Thursday 4th February 2021

The cold spell is on. Nailed on. It could end up being one of those talked-about spells for years to come.

We shall see. Severity is still to be established. Quite how cold it will get is uncertain, quite how much snow we’ll get is also uncertain. How long it will last is uncertain. When it will snow after the initial Sunday spell is also uncertain.

Lots of questions. I shall try to give as best a guide as I can.

But first, some rain. And thanks to Paul for the very wet photograph.

Oh and I appreciate that severe weather is problematic for some people. Weather will do what weather will do – I don’t control it. As a weather fanatic, I look forward to the extremes so please do excuse my excitement if you feel it misplaced.

This evening sees quite a rash of showers, some heavy. These moving north-east and it will be mostly dry after midnight, or an hour or so after. Around 6’C.

Friday sees low pressure over Ireland.

Early cloud will clear to sunny spells. Some showers will push across from the west, more likely in the afternoon and they could be heavy. No guarantee of one, but more likely catching a couple. 10’C. Overnight the low pressure starts to shift south a bit, and a weather front will start to form roughly over us – exact location isn’t certain so there could be some showery rain, or not, depending as to whether we are under the fairly thin weather front. Fog possible if not raining, down to around 4’C.

Saturday sees this low pressure move south and be consumed by the low pressure moving up from Spain. There will be showery rain at times, tending to become more persistent from the east later in the afternoon. Around 7’C but an easterly wind will pick up and it will feel colder. Have I built the suspense well?

Saturday evening continues the theme, further rain spreading west, the colder air creeping south, the easterly wind strengthens – the rain will turn to sleet and then snow – say by around midnight, give or take a few hours.

It is feasible that it fizzles out without giving much snow, but more likely it continues to snow on and off overnight – accumulations of around 1-2cm would seem reasonable. Around 0’C.

For Sunday we are in the easterly with low pressure very close to our south-east.

Quite how far west the snow will get on Sunday is uncertain – assuming there remains a weather front then it should be this far west, quite a bit further west in fact. But, there is still a small chance that we remain cloudy and cold, with the odd snow shower.

The more likely outcome sees general snow or showery snow. Accumulations of 2-5cm realistic – more not out of the question. 1’C at best but a rather biting wind-chill. Snow showers remain possible overnight, though the extent is highly uncertain right now, away from the east of England anyway. Down to around -3’C but feeling much colder.

Monday will be cloudy, cold and windy. Snow showers possible but I don’t know whether they will get this far inland. 1’C at best, perhaps not even above freezing though. Similar overnight, down to around -2’C.

Tuesday remains mostly cloudy, cold and breezy. A small chance of further snow showers. Cold and cloudy overnight, down to around -2’C.

Wednesday probably dry with some sunny spells. Cold, 1’C.

Thursday may see the first attempt from the Atlantic to bring milder air in – but if it does, then it will likely be a spell of snow, or snow eventually turning to rain.

Anything after that is uncertain – the general theme will be milder and wetter air trying to move in from the south-west, colder air trying to block it.

Where the mild and cold air masses meet there will be significant, disruptive snowfall. That could be here – or it could be further north. Impossible to say.

Certainly when the “milder” air first arrives, it will fall as snow. It may take a couple of attempts to bring milder air in with rain – it might not even win out at all. And if milder air does win, I’d expect further cold air to push back south again – it may be a very brief victory for mild.

A very interesting spell ahead. Didn’t get too excited, did I?

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