Staying cool and showery with heavy, thundery downpours

Issued: 18th May 2021 09:29

Staying cool and showery with heavy, thundery downpours

Although no surprise at the moment as this period is often cool, it would be nice to see a way out of this persistent chilly, showery pattern. But few models give any hints of optimism before the Late Spring Bank Holiday, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

It's a fine, sunny start today across East Anglia, the South East and over North Wales, but we already have a few sharp showers over northern England that'll move away and also some moving into South Wales and the South West.

Rainfall radar from earlier today

As cloud builds through the morning, the showers will develop further, becoming widespread over the Midlands, South and later East Anglia and the South East, giving local heavy downpours with hail and thunder. Across southern Scotland, the North of England and perhaps Northern Ireland, there should be fewer showers, with the North of Scotland seeing patchy rain move down from the North through the day. A few places will be lucky enough to avoid the showers altogether, but spells of dry weather shouldn’t be relied upon.

A storm forecast has been issued, with full details of the convective prospects and threat of thunderstorms today.

Storm forecast

A West or North Westerly breeze will be mostly light but gusty in the vicinity of heavier showers. Whilst feeling pleasantly warm in sunny spells, it’ll feel chilly in the wind and even quite cold when a shower comes along. As a result, temperatures generally get no higher than 12 to 16 locally 17C, with the far North not getting above 8 to 10C, where a northerly breeze will feel rather raw.  

Further showers are likely into the evening, some heavy at first, especially in the East and South. Elsewhere as skies become more broken, the showers tend to fade, becoming lighter generally and more scattered. However, in the South and South East, some will keep going after dark, with Northern Ireland and the northern half of Scotland seeing patchy rain. Winds remain light and mostly from the West or North West, allowing it to become rather cold overnight where skies clear. A few vulnerable rural ‘hollows’ in the North could see the thermometer falling close to freezing, but most places will be free of frost, with minimum temperatures mostly in the range of 4 to 8C.

Despite the barometer in your hallway rising a little, it remains unsettled on Wednesday. After a fine start in places with some sunshine, cloud builds yet again to produce showers. The heaviest ones will be in eastern areas again, giving local hail and thunder, but there should be fewer showers in the West with lengthening sunny spells towards evening over Wales and the South West. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland continue to see patchy rain. A West or North Westerly wind remains mostly light but could still be gusty near heavy showers.

Showers again on Wednesday but easing in the west into the afternoonTop temperatures only 8 or 10C again in the far North, with 13 to 16C elsewhere still much on the cool side for mid-May.

The remaining showers melt-away more readily into the evening as a transient ridge of high pressure moves across the country after dark. There may continue to be variable amounts of cloud, but where skies clear and with light winds, it’ll turn chilly with perhaps a few short-lived mist patches forming in rural areas later in the night. Some Highland glens and a few other vulnerable northern valleys could even see temperatures falling close to freezing once more, giving a touch of frost around dawn, but for most, a minimum of 3 to 7C will be nearer the mark.

Across Northern Ireland and in the far West, you’re likely to see increasing cloud towards dawn ahead of a freshening southerly wind. This’ll bring rain, which will be heavy in places from the West on Thursday and also strong, gusty winds, in conditions more resembling autumn than late spring. This will be followed on Friday and over next weekend by more showers heavy in places with thunder, as the cycle of weather we’re currently trapped in continues to show few signs of relenting.

Tags: UK Weather  

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