2 Mar 2015

A taste of spring warmth likely next weekend

With the calendar page having flipped over into March, you were probably hoping to step out of the door this morning and feel spring in the air.

But alas, winter is still blowing its icy breath across us, with a cold, blustery wind, wintry showers and a covering of snow on the ground in northern parts of the UK.

March is a funny month because it can deliver such a huge range of weather. You only have to look back to 2013, when we had the coldest spring for 50 years with heavy snow.


However, March 2012 delivered some remarkable warmth, with Aboyne, Aberdeenshire reaching a balmy 23.6C on the 27th.

Jet stream changing position

At the moment, the jet stream is just south of the UK, leading to areas of low pressure and cold air affecting us.

jetstream_7thMarch_WZ_wpHowever, later this week, the jet stream is going to move north of the UK, allowing a big area of high pressure to build. This will cause the weather to settle down for many of us.

The orientation and position of high pressure in spring is important, as it determines which way the wind blows and thus the warmth of the air that it brings.

If high pressure is centred to the north of the UK, it brings a cold, wintry easterly wind from mainland Europe. But if it’s centre to the south, then it brings warm, tropical maritime air – which is what we are going to see next weekend.

Spring warmth next weekend

From Thursday onwards, the wind is going to start blowing from a south westerly direction, bringing a feed of tropical maritime air towards us.

daffodils_forest_g_wpThis will start to lift temperatures a little day by day, with most of us in the teens by Friday.

Although detail is subject to change, it looks like temperatures next weekend could reach 10-14C across Scotland and Northern Ireland, with 12-17C across England and Wales.

However, an important point to make is that there is likely to be a variation in cloud cover. The best of the sunshine is likely to be in the afternoons away from western coastal areas, which may be plagued by low cloud and drizzle.

Also, Scotland – especially the western of the country – may see weather fronts grazing by, bringing cloud, breeze and occasional rain.

Wintry chill before then

Before the mild air arrives, it’s still going to feel quite wintry in the next few days – especially in the northern half of the UK.

Cold polar maritime air sweeping across us will bring heavy wintry showers, with a brisk and raw westerly wind.

Scotland and Northern Ireland could see a light covering of snow at low levels during Monday and Tuesday, with 4-8cm over the higher hills and mountains above 400m.

For northern parts of England and Wales, lying snow is likely to be confined to hills and mountains, where there could be 2-5cm. However, in the heavier wintry showers, snow could easily fall to sea level

As a result, the Met Office has issued a yellow warning for snow and ice, valid until Tuesday morning.

So, despite the chill right now, it looks like there’ll be some pleasant spring weather for many of us next weekend. Keep up to date with the latest by following my updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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