5 Jan 2015

Rain and gales expected later this week

After a spell of colder weather to close 2014, the coming days will see a powerful jet stream send some deep areas of low pressure head our way.

This means that the weather will be turbulent, with rain and gales expected for most of us later this week – with a potential for some local disruption.

There is even a chance that northern parts of Scotland could experience some exceptionally windy weather, although at the moment, the detail is still uncertain.


Powerful jet stream

During the next 7-10 days, the jet stream 30,000ft above the Atlantic Ocean will reach speeds of around 230mph, caused by a big temperature contrast between cold arctic air and warm sub-tropical air.

Such a powerful jet stream will not only spawn some vigorous areas of low pressure, but also act as an atmospheric highway, firing them our way.

Whilst the trend is clear, the detail is still hard to pin down because in such a fast-moving weather pattern, to get the perfect storm, lots of ingredients need to come together at exactly the right time.

Think of it like making a train journey with a number of connections – if you miss one connection, then things don’t pan out how you expected.

A few days ago, some of the weather computer models were predicting swathes of very strong winds across northern parts of the UK.

However, they now starting to moderate the intensity of the winds as we get a little closer to the time of arrival.

Nevertheless, there is still the potential for things to change and it is worth keeping a close eye on the forecast this week.

Wednesday and Friday are days to watch

The latest information suggests that Wednesday and Friday are the days that are likely to deliver the wettest and windiest weather.

Deep areas of low pressure are likely to move from west to east between Iceland and Scotland – close enough to deliver us some strong winds.

low_pressure7thJan_MO_wpWednesday will see heavy rain spread across much of the UK through the day, giving a risk of localised flooding.

In terms of wind, gusts of 35-55mph are possible inland, with 60-70mph gusts possible around the coasts and over the hills.

Friday is still very uncertain, although it looks like northern parts of Scotland could see the winds go up a notch. Gusts of 70-80mph are possible around the coasts and over the hills, with 50-70mph inland.

The rest of the UK is likely to have gusts of wind of a similar strength to those on Wednesday.

As of yet, the Met Office hasn’t issued any weather warnings, but this is likely to change in the coming days as the detail becomes clearer.

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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