Monday 1st February 2021

The ongoing battle between much colder air to our north-east, and milder/wetter weather to our south-west will continue this week – and all month in all likelihood.

Milder for a time this week with some rain – but at the end of the week and into the weekend much colder air tries to spill down from the north-east, at the same time as some unusually warm air spreads up from Africa, taking a path through Sardinia. The cold probably wins – and where the air masses meet, there will be significant snow.

But where will air masses meet? It could be northern England, it could be northern France – or it could be somewhere in between. You might even see the b-word mentioned in due course.

Expect a lot of uncertainty in this forecast, after the first few days.

Thanks to Kate for the photograph – had rather a few good ones, but the wettest one is the most appropriate.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, rain spreading across roughly 11pm to 5am – heavy for a time too. Chilly to start but picking up to around 7’C by the end of the night.

Tuesday’s weather charts almost look like a normal autumnal winter with low pressure and mild air. This isn’t a normal winter though.

Early rain will quickly clear, some sunshine follows for the morning though the odd shower possible. More heavy showers look like spreading up from the south-west during the afternoon – showers so not guarantee of catching one, but more likely catching a few, and they might merge into a short spell of general heavy rain. Quite windy and much milder, 13’C. Showers still possible in the evening, but becoming dry overnight and around 5’C.

Wednesday is uncertain – and we aren’t even at the uncertain part of the forecast. It looks like a small secondary low is going to develop and spread north-east – it could be over northern France, leaving us dry and bright – a shower possible. The slightly more likely outcome is that we do get a spell of rain during the morning, and brighter after. Around 9’C. Clear spells and chilly overnight, down to around 2’C.

Thursday is a day of sunshine and showers. More sunshine in the morning, fewer showers. Showers likely to become frequent and heavy in the afternoon, perhaps merging into general showery rain. Around 10’C. Becoming dry overnight, a small chance of fog developing, around 5’C.

Friday sees low pressure still hanging around – colder air trying to move in from the north-east but at the moment it shouldn’t win out, as the low pressure will probably be in an awkward position.

Not much happening, quite a bit of cloud, a bit of sun, the odd shower around. 7’C. Probably cloudy overnight, but uncertain – if clear then except a frost instead.

Saturday should start to see it get colder from the east – ish. Not really sure on weather conditions, I’d approximate at something similar to Friday with variable cloud, a bit of sun and some showers around – they should still be of rain, with temperatures close to 5’C – but certainly possible it could be colder, and hence wintry. Uncertain overnight – cold, frosty if clear skies, but cloudy with wintry showers possible instead. Becoming quite windy.

Sunday is not a signed deal by any stretch of the imagination. It is possible that low pressure is still over the UK, with average temperatures and some bits of rain. Vaguely possible that low pressure cleared much further south, and it is really cold but sunny, the odd snow flurry possible.

However the most likely outcome at around a 60% chance, is low pressure to be close to our south with snow showers feeding in on an easterly wind – perhaps even a general spell of snow. Cold, around 2’C but feeling much colder in the wind. Cloudy overnight, further snow showers possible, down to around -1’C.

I stress again for Monday that cold is the most likely outcome at around a 60% chance, but it could be average temperatures with some showery rain instead. But the most likely outcome sees further snow showers, with temperatures around 0’C.

In general, the most likely outcome for next week keeps it cold with snow showers possible at times, with overnight frost and ice.

Weather fronts will likely attempt to bring milder conditions from the south-west at some point, but at this stage impossible to know when or whether they would succeed – they could easily just bump into the cold air and bring more general snow. If the cold spell endures for a while, I’d expect it to gradually become mostly dry with severe overnight frosts.

It is impossible to know is the length of the cold spell, assuming it happens. It could just last a few days, or it could last a week or two…or even longer. I’m kind of assuming that we will at least see some mild and wet weather at times during February – though they may be viewed more as interruptions from the cold spell.

And if we fail with the cold and snow for this coming weekend – that doesn’t mean that it won’t be cold with snow during next week.

I’ll be back on Thursday. Potentially it could be a very interesting forecast to make…it could turn out to be one of those winter spells that people talk about for years. We shall see…a notable cold spell is quite likely, but far from a done deal.

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