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Weather guide Monday 20th to Sunday 26th May 2013 (West Wales cf Central Midlands)

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[font=arial][size=3][b]Headline: Average start then appreciable cool down; fairly dry but a few showers, rain threatening the Midlands Friday[/b][/size][/font]

[font=arial][size=3]Cool last week, with frost, sleet and even snow for high ground! Many of us saw several ground frosts, and even an air frost for a few places. Lowest readings +1c for Coventry on Wednesday night and -1c here at Llanwnnen on Friday morning. Tuesday was very wet for SW Wales, 2 inches of rain fell at Llanwnnen while Pembrey Sands in Carmarthenshire had 3 inches, there were blobs of icy sleet on the windscreen as we drove about on Tuesday evening. Amazingly for mid May the Brecon Beacons and high ground over 400m had snow, with 2 inches of snow lying near Newcastle on Clun, close to Offa's Dyke in Shropshire. Not all doom and gloom as there were decent sunny spells between the scattered showers from Wednesday onwards and in these it felt reasonably warm even if temperatures remained below average. No day managed above 15c (59f) for SW Wales last week, although after this protracted cool weather even 13c in sunny spells felt pleasant enough on Saturday afternoon! SW Wales on Friday saw some very heavy downpours, with hail and thunderstorms, officially Milford Haven was the wettest place in the UK with 14mm from afternoon downpours, although the rainfall radar suggested that over 50mm fell between Haverfordwest and Narberth, and there was flooding reported near Whitland in Carmarthenshire. So far this month, 6 days have seen hail fall here at Llanwnnen, hail showers are more typical of early rather than late Spring! Apart from the soaking on Tuesday, parts of the Midland's missed the worst of the showers last week, less than 1mm falling at Coventry from Wednesday onwards. Russia and Eastern Europe has been enjoying very hot weather for the past week, it has topped 30c daily over parts of Russia...we can only dream..but at least the coming week is predominantly dry, although again temperatures will struggle to top the average and with another pronounced cool down mid week, giving further ground frosts and showers.[/size][/font]

[font=arial][size=3]On Saturday Wales and the Midlands were fortunate as all the wet weather kept to our north, and so we are again on Sunday with the rain to our south over the English Channel. We are getting the dregs of the heat that affected Eastern Europe that made it to the UK via looping up to Scandinavia (it's a long story)- the only true warmth though is at 5000 feet, at the surface the air is more moderated down to closer to the average. Sunny periods and feeling pleasant on Sunday, temperatures pushing 20c for parts of the Midlands, although generally more like 16 to 18c around the mid May mean. so not feeling too bad. A mild rather humid northerly flow for Monday, rather extensive cloud but sunny intervals breaking through at times, more especially out west. Weak fronts in the flow causing a little rain or a shower in places, these more likely over the Midlands. Maxima on Monday 16 to 19c, but cooler on some coasts, A noticeably milder Monday night lows of 8 to 10c, Tuesday is another day of variable and in places extensive cloud cover with sunny intervals, but equally the odd spit of rain or light shower. The relatively warm air hangs on with highs of 15 to 18c generally, although cooler for coasts having onshore breezes, North Wales and southern Cardigan Bay for example. [/size][/font]

[font=arial][size=3]Early on Wednesday a weak cold front clears south to leave a bright but fresher day, the start of a cool northerly plunge of air between high pressure over the Atlantic and low pressure over Scandinavia. Wednesday then some good sunny spells and only a few showers, again these most likely for the Midlands, with a heavy shower possible for the East Midlands later in the day. Maxima just 12 to 15c, poor for late May. Even cooler air pushes down from the north on Thursday, with -5c 'upper' temperatures at 5000 feet, this notably cold for late May, and this means snow showers for the Scottish Highlands again! Clearing skies lead to a widespread ground frost on Wednesday night, and it will be a sunny start to Thursday. However, cumulus clouds will soon develop in the unstable air mass with convective showers scattered about for the afternoon. Some heavy showers in places with hail and thunder a possibility, although West Wales coasts more likely to stay fine and dry. Maxima very cool on Thursday at 10 to 13c in spite of the sunny intervals! Clearing skies on Thursday night means another widespread ground frost, even the risk of localised air frost, my garden perhaps a 'favoured' spot for this, lows generally 0 to 3c (this less than a month from the longest day!)[/size][/font]

[font=arial][size=3]On Friday we are still in the very cool Arctic northerly, with the added complication that a deep low may track down the North Sea threatening wet weather for Eastern England, while at the same time high pressure is attempting to push into Ireland. A stab then at Friday, would be sunny spells and some showers, parts of West Wales escaping these, while the Midlands catches a few heavy downpours. The chance that the low encroaches close enough later Friday into Saturday to bring more general wet weather into the Midlands but this by no means definite. Cool or very cool Friday highs just 10 to 13c again, certainly feeling chilly in the shade! Next weekend a similar pattern of pressure high to our west and low to the east, however subtle differences. A 'warm' low will have dumb-belled about the previous 'cold' low and will be over the near Continent next weekend, introducing milder upper air. GFS brings shallow low pressure over southern Britain while ECM more inclined to keep this at bay. The suggestion is of a somewhat unsettled weekend, showers in places but other areas escaping and remaining fairly dry, temperatures still no great shakes as the milder uppers are not likely to be realised at the surface with the predominating NE flow. Overall for the next seven days West Wales largely dry, the Midlands more at risk of any rain or showers, reasonable temperatures to start with, but becoming very cool from mid week.[/size][/font]
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Pretty good guide this week, should have been though, excellent agreement from the models last weekend!

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