Any signs of spring?
Now that we’ve reached the middle of February, you’re probably thinking that we’re in the home stretch of the race towards spring with March just a fortnight away.
Whilst this winter hasn’t been record-breakingly cold, it certainly has had some decent cold spells, with the most widespread snow since December 2010. The Met Office also issued a high tier red warning for snow for the first time in over two years.
During the last week, I’ve had lots of people saying that they’ve had enough of the cold and would happily welcome something spring-like with open arms. So, are there any signs of this happening?
One of the first signs of potential warmth that I’ve noticed is the sun dragging itself a little higher in the sky. If you step out of the chilly shade and into the sunshine, you can begin to feel a little warmth – certainly a step in the right direction.
However, the feel of the weather at this time of year is still heavily dependent on which direction the wind is blowing from and thus the temperature of the air that arrives on our shores.
Spring, like autumn, is a transitional season, where we make the chaotic change from winter to summer. As a result, it can provide a taste of summer, but often short, sharp reminders that winter still lurks close by.
Met Office records show that the highest UK daytime maximum temperature recorded in March is 25.6C at Mepal, Cambridgeshire on 29 March 1968. The lowest daytime maximum temperature recorded in March is -4.4C at Bwlchgwyn, Denbighshire on 2 March 1965.
The coming few days will see temperatures across the UK rise to 6-11C as milder air moves in off the Atlantic. However, it may not last, with signs that they may fall back to average or below later next week.
In the coming week, high pressure is going to drift around close to or even over us, with its final resting place determining which direction the wind is coming from and therefore how mild or cold it gets.
Having had a look at the weather charts, the most likely outcome at the moment looks to be an east or north easterly wind developing during the second half of next week.
This would mean a gradual return to colder weather, although it is more likely to be mainly dry rather than often snowy. It also looks like this colder, often settled theme could stay with us until early March.
As always, there is an element of uncertainty and detail is subject to change, so keep up to date here on my blog or follow my updates on Twitter – @liamdutton