Thursday 21st December 2023

It’s the last forecast before Christmas and it isn’t very interesting – broadly speaking, mild and windy with only bits of rain – becoming cooler and more unsettled after Christmas.

Thanks to Kate for the photograph.

So tonight will be cloudy and fairly windy, the odd splash of light rain at times. The rain a bit more persistent later in the night, but still light/moderate. Down to around 8’C.

The general set-up sees a large area of low pressure to our south-west – with the jetstream fairly strong to our north, and hence the windy and mild weather.

Friday starts cloudy – some bits of light rain but this will fade. Mostly it stays cloudy, and windy, but there may be a bit of brightness at times. Around 11’C. Cloudy and fairly windy overnight, perhaps a bit of drizzle, down to around 7’C.

Saturday will be cloudy and fairly windy, perhaps a bit of light rain or drizzle at times too. Around 11’C, maybe 12’C. Cloudy and windy overnight, a weak weather front will bring something in the way of showery rain from late evening onwards – mostly light/moderate so amounts minimal. Down to around 9’C.

Christmas Eve will be cloud and windy – some notably strong gusts at times. Some bits and pieces of mostly light rain around at times. Mild, 13’C. Cloudy with outbreaks of mostly light rain overnight, still windy but nothing to stop Santa, still around 12’C.

Christmas Day will see outbreaks of rain at some point – though some uncertainty on timing. It could be morning, it could be on and off all day, it could be evening, or it could be morning and evening. The rain generally light to moderate. Quite windy and still mild at around 13’C.

Uncertainty certainly increasing by Boxing Day, but the more likely outcome is for a bright, perhaps sunny day (remember that stuff?) but cooler, around 8’C. Some uncertainty as to when the next low pressure system arrives – perhaps later on Boxing Day, but more likely overnight or the day after.

Wednesday and Thursday, potentially wet and windy, but a lot of uncertainty as to the track of this low pressure and how it will develop in general. It could even be a named storm, with some disruption – so worth keeping an eye on if you have travel plans, as I do.

Most likely it stays unsettled over the New Year and into the start of 2024. Temperatures generally around average, but some colder weather possible. Cold enough for snow is unlikely, but cannot be totally ruled out.

Looking further ahead, there are rumblings of a possible sudden stratospheric warming event for the beginning of January – and such events significantly increase the chance of (but far from promise) notable cold spells 2-4 weeks following, such as the Beast From The East event in 2018, which was a fairly perfect response.

It’s a long way from being an event in the stratosphere, let alone having any impacts on the troposphere, where we live. If, and it is a big if, it is going to have wintry consequences for us, then this would be mid-late January onwards, give or take.

That’s not to say that cold spells cannot happen before then, or if the SSW doesn’t occur – certainly short cold spells could happen in the first half of January, but the main theme for the first half of January looks like rain and wind.

That’ll do you.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas, and if you don’t celebrate Christmas, then enjoy the extra time off work. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas and have to work bank holidays then maybe, erm, enjoy the wind.

I don’t know when the next forecast will be but I’ll find time at some point, even if for a short update.

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