11 Feb 2013

Cold weather to lose its grip this week

The cold weather remained firmly in control during the weekend, with rain turning to snow across a large swathe of central and eastern England on Sunday, as colder air moved in from France.

Whilst the detail of which places would get the greatest amounts of snow remained difficult to pin down, overall, the forecast generally went to plan.

Following cold rain for much of Sunday, it then turned to snow, although there was a great deal of variation in which places had the heaviest snow fall – largely influenced by altitude and intensity of the falling precipitation.

According to the Met Office, the greatest depths of lying snow at official weather stations at 9am on Monday were 12cm at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire and 7cm at Little Rissington, Gloucestershire and at Bingley, West Yorkshire.

Snow cover varied hugely across London, with low-lying west London seeing a light covering, whereas higher up at 130 metres in Barnet, north London, there was 10cm – as shown in this picture sent to me on Twitter today.

This huge variation in snow depth across the city demonstrates how hard it can be to predict how much snow there’ll be in such marginal situations.

This week

The first half of this week is going to continue cold with an easterly wind bringing chilly air from the nearby continent and a risk of some mainly light snow during Monday and Tuesday.

However, on Wednesday, milder air will move in from the Atlantic bringing a spell of heavy rain and brisk winds. As this rain bumps into the cold air, there’ll potentially be another spell of significant snow for northern parts of the UK.

At the moment, Scotland and northern England are at greatest risk with 2-5cm possible at low levels and 5-10cm over the hills and mountains.

Daytime temperatures for most places up to and including Wednesday will be in the range of 1-6C, dropping widely to -4C at night, with frost and ice.

Once the milder air has moved in, temperatures on Thursday and Friday will reach 6-11C, with frost at night becoming localised rather than widespread.

This weekend and next week

At the moment, there is some uncertainty as to what will happen this weekend and into next week.

The reason for this is that an area of high pressure is going to drift over the UK. Where this sits will determine which direction the wind is coming from and thus whether mild or cold air is dragged across us.

Looking at the latest information available, is seems as though it could cool down again, but not to the extent that we had last week.

Don’t forget, you can get the latest five day forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website and I’ll be posting regular updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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