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UK Weather: A wintry week with frost, ice, rain, sleet and snow but no Easterly

21st January 2019 09:27

UK Weather: A wintry week with frost, ice, rain, sleet and snow but no Easterly

If you did venture out to look at the #SuperWolfBlood Moon, well done. Bet you are cold. The next Super full Moon will be on February 19th but without the total lunar eclipse, so no orangery red colour.

It’s cold this morning, temperatures in northern England and Scotland have fallen to -7C and -6 in SE England. There is a widespread frost, but most places are dry, just a little ice to watch out for. There are a few showers, linked to a fading cold front which bought more cloud overnight to The Wash, central England into southern Wales and SW England. This doesn’t move much but there will still be the odd shower today over SW Britain.

In the far NW, there is more cloud, strengthening winds and outbreaks of rain for Highland Scotland and the Western Isles. There is a low pressure centred over Iceland and this wet and windy weather is from the cold front which swipes across the UK tonight. It won’t be just rain, there will be sleet and snow, mainly over the hills. For western Scotland, the Pennines, Peaks, Cumbrian Fells, Welsh mountains and Exmoor, also the Antrim Hills.

For most, it will be a fair day with lingering cloud from the frontal band or sunny spells after a clear cold night with a frosty start. After light winds to start the day the SW breeze picks up for Northern Ireland and more of Scotland with gusts up to 60mph for the Western Isles by lunchtime. Damp weather spills over Northern Ireland this afternoon and then into western Scotland. The rest of Britain stays settled. Temperatures today will be from 4 to 8C, feeling colder as the wind picks up. The fresh south to SW wind will become gusty as the cold front arrives in the NW this evening. There will be gales for The Minch and a kick in the winds to the NW then settling into a westerly flow.

As the cold front moves through there may be a little, wet snow to lower levels as it heads across Britain and then rain, sleet and snow showers set in for Tuesday. There will be a frost again and ice after the front.

The cold front rain and wintriness should just be away from Kent and Essex by dawn on Tuesday. This leaves the UK in a cold west to NW flow with a frost, sunny spells and wintry showers from the west.



Eastern Britain stays mostly dry and sunny but cold, further west and for the Midlands, there will be lines of showers mixed with drier brighter conditions. Just keep an eye on the radar to see their progress inland, so may reach the M25 later in the day as the winds pick up. Temperatures will only reach 4 or 5C for most with a chill in the breeze. The NW winds will freshen, even strengthen around the coast of Devon and across Cornwall.

Cold again overnight with a widespread frost. Many inland parts will have very light winds, but Cornwall and Aberdeenshire will have brisk raw winds.

Wednesday

A similar day to Tuesday but a lesser version. Not as with fewer showers, lighter winds but with another cold and frosty start.

Where’s the easterly?

Not showing any more. That’s the thing with medium-range forecasting. It’s a set of solutions, often grouped together for themes and likelihoods. Taking one solution or subset can work but may not. And on an app, you only see one solution. Shouting, headline style either way can get a result if the cold/snow comes off but if it doesn't often the blame gets put at forecasters' doors. That's why the probability is explained and why a wide view should be held, even if you want tonnes of snow and to go sledging. 

It looks like there will be a westerly Atlantic flow Thursday into Friday with strong winds in the far north to end the working week but not the bitterly cold flow from Europe.

The weekend could bring cold air from the north and the risk of snow, it’s all still looking wintry and January chilly but no sign of a repeat of last year, for now.

More discussion on the forum, as always.

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