Monday 18th January 2021

Back to wet. Back to reality.

We stay in the similar pattern of late, with alternating colder, drier and milder, wetter air sources – though cold remains the dominant theme.

And wherever the boundary between the milder, wetter air and the colder, drier air happens to be will see some significant snowfall. This boundary is always more likely to be further north than us, but we are in the game. Like it or not, we have a ticket to the snow raffle.

Thanks to Tracy for the photograph – evidence that it did snow down south this winter!

This evening and overnight will see showery outbreaks of rain spreading from the west – rain more persistent around midnight and in the few hours after. Windy and becoming milder too, 10’C by the end of the night.

Tuesday sees milder weather to the south/south-west – colder weather to the north, low pressure stuck in between.

Tuesday will be rather cloudy and windy. Some brightness at times but fairly limited, some bits of rain also but nothing of note. 10’C. Later in the afternoon and into the evening, more general showery rain spreading across again from the west. Strong winds too, 10’C.

Wednesday remains cloudy, mild and windy, with further showery rain on and off all day – some light, some heavyish. 10’C. The rain becoming heavy or very heavy for a spell either evening or overnight before it clears – clearer and colder air following, down to 3’C.

For Thursday we are back in the colder air, though nothing especially so yet at 8’C. Starting sunny, cloud will thicken somewhat as the day goes on – perhaps a bit of rain by late afternoon but uncertain if it will get this far north. Still a chance of a bit of rain in the evening, but becoming clear overnight – down to around 0’C with a frost for some.

Friday sees us in a slack northerly flow. Sunny spells, a small chance of a shower, 6’C. Probably dry overnight – fog and/or frost possible.

The weekend remains cold but details are otherwise uncertain. Areas of showers could cross at some point, more likely rain but sleet/snow possible instead. Temperatures between 3’C and 5’C by day, frost likely overnight, ice possible.

Most likely the colder air hangs on for another day on Monday, before milder weather with some wind and rain spreads up from the south-west either Monday night or during Tuesday.

And then at some point next week, colder weather should spread back down from the north. And then it will go mild again…then cold again…you get the picture I’m sure!

I do think as we get into February, milder, wetter spells will probably last longer than colder, drier spells – and I expect a trend to drier (and mild?) by the latter part of February.

I am also increasingly confident that the SSW event that occurred on 5th January will not lead to Beast From The East conditions – the stratospheric polar vortex is weakened rather than split, and without it being split, I think Beast From The East conditions are much less likely. That is my reading of it anyway. Further stratospheric warmings are possible, so a split to the weakened vortex could happen further down the line but nothing is imminent in terms of chances of a post-SSW severe cold spell like 2013 or 2018.

Perhaps the eventual outcome from the SSW event will be a colder than normal spring? It’s pencilled into my expectations but more time and research required.

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