Spring Photograph Request

It’s nearly spring…how exciting! Even if March might end up colder than the exceptionally mild February (of which I predicted the opposite…alas). Anyway, I need a photograph for my spring forecast please.

Usual rules:

  1. Must have weather. Must have spring weather of some description! I choose to fit the forecast.
  2. Must be the local area.
  3. Can be from any year…as long as it is spring!
  4. Must be landscape-orientated, ie the width longer than the height. I know plenty of people ignore this when posting on Facebook, which is totally fine, crack on! But I only use landscape-orientated images.

I will donate £10 to the charity of the winner’s choice…I will be in touch with whoever I choose.

Whoever’s photograph I choose will adorn the forecast and also be the cover photograph on Facebook for the next 3 months.

Please add them to the Facebook post or e-mail them.

I guess I’ll be writing it this weekend.…

Tuesday 27th February 2024

On the chilly side and generally fairly mixed to end February and bring in March.

Thanks to Philippa for the photograph.

Tuesday starts bright with spells of sunshine, albeit often and increasingly hazy. A weak weather front crosses during the afternoon/evening, bringing thicker cloud and a little light rain at times. Around 7’C. Clear-ish skies overnight, though mist/fog forming in places towards dawn. Chilly, down to around 3’C.

Early mist/fog patches will lift on Wednesday, but it will stay fairly cloudy with some hazy sunshine. Thicker cloud spreads east during the afternoon, with showery light/moderate rain. Breezy and milder, 10’C. Cloudy overnight with the odd bit of light rain – something somewhat heavier around dawn, around 10’C.

Thursday morning sees some showery and possibly heavy rain. Some uncertainty as to when this clears east – any time between midday and 5pm, is feasible – with sunny spells following. Mild in the rain, 10’C, maybe 11’C, but notably cooler after it clears. Clear skies overnight, temperatures dropping to around 1’C – a touch of frost possible. Towards dawn rain approaches, perhaps with a touch of wintriness mixed in.

For Friday we have this low pressure trough dropping down from the north-west with some colder air mixed in.

The morning sees heavy rain, perhaps a little sleet mixed in, but predominantly rain. A short spell of strong winds is likely as it arrives – not going to make for the most pleasant morning walk! This clears to sunny spells and the scattered heavy showers in the afternoon. Around 7’C. Further showers probable in the evening and at times overnight – most likely rain, but something wintry mixed in is possible. A chilly night, down to around 2’C but very give or take – a frost possible.

Low pressure will still be in charge for Saturday. Sunny spells and scattered heavy showers is the more likely outcome – though it will depend on the exact positioning of low pressure. Around 7’C. Some uncertainty overnight, though the slightly more likely outcome is a clear and frosty night, down to around -1’C – but there is a chance instead of some showery rain.

Sunday likely still has low pressure close by, but exact positioning is uncertain and hence details are sketchy. Broadly though, sunny spells with a chance of some showers, and around 8’C.

Showers still possible for Monday, though by Tuesday it looks like high pressure is going to start building from the south-west.

So the middle of next week looks most likely that it will be dry, with sunshine/hazy sunshine and turning milder, say 12’C or so. Pleasant enough. Not a done deal – but close to. Overnight frosts possible.

Where high pressure then centres itself will determine whether we get a taste of spring, or a reminder of winter. My suspicion is that it will centre itself over Scandinavia, and we’ll get something more south-easterly/easterly which will lead to cooler/colder and cloudier conditions. Can we sneak a nice spring-like weekend out first? Possibly, but that’s 11 days away.…

Friday 23rd February 2024

Colder than it has been, though nothing unusual. Otherwise mixed, some sunshine, some showers, some rain.

Thanks to Hev for the photograph.

The general picture sees a large low pressure trough over north/western Europe, even digging down into parts of Spain – bringing colder Polar Maritime air.

Today sees sunny spells and heavy showers. The sunshine often hazy with a layer of high cloud, the showers generally heavy – hail and thunder could be mixed in, perhaps in any really heavy ones there could be a wintry touch too. Around 8’C but feeling cooler in the breeze, especially in the showers. Showers mostly fading in the evening, I cannot rule a stray overnight shower, but mostly there will be clear spells, and a frost – down to around -1’C. I think the first frost of February (air frost, ie 0’C or below).

