Latest on this week’s #uksnow
As I mentioned in my blog last week, it’s going to turn notably colder for all of us this week as a plunge of Arctic air slides southwards during the next 24 hours.
However, this is nothing unusual for late November, with winter lurking to our north – poised to remind us that is it ready and waiting.
My thoughts from the end of last week haven’t changed in terms of which places are most likely to see some snow – coastal areas (up to 40 miles inland) exposed to the wind and hills and mountains.
Here comes the cold air
A satellite picture always tells a good story and today is no different. The cold front that marks the boundary of the cold Arctic air is clearly visible on the image below.
Notice how a solid band of cloud is suddenly replaced by speckled shower clouds – caused by the Arctic air being heated from below by the relatively warm waters.
This process causes the air to become unstable, with parcels of moisture air shooting up into the sky, before condensing to form cumulonimbus clouds.
How much snow and where?
During Monday night and Tuesday, sleet and snow showers are most likely to affect coastal areas (up to 40 miles inland) and hills and mountains exposed to the wind.
A few showers could well make it further inland, but they will be fewer and further between.
Northern Scotland could have as much as 10cm over the hills and mountains, with 1-5cm on low ground.
Northern Ireland and north east Scotland could see 1-3cm – mainly over the hills, but a dusting is possible on low ground in the early hours of Tuesday.
Elsewhere, wintry showers are most likely for Wales, south west England and North Sea coasts, with any temporary accumulating snow largely confined to hills above 200m.
Ice is likely to be a more significant hazards in the coming few days, where rain, sleet and snow showers deposit moisture on the ground, which then freezes as temperatures fall below 0C.
The Met Office has issued warnings for ice across northern and western parts of the UK for the next 48 hours, with the greatest risk on untreated surfaces.
On Wednesday, an area of low pressure will bring gales, rain and slightly less cold air across the UK. However, there could still be a temporary spell of hill snow – mainly in the north.