Rain and snow spreading south, turning icy

Published on 9th February 2012 09:37

Rain and snow spreading south, turning icy

It's going to turn very icy for some of us during today and tonight, as a band of sleet, snow and freezing rain spreads south across the country. Milder Atlantic air has become established across Ireland, but the cold continental airmass originating over eastern Russia refuses to budge from East Anglia and south-eastern parts of England. The precipitation mix is currently most pronounced over south-east Scotland, Northern Ireland and central and northern parts of England, and this will extend into southern England by evening. The precipitation has mostly fallen as rain or sleet in Scotland but as it heads southwards it will turn increasingly to a mix of snow and freezing rain, leading to very hazardous travelling conditions. (More detail can be found within the weather alert which has recently been issued.) Temperatures will reach between 2 and 4C in most regions, and will struggle to get above freezing in south-east England. The exception will be across Northern Ireland; here somewhat milder conditions have arrived and temperatures will get up to around 10C. With plenty of cloud and precipitation around tonight it will not be anywhere near as cold as recent nights- temperatures may drop to -2 or -3C in parts of south-east England but for most of us temperatures will hover close to or just below freezing, and in Ireland it will be a mild night. During Friday the precipitation will become concentrated in western areas with mostly dry, cloudy weather establishing in the eastern half of the country, some brighter spells are likely to develop across East Anglia and the south-east late in the day. Parts of Wales and south-west England will continue to see a combination of sleet, snow and freezing rain leading to hazardous conditions for travelling. Temperatures will be similar to today's values, 2 to 4C across most of England, Wales and Scotland, near freezing in south-east England, but reaching 10C in Northern Ireland. Friday night will be another very cold one across East Anglia and south-east England with the cold continental air possibly returning to the Midlands and other parts of southern England too, but it will remain close to freezing across Scotland and northern England. The rather wintry weather is set to continue for a while yet- during the weekend a belt of rain will spread southwards across the country introducing slightly milder air again, but there is again a significant chance of much of it turning to snow as it approaches south-east England. Into next week there is also the possibility of some northerly winds, though it is currently unclear whether the main "thrust" of Arctic air will hit Britain full-on or head out into the North Sea leaving us with milder air.

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