Saturday sees more in the way of sunshine, especially in the morning and late afternoon – through late morning into early afternoon there will be more cloud, and some showers. Fewer showers than Friday, so you may miss them all, but some heavy ones around. Still on the chilly side, 8’C. Clear skies overnight, though high cloud will spread in from the west as the night goes on. Down to around -1’C and frosty.

Sunday sees low pressure spread down from the north-west, towards France. This will bring a cloudy day with at least some showery rain. Some uncertainty on details, we are more or less on the northern edge of where the rain is likely, so it could just be dribs and drabs, or it could be fairly persistent all day. More likely it is patchy and light/moderate for much of the day, with heavier and more persistent rain later in the day – but as I said, there is a fairly wide window in terms of what happens. Also it will gradually become windy – strong winds by the evening and overnight, perhaps touching gale force. 8’C by day, 5’C by night.

Monday sees low pressure slowly clearing – it cannot move east, so it sinks south towards Spain. They do need the rain!

Possibly still some showery rain in the morning, but it should gradually clear to brighter skies – note some uncertainty though. However the strong north-easterly wind will persist through the day, and it will feel pretty raw – reaching around 7’C but feeling colder. Winds easing and skies clearing overnight, down to around 1’C, give or take – perhaps a frost.

Tuesday looks dry with hazy sunshine. Around 8’C. A weak weather front crossing overnight, bringing cloud and a bit of patchy rain – down to around 4’C.

Wednesday will be dry with some sunny spells, some cloud. Temperatures up a notch to 10’C.

Thursday at least starts dry – a weather front looks like it will spread east either in the afternoon, or evening/overnight, bringing some rain – timing uncertain at this stage.

The more likely outcome for Friday and into next weekend sees low pressure around – so further showers and perhaps general wind/rain. Not especially high confidence, but the more likely outcome.

We’ve had another one of those technical sudden stratospheric warming events – it has been a strange winter. It’s kind of comparable to the technical recession described on the news last week, yes it is a recession but there’s little impact in terms of unemployment – yes there has been a sudden stratospheric warming event, but there should be little impact in terms of changing the weather down in the troposphere.

I think the trend for March will see the jetstream further south than normal – France/Spain may be wetter than normal, for example. Likely we’ll therefore also see low pressure quite often, with rain/showers at times – and average temperatures more likely, which is almost akin to saying cooler than normal, given the crazily warm Atlantic Ocean, which keeps setting records.

Enjoy your weekend.…

Tuesday 20th February 2024

The mild slowly relenting to something colder – and becoming unsettled too.

Thanks to Becky for the photograph.

Today sees plenty of cloud, but there will be some bright/sunny spells, particularly through the lunchtime period/early afternoon. Still mild, quite breezy too, 12’C. The evening sees some light, patchy rain spread down from the north-west – with more showery rain pushing in from the west later in the night. Down to around 9’C.

Wednesday sees the jetstream push further south – and the Spanish high pressure system finally squeeze west – which will allow something colder to reach us in turn.

Wednesday morning into lunchtime, perhaps early afternoon, will be wet with showery rain – fairly strong winds too. Brighter skies will follow with hazy sunshine. Still mild, 12’C, maybe 13’C. A few bits of showery rain overnight, generally fairly cloudy, down to around 9’C.

Thursday sees heavy/very heavy pulses of rain spread east – sometimes dry and bright, but sometimes pouring down. Breezy – mild in the morning, up to around 12’C, but colder once the heaviest pulses of rain clear, around 6’C – once the colder air arrives, then there will be more sunshine but still some heavy showers possible. Clear spells overnight, a stray shower possible, down to around 3’C.

By Friday we are in this classic Polar Maritime flow.

Sunny spells and showers, perhaps heavy with thunder possible, some interesting cloudscapes (especially now I live in a 17th floor flat!) – and an outside chance of something wintry mixed in, be it hail, sleet or wet snow but mostly everything that falls will be rain. Reaching around 7’C, and windy. Clear spells overnight – a chance of mist/fog forming, and a frost probable for most, down to around 0’C.

Saturday sees sunny spells, fair-weather cloud and a few scattered heavy showers – less around than on Friday. Reaching around 8’C. Mist/fog possible overnight, frost probable but will depend on cloud amounts which are uncertain – temperatures somewhere between -2’C and 3’C.

Low pressure still around on Sunday. Some uncertainty on details, but broadly some cloud, some sunny spells and some scattered showers – around 8’C.

