10 Apr 2012

April showers. Finally, weather that matches the calendar month!

Whilst the past few weeks of fine and warm weather have been enjoyed by many, as a weatherman, it’s been a little bit boring for me because I’ve had to say the same thing day after day.

So I was absolutely delighted when the weather charts showed signs of more unsettled weather, spicing things up a bit from a meteorological point of view and also because rain is badly needed in drought-hit areas.

Over the weekend, it was fairly cloudy for most places with some occasional showery rain. The real bout of rain arrived yesterday. Rain on Easter Monday, a public holiday? Surely not…

Low pressure moved in off the Atlantic and brought heavy, persistent rain to much of the UK – even to the drought-hit areas that really need it.

However, despite having a wet day, the rainfall was nowhere near enough to get water resources back to where they should be. For that to happen, we would need a lot more days of rain like yesterday.

Western areas had the heaviest and most persistent rainfall, with rain reported for 19 consecutive hours at St. Athan in south Wales.

The wettest place yesterday was Liscombe in Somerset with 42.4mm of rain. In drought-hit south east England, the wettest place was Wiggonholt, West Sussex with 14.4mm of rain.

As for the rest of the week, for the first time in a long time, the weather is actually going to match the calendar month. April showers are going to be the main theme, with a gradual cooling as a north to north easterly wind sets in.

The driver for this change to an unsettled weather pattern is a shift in the position of the jet stream. It’s dived to the south of the UK, which puts us in the zone of cooler air and lower pressure – hence showers or longer spells of rain.

Showers, by nature, are hit and miss, so whilst some places will catch some welcome rain, other places relatively close by will see very little. Even so, at least the potential for rain is there for the places that need it.

With a cooling trend towards the end of the week, showers are likely to turn to snow across the hills and mountains in the north of the UK. Night-time frosts are also on the cards this week, with temperatures getting close to or just below freezing – gardeners beware!

There’ll also be some great opportunities to take pictures of rainbows and towering cumulus clouds – so please feel free to send your pictures. To do this, you can upload them to the Channel 4 Weather website here or you can tweet them to me on Twitter – @liamdutton.

Image courtesy of Rod (@cumbriaweather) via Twitter.

Tweets by @liamdutton