Thursday 4th March 2021

Colder for a few days – becoming wet and windy next week.

Thanks to Chris for the photograph.

This evening sees a very weak weather front spread down from the north-east, which will give the odd lightish shower, then some clear spells will develop with a frost for many by dawn, around 0’C.

Friday sees high pressure sat over the UK with cold air filtering in from the east.

Some sunny spells to start but cloud will bubble up, and there will be more cloud than sun from late morning onwards – limited sunshine. A small chance of a light shower, 6’C. Clear spells developing overnight, down to around -2’C with a frost.

Saturday starts fair with some sunny spells. Lots of cloud will develop from mid/late morning onwards with limited sunshine. 7’C and chilly. Some clear spells overnight and a frost likely for most, down to around -1’C.

Sunday morning will see some sunny spells but quite a bit of cloud too. Mostly cloudy in the afternoon with limited brightness. Still on the cold side, 6’C. Some clear spells overnight though quite a bit of cloud, down to around 0’C with a frost likely for most.

Monday starts to see a change to a westerly flow. A bit of sunshine to begin but becoming mostly cloudy. Around 8’C. Some clear spells with a patchy frost overnight – down to around 1’C.

Tuesday looks mostly cloudy with a weak weather front crossing from the west – limited rain if any by time it arrives. Around 9’C. Proper rain spreading across overnight – timing uncertain at this stage, and becoming windy too.

Wednesday likely starts wet – though as I mentioned the timing of the overnight weather front is uncertain. Once this clears, sunshine and the odd shower will follow. Breezy and 11’C.

For Thursday it looks like we’ll be in a north-westerly flow with low pressure close to our north.

Windy with sunny spells and scattered blustery showers. Around 10’C.

Friday probably similar to Thursday.

Uncertain for next weekend – I am expecting the unsettled spell to be short, but not sure yet whether it will have the legs to carry on into next weekend.

High pressure should build close to the UK either around next weekend or into the week after, to make it dry and settled once more.…

Spring Weather Forecast 2021

Welcome to my Spring Weather Forecast 2021.

Spring is my favourite season – especially late spring and early summer when it is often very warm but not too hot, and there are chances of thundery downpours – my favourite kind of weather day.

It is, of course, still early days for spring and still rather chilly as I write – but at least there is blossom on some trees, daffodils are starting to shine – the hope that spring brings never tires, and after arguably the most difficult winter collectively for decades, it is nice to just see the beginnings of spring.

I’m actually quite happy with my winter weather forecast – these seasonal forecasts will never be perfect but I thought I did a good job. We had more cold spells than recent winters and though we didn’t quite get something like February 2018 – the models teased that could happen, the sudden stratospheric warming event happened but just didn’t split the polar vortex which is likely why we didn’t quite have that newsworthy cold spell that we would have referred to for years to come.

So as I mentioned, these seasonal forecasts are experimental – I will not get everything right. Think of them more as a general guide, my hope is to get more right than wrong. I am not a professional meteorologist.

As always, I’d kindly ask you to share this forecast in some way – I don’t ask for anything other than a quarterly share/retweet or whatever your preferred action is.

And the final bit of administration is to say thank you to Eve for this classic Reading in spring photograph. A donation has been made to British Lung Foundation.

Background signals

I think background signals are less useful in spring than they are in winter, but those of note include La Niña which is weak and trending towards neutral – though there is some uncertainty as to whether it may strengthen once more May onwards – one would assume the trend to neutral continues, but some models have suggested La Niña could strengthen which would increase chances of rain/showers come summer.

In the more short-medium term, the MJO is suggested that it may go into phase 8/1, which would support the idea of high pressure to our north (ish) later in March.

The sudden stratospheric warming event from January will likely still have some impact – I believe that it increases the prevalence of blocking highs through spring, and there is more cold air at mid-latitudes because of the SSW that could be tapped into during early spring.

Finally, the polar vortex is strengthening which should encourage the jetstream to head further north – taking low pressure systems with it, especially as the influence of the SSW fades.

