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Monthly weather forecast for the UK

Mild and dry until early March, then turning colder and more unsettled

Updated 11th February - Covering the period 18th February - 12th March

Overview

Mean temperatures will be above normal during this forecast period, typically by around 1C in most regions but nearer 1.5C above in eastern Scotland and nearer 0.5C above in East Anglia and south-east England.

Rainfall totals are expected to come out below the long-term normal in most regions, but with some uncertainty over the extent of rainfall totals in the relatively unsettled weather in early March. It is more highly likely that much of Scotland, Wales and the north-west of England will be drier than normal.

Sunshine totals are expected to be a little below normal in south-west England and south Wales and near normal in Northern Ireland, north Wales and other parts of western England, but above normal elsewhere.

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Week 2: Monday 18th February - Sunday 24th February

A south to south-westerly flow will prevail over the British Isles during this period, and it will be fairly unsettled, but ridges of high pressure will bring some dry sunny interludes mainly to central and eastern parts of England and eastern Scotland. It will generally become more settled in eastern parts of the country late in the week as the high pressure will become more extensive over central Europe and the Atlantic weather systems will be deflected further north as they approach the British Isles, but it will remain unsettled throughout in Northern Ireland and in the north and west of Scotland. Some slight frost is possible at night late in the week mainly for inland parts of eastern and southern England.

Temperatures will be above the 1981-2010 long-term normal in all parts of the UK. They will be closest to normal in eastern and southern England, and especially in East Anglia and the south- east some cooler nights will bring the average down. Generally the positive anomaly will be between 1 and 2C in the south-east but higher than 2C elsewhere, with eastern Scotland most likely to see anomalies of near 3C.

It is forecast to be cloudier than average in most western areas, with near average rainfall, but drier and sunnier than average in most eastern parts of the UK, with East Anglia probably coming out sunniest relative to the long-term normal.

Week 3: Monday 25th February - Sunday 3rd March

Confidence drops somewhat during this period, but the most likely outcome for early in the period is for it to be mainly anticyclonic with high pressure just to the east of Britain, giving southerly winds. This will bring warm temperatures by day but an increasing likelihood of cold frosty nights. Due to the short air track over the English Channel most places are expected to be sunnier than average, but Northern Ireland, western Scotland and the south coast of England will be more prone to banks of cloud drifting in from the sea. It will probably turn more unsettled from the west during the second half of the week with temperatures mostly above normal, due to continued south to south-westerly winds, perhaps turning cooler at the very end of the week with a westerly flow.

Mean temperatures are thus expected to be mostly above normal this week, by about 2C in Northern Ireland and northern Scotland, but by about 1C in most other regions due to some chilly nights. Rainfall totals are expected to be mostly below normal and sunshine mostly above normal, except in Northern Ireland and near the south coast of England where it will probably be rather cloudier than normal.


Rest of month: Monday 4th March - Tuesday 12th March

Again confidence is low on this, but the most likely outcome for this week is that it will be rather unsettled with low pressure systems tracking further south than usual. This will probably result in slightly below average temperatures for the week as a whole, but extended spells of easterly winds look to be less likely than not at this stage. It is thus likely to be wetter than average in the south and east of Britain, but with near or below average rainfall for western and northern Scotland. Sunshine totals will probably be above normal in many parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland but below normal in southern and eastern England. There is potential for some short-lived snowfalls in this setup (but unlikely to be anywhere near the scale of early March 2018) but at this range it is impossible to speculate on where and when there will be snow, and it may be that the majority of it ends up restricted only to high ground.

Monthly weather forecast
The month ahead forecast, written by Ian Simpson is updated once a week - every Monday. As with any longer term forecast, it's not possible to go into much detail and accuracy can tend to drop off toward the end of the period but it can still act as a very good guide to the weather during the upcoming month.

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