Next week likely starts fairly similar – some sunny spells, variable amounts of cloud, some showers around and generally on the chilly side, though nothing unusual for the time of year, say between 6’C and 8’C. Overnight frosts possible.

More likely as the week goes on we go back into something more unsettled, with strong winds and heavy rain – though not especially high confidence.

Generally March looks like seeing the jetstream further south than normal, so a wetter than normal month with generally average temperatures looks a fair bet.…

Thursday 15th February 2024

We reached 16.9’C today – unusually warm for the time of year. Staying mild with fairly mixed conditions.

Thanks to Sue for the photograph.

Tonight will be cloudy with some showery rain, the odd heavy burst possible, though dry much of the time. Mild, 11’C.

Friday sees high pressure nudge in, though the Atlantic is gearing up with low pressure not far away, and the jetstream strengthening.

Sunny spells and variable amounts of cloud throughout the day, one or two showers bubbling up through the lunchtime period, but otherwise fairly pleasant for February – with longer spells of sunshine likely by late afternoon. Very mild, 14’C is achievable. Clear skies for the first half of the night, more cloud after that. Down to around 5’C.

Saturday looks mostly cloudy, though some hazy sunshine at times is possible, along with the odd splash of light rain. Still very mild, 13’C, maybe 14’C. Some bits of rain in the evening, becoming heavier and more persistent after midnight. No lower than 10’C.

Some uncertainty for Sunday in terms of how quick the overnight rain clears – my semi-educated guess would be late morning, but it could feasibly be anywhere between dawn and mid-afternoon. Sunshine will follow, and temperatures will be very mild – up to 15’C. Assuming the rain clears, the afternoon could be really rather pleasant for February, but I stress the uncertainty on the time the rain clears. Reasonably clear skies overnight for a time, more cloud later, down to around 7’C.

Early cloud on Monday, perhaps a shower, will clear to sunny spells for the rest of the day – again becoming very pleasant but temperatures taking a dip, to a still above-average 11’C. Fairly cloudy overnight, and a chillier night – down to around 3’C, but very give and take.

High pressure hangs on into Tuesday, a lot of cloud around but some hazy sunshine at times. Becoming breezier, and reaching around 11’C, maybe 12’C. Perhaps some rain later in the day – but arrival time uncertain. Probably some rain overnight as a weak weather front crosses – heralding a change.

By Wednesday the jetstream sinks further south, and low pressure heads our way.

Likely a windy day, some uncertainty on the timing of rain – perhaps during the day, perhaps not until night, and staying mild, around 11’C.

Thursday likely remains windy with either rain or showers – likely still mild though.

Friday and into next weekend likely see a cooler flow, with temperatures back down to normal, between 8’C and 10’C. Windy with rain or showers. Colder nights, with a chance of a frost – depending on the location/timing of weather fronts.

Enjoy your weekend…and the mildness.…

Monday 12th February 2024

Staying mild with some rain at times – but not as much as we’ve seen. I read earlier that the CET (Central England Temperature) is 4.1’C above average so far for February, which is quite astonishing.

All the background signals pointed to a colder and drier February than normal – clearly that is not the case. And that isn’t going to change, at least not in the next week or so.

Thanks to Tracy for the photograph.

Tonight sees variable amounts of cloud, a small chance of a shower and a chilly night – down to 3’C.

The general picture for Tuesday sees high pressure over Spain/Portugal ensuring the mild flow continues, with low pressure close by to the UK.

It starts bright, but it will cloud over with showery rain during the afternoon – some heavy bursts possible. Around 10’C and breezy. Showery rain for the first part of the evening, then generally cloudy – again some more showers around from the early hours onwards. Breezy and mild, 11’C.

Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with rain at times, some heavy bursts possible especially mid-morning to early-afternoon, though also there will be dry spells. Mild, if not very mild, 13’C or so and breezy. Staying mild and cloudy overnight, with some showery rain at times – which could occasionally be heavy or briefly very heavy. 12’C.

Thursday should see some hazy sunshine at times, but we’ll remain in the very mild and fairly moist flow – so there will also be some showery rain occasionally, more likely in the afternoon. 14’C, maybe 15’C, and still breezy. A band of showery rain, occasionally heavy, crossing in the evening, perhaps taking until after midnight to clear – clear spells follow. Down to around 9’C.

Friday sees high pressure nudge into the UK from the south-west.

A fair amount of fair-weather cloud at first, one or two scattered showers through the middle part of the day too. But also some sunshine, especially later – and temperatures around 13’C.

