Thursday 14th January 2021

The battle between cold and mild continues – though cold will mostly win for now. Expect a bit of everything that is usual for the time of year over the next week or so – and yes, there is another marginal rain/snow event…the joys of forecasting!

No photograph this week.

It will be fairly cloudy tonight, any early light rain will fade, a frost in places, the odd pocket of fog, but mostly just cloudy and cold. Down to around 0’C, some ice possible.

Friday starts rather cloudy, but with some brightness. Cloud generally will lesson, more in the way of sunshine, albeit hazy as the day goes on. Cold, 4’C. A frost at first overnight, down to around -2’C, but temperatures pick up a tad overnight as cloud thickens with some light…rain…arriving before dawn as a weather front arrives.

Saturday sees this weather front bump into the cold air, and it is certainly possible that we see a spell of 1-2 hours of sleet or snow in the early part of the morning, perhaps a temporary slushy covering. Very marginal, as it always has been this winter, but I think more likely than not. It will turn back to rain fairly quickly, and clear by mid/late afternoon. Around 6’C by time the rain has cleared. Variable amounts of cloud overnight – probably too much cloud for a frost, down to around 2’C.

Sunday sees a ridge of high pressure over the UK. Some sunny spells, albeit generally quite hazy. 6’C. Variable cloud overnight, a frost in places – down to 0’C, give or take.

Monday sees low pressure approaching from both the south-west, and north – the former with the mild air and the latter with the colder air. The milder air wins this time.

Monday itself looks dry, some sunshine, some cloud. Sunshine generally rather hazy. 6’C. Overnight sees some rain, freshening winds, and a tad milder, 8’C.

Tuesday looks windy with rain at times – some heavy. Some dry spells in between. Windy in a fairly mild south-westerly – 10’C. Outbreaks of rain still possible overnight – uncertain as to when the low pressure clears east.

For Wednesday, a cooler flow from the north-west takes back over. Sunny spells, probably dry – just a very small chance of a stray shower, around 6’C. Breezy also. Chilly overnight – at the moment it looks most likely to be too windy for a frost. Around 2’C.

Thursday looks cool and windy – sunny spells, a small chance of a stray shower. Around 6’C.

Probably cold or fairly cold for Friday and into next weekend.

That’s about as far as I can go with reasonable confidence – everything is very much up in the air for medium-term weather forecasting thanks to the sudden-stratospheric warming event from 5th January, which is still not fully resolved or understood in terms of its implications for the troposphere (our level of the atmosphere).

What I do know is that the polar vortex did not split – like it did in 2013 or 2018 – it was merely displaced and significantly weakened.

So my best reading at the moment is that the chance of a “Beast From The East” type event is low. However, the chance of further cold weather from the north, similar to what we’ve been seeing over the last few weeks is quite reasonable.

Generally, I think the most likely outcome for the next few weeks is something similar to the current pattern of cold weather trying to push down from the north, milder air (with rain) pushing up from the south-west. Where the two air masses meet, there will often be significant snowfall but that is more likely to be north England or Scotland – but it still could happen at our level.

I’d suggest therefore that wetter than normal is most likely in the medium term, and generally becoming milder more often as the pattern tends to shift north – to the point for the latter part of February where we are fairly dry and probably mild, with the rain to our north.

There is high uncertainty however, so I’m low in confidence. I’ve seen model output with 14’C daytime temperatures for 2 weeks time – and also output with -5’C daytime temperatures! Make of that what you will. My assumption is that the SSW is playing havoc with the models, and I’m not too trusting of them at the moment.

I do also have a suspicion that the SSW may imprint on our weather patterns into spring, and lead to more northerly flows than normal – ie more cold weather in spring. Sorry. But as I said, very low confidence of anything going into the future.…

Wednesday 13th January 2021 – Rain Update

Just a little update on the rain and possible back-edge sleet/snow.

Rain will become persistent again late evening and at times overnight, some heavy. Further rain will continue at times tomorrow – sometimes light, sometimes heavy.