So quite a mixed and conflicting set of background signals as always, but there is a theme and that is of high pressure being close to the UK more than normal – so a drier and sunnier spring than normal is expected. Getting the position of the high pressure systems – and hence the source of the air and subsequent temperatures is the challenge.

March

March starts dry and mild. Towards the first weekend colder weather will spread down from the north – nothing especially cold but still cold enough with overnight frosts – a chance of a light wintry shower.

For the second week this will be replaced by more unsettled conditions with spells of wind and rain, and showers in between – temperatures average or a little below. I wouldn’t rule out sleet or snow either in any more notable north-westerlies.

That unsettled spell should be short-lived and high pressure should take back over for the rest of March – positioning uncertain at the moment and it will vary a bit. When it is closer to the UK, it will be rather pleasant, mild and sunny – when further west it will be cooler, perhaps colder with showers – a 2-3 day northerly plunge with wintry showers could easily occur. I do think high pressure will be to our west or close to our west for more of this period.

Overall I expect slightly above-average sunshine, somewhat below-average rainfall and slightly below-average temperatures.

Confidence level of 80% – main issue is where high pressure sets up for the second half of March.

April

Again April looks likely to be dominated by high pressure – again there are questions over positioning.

The first half looks more likely to be fairly mixed – there is a signal for both warm southerly winds and cold northerly winds – both involve high pressure close by, so we should end up with interchanging cold/warm spells, with some heavy showers around but more emphasis on sunshine.

Later in April, there are suggestions of high pressure migrating west/north a bit, allowing a cooler and somewhat cloudier north-westerly flow to become more dominant – some showers again but more emphasis on dry conditions overall. Again high pressure position probably varying so some short warm spells could easily be mixed into the dominant cooler, cloudier pattern through this spell.

Overall I expect average sunshine, somewhat below-average rainfall, average temperatures.

Confidence level of 70% – again the positioning of high pressure systems is the tricky thing to capture, and possible that it may be a bit warmer at times than I’m forecasting.

May

Again May will see high pressure over or close to the UK for much of the month – and by May there will be less cold air around to tap into so it should be warmer than average for most of the month.

The first half should be warm and sunny for most of the time – some variations, the odd weak weather front may cross from the north-west bringing some light rain and cooler conditions as high pressure moves around a bit – there may be some dull and cloudy days mixed in too depending on wind direction, but generally the theme will be warm and sunny.

Later in May, low pressure to the south will increase the chance of heavy showers and thunderstorms developing – though it likely remains warm or very warm and sunny most days, some days will see those heavy showers or thunderstorms later in the day.

Overall I expect above-average sunshine, below-average rainfall (unless you get a particularly torrential downpour in the latter part of May) and above-average temperatures.

Confidence level of 75% – again high pressure positioning is the tricky part and certainly possible I’ve over-egged the warmth.

And summer?

Well, that will depend on how La Niña pans out.

Early suggestions are that June will be sunnier and warmer than average – but some unsettled spells too.

There are signals that July and August will be fairly changeable with more rain and showers than normal – and temperatures generally suppressed for summer – though with short heatwaves likely.

Summer is a long way away though, and there is plenty of time for these signals to change.

So your overall take from this should be a drier than normal spring, a sunnier than normal spring, a colder than normal March, mixed temperatures April and warmer than normal May.

Roll on the first weekend where I can sit in the garden and have a beer.

Don’t forget to share!…

Monday 1st March 2021

Staying mostly dry but becoming colder.

Thanks to Paul for the photograph. You still have time if you want to send me a photograph for the spring forecast – ideally add it to the Facebook post from Friday to keep them all in one place please!

Some clear spells at first tonight, but low cloud building as the night goes on with mist and fog in places by dawn, down to around 2’C.

Tuesday still has high pressure in control, centred to our east at the moment with a light southerly breeze.

Starting cloudy with mist and fog in places, this will gradually lift to leave long spells of sunshine – say from around midday, give or take. 12’C. Becoming cloudy overnight, mist or fog in places, a small chance of a light shower also, down to around 3’C.

Wednesday sees a small area of low pressure move up from the south-west. It will be mostly cloudy, a bit of sunshine at times, but also some occasional showery rain. Mild, 13’C. Further showers at first overnight, down to around 5’C.

