11 Jan 2016

Cold weather: where and when will it snow this week?

As expected, colder weather will arrive across the UK this week. Whilst nothing unusual, following the warmest December on record, it will be a shock to the system.

In December, mean temperatures – an average of day and night temperatures – were 4.1C above normal, giving overall warmth that was more typical of April or May.

This week, one branch of the jet stream will be active and well south of the UK, heading into southern France, Iberia and the Mediterranean, with a separate much weaker branch heading north towards Greenland.

Snowy fields near Hayfield

This will allow high pressure to build west of the UK, feeding Arctic air southwards, turning it progressively colder this week.

However, the main question in most of our minds is: will there be any snow? So, I thought I’d take a look at the prospects day by day.

What is important to emphasise, is that snow is notoriously hard to predict in the UK, so keep a close eye on the forecast, as that the detail will change through the week!


During the daytime, any snow is likely to be confined to the highest hills and mountains of Scotland above 400 metres. However, during the evening and overnight, colder air will arrive.

This will bring snow over the hills of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and northern parts of England and Snow covered Country RoadWales above 200-300 metres, with a covering of a few centimetres possible.


During the day, colder air will push southwards across all areas, bringing rain, sleet and hail showers – heaviest in the north and west.

The showers are likely to fall as snow over the hills above 200-300 metres north of the M4 corridor by the end of the day, with a generally light covering possible.


Sunshine and wintry showers of rain, sleet, hail and snow are likely towards northern, western and eastern coastal areas during the day.

However, during the evening and overnight, an area of low pressure will bring a more prolonged spell of rain, sleet and snow eastwards.

There is still a lot of uncertainty about the detail, but there could be a few centimetres on the ground Red phone box covered in snowover the hills, with a small chance of a covering at sea-level – mainly in the north.


Early rain, sleet and snow will clear central and eastern parts of England by around lunchtime, but first thing in the morning, higher hills could see a light covering.

Otherwise, it’ll be another day of sunshine and wintry showers – mainly around northern, eastern and western coasts. Inland, it’ll be mainly dry and sunny.


It’ll be a similar day to Thursday with wintry showers around northern, western and eastern coasts, with just a low risk of anything inland.

Frosted leafAside from any snow, there’ll also be increasingly widespread frosts this week, a risk of ice and a cold wind.

As I mentioned, there will be changes to the detail as the week progresses, so keep an eye on the forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website.

I’ll also be posting regular updates on Twitter, where you can also send me your weather pictures – @liamdutton

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