By mid-afternoon, there is a reasonable chance that it will turn to sleet or wet snow. There’s still a fair range of uncertainty – the rain might be too far east by time it “could” turn to sleet/wet snow, or it could have faded and be too light, by time the colder air digs in. Or maybe

But still, I think there is a fair chance of some sleet or wet snow falling as the rain clears, most likely somewhere between mid-afternoon and early evening. Height an advantage as always, and the further north and east you are, again a slight advantage.

I would be surprised if anything settled. It’s all very marginal, but very slightly marginal in favour of at least seeing some wintriness fall.…

Monday 11th January 2021

So we are in a bit of a battle between somewhat milder air to the west, and colder air to the north and east. Milder air (with rain) will win temporarily to start the week, but colder air will quickly return. And then it gets complicated.

Of course, where rain meets cold, it can turn to snow. For us down here it is unlikely – the battleground should, this week at least, be further north – say midlands or north of England.

Again, tricky forecasting this week – mild and cold air will be fairly close to each other, so the difference of say 50 miles could make a great deal of difference to the weather – and 50 miles a few days out in atmospheric terms is really quite tiny. So don’t be surprised if some of this is wrong.

Thanks to Laurie for the photograph of a frosty scene from last week.

Tonight will be cloudy with outbreaks of rain spreading down from the north – more persistent in the early hours. 8’C.

Tuesday starts cloudy with a bit of patchy rain. This will clear south, and slowly the sun will increasingly shine.

Starting quite mild at around 9’C but colder air filtering down from the north during the day and temperatures will drop to around 4’C by mid-afternoon. A frost to start the night, down to around -1’C, but cloud will thicken with some patchy light rain from the early hours, and temperatures tick up a bit.

Wednesday morning start cold and wet, the rain becoming heavier and more persistent. As the morning goes on, the rain edges east, temperatures increase as the mild air probably arrives, up to around 10’C. I say probably for the mild air, as it is a close call – on current modelling it will be around 3’C just 40-50 miles to our north-east. The rain also becomes generally patchier and lighter in the afternoon.

During the evening, the band of more persistent rain edges west – or perhaps technically backfills, so further persistent and fairly heavy rain is likely – but again some uncertain on how far west, though I think we should expect it. Probably still in the milder air overnight, but uncertain.

Thursday is likely to see further rain at times, some heavy, as the weather front erratically moves east. It could easily rain for much of the day – clearance time is very uncertain, and there is a small chance of a little back edge sleet or wet snow before it clears – SMALL chance! Temperatures uncertain, more likely in the mild sector to start, say 9’C but dropping later in the day. Cloudy and cold overnight, the odd spot of light rain possible at first, down to around 2’C. Fog possible.

For Friday we are back in cold and dry. There should be some sunshine, but don’t expect too much. Around 5’C. A frost possible at first in the evening, depending on cloud amounts, but cloud thickening as the night goes on and temperatures picking up a tad.

Confidence significantly reduces for the weekend, but the most likely outcome is:

Saturday sees rain crossing. It should be rain, but some wintriness either before or after rain cannot be ruled out. Uncertain on weather front timing and temperatures at this stage.

Sunday dry with some sunshine. Cool or cold, somewhere between 5’C and 8’C.

The most likely outcome for next week is to see cold air spreading down from the north again. Too early to be certain and too early to know whether there could be snow in the mix, or whether just dry. It could well be very, erm, interesting.

Also worth noting by which point we would be 2 weeks from the sudden stratospheric warming event on 5th January, and we often get significant cold spells starting somewhere between 2-4 weeks after. Whether this is a response from the SSW, or is just a continuation of the previous weather patterns I have no idea.

Until the fallout from the SSW is determined, there is no point really in looking further ahead. Even 5 days away is tricky in post-SSW circumstances, let alone a couple of weeks or a couple of months as I like to do.

I wish you an acceptable week.…

Thursday 7th January 2021

Staying cold. But a bit less cold at times.

