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.

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