By Nick Finnis
Issued: 14th January 2021 09:40
Updated: 14th January 2021 09:49
Wintry mix in the north and east today, drier for all on Friday
Today will see a messy wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow across northern, central and eastern areas along a stalling front with cold air to east of the front and milder air to the west. For many it will be a wet day in these areas, but across inland areas of Scotland and northern England snow will fall, with an Amber Warning in force for up 10-20cm of snow. Snow will fall to lower levels in the north giving a covering in places, but greatest accumulations will be over higher ground, some travel disruption likely as a result. Rain and snow will fizzle out this evening, then Friday is looking mostly dry and fine but cold as high pressure builds in. Saturday will see another frontal system move in bringing rain proceeded by snow. Sunday drier in the south, as brief ridge of high pressure returns, rain for the north. Then turning increasingly unsettled and milder early next week, as Atlantic lows move in.
Some in Scotland and northern England are waking up to a wintry scene of a blanket of snow, but for most it’s a wet rather than snowy start to Thursday. There is an Amber Warning in force until 10am this morning for heavy snow in an area of inland Scotland stretching from the Highlands southeast towards the southern Uplands and Cheviots. Up to 10-20cm of snow accumulation is expected above 200m and 5-10cm at lower levels in the Amber warning. While a more widespread yellow warning for snow covers Scotland and parts of northern England until 9pm. So expect some travel disruption from snow and ice in these areas covered by warning, particularly under the Amber Warning.
Outbreaks of rain will continue across many areas this morning, sleet and snow across inland central and eastern Scotland, higher parts of northern England and perhaps to lower levels east of the Pennines too. It will be drier at times though across N. Ireland, west Wales and SW England – but with some showers too.
A cold afternoon in the north and east, rain, sleet and snow will persist into the afternoon across Scotland, northern, central and eastern England, snow levels falling and extending further south into the Midlands and parts of eastern England too, though settling will be mostly confined to higher ground further south. With rain for much of the day across eastern areas, there could be some issues with localised flooding, following a wet day yesterday, with a number of flood watches in force. The rain, sleet and snow affecting northern and eastern areas will slowly ease later in the afternoon, before fizzling out this evening. Drier and milder with some brightness in the far west and southwest this afternoon, but also a few showers possible.
Cold under the cloudy and wet weather across northern, central and eastern areas, temperatures this afternoon reaching 2-4C at best. N. Ireland, south and west Wales and SW England milder where it will be drier, temperatures here reaching 8-9C.
Drier with clearing skies for most by the early hours on Friday morning, so a widespread frost developing in the early hours, lowest temperatures over the snowfields in the north, the freezing temperatures will lead to a risk of icy patches on untreated surfaces following today’s rain and snow. Some freezing fog patches forming are possible too.
A drier day on Friday, as a ridge of high pressure builds in, so after a cold and frosty start it will be a largely dry day with variable amounts of cloud and sunny spells, some overnight fog patches over central areas could be slow to clear though. Just a small risk of a light shower around coasts. A cold day, temperatures reaching 2-4C at best, though across N. Ireland and far SW of England it could reach 7C.
A frontal system will sweep a band of rain, locally heavy, eastwards across all parts on Saturday morning – preceded by a brief spell of snow on the leading edge of the rain across northern and eastern areas, more particularly over higher ground. Drier and brighter conditions with a northwesterly breeze following across most parts in the afternoon, with showers in the northwest.
Sunday looking mostly dry in the south – as a ridge of high pressure builds in from the southwest, but Atlantic fronts moving in from the west will bring cloud and patchy rain or drizzle across northern areas.
Turning generally unsettled, windier and milder early next week, as Atlantic systems bring showers or longer spells of rain. It looks to remain unsettled from mid-week, but uncertainty over whether it could turn colder from the north, as models have hinted at, or if it stays mild. It will likely be wet and windy at times and if colder air tries to move in, there could be a risk of snow later in the week, most likely for northern and central areas.