Thanks to Caroline for the photograph. Much shorter introduction this time, huh?

Mostly cloudy and cold tonight, some mist or freezing fog in places, a small chance of a light snow shower and down to around -3’C.

Friday starts cloudy – some freezing fog in places. Generally staying cloudy all day, a small chance of a sleet or snow shower, which could give a very slight covering – but no higher than a 20% chance, most showers should be further north and west of our area. A little brightness at times in the afternoon. Around 2’C. Clear spells overnight, down to around -3’C, so frosty, perhaps icy, with freezing fog forming in some places also.

Saturday sees high pressure trying to squeeze in from the west.

Good sunny spells once any fog clears, and around 4’C. Clear and frosty overnight, down to around -3’C – perhaps colder, especially in more sheltered spots. Freezing fog a risk again.

Sunday may start foggy, but this should clear into sunny spells, albeit hazy. Cloudy at times from late morning, but bright at other times. Still cold, 3’C. Likely frosty overnight, with fog a risk once more, but a bit of uncertainty over cloud amounts – assuming down to around -2’C, but if more cloudy then maybe a shade above 0’C.

Monday looks fairly cloudy. A bit of brightness at times, but generally staying mostly cloudy. The odd spot of light rain possible later. Becoming less cold, around 5’C by the end of the day in a light westerly breeze. Cloudy overnight with some showery rain – not amounting to that much, 7’C.

Tuesday is uncertain, but the more likely outcome is that the overnight weather front is still hanging around, bringing a cloudy day with some occasional rain. Low confidence though. Around 8’C.

I cannot actually give you any more details from here I’m afraid – I’m even tempted to delete what I wrote about Tuesday!

I’m stumped as to how the low pressure develops from Monday night and whether it re-introduces colder air from the north, or stays mild and wet for a couple of days.

Overall, I think we are going into a changeable pattern, swapping milder conditions with rain at times to colder, drier conditions with frost/fog overnight. But what part of the changeable pattern we will be in for Wednesday and the subsequent days is not certain.

But even the changeable pattern I am not yet convinced by – it could instead remain fairly cold and dry.

The SSW event doesn’t help with the short-term uncertainty – the model runs have become notably unstable over the last few days with some rather different output every time they are run.

And there is no update on how the SSW is going to play out – I don’t think enough damage has been done to the stratospheric polar vortex yet to change my previously expected weather patterns for late January and February to a significant cold spell.

But there are further warming events expected which could do enough damage. We shall see.…

Monday 4th January 2021

It is from the east…but it isn’t a beast.

I know I come across as pro-snow and not everyone is so keen – in fact, snow and particularly ice can be dangerous to those with mobility issues, for example. Really, I am pro-weather. I want snow, I want storms, I want thunderstorms, I want heatwaves (well now I have an air conditioning unit anyway), I want warm sunny spring days, I want heavy rain and gales…I just want a bit of drama really.

So please forgive me if I get a little excited sometimes about weather that may not be ideal for you – I do try to minimise my bias but don’t always manage it.

Last week’s and this week’s general synoptics have been the best for snow fans in midwinter for years, yet most precipitation has and will be rain. This does go to reinforce just how difficult it is to get snow in our area, but also makes me wonder if things really have changed.

I don’t have the answer – I know that there were no pools of deep cold to tap into, and the seas to our north were warmer than normal and to the east much warmer than normal. It was always very marginal, but I would normally have expected snow, in late December or early January from the set-up that we have had and still have.

What is a cold spell without snow? One you won’t remember in a couple of years. Anyway, it remains cold this week and there is still a chance of snow…a chance. Gosh that was a long introduction…you can tell that I have dinner in the fridge that only needs warming up.

Thanks to Dean for the photograph.

Tonight will be rather cloudy, breezy and cold, one or two showers in the wind which will mostly be rain, but could fall as sleet or snow towards dawn. Down to around 0’C, frost in places and possibly ice.

For Tuesday we are in this cold easterly flow, albeit a slightly moderated flow given that it originates in the warm south-east Meditteranean.

