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Weather guide Monday 24th to Sunday 30th March 2014

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[b]Headline: Cool with rain at times, drier after mid week and milder next weekend[/b][/size][/font]

[font=arial][size=3]Mild and mostly dry until Thursday last week, then a rain front swept east introducing the cooler air mass we have been in since with showers about, but generally only modest precipitation accumulations. Plenty of hail showers on Saturday, and some of the hills saw sleet or snow, while a few parts of the Midlands such as Redditch and Long Buckby appear to have had thunder. A cool and rather unsettled week to come, although overall rainfall quantities not high again, but some rain or showers at times the theme, tending to become drier from mid week and milder next weekend. March 2014 is set to end up mild overall though with rain totals around average.[/size][/font]
Further hail showers around on Sunday morning, they put down a covering of stones here first thing, and for Sunday afternoon a scattering of rain and hail showers, but these are now dying out across West Wales. Rather cool highs of 8 to 10c similar to Saturday and with a brisk NW breeze. A ridge arrives tonight, so winds drop off and skies clear this evening to give a widespread, and for the end of March, hard frost. Most inland places getting down to between -2 to -4c, and locally for the Midlands a -6c is possible, so the coldest night of 'Winter' here! By dawn on Monday the frost will be lifting over West Wales as a breeze picks up and it clouds over ahead of an advancing front. Rain into Pembrokeshire by around noon, this slowly edging NE across Wales afternoon, some quite heavy, so a cool, wet and windy afternoon over the Principality, highs just 7 or 8c, well below the late March average of 11c. In contrast dry and bright for much of Monday for the Midlands, temperatures up to 10c, the rain not reaching the East Midlands probably until after dark. The rain band then grinds to a halt over the East Midlands giving a wet night here, while by midnight Wales and much of the West Midlands has dried out. A frost for West Wales on Monday night down to -2c in places inland, and perhaps a ground frost for the West Midlands too by dawn if the cloud breaks. Two rain areas to contend with on Tuesday, the old Midlands front may edge back west to give a wet afternoon across much of the region, while another low is skirting SW Wales, so the threat of a wet spell here too at some stage. In between though Mid and NW Wales MAY escape with little and even see some sunny intervals during Tuesday and just the odd shower. Very cool on Tuesday for the dull damp Midlands and an easterly breeze, no better than 6 or 7c here, but any brightness for West Wales means 9c is possible in places. A decaying front across West Wales on Tuesday night with a little rain or drizzle in places may prevent another frost here, but a clearance expected for the Midlands means at least a grass frost down to around 0c. Another cool day with a NE wind on Wednesday, although over West Wales at least we should see some sunny intervals and 9 or 10c, while it is a cloudy and eventually damp afternoon for the Midlands no higher than 8c here. More significant rain may develop across the Midlands during Wednesday evening as a low feature moves in from off the North Sea, and even some rain may reach West Wales by midnight too, cold enough for sleet or snow above about 200m, but this not settling. At least the cloud should prevent a frost for most places on Wednesday night.

High pressure over Scandinavia trying to exert its influence to the UK by Thursday so hopes for drier conditions. However there may well be plenty of cloud still and some further light showers especially for the south of our regions. Cool again, temperatures only managing 8 to 10c at best. A few lucky places seeing sunny intervals on Thursday but generally a lot of cloud with some of us seeing showers, a gentle east breeze. There may be a ground frost in places dawn Friday, then a lot of cloud and a chilly east wind again, SW Wales favoured best for any sunny spells and 11c here should these develop, but elsewhere around 7 to 9c only, and a few drizzly showers possible over the Midlands in particular.

Next weekend we are between high pressure to our north and a low over Iberia. Hope then of something milder as winds shift more to the SE off a fairly warm Continent, although tempered by a stiff breeze. Perhaps still a lot of cloud on Saturday wirh showery rain in places, but a better chance of seeing the sun on Sunday and temperatures responding up to a respectable 14c in places. Frost risk low by next weekend. It looks like turning cool and unsettled though once more as we get into April.

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