Tuesday 6th February 2024

It’s the return of rain…and an attempt at bringing cold back too.

Thanks to Marina for the photograph.

Today will be mostly cloud – some occasional bits of light rain, and also a little sunshine at times, particularly through the middle part of the day. More general rain arriving around late afternoon/early evening. Windy and mild, 13’C. Rain during the evening – it does look like there will be a squall line mixed in, so 20-30 minutes of very heavy rain and gusty winds, say around 10pm (give or take), otherwise moderate to heavy either side, and the rain clearing around 2/3am, give or take. Mild at first but colder air follows the squall line, down to around 3’C – and winds easing.

The general set-up for Wednesday is fairly emblematic of the battle air – colder air trying to filter down from the north, with low pressure heading in from the south-west. Where they meet, there will be heavy snow – not that far north of here.

Wednesday will be a bright day with hazy sunshine, and varying amounts of cloud. Colder, around 7’C. Cloud thickens overnight with rain arriving after midnight – not impossible that there’s a little sleet at first, but likely it is all rain. Midlands/north have a good chance of a spell of heavy snow. Down to around 4’C.

A wet start for Thursday, with fairly strong winds. This will clear around late morning, give or take, though a lot of cloud will remain, some showers possible, only a little sunshine. Somewhere between 10’C and 12’C (closer to 1’C up north). Further heavy rain spreading north in the evening and overnight, occasionally very heavy – exact timing uncertain. Breezy and around 9’C.

Low pressure remains in charge for Friday – lots of cloud, lots of heavy showers around, and a bit of sunshine. Still likely mild, around 11’C or so – the cold air remains close to our north, so it is pretty fine margins this. Some cloud, some clear spells overnight, the odd shower and around 7’C.

Low pressure still in control for Saturday.

However, as it stands, the focus for the showers looks further west, so I’m hopefully for a reasonably pleasant day – sunny spells, some cloud, a bit of a breeze and the odd shower. Mild too, 11’C. Not said with the highest amount of confidence ever – it wouldn’t take too much for this to change to a cloudier or wetter scenario. Were it April onwards, then convection would fill the gaps and we’d be having beefy showers.

Sunday sees the low pressure start to fade in situ, some sunny spells, some cloud, the odd shower and temperatures around 8’C.

Next week should start to see colder air spread further south, chilly days, frosty nights – generally drier though the odd shower possible.

For the rest of February, colder and drier conditions are more likely than wetter and milder conditions, though that won’t exclude the latter at times.

There are suggestions of another sudden stratospheric warming event – winters with two SSW events are rare, though the previous one was only technically achieved and didn’t have much of an impact down here in the troposphere – arguably if anything it ended our last cold spell in January, though causation is difficult to pinpoint.

If we do get this second SSW, around a 40% chance as it stands, then that will increase the chance of a cold and wintry start to March. Long way to go…though I cannot say it will be of great joy for me as I’ll be back in sunshine seeking mode. At least we have reached the average coldest part of the year, albeit it is unusually mild.

No other real signals for spring yet.

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