Generally cloudy but some brightness at times, some fairly light showers possible which should be of rain. Cold and windy, 4’C. Mostly cloudy overnight, light showers still possible, down to around 2’C.

Wednesday starts cloudy, but we should see increasing amounts of sunshine as the day goes on. Still cold but wind lighter, 4’C – the odd stray light shower still possible. Clear spells and frosty overnight, down to around -2’C.

For Thursday we swing back to more of a northerly flow – some reasonable sunny spells, some cloud floating around but a tad colder, 3’C. Overnight starts frosty – a weak weather front may arrive from the north around dawn bringing a chance of a little snow – but very uncertain at this stage. Down to around -2’C.

There is a chance of a weather system bringing a bit of sleet or snow on Friday – but way too early to have a handle on this, and could be a total non-event. It will still be cold, 3’C at best. Uncertainty on cloud amounts overnight, but if enough clear spells then expect a frost and down to around -4’C – but if cloudier skies then closer to 0’C. Fog possible.

Saturday sees a little slither of high pressure build in from the west – the start of a change to something less cold.

But still cold for Saturday, probably sunny spells and dry, but details uncertain. Around 3’C. Probably clear spells with a frost overnight, down to around -4’C – though some uncertainty on cloud amounts again.

Sunday looks settled. Details uncertain though more likely on the cloudy side. Low confidence on any details really. 4’C.

It probably remains cold and mostly dry next week. Some cloud, some sun, some frost, some fog. It should be a bit less cold than this week.

From there, who knows.

It looks like a major sudden stratospheric warming event will be declared either today or tomorrow. As I keep mentioning, SSW events are often followed by significant cold spells in the UK, ie February/March 2018 or March 2013. They give roughly a 65% chance.

Currently this looks like a displacement event, where the polar vortex in the stratosphere is displaced – which tends to be less likely to provide a significant cold spell for the UK, but still a greater chance then just our usual climate would allow for – depending on where the displaced vortex goes.

However, further to that, it is currently being modelled that there could be a further warming event in the stratosphere around 15th January, which would cause a split of the polar vortex – which is what you really want, if you are pro-snow, like myself.

So, in less words, the initial SSW event today/tomorrow probably won’t affect our weather in a pro-snow way, but a further stratospheric warming, if it happens, probably would.

The very earliest that a major cold spell could start, I would suggest is the very end of January. But don’t expect me to have the answer to how the SSW will affect us down in the troposphere for another week or so.

And remember – it doesn’t always lead to a significant cold spell. The last major SSW was in January 2019. An unusually warm February followed (I don’t know whether this was related to the SSW or just co-incidence).

Guess I should warm my dinner up.…

Thursday 31st December 2020

Staying cold.

What? Yes, I am writing a weather forecast. Yes, I know it is New Year’s Eve. I haven’t got anything else to do. Have you?!

Oh what a year. The heatwave in summer, the 3rd hottest day ever recorded, the long and glorious spring (even if I did spend it enviously watching furloughed neighbours sunbathing whilst I carried on working). The never-ending rain in February, that soaking weekend in October and now the coldest December in years. Oh and all the thunderstorms that miraculously missed where I live.

What was your highlight? I think I’d go for the long, glorious spring myself.

Still no wintry photographs…thanks to Zara for this one.

We still have pretty crazy synoptics with the polar vortex disorganised and on the other side of the hemisphere from us – yet still very marginal when it comes to whether it will rain or snow. But mostly dry for a few days so I don’t have to worry about being too wrong about rain/snow until next week.

Though don’t be surprised if there is a short-notice wintry surprise that isn’t in my forecast – things tend to pop up at short

Tonight will see some clear spells, some cloud at times and there will be a frost. Down to around -3’C, colder in more sheltered spots. A small chance of fog forming.

Friday may start bright, it may start foggy – but either way it will soon become just cloudy and dull. A small chance of a shower in the afternoon, more likely rain or sleet – but snow is possible. Cold, 3’C. Cloudy overnight and staying a little above zero – but a frost possible around dawn as cloud clears south.

