Cold set to linger into next week
This week has seen colder weather return to the UK, although as I suggested in my blog last Friday, it hasn’t been as harsh as what we experienced a fortnight ago.
Whilst there has been some locally disruptive snow, it hasn’t been as widespread as it was during the last cold spell, with many places seeing little, if any at all. Even where snow has accumulated, it hasn’t stayed on the ground as long – thawing in any sunshine.
It’s always difficult to manage the expectations of how bad any wintry weather will be in the UK because snow creates a lot of excitement, yet at the same time, potentially, so much disruption.
However, from the end of last week, I felt that it was important to emphasise that this week’s cold spell was unlikely to match the severity of the last one – when we had the most widespread snowfalls since December 2010. Also, the Met Office issued their highest tier red warning for snow for the first time in over two years.
Even though there have been snow warnings this week, they have mainly been the lower tier yellow warnings, with amber warnings reserved for fairly small areas, where heavy snow has been focused.
How long is the cold spell going to last?
The latest weather models all hint at the cold weather continuing into the middle of next week, although the degree of cold will vary a little over time.
At the moment, the jet stream is meandering in a more north to south track across the Atlantic, meaning that changes in the weather we experience are subtle and slower paced than of late.
In terms of daytime temperatures, western areas tend to be a little less cold, with 3-7C typical into next week. Eastern areas will be colder with temperatures around 1-5C.
A notable change is that night time frosts will become more widespread from Wednesday night onwards as the wind eases, making it easier for temperatures to fall away.
Is there going to be any more snow?
For the next couple days, the risk of snow will continue to be localised, rather than widespread.
On Wednesday, wintry showers will affect the north and east of Scotland, as well as eastern coastal counties of England, where 1-5cm could fall at low levels and as much as 10cm over the hills and mountains.
Thursday into Friday will see some rain move in from the west, which could turn to sleet and snow in places – mainly over the hills and mountains, but locally down to lower levels from the Midlands northwards. However, amounts are generally expected to be small.
Sunday and Monday could prove more interesting in terms of the potential for more notable snowfall over a larger area.
Whilst there’s still a huge amount of uncertainty with the detail at the moment, an area of low pressure could slide across southern and western parts of the UK, bringing snow as rain bumps into cold air.
As ever, I’ll keep you updated here on my blog and you can also follow my weather tweets on Twitter – @liamdutton