14 Mar 2016

Hints of an Easter chill

It finally feels like spring has sprung across much of the UK, following sunshine and temperatures as high as 16C at the weekend.

High pressure brought in a feed of mild air, allowing temperatures to rise above normal for the time of year.

And, whilst amounts of cloud will vary day by day, it looks like it’ll stay settled for the next 7-10 days, with most places dry and the winds generally light.

winter scene, Fenland fields Ramsey town, Fenland

However, there are signs that it could turn cold in the run up to Easter, with temperatures returning to below average.

Why might it turn cold at Easter?

At the moment, the weather is being dominated by a big area of high pressure that is sitting over much of the UK.

The cause of this is the behaviour jet stream – the fast-moving ribbon of air, 30,000ft up that drives the weather that we experience at the surface.

The jet stream is currently splitting in two over the mid-Atlantic Ocean – a process known in meteorology as bifurcation – with one branch heading north over Iceland and another heading southwards towards Iberia.


As the jet stream forms and steers areas of low pressure, these are being diverted towards Iceland and Iberia, leaving the UK in a jet stream-free zone and allowing high pressure dominate.

The current position of the high pressure means that the air being dragged over us is relatively mild.

However, there are signs that the high pressure will gradually drift westwards in the run up to Easter, allowing a cold north to north easterly wind to bring Arctic air over us.

It is worth emphasising that it is still two weeks away and things may change, but two weather computer models are suggesting the same outcome, which is unusual for so far ahead.

Mild in the meantime

In the meantime, this week looks settled with some spells of sunshine for most of us, although some days will be cloudier than others – especially in eastern areas.

Low angle view of yellow daffodils against sunny blue skyBut if the sun comes out, it will be pleasantly warm because the sun is as strong now as it is in the latter part of September.

Temperatures could reach 10-15C in the best of the sunshine in the next few days, although where mist and low cloud lingers all day, 6-10C is more likely.

At night, any clear skies will allow a touch of frost to form, so gardeners beware if you’re thinking of planting anything tender.

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

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