Thursday 11th January 2024

The gentle Arctic plunge is on for the weekend – but it isn’t the only game in town as low pressure will be trying to move up from the south-west shortly after too.

Could it snow next week? It could, but also it might not. Yes, I will later be giving you another breakdown of possible outcomes for next week…if you prefer being told EXACT SECOND A 6FT BARRAGE OF SNOW HELL DESTROYS BRITIN, then you know where to go for that.

Forecasting is about probabilities, whether that be elections, football scores or the weather.

This forecast is just one person’s opinion based on current (messy) model data and experience of analysing weather models for the past 20 years. I am not always right. I hope you enjoy reading, I mostly enjoy writing (depending on my accuracy) and I never ask for anything. Well, I might need a new job soon (not yet) so maybe I’ll ask if you know any companies looking for a senior software engineer. But apart from that, I hope you enjoy, but please remember I am just one amateur forecaster – there are other sources of forecasting.

And apologies for the opening rant…bad day at the office, wary that this forecast is soon going to get uncertain, and I know everyone wants to know if it will snow or not next week. I don’t know. But it could.

Thanks to Becky for the photograph.

Tonight will be cloudy and down to around 3’C. Frost unlikely except perhaps in the most sheltered spots.

The general picture for Friday sees our high pressure system still over the UK, now centred over Ireland and slipping west.

Friday will be mostly cloudy. A few glimmers of brightness at times, more so in the afternoon. Around 6’C. Mostly cloudy overnight, though a few clear spells towards dawn and temperatures down to around 1’C – a chance of a frost.

Still quite a lot of cloud around on Saturday, though some sunny spells at times. Still on the cold side with the flow turning around to the north, though the breeze still light at this stage. Around 5’C. Some clear spells overnight, though plenty of cloud still. Down to around 1’C, give or take – a frost possible especially in more sheltered spots.

Sunday still has a fair bit of cloud, but there will be more in the way of sunny spells than recent days. An afternoon shower possible, it should be of rain. Around 5’C with the northerly breeze starting to pick up. Clear skies overnight and down to around -3’C as the cold air digs further south.

By Monday, the Arctic plunge is…well…plunging, but also low pressure to our south-west is gathering some energy and trying to push our way. Where wet and mild meet cold – snow could happen depending on the dynamics, but that’s still a day or two away at this stage.

Monday itself will just be cold and sunny – temperatures struggling to 2’C at best, with a notable wind chill from the northerly breeze. Most likely clear skies overnight with a fairly sharp frost, down to around -4’C, perhaps lower – though there is a small chance of a little feature developing with something cloudier and slightly less cold spreading down from the north-west – perhaps even with a light dusting of snow.

Tuesday is where things get messy. First there is the possible overnight feature – which looks like it will be much further north, but this is a long way from being modelled well. Then there is our approaching low from the south-west. More likely Tuesday is sunny and cold, around 3’C – but that feature and the approaching low mean I’m not especially confident.

Overnight is the first time that this low to our south-west could arrive, bringing snow or a snow-to-rain event (perhaps just rain but not likely mild enough before it arrives)

However, the low pressure could easily stay to our south – and it just stays cold.

Wednesday depends on the track that the low pressure system takes. So it could be cold and dry, it could be heavy snow, it could be snow turning to rain (or it snowed overnight and then turns to rain).

For the rest of next week, attempts to bring milder conditions from the west will continue – and the balance of probability in terms of what falls from the sky will gradually become more likely rain than snow, especially by next weekend.

The following week (w/c 22nd January) is more likely unsettled and mild, but cold weather should return either for the end of January or beginning of February.

A substantial and lengthy cold spell is plausible. Rarely have I seen so many background signals pointing to colder than normal weather, for this time of year.

Just to summarise the possible snow event – around a 25% chance of a spell of heavy snow, either Tuesday night or during Wednesday. It’s unlikely the models will get a good handle on the track for another few days – maybe we will have confidence by Sunday.

Enjoy your weekend…apologies again for being a bit ranty.

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