Thursday sees a change to colder conditions as high pressure migrates to our north-west allowing a colder flow to return.

It will be mostly cloudy, a bit of brightness in the afternoon but the odd light shower possible too. Becoming breezy and feeling colder than of late, 6’C. Mostly cloudy overnight and fairly cold, down to around 2’C.

Friday looks mostly cloudy, though a bit more in the way of sunshine than on Thursday. Chilly at 7’C though lighter wind again. Clear spells overnight and frosty, down to around -2’C.

Saturday sees high pressure over the UK. Some sunshine, especially in the morning but cloud will bubble up to a fair extent. 7’C. Mostly clear overnight, frosty, down to around -3’C.

Sunday should stay dry but it looks like weather fronts will be trying to push in from the west by this point.

Next week likely starts changeable with some rain at times and temperatures still a little chilly.

Hopefully I will get my spring forecast written either tomorrow or Wednesday after work.…

Photograph Request – Spring

Gosh is it time to be writing my spring weather forecast already?

This means that I need a photograph. Usual rules apply:

  1. Needs to have weather. Lots of different types of weather happen in spring but I try to use one which resembles the expected season’s weather.
  2. Must be of the local area.
  3. Must be landscape-orientated – not portrait. This is because portrait photographs don’t work with my website very well.

I tend to look for the one that most closely tells a story – so it might not be your interpretation of the “best” photograph.

I will be sending £10 to the charity of choice from whoever’s photograph I choose. But please make it non-controversial if I pick your photograph – you know what people like to argue about on the internet, especially politics and some a few well-known charities are very political. I like that I hardly ever need to delete comments and want to keep it that way.

The easiest way for me is to post on the Facebook post – but if you prefer you can send a direct message on Facebook, Twitter or e-mail me.

I feel like I normally have more to say…hmmm.

Spring forecast will probably be issued on Tuesday or Wednesday.…

Thursday 25th February 2021

Dry with some sunshine and broadly normal temperatures for the coming week, as we slowly creep towards spring.

Thanks to Deanna for the photograph.

Clear skies tonight and temperatures falling to around 1’C – a frost in some places. A small chance of a little mist/fog by dawn but unlikely.

Friday sees high pressure in control.

Long spells of sunshine with a bit of fair weather cloud in the afternoon. 11’C. Clear spells overnight, a frost in places, down to around 1’C.

Saturday again sees decent spells of sunshine. A bit more cloud around than Friday, but reasonably sunny. 11’C. Clear spells overnight, down to around 1’C with a frost in places. A small chance of some fog patches forming by dawn also.

For Sunday we still have high pressure in charge. Any morning fog will clear to sunny spells – though likely more cloud than sunshine in the afternoon, and a light easterly breeze will take the edge off, around 10’C. A greater chance of fog developing overnight, or general low cloud. Down to around 3’C.

A bit of uncertainty for Monday – if fog has formed as I think quite likely then it will take a while to clear, perhaps remaining cloudy all day and temperatures will struggle to around 8’C. Otherwise sunny and 11’C. Chilly overnight, a small chance of fog.

Tuesday is fairly likely to see a return to more widespread sunny spells. Temperatures around 11’C, perhaps a shade more. Chilly overnight, fog possible.

For Wednesday we start to see high pressure migrate further north. A bit uncertain on weather details, but probably fair and around 12’C – a small chance of a weak weather front bringing a bit of rain – but also a small chance of it being sunny and very mild.

The most likely outcome after this, for Thursday, Friday and into next weekend looks fine but becoming colder. Nothing especially cold is expected – say 6’C by the weekend with overnight frosts – though something notably colder (or just plain normal) remains possible.

My Spring forecast will be issued shortly. Probably Tuesday or Wednesday next week.…

Monday 22nd February 2021

Mostly dry and fairly mild.

Thanks to Rosie for the photograph. I know, I normally don’t use sunsets/sunrises but I think I’m over-excited this evening about the prospect of being able to visit outdoors hospitality come April 12th.

Tonight sees some clear spells, though cloudy at first. A small chance of fog, down to around 6’C.

