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Weather guide Monday 25th to Easter Sunday 31st March 2013 (West Wales/ Midlands)

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[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3][b]Headline: Unseasonably cold with hard frosts and some wintry showers; milder, unsettled Easter weekend[/b][/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]A rather cold week gone, especially for the Midlands, although Monday to Wednesday were not too bad here in West Wales, it even felt quite pleasant in the sunny intervals, however there was still sleet or snow showers in places too. Then came the rain and snow! Over two inches of rain fell here in 24 hours during Thursday/ Friday, and with snow for the Midlands on Saturday and Sunday, 4 - 6 inches generally falling over Warwickshire. Parts of NE Wales and the Peak District have seen almost TWO FEET of snow falling since Friday night, without taking into account the drifting! It has turned very cold this weekend for all of us, Saturday's maximum of +0.2c made it the coldest March day in Coventry since the infamous March 1947. The unseasonable weather continues for most if not all of the coming week, the final week of what is set to become the coldest March since 1962 for many areas. A White Easter is just as likely (unlikely!) as a White Christmas, so will the cold last long enough for snow to fall over the Easter Weekend?[/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]The 'Battle Royale' discussed in last week's guide that has given the amazing Spring snowfalls, has decisively been won by the cold this weekend as the blocking high to our north reasserts and the mild Atlantic air is deflected to Spain. The belt of high stretching from Greenland to Scandinavia holds firm through to mid week, with very cold easterly winds blowing across the UK. This air has originated from Arctic northern Russia and has travelled over the Continent chilled by an unseasonably cold and snowy March. Mostly cloudy and very cold again for the rest of Sunday, light snow over the Midlands slowly dying out, with perhaps a few flakes in the air for West Wales this afternoon too. 'Highs' of 0 to +2c, indeed parts of the Midlands scraping an 'Ice Day' which is almost unprecedented at this time of year! Monday to Wednesday very, very cold for the end of March, and with a bitter east wind we will be getting highs of just 1 to 4c, whereas the late March average is 11c. Some of the Midlands seeing further Ice Days even? Hard penetrating frosts by night, minima dependant on the extent to which skies clear and winds drop, but -3c to -5c would be general lows for Monday to Wednesday nights, severe enough frosts given the overnight breeze, but the potential is there for -8c in places over snow fields. A mainly dry spell this with sunny intervals but also some snow flurries, these few and far between and not expected to give much in the way of accumulation through Monday and Tuesday. Some places, especially Pembrokeshire, will miss these altogether. The fresh east wind turns more to the NE on Wednesday, when some areas will see more significant snow showers putting down a covering.[/size][/font]
[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3][attachment=166617:ecmt850.024 bitter Sunday March 24th 2013.png][attachment=166618:PPVE89 Historical cold chart Mon.png][attachment=166619:PPVJ89 Ex cold snow flurries possible.png][attachment=166620:ecmt850.072 ex cold Tue Ice day places snow flurries.png][attachment=166621:PPVL89 v cold snow showers WEd.png][attachment=166624:prectypeuktopo snow showers Wed.png][attachment=166622:ukmintemp severe frost THu.png][/size][/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3]On Thursday the NE flow slackens with lighter winds, so after another hard frost a better chance of sunny spells and somewhat less cold temperatures, although maxima of 5 to 7c are still well below the late March average. Still the chance of a few wintry showers getting into the Midlands off the North Sea on Thursday, but a dry and fairly sunny day for West Wales is likely. Yet another frosty night to follow. Low pressure is attempting to push rain fronts into SW UK on Friday, a rather similar situation to what happened the week gone. The usual varied possibilities being played out in the models for the end of the week, with low pressure approaching from the west; one recent scenario of further battleground snowfalls over Good Friday and the Easter weekend now seemingly morphing into a milder outlook after transient snow for some on Friday. The model output concensus seems to be for a much milder weekend with showers or longer spells of rain, with the latest GFS showing maxima of 12 to 14c, more where the mercury should be by early April! There does however still remain a possibilty that the cold block puts up an end of the week fight back which could bring more widespread and heavy snow for Friday and Saturday, but this is the less likely option. Good Friday therefore looks like our only chance to realise a 'White Easter' (sleet or snow falling from the sky!)[/size][/font]
[font=arial, sans-serif][size=3][attachment=166623:metslp.120 cold wintry showers Thu.png][attachment=166625:Recm1442 L blocked Sat snow potential SW.gif][attachment=166626:h850t850eu milder wet GF.png][attachment=166627:ukmaxtemp mild unsettled Sat.png][attachment=166628:Recm1922 milder wet Easter Monday.gif][attachment=166629:mgram_Birmingham.png][/size][/font]
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Some decent sunny spells this afternoon. Max higher than expected as a consequence at 5.6c, although 30 minutes either side of this peak it was just 3c.

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Fronts not likely to make inroads, a fine but rather cold weekend ahead.

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