekend, although the latest model outputs suggest less cold air with rain wins out after the snow by Sunday - so will we all be snow covered this time next week or will it just be cold and damp? We will see as usual![/size][/font]
[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3][attachment=153381:met.120 cold block holds to Fri.png][attachment=153383:ecmt850.168 battleground snow weekend.png][attachment=153384:h850t850eu less cold wins out weekend.png][/size][/font]
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Hmm light snow here this evening, I noticed the threat of low pressure close to the SW mid week on some runs late last week, but discarded it as the high began to appear stronger over UK than it has turned out to be.

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