Saturday starts bright, but it will gradually cloud over from the west – rain arriving maybe later in the day, maybe evening/overnight – timing TBC. Still very mild, around 13’C or so and the wind increasing once more. Rain likely overnight. Still mild, of course.

Sunday is a bit more uncertain – the trend will be for rain but timing uncertain. Quite possibly staying cloudy after it does – and definitely staying mild/very mild.

Dry and mild/very mild looks the more likely outcome to start next week.

After that I’m wary of forecasting further ahead – firstly my expectations of a colder and drier than normal February, which I canned last week, clearly haven’t come to pass.

The sudden stratospheric warming event may well happen, but whether it will impact our weather remains to be seen – it would have to be something impressive to overcome the Spanish high which is dominating our weather at the moment, likely fed by the exceptional sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic.

If the SSW happens, then less mild weather and more rain would be more likely going into March, with it taking around 2-4 weeks for impacts to be felt from an SSW event, and perhaps some colder weather at times – though overcoming the vast mildness over Europe would be quite something.

If it doesn’t happen, there are no strong signals for our weather in March, as it stands. Except for the Spanish high pressure.…

Friday 9th February 2024

Fairly unsettled ahead.

No suitable photograph so you’ll have to cope with one of mine from cloudy Croydon.

Today will see plenty of heavy showers throughout the day – mostly cloudy at first but there will be some sunny breaks at times as the day goes on. Winds easing and staying mild, around 12’C or so. Still some showers around in the evening but they will fade overnight, some clear spells and getting down to around 6’C.

The general picture into the weekend sees a fairly complex area of low pressure over most of western Europe, including the UK.

However, for Saturday there will be no weather fronts close by, and with little in the way of land convection until spring arrives, it will be fairly dry, despite low pressure in control. That said, there will be a few light/moderate showers dotted around over the lunchtime period, and perhaps first thing. Otherwise not too bad a day, sunny spells, some cloud at times, and mild again – 11’C or so. Cloudier overnight, one or two showers later in the night, and down to around 4’C.

Sunday will be rather cloudy with plenty of showers – some on the heavy side, as low pressure slowly pulls away to the east. A bit of sunshine at times though, around 9’C and breezy. Fairly clear skies overnight, and a chilly night – down to around 2’C, a frost possible in more sheltered spots.

Monday starts sunny. Some fair weather cloud bubbling up, with one or two showers around during the middle part of the day, in the westerly breeze. Probably squeezing 10’C. Uncertain overnight – more likely another chilly night, but a chance of some rain spreading across the south instead.

Fairly low confidence for Tuesday, but the slightly more likely outcome sees cloud and some rain spread across.

Again details a bit uncertain, but more likely for Wednesday and Thursday we see low pressure close by, some rain at times, some wind too – but perhaps the mildness will be the more notable feature – with yet more unusually warm air spreading into Spain, some of this potentially filtering our way, so something between 11’C and 15’C possible.

A lot of uncertainty about the road ahead – I had thought February would be colder and drier than normal, but clearly it is so far milder and wetter than normal! Starting to assume something has changed, but I’m not entirely sure what – so whilst the background signals point to February being colder and drier than normal, this is being over-ridden by some other factor.

So I’m no longer willing to say that colder and drier is the more likely outcome for the rest of February. I’ll try to do some more research over the weekend…perhaps whatever is driving the possible sudden stratospheric warming event that could happen in a week’s time, is also causing the unsettled spell. Or perhaps it is the record warm North Atlantic sea surface temperatures?

Have a good weekend. I better do some work.…

Tuesday 6th February 2024

It’s the return of rain…and an attempt at bringing cold back too.

Thanks to Marina for the photograph.

Today will be mostly cloud – some occasional bits of light rain, and also a little sunshine at times, particularly through the middle part of the day. More general rain arriving around late afternoon/early evening. Windy and mild, 13’C. Rain during the evening – it does look like there will be a squall line mixed in, so 20-30 minutes of very heavy rain and gusty winds, say around 10pm (give or take), otherwise moderate to heavy either side, and the rain clearing around 2/3am, give or take. Mild at first but colder air follows the squall line, down to around 3’C – and winds easing.

The general set-up for Wednesday is fairly emblematic of the battle air – colder air trying to filter down from the north, with low pressure heading in from the south-west. Where they meet, there will be heavy snow – not that far north of here.