Tuesday sees high pressure to the south-east being the greater influence on our weather – low pressure to the west trying to push in.

Sunny spells, mild and becoming windy. More cloud in the morning than sunshine, and again later in the day. 13’C. Rather cloudy and windy overnight, some clear spells but limited, 10’C.

Wednesday sees hazy sunshine all day. A weather front trying to push in from the west but not able to make much progress so we’ll stay dry – well, I cannot totally rule out a light shower. Very mild, 15’C which will feel pleasant in lighter winds. Some rain overnight as the weather front moves through, but not much. Around 8’C.

Thursday starts rather cloudy – perhaps a bit of light rain still around from the decaying weather front. Sunny spells will follow, 11’C. Clear skies overnight, down to around 1’C – a frost in places by dawn.

Friday sees high pressure over the UK. Good spells of sunshine and around 12’C. Clear skies overnight – frost or fog possible, down to around 2’C.

Saturday may start foggy but that will soon lift. More cloud than Friday but still should be some good spells of sunshine. Around 11’C. Fog possible overnight.

Sunday will be similar, some cloud, some sunshine, around 10’C.

Next week is most likely reasonably fine with average temperatures – somewhere between 9’C and 12’C, some sunshine – frost or fog possible overnight.

I’ve long said that I expect March and April to be mostly dry with high pressure in charge. I still expect that to be the case (at least until outdoor hospitality opens…and I am only half-joking there).

I also expected March to start cold, it won’t – the window of opportunity for a cold spells has been pushed back around a week and confidence is reduced, but still a fair chance of a notable cold spell, say second week of March. I am less confident than I was a couple of weeks ago on this though.

Gosh that was the easiest forecast I’ve done for months.…

Thursday 18th February 2021

A mild few days to come – not far from spring-like in the sunshine, but there will be cloud and rain at times too.

Thanks to Paul for the photograph. Swans, sunshine and a nice wide photograph.

Clear spells and chilly to start the night, down to around 3’C, though cloud gradually thickening through the night, wind strengthening and temperatures ticking up a tad.

Friday starts bright with some hazy sunshine. Cloud will continue to thicken and some light rain will spread from the west from around late morning onwards – mostly light and patchy. 9’C and windy. Windy overnight with occasional rain – but the main band of rain staying to our west. 11’C.

For Saturday we are in a mild south-westerly – a weather front very close to the west.

It’s a tricky call as to how far east the weather front will push, though likely at times in the morning there will be some outbreaks of rain. This should retreat west in the afternoon, allowing some brightness and increasing amounts of sunshine. Feeling mild, 13’C. Fairly cloudy overnight, the wind easing, around 9’C.

For Sunday the weather front creeps east again but as a much weakened affair. Some bits of light rain at times, but some brightness also, mild at 13’C. Remaining cloudy overnight – some showery rain possible, but uncertain at this stage. Around 8’C.

Monday may see some rain in the morning from the very slowly moving weather front, something more moderate – but uncertain at this stage. Sunny spells should follow, with temperatures around 11’C. Chilly overnight with clear spells – down to around 4’C, give or take.

Tuesday sees further mild air arrive from the south-west.

It will be quite windy but with weather fronts far enough north-west to allow some decent sunny spells, though possibly hazy. 13’C is realistic, but I wouldn’t rule out a 15’C.

Wednesday sees the weather front edge that bit closer, but again it should stay far enough west to allow for some sunshine, albeit likely hazy. With lighter winds, 14’C is possible – I wouldn’t rule out a 16’C.

Thursday probably sees what is left of the weather front move east, so more in the way of cloud, a bit of patchy light rain – but also some brightness and probably still very mild.

Friday and into next weekend probably see a more UK-based high pressure, so temperatures will drop to around normal, say 9’C, with overnight frosts possible – or fog. Probably sunny, but if there is overnight fog then this could be slow to clear.

Suggestions remain that early March will see some colder weather spread across from the east, though signals have weakened a little.…

Monday 15th February 2021

Much milder this week, though with rain at times too. And possibly a taste of spring for this weekend and/or early next week.