Saturday starts with early cloud, this should clear to sunny spells but the timing of this is uncertain. Cloud will bubble up at times, the odd stray wintry shower is possible but unlikely. Still cold, 4’C at a push but does depend on a bit of sunshine. Some clear spells overnight with a frost, but some cloud at times also, especially towards dawn. Down to around -1’C, but could be a couple of degrees either way if more/less cloud.

Sunday sees an easterly wind set in – an easterly wind in early January surely means colder, right?

Well, almost always an easterly in January would make it colder, but this will have origins from the south-east Mediterranean and be crossing a warmer than normal North Sea. So it will be slightly less cold – but don’t get excited, it will feel colder with a fairly biting wind chill.

So Sunday looks rather cloudy. A bit of sunshine at times and a few scattered showers in the easterly wind. They should be of rain, but I wouldn’t rule out something wintry. Around 5’C but feeling colder due to the breeze. Similar overnight, but dropping to around 1’C and showers more likely sleet or wet snow.

Monday will be cloudy, the easterly wind will be stronger and it looks like some more general showery fairly light rain will spread across from the east. 4’C but feeling much colder. Similar overnight, a tad colder, and showers should still be rain but more questionable – I wouldn’t rule out something wintry.

Tuesday remains mostly cloudy and cold in the easterly wind. A bit more brightness and probably less showers – those that get through should be fairly light also – oh and probably rain. 4’C. Cold and windy overnight, a frost possible and still one or two showers around – perhaps more likely to be sleet or snow.

Wednesday – similar to Monday and Tuesday.

From Thursday onwards it stays cold and probably gets a bit colder. Otherwise details uncertain.

Yeah, I’ve had enough.

Sudden stratospheric warming event is happening by the way. It is on and should be official by 5th January. Still to be determined what form it takes, and then how it affects us down here in the troposphere.

We should see major impacts on our weather by the end of January – it is not a guarantee of a significant cold spell – but gives around a 65% chance. We had one prior to the very cold March in 2013, we had one prior to the Beast From The East in 2018. We also had one in January 2019 – nothing happened. Well, we had that warmest ever February spell…which may or may not have been related to the SSW.

Which leaves me to wish you a…new year. We will get a new year. I’m not setting any other expectations. I just hope for some exciting weather.

I’m already dreaming of that first warm spring day where I can sit in my front garden with my shorts on, having a beer. And please, a decent thunderstorm in 2021 – after some snow. Oh my word, how about thundersnow? That would be amazing for 2021. Yeah, I’m already wishing for too much…it might not even snow despite the best mid-winter synoptics for years.…

Monday 28th December 2020

We are at the beginning of a cold spell, and it could potentially be a memorable spell. Though I tend to find that cold spells only tend to become memorable when there is snow involved. And there are several chances of snow this week – but only chances, all of them far from guaranteed.

This will be a difficult forecast, though as the cold weather itself was forecasted weeks in advance, the details in terms of snow possibilities will be really tricky – and close to nowcasting events.

Two main difficulties – exactly where small features bringing potential snow (or rain) will track, and as I just alluded to, whether precipitation does fall as rain, sleet, snow or a mixture – things are very marginal in terms of temperatures, dew points, etc – and will remain so this week. Though perhaps colder next week, but more on next week later.

Thanks to Lisa for the wintry photograph.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, a bit of mist or patchy fog possible but most will avoid this, and a slight frost in places by dawn, around 0’C or just under.

For Tuesday we are in this cold northerly flow with low pressure close to our east.

It will be mostly cloudy – one or two scattered wintry showers during early morning, around a 30% chance of catching one, then another cluster of wintry showers heading down from the north in the afternoon – though these look more likely to be to our west as things stand. A little brightness at times, and catch a morning shower and there could be a temporary slight covering of snow. Cold and breezy, 4’C. Clear spells overnight, though some cloud later in the night – down to around -1’C and frosty for most.

