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Weather guide Monday 29th April to Sunday 5th May 2013 (Midlands and West Wales inclusive)

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TonyH

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[b]Headline: Mainly dry with sunny spells but rather cool with further frosts; unsettled to end the week[/b]

Another week has passed with only small amounts of rain, 12mm falling at Llanwnnen and just 5mm at Coventry in the past 7 days. Spring 2013 is turning out quite dry thus far. The Midlands turned warm with sunshine mid week, and we even managed the one mild day here in West Wales, as Tuesday reached 16.4c in my back garden. Big temperature contrasts on Thursday as a cold front slowly edged SE, Rugby neared 19c, while West Wales was cool at 10 to 12c. There were a fair few hail showers about on both Friday and Saturday in a late Arctic northerly airflow, even with some snow over Snowdonia and the Peaks. A rather sharp frost for the very end of April last night, down to -2.6c at this location - it could have been a notably cold night were it not for cloud arriving after 2am. For the week ahead reasonably dry weather again predominates, however our air mass is still going to be pretty cool, and so although it will be feeling pleasant during sunny spells, frost is still likely overnight given clear skies and little wind.

Sunday's patchy light rain and drizzle clears tonight to clear spells and a ground frost for many places, as low as 0c locally. Low pressure is over Scandinavia on Monday with a cool NW wind bringing sunny spells and showers, with hail in places, the Midlands seeing most of these on Monday afternoon, while parts of the West Wales coast in particular escape with a generally dry day. Cool highs on Monday of 10c for NW Wales and 12c for the Midlands. High pressure ridges in from the west on Monday night, so clearing skies leading to a widespread grass frost once more, even a slight air frost for a few spots, the coasts escaping though. This weakish ridge is over Wales and England through Tuesday, so after the cold and frosty dawn, decent sunny spells and just an isolated afternoon shower affecting a few of us. In spite of pleasant sunshine and light winds, highs still rather cool at 11c for coastal West Wales and 14c for the Midlands. Clearing skies and another frost expected on Tuesday night with little wind, unseasonably cold for the start of May down as low as -3c, although I do not expect the -5's that this mornings GFS run is showing to come to fruition...it will be May after all! FYI nights start drawing in in 8 weeks time...

Pressure remains tentatively high across southern Britain on Wednesday, so another mostly dry and bright prospect, and further pleasant sunny spells, although it may cloud over somewhat during the afternoon with a spit of rain here and there. Highs on Wednesday a rather cool 12 or 13c for West Wales but an average 15 perhaps 16c for the Midlands. Light winds and clear spells threaten yet another frost for Wednesday night, with a widespread ground frost at the very least (ground frosts are typically still common in early May). An increasingly 'messy' look to the charts by Thursday with relatively high pressure trying to stick close to the UK, whilst at the same time slack areas of low pressure and weather fronts seem set to chip away at it threatening some rain or showers in places as we progress through the day. Nothing majorly wet is on the cards for Thursday, and no doubt some areas will remain dry again. We are still under cool upper atmospheric air for early May, so temperatures again no great shakes reaching between 13 and 16c. Probably clouding over during Thursday night which will prevent any frost from forming.

Fair model agreement on a more definite breakdown to unsettled weather on Friday, as a developing area of low pressure lies somewhere over the UK, with its attendant rain bands and showers. Friday looks like one of those days where it could be very chilly where it stays wet, maxima say just 9c, but a more respectable 13c where it brightens. Incidentally, it could be cold enough for snow over northern hills on Friday! It all depends on where this low decides to track. Low pressure close enough to provide further showers on Saturday, but then from Sunday, a warmer, although not necessarily dry phase may be starting...although the Jury is out on whether the May Day Bank Holiday will be wet or dry!
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A better week than anticipated, cool air mass yes cool no, at least not by day. Temperatures below average maxima, very cold nights. Today though most definitely rather warm! A sunny week to date rather than the anticipated sunny spells.

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With Friday's low over Scotland the rain stayed up north with hill snow and very low temperatures. Well away from the frontal zone the Midlands was reasonably warm and dry.

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