Thanks to Kathryn for the photograph – I had some really good photographs sent in this week…but the sheep seem to be waiting for my weather forecast, so it could only be this.

Tonight sees some showery rain for an hour or two either side of midnight, then dry and fairly cloudy. 8’C.

Tuesday morning sees a band of showery rain cross – nothing especially notable. Some sunny spells follow, but one or two scattered heavy showers around later in the afternoon too – not everyone catching one. 11’C. Clear spells at first overnight, but cloud thickening with rain arriving roughly around dawn, or a bit earlier. 7’C.

Wednesday sees outbreaks of rain erratically spreading north. Not always raining, some drier spells, but generally fairly rainy – some heavy bursts mixed in. Around 10’C. The rain should clear north mid/late evening, to leave a dry night with variable cloud, down to around 7’C.

Thursday morning sees rain spreading east – a few hours of persistent rain. Sunny spells follow with a small chance of a shower, around 8’C. Clear spells at first overnight and rather chilly, down to around 2’C – cloud thickening later in the night.

Friday starts dry – perhaps bright. Rain will spread across later, it looks like it will be fairly light/moderate and patchy. Becoming windy too, around 10’C. Some rain possible overnight – not sure at this stage how close the weather front to the west will be.

Saturday starts to see a bit of a change with higher pressure developing to our south-east – and weather fronts more stationary to our west.

Where the weather front is positioned will be key – it could be over us bringing some rain, or close to our west keeping us mostly cloudy. Either way, mild.

But the slightly more likely outcome is that it is further west and we get some decent sunny spells – and in a southerly wind, 14’C, maybe 15’C is feasible – which is pretty springlike.

Sunday will again depend on the position of the weather front – and it will be in a similar position to Saturday, most likely. So a repeat of Saturday is most likely, though the spring-like conditions are the slight favourite.

For early next week it looks like high pressure will continue close to our south-east, allowing this flow of warmer air from the south.

Still a bit tentative – a slight change in wind direction from current projections could make temperatures rather average, but the most likely outcome is a couple of very pleasant spring-like days, temperatures between 14’C and 16’C – though I wouldn’t rule out an 18’C with perfect alignment.

Still a bit to go before it is definite, but a fairly good chance of some pseudo-warmth perhaps this weekend, but more likely early next week. And it is still February.

High pressure most likely stays on the scene into March and during much of March, though we’ll probably return to average temperatures with overnight frosts late next week, and could easily return to much colder conditions in early March, with snow showers possible.…

Thursday 11th February 2021

So a few more days of cold weather before the pendulum swings back to milder conditions – though with some resistance.

Amusingly 3 separate people sent me a photograph of the same frozen tree this week. Thanks to Kate, who’s photograph I used.

Tonight sees some clear spells, it will be frosty and down broadly to around -4’C, perhaps -6’C in a few spots.

Friday sees broken cloud in the morning, increasing spells of sunshine as the day goes on. Cold and quite windy, scraping to 1’C. Mostly clear overnight, still quite windy with a hard frost, down to around -6’C – even lower in a few sheltered spots.

For Saturday we have our high pressure block close to our east, weather fronts trying to push in from the west thanks to a rather large low pressure trough in the Atlantic.

Saturday starts sunny. Cloud will thicken somewhat as the day goes on with a weather front trying to push in from the west, but it will remain bright with hazy sunshine. Probably not getting above 0’C, and feeling colder in the wind. The aforementioned weather front should fizzle out by time it reaches here – but I cannot rule out a little light snow falling in the evening. Otherwise variable amounts of cloud overnight, down to around -2’C.

Sunday sees the wind veer more southerly and things will become less cold, albeit still feeling cold in strong winds. A weather front will arrive at some point, roughly afternoon time but feasibly morning or evening in play too. Possibly sleet, snow or even freezing rain at first, but fairly swiftly turning to rain. Quite showery in nature, this continues on and off overnight, and temperatures recovering to around 7’C.

By Monday we are in a much milder south-westerly flow. Quite a lot of cloud around, some sunshine, 11’C. Rain likely spreading up from the south-west overnight, around 8’C.