Wednesday morning will be cold with hazy sunshine. An area of rain with snow on its northern flank will slip down from the north-west in the afternoon – the exact track is very uncertain, but if we are on the northern edge there should be some snow falling – this is currently the slightly more likely outcome. Even if it is a bit further north than currently projected, and therefore is rain when it arrives, there is a good chance that it will turn to snow. Either outcome could see 1-5cm of snow accumulating.

If it is quite a bit further north than currently projected, then it will be rain – it could also be further south (second most likely of the four outcomes) and we remain dry but cold.

Around 4’C by day and -2’C overnight. Ice possible.

So Wednesday’s potential snow was barely showing on the models yesterday – we are looking at 48 to 72 timeframes in terms of developing features so uncertainty really is high from Thursday onwards, in terms of potential snow.

New Year’s Eve remains cold, if anything colder – especially if there is snow on the ground. Sunny spells, cloud at times (especially afternoon), the odd scattered wintry shower. 3’C and breezy. There are suggestions of an area of snow spreading down from the north or north-east either evening or overnight, but this is just an early suggestion. Around 0’C overnight if snowing – or down to around -3’C if clear. Ice very possible.

New Year’s Day remains cold with sunny spells and chances of wintry showers – though lower chances than previous days as it currently stands. 3’C, though perhaps a tad lower if there is lying snow. Uncertain overnight – either cloudy with a bit of rain/snow or frosty.

Saturday is still cold – I hope you will be getting used to it at this point. A fairly slack NNE flow with high pressure fairly close to the west.

Details uncertain, but arguably more likely dry than not, and around 4’C.

Sunday similar, though a slightly increased chance of wintry showers. It remains cold – whatever!

Next week will be cold, perhaps verging on the very cold – though I guess the definition between cold and very cold is woolly, I don’t have a strict definition in mind – maybe 0’C by day would be very cold?

The most likely evolution is for either an easterly or north-easterly, and further snow showers or spells of general snow would be likely at times. I cannot rule out rain instead, but snow more likely.

A somewhat less likely evolution would see high pressure close to or over the UK, bringing cold, settled conditions – with harsh overnight frosts and freezing fog possible.

Where do we go from here?

Well I forecasted the cold spell for the end of December, and to last into the very first part of January, as part of my winter weather forecast that I wrote at the beginning of December. I then expected a return to mild and wet conditions.

I am now doubtful as to whether we will return to mild and wet conditions in January – the tropospheric polar vortex that brings our mild and wet winters is completely disrupted, the Atlantic jetstream is far to our south, La Niña and other background signals still favour a continuation of the cold too – if anything background signals favour an intensification of the cold in January.

And this is before the sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event that is now likely, somewhere between 5th and 12th January, which would give a good chance of a significant cold spell to follow, normally starting within 2-4 weeks of the SSW event, though I’ve seen some people more knowledgeable than me suggesting that lead time would be even shorter.

I do expect an attempt to assert milder conditions from the south-west during January. The earliest possible attempt would be around 7th January – unlikely but possible. I’d suggest the attempt more likely in the period between 10th January to 14th January, but any attempt at mild conditions from low pressure bumping into cold weather would at least start with heavy snow.

And even if mild does win for a while, I fully expect further cold conditions to return either late January or into February, assuming the SSW falls in our favour for cold.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself – there are plenty of snow chances ahead, not just this week but in the week or two that follows, and if none of them actually happen you’ll be wondering what I was on about – and perhaps just think it was a bit colder than normal.

But there certainly is now a chance that this could be one of those more memorable winters.…

Monday 28th December 2020 – Rain/Snow Update

So the thin band of rain, sleet and snow is to our west, lying north to south. It is starting to pivot so will be laying more diagonally across the country by late morning, and our area should be involved, most likely a little later this morning and through to early afternoon – by late afternoon the thin band of rain, sleet and snow should be to our south, lying west to east.

