Our first burst of spring-like warmth could arrive next week
During the past ten days, we’ve been experiencing a classic case of anticyclonic gloom – the dreaded combination of cloud and cold.
Whilst this kind of weather can be expected at this time of year, given how cold January and February have been, lots of people are saying that they could really do with some sunshine and spring-like warmth.
The reason for the weather getting stuck in a rut over the past fortnight has been the path of the jet stream – the fast-moving ribbon of air high up in the atmosphere that determines the weather we experience at the surface.
Rather than taking its typical west to east track across the Atlantic and bringing changeable weather, it’s been taking a more north to south track. As a result, the weather pattern has become stuck, with any changes slow and gradual.
Lately, the dominant feature of the weather across north west Europe has been an area of high pressure slowly drifting around. Its position has been crucial in determining the temperature and amounts of cloud affecting us.
Last week, it was centred over Scandinavia which put us under the influence of a cold feed of air from continental Europe. Cloudy skies, a raw easterly wind and snow flurries were the order of the day.
However, this week, the area of high pressure has drifted directly over us, which has allowed slightly warmer air to arrive on our shores. Temperatures, whilst still slightly below average, have started to rise this week – something that could continue into next week.
There is still some uncertainty as to where the area of high pressure will drift next, but there are signs that it will move eastwards into next week, becoming centred over the middle of Europe.
As well as warmer air, there’ll also be some cloud and rain moving across us, but there are bound to be some gaps between weather fronts giving some sunshine.
The latest available information suggests that temperatures by the middle of next week will widely reach double-figures at 10-13C. If there are any lengthy spells of sunshine, then it is easily possible that a few places will reach 14-16C.
So finally, after a gloomy February, there are signs that the weather may deliver something a little more pleasing as March gets underway.