Tuesday 2nd January 2024

Brand new year, same old rain. With gales for this afternoon too.

But colder weather is around the corner.

Thanks to Tracy for the photograph.

So the general picture sees a large low pressure trough over and to the west of the UK, with various smaller systems circulating around it. Also of note is a strong build of high pressure over Scandinavia – and some really, very cold air there.

Rain this morning until around midday, some showers will follow and only a little brightness. However the main story will be the wind – becoming strong by around midday, but during late afternoon there looks to be a spell of 2-3 hours of gales, roughly between 3pm and 7pm. There is still a bit of uncertainty on the track – the strongest winds could be our area, or they may be a little further north. The strongest gusts look likely to be around 60mph which will be enough to cause some damage and disruption. Mild, 13’C.

The wind easing in the evening and overnight, though still breezy, quite cloudy and the odd stray shower possible. Down to around 8’C.

Wednesday will be a day of some sunny spells, but plenty of cloud and a few showers – some heavy. Maybe you’ll miss them all, but more likely you’ll get a couple during the course of the day. Around 9’C and breezy. Clear skies developing overnight, down to around 4’C.

Thursday likely starts bright, but the next low pressure system will probably encroach as the day goes on – some uncertainty on the track, but more likely than not there will be a spell of rain during the day, more likely afternoon, and probably it becomes windy once more. Around 8’C. A bit colder overnight, some showers still possible – down to around 2’C.

The low pressure starts to weaken on Friday – by this point the jetstream is diving towards North Africa – changes are afoot. Plenty of cloud for Friday, likely a few showers and a bit of sunshine at times. Temperatures around 7’C. Uncertain on cloud amounts overnight – fog and frost possible, more so the former, but perhaps just cloudy and chilly instead.

By Saturday, low pressure is over the continent and we are starting to source our air from the east.

Likely quite a lot of cloud though some sunny spells, and a small chance of a light shower. Around 5’C, maybe 6’C and starting to feel a bit colder. Some uncertainty on cloud amounts overnight, but there should be enough clear spells for a slight frost, around 0’C – give or take.

Sunday sees the breeze pick up so it will feel colder, with temperatures reaching 4’C. Some sunny spells, some cloud – a chance of a shower which could have a wintry note should you catch one. Probably frosty overnight, some cloud and a small chance of a wintry shower – down to around -2’C, give or take.

Next week looks mostly dry and fairly cold with high pressure close to or over the UK. Too early for details and will depend on exact position of the high pressure system.

Potential for fog both day and night, potential for frosts too (especially if fog doesn’t form) – daytimes will either be sunny, cloudy or foggy. And generally it will be on the cold side.

I wouldn’t rule out wintry showers – the high pressure will need to be a little more north than currently seems more likely, but it is within the scope of possibilities for next week.

The cold spell is more likely than not to continue after next week – perhaps being re-enforced by a plunge of Arctic air from the north.

Assuming the cold spell happens, it’s pretty impressive how well this was signalled in the weather models and background signals – Boxing Day was the first time I mentioned it, so almost two weeks away, though on 21st December I did mention a chance of short cold spells in my forecast during the first half of January.

Praise should go to the scientists developing the models and theories – I’m just putting it into words. That we can forecast the cold spell this far in advance, to me, is very impressive.

Oh and Happy New Year!

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