Some places under the weather front are reporting rain, others wet snow, so precipitation type is just an educated guess, I’d suggest rain is most likely for now, especially if the precipitation is light, but towards lunchtime if the rain becomes heavier, it should more readily turn to sleet or wet snow.

I could easily be wrong though!

Also it is showery in nature. Full update later…not sure when I’ll do it.…

Thursday 24th December 2020

So it’s Christmas Eve and it is actually cold. What a strange year this has been – a cold spell near Christmas, how unusual. And this cold spell will last into the start of January too.

Quite an unusual winter set-up and it has been for a while. Most winters we have a well-organised polar vortex, generally close to Greenland, with a strong jetstream bringing lots of low pressure systems from west to east.

This December we have a very disorganised polar vortex, with the strongest part and strongest ribbon of jetstream on the opposite side of the earth to us. The Atlantic is quiet – blocked with high pressure reaching into Greenland.

And this means that we now have a northerly flow, and this will be set in for a couple of weeks. No deep cold close enough to our north to tap into, so things cold but marginal in terms of snow, at least for us in lowland southern Britain.

I would be surprised if we don’t see snow falling at some point in this cold spell, and significant, disruptive snowfall is within the realms of possibility – but won’t be forecasted until closer to the time. I think I can forecast 4 days tops at the moment in terms of details. After that is just general theme (cold) and potential frost/fog/snow/sleet/rain.

Rather a long introduction – I don’t have any new photographs but I don’t think I’ve used this one from Paul yet. With a bit of luck, I might have some more seasonal photographs for next week’s forecasts.

So today will be cold in the northerly wind. Sunny spells, especially this morning, more cloud this afternoon but still some sunshine. A very small chance of a shower afternoon/evening, which could be wintry – but only a very small chance. 5’C at best. Wind fading overnight, fairly clear with a frost, down to around -2’C.

Christmas Day will be sunny but cold. Becoming a bit hazy in the afternoon but still bright. 4’C. Down to around -1’C at first in the evening, but temperatures ticking up gradually overnight as cloud thickens and the wind picks up, 5’C by dawn.

Boxing Day will be mostly cloudy and windy, with bits of occasional light (ish) rain – though dry much of the time. A little brightness at times also, and around 9’C. Wind continuing to strengthen overnight – gusts of over 50mph could cause some isolated damage. Rain becoming persistent and heavy too.

Sunday starts with heavy rain and strong winds – a bit of uncertainty over when this will clear, any time from 6am to midday. There is the potential for a squall line on the back edge, bringing a brief spell of very heavy rain, squally winds – possible hail/thunder also – the squall line element uncertain at this stage. Once this clears we’ll be looking at sunny spells and a small chance of a shower – which should still be of rain, if you catch one. 6’C but feeling colder. Frost possibly overnight, but this depends on the position of weather fronts.

And that is where my ability to provide details ends. So short, I know.

The general picture then is low pressure sat over the UK, with fairly cold air having filtered down from the north.

Weather fronts will move around the edge of the low, bringing a risk of more persistent rain, sleet or snow – but where they will be and when is impossible to know at this stage.

Other features will develop within the flow, bringing wintry showers too – but again this is too far out. I think we won’t know until around 24-48 hours before any particular day, what the chance of rain/sleet/snow is.

Until then, it is just potential.

Certainly it will be cold. Temperatures broadly in the range of 2’C to 6’C by day, with overnight frosts on the nights when we have clear skies.

Should we get a notable snowfall that settles, then this will reduce expected temperatures, and therefore feedback into an increased chance of further snow as the cold spell progresses. Freezing fog will also be possible – which could also mean daytime temperatures close to 0’C should this occur.

As I said earlier, I will be surprised if we don’t see snow falling at some point in this cold spell.

Right, I’m off to go enjoy the completion of my self-isolation period and buy some bread. And possibly wine.

I wish you all a Merry (ish) Christmas, or if you don’t celebrate Christmas then I wish you a pleasant extended weekend.

Next full forecast will be on Monday, but I’ll update you before then on any wintry potential when it becomes clearer…if it does!…