Tuesday is uncertain on details, though probably a spell of rain at some point, and still fairly mild.

From Wednesday and into the weekend, things should settle down once more. I don’t rule out some further rain, but mostly it should be dry with some sunshine. Temperatures starting mild (a small chance very mild and almost spring-like for a day or two…small chance), but most likely becoming fairly cold once more, if not quite as cold as at the time of writing.

Broadly speaking, the end of February and beginning part of March is more likely to be cold than otherwise – and snow could again be possible.

Very plausible that we end up with high pressure over Scandinavia and another blast of easterly winds and snow showers, or high pressure over the UK and it being generally cold and frosty.

High pressure currently looks like dominating March and April, so drier than normal, sunnier than normal – colder than normal at times, especially the first half of March – but warmer than normal at times also. I’m certainly more positive about spring from a temperature perspective than I was a couple of weeks ago, but still time for things to change further.

After the winter of doom, it is nice to be thinking about the possibility of sitting outside in the sunshine, in 5-6 weeks or so.

Spring is slowly on the way, but almost certainly further wintry weather beforehand.…

Monday 8th February 2021

Well the cold spell has certainly started – even if you haven’t seen much in the way of snow.

Thanks to Adam for the photograph. Fog is about as close to a wintry scene that I can manage from your photographs!

Tonight will be mostly cloudy and cold – one or two light snow showers may make it this far inland. Windy, frosty and possibly icy, down to around -3’C.

For Tuesday we remain in this really cold easterly flow.

Mostly cloudy, cold and windy though some brightness at times. There remains a chance of snow showers, though a fairly small chance – it will depend on exact wind direction and whether any streamers set up through the Thames. Scraping 1’C. That small chance of snow showers remains in the evening and overnight, and cloud amounts reducing as the night goes on too. Down to around -3’C.

Wednesday sees a bit more in the way of sunshine, lighter winds and still a small chance of a stray snow shower getting this far inland. 2’C. Fairly clear skies overnight and lighter winds mean a harder frost – down to around -5’C, perhaps even lower.

Thursday sees a bit of a change as the Atlantic starts to make an effort to dislodge the cold block, causing the wind direction to turn more south-easterly.

Generally fairly sunny though some high cloud later. Quite cloudy overnight, down to around -4’C.

Friday remains cold. Most likely it will be bright with some cloud in the morning, and more sunshine later. But there is a small chance that a weather front may push inland during the day or night, from the west, bringing a bit of snow before it fizzles out – unlikely but worth a mention. Around 0’C. Cold and frosty overnight, down to around -5’C.

For Saturday we continue with the theme of milder weather trying to push in from the west but the cold block to our east is stubborn. It will remain cold, and most likely sunny – again I cannot totally rule out a weather front pushing in from the west bringing some patchy snow, but most likely the cold block holds and it stays dry. Around 0’C – the wind picking up once more too. Most likely cold and frosty overnight, down to around -4’C.

Similar on Sunday, the cold block should hold but those weather fronts edging that bit closer from the west. Uncertain on cloud amounts but suggestion that temperatures should pick up a tad in the southerly wind, around 2’C. Not often it is that cold in a southerly wind!

Next week is uncertain. The battle between the cold block and the milder, wetter weather will continue, but whether the cold block can hang on – or whether the milder, wetter weather (with significant snow at first) can take over, is uncertain.

I’d suggest that the cold and dry weather is the slight favourite at this stage.

I do expect much of the rest of February and early March to be cold and dry – there could easily be further snow too. Mild blips are possible in the week or so after mid-month, but the trend should remain mostly cold, often dry, occasional snow possible.

Fairly strong suggestions now that March and April will be drier than normal. Uncertain on high pressure positions, most likely orientated for colder weather for the first half of March, but as the sun strengthens in late March and into April, things will warm up – becoming warmer than normal at times.

My thoughts a few weeks ago were that spring would be colder than normal, but I feel now that the sudden-stratospheric warming event has properly flushed down to our level (hence the cold easterly) it has now swung the balance in spring to both spells of colder than normal weather and warmer than normal weather. I shall be issuing my spring forecast in a few weeks.…