19 Mar 2014

Winter set to try and put spring back in its box

During the past few weeks, we’ve been spoilt with sunshine and warmth that wouldn’t look out of place in early May, let alone early March.

The presence of high pressure on our shores has brought welcome relief, following a winter dominated by storms, heavy rain and flooding – giving the UK its wettest winter on record.

During the past fortnight, for most places, there’s been very little rain. In addition, we’ve had the highest temperatures since last October, reaching 20C across south eastern parts of England. 


However, as I wrote in my blog a few days ago, the weather can be fickle in March – mainly because spring is a transitional month between winter and summer. Therefore, a wide range of weather can be experienced.

You’ve probably worked out what is coming next. Yes, winter is going to bite back in the coming days and try to put spring back in its box.

The jet stream has been sitting to the north of the UK in recent weeks, steering areas of low pressure towards Iceland and Scandinavia, allowing high pressure to build over us.

That is set to change in the coming days, with the jet stream dipping southwards, causing an area of low pressure to sweep through, with colder air following.

Tumbling temperatures

The main thing that all of us will notice by Friday is the change in how the weather feels. A mild south westerly wind will be replaced by a cold northerly, bringing Polar Maritime air southwards. frosty_leaf2_g_wp

As a result, temperatures from Friday onwards will be much lower than they have been during the past few weeks.

Scotland and Northern Ireland will generally be in the range of 5-9C, with England and Wales around 9-12C.

Temperatures at night are also going to fall close to freezing, if not below, bringing a return to frosts – especially, but not exclusively, in rural areas.

Wintry showers

As the sun gets stronger in March, it becomes harder for snow to accumulate in the daytime, away from the higher hills and mountains in the north.

scotland_snow_g_wpNevertheless, snow showers will fall over the hills of Scotland, Northern Ireland, as well as northern parts of England and Wales from the end of Thursday.

Over the higher hills of Scotland, there could be 5-10cm into Friday, with double that over the mountain tops.

Showers are likely to be of rain, sleet and hail further southwards and down at sea level. But still, there’ll be a distinct chill in the air – especially in the brisk wind.

So, despite spring springing to life quite strongly this year, winter is keen to remind us that it is still lurking close by.

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

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