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Weather guide Monday 16th December to Christmas Day 2013

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TonyH

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[b]Very disturbed with deep Atlantic lows bringing heavy rain and gales at times; variable temperatures but never especially cold[/b][/size][/font]

[font=arial][size=3]A generally mild week gone, although the Midlands in particular saw some frost mid week, and on Wednesday the high was just 6c at Coventry due to an anticyclonic inversion which saw colder surface air trapped beneath mild upper air at cloud level. Then, some very mild air with most places remaining above 9c on Thursday night, Trawscoed and Pershore reaching 13c on Friday. A dry first half to last week but from Thursday it turned increasingly unsettled and windy at times, on Saturday gusts of 85mph at Capel Curig, 65mph at Pembrey and 51mph at Llanwnnen, Wales, being recorded. An inch of rain falling in the past week here near Lampeter while Coventry had just 5mm. The North Atlantic is seeing a very significant temperature contrast presently as really cold air leaving North America meets relatively warm Tropical air from the south, this collision of highly contrasting air masses spawning a succession of deep storm systems. A very disturbed week ahead as a series of deep depressions cross the Atlantic bringing heavy rain and strong to gale force winds to all parts at times, these could well cause damage. with Wednesday and Friday/ Saturday seeming the most likely occasions for these gales. A White Christmas is most unlikely this year (as usual!).[/size][/font][font=arial][size=3]


The dry, bright start to Sunday has flattered to deceive as various weather fronts are set to bring cloud and some rain at times this afternoon and evening, although parts of the Midlands may escape with relatively little again. A fresh to strong SW wind on Sunday gusting to gale force for coasts and hills of Wales. Mild highs of around 12c. A pulse of heavier rain perhaps affecting the South Midlands this evening, but then only patchy light rain and drizzle during the night. Quite a windy night. Very mild too tonight, no lower than 10c for the Midlands, although should the cold front manage to clear through West Wales around dawn it could dip to 6c locally here. This cold front may linger across the Midlands during much of Monday, the central and southern areas of this region more likely to see rain at times through the day, most of it quite light. West Wales may see some showery rain first thing, but then a mainly dry Monday afternoon, bar the odd shower, and with sunny intervals. Highs between 9 and 11c on Monday - mildest for the East Midlands and Pembrokeshire. Most places becoming dry on Monday night with clear spells and a widespread ground frost, temperatures down close to zero, however the lingering front over SE England may decide to return rain to the SE Midlands beyond Coventry once more after midnight? The cold front should at long last have fizzled out over the SE by dawn leaving a dry, bright Tuesday but colder highs of 6 to 8c generally. Clearing skies on Tuesday evening soon leads to a frost as temperatures reach zero across the Midlands by midnight. Increasing wind and eventually cloud for West Wales through the evening lifts any frost and this process should have occurred for the Midlands too by dawn on Wednesday as the wind starts to pick up.

During Wednesday an intense depression is set to track to the NW of Ireland, the central pressure could well be below 960mbar. Strong south to SW winds developing on Wednesday morning with the potential for widespread gales with gusts to storm force (above 60mph) through the afternoon in particular - so the main feature for Wednesday is the prospect of damaging winds. Patchy rain also to greet dawn on Wednesday for West Wales, this becoming heavier by afternoon and spreading across the Midlands eventually. For Wednesday evening a band of heavy and squally rain moves east across all parts, again with damaging gale force wind gusts associated with this feature, there could also be hail in places. Temperatures on Wednesday rather inconsequential but reaching 8 to 10c, so a fairly mild but very windy day. The main rain clears the East Midlands around midnight, it is then a windy night with squally showers affecting Wales in particular, hail likely in these. In spite of the wind, some quite cold air arrives and temperatures drop to 2 or 3c with a grass frost in places, and the showers over the Welsh hills could be turning wintry. The deep low has move towards Iceland by Thursday with quite a strong cold blustery SW to westerly flow over the UK. Plenty of showers for Wales on Thursday, these often heavy with hail, and some sleet or snow for high ground, although even lower down we could notice a few flakes. Showers spreading to the Midlands too through the course of the afternoon, these again bringing hail and sleet in places. Blustery winds on Thursday, highs of just 5 or 6c and feeling pretty cold in the wind. Some showers continuing even into Thursday night for West Wales but these should die out during the evening for the Midlands, clear spells and a slight frost down just below zero in places, with the wind dropping off too. The next deep low is south of Iceland on Friday but extends its frontal influence across the UK as we go through the day. Soon clouding over then on Friday morning with rain reaching most parts by afternoon, heavy in places, especially Wales. Friday is another day with a likelihood of gales developing, strong to gale force SW winds accompanying the rain on Friday afternoon and evening, the prospect of at least severe gale force gusts of above 50mph quite likely and with more wind damage expected. The rain totals for the week will be totting up too by the end of the week so we could be seeing flooding issues to by Friday into next weekend for some areas. It becomes very mild later on Friday and by evening temperatures will be at 10 to 12c as we will be in the warm sector of the depression.

This very disturbed picture of volatile Atlantic depressions affecting the UK continues almost unabated next weekend and even through the Christmas period. Further very wet and windy weather then at times for the foreseeable future really, this bringing the unwanted attendant risks of flooding and wind damage over the Festive period. Both of the main weather models are showing a rather nasty looking low crossing southern Britain around Christmas Day in fact! Big swings of temperature in this outlook varying from very mild within warm sectors to quite cold as troughs pass to our east, but any wintriness almost certainly restricted to hills and even up there of very temporary nature. Chances of a White Christmas are then considered very slim! Much more likely is the prospect of a damaging storm system bringing severe gales and flooding along with notably low barometer readings at some stage over the Christmas period.
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