Wednesday will be a bright day with hazy sunshine, and varying amounts of cloud. Colder, around 7’C. Cloud thickens overnight with rain arriving after midnight – not impossible that there’s a little sleet at first, but likely it is all rain. Midlands/north have a good chance of a spell of heavy snow. Down to around 4’C.

A wet start for Thursday, with fairly strong winds. This will clear around late morning, give or take, though a lot of cloud will remain, some showers possible, only a little sunshine. Somewhere between 10’C and 12’C (closer to 1’C up north). Further heavy rain spreading north in the evening and overnight, occasionally very heavy – exact timing uncertain. Breezy and around 9’C.

Low pressure remains in charge for Friday – lots of cloud, lots of heavy showers around, and a bit of sunshine. Still likely mild, around 11’C or so – the cold air remains close to our north, so it is pretty fine margins this. Some cloud, some clear spells overnight, the odd shower and around 7’C.

Low pressure still in control for Saturday.

However, as it stands, the focus for the showers looks further west, so I’m hopefully for a reasonably pleasant day – sunny spells, some cloud, a bit of a breeze and the odd shower. Mild too, 11’C. Not said with the highest amount of confidence ever – it wouldn’t take too much for this to change to a cloudier or wetter scenario. Were it April onwards, then convection would fill the gaps and we’d be having beefy showers.

Sunday sees the low pressure start to fade in situ, some sunny spells, some cloud, the odd shower and temperatures around 8’C.

Next week should start to see colder air spread further south, chilly days, frosty nights – generally drier though the odd shower possible.

For the rest of February, colder and drier conditions are more likely than wetter and milder conditions, though that won’t exclude the latter at times.

There are suggestions of another sudden stratospheric warming event – winters with two SSW events are rare, though the previous one was only technically achieved and didn’t have much of an impact down here in the troposphere – arguably if anything it ended our last cold spell in January, though causation is difficult to pinpoint.

If we do get this second SSW, around a 40% chance as it stands, then that will increase the chance of a cold and wintry start to March. Long way to go…though I cannot say it will be of great joy for me as I’ll be back in sunshine seeking mode. At least we have reached the average coldest part of the year, albeit it is unusually mild.

No other real signals for spring yet.…

Friday 2nd February 2024

Cloudy and very mild for a fair few days. Change later next week.

Thanks to Andy for the photograph.

So our weather is still controlled by this large area of high pressure, now centred to the west of France, which is feeding in progressively milder air. And a lot of cloud.

Today will generally be cloudy but mild, quite windy too with a fair westerly breeze. Some occasional glimpses of sunshine possible, more so later in the day. 12’C. Mostly cloudy overnight, a little drizzle possible at times, no lower than around 9’C.

Saturday will again be mostly cloudy, though the odd glimpse of sunshine at times. Some light rain/drizzle possible at times, but mostly it will be dry. Breezy and mild, 13’C. Cloudy overnight, some occasional light rain/drizzle, down to around 10’C.

Sunday will be mostly cloudy once more, bar the odd glimpse of sunshine. Some light rain/drizzle possible at times, more so in the morning. Quite windy and mild, if not very mild – 13’C, maybe 14’C. Fairly cloudy overnight, though a greater chance of some breaks in the cloud, down to around 7’C.

Monday will be mostly cloudy. Some bright/sunny spells possible at times, still quite windy, still mild – roughly between 11’C and 13’C. Mostly cloudy and windy overnight, down to 9’C.

More of the same for Tuesday though signs of change. Again generally cloudy, though more chance of some sunny spells than of late – also a chance of some light rain at times. Windy and very mild, 13’C, maybe 14’C. Windy overnight with rain erratically spreading south-east, which will herald a change. Around 10’C.

Wednesday may start with the weather front still to clear, so a chance of some showery rain at first – the timing of when this clears is uncertain at this stage. It should clear to hazy sunny spells, and temperatures around 9’C. Overnight should see rain cross, heavy at times. I told you a change was on the way.

Low pressure in control for Thursday and Friday next week, as the jetstream sinks south.

Rain or showers will be the theme, windy at times, and it should be mild. However, it looks like colder air will be trying to spill south at the same time – likely not until after at least one low pressure clears away, but it does bring a chance, I stress chance, of some sleet/snow mixed in as low pressure clears either Friday/Saturday next week. One to watch.

Colder and drier conditions are more likely after that, as I have been saying for quite some time now, with overnight frosts likely.

Enjoy the weekend, and the milder weather.…