Just a ‘quick’ blog to keep you updated on the up-and-coming coldest weather for years.
The Met Office have issued a Level 3 Cold Weather Alert for this week. This is one short of a National Emergency. This highlights the severity of this week’s cold.
For the past few days we have been dragging in cold air from the east (as mentioned in last week’s blog) but during this week, even colder air (aka The Beast From The East) will filter westwards all the way from Siberia, with some extreme wind-chill values for the UK. As this air comes across the relatively warmer North Sea, it will develop snow showers which will be heavy and possibly thundery. The strength of the wind will move them well inland.
The bitter weather is set to last all week with some uncertainty from Friday. During Thursday night into Friday it looks like a low pressure will come up from the south. This is going to bring widespread snow and blizzards to southern parts of England and Wales. It’s too early to say how far north this will come but there is a chance we will see some snowfall from it. After that milder air will try to arrive from the south-west but it might not succeed, or, if it does, it’ll take several days for temperatures to recover. One thing that seems certain this week is that there will be some significant and disruptive snowfall for parts of the UK.
Snow: I’m expecting all of us to see snow at some point over the week. There won’t be any rain falling, anything that falls will be snow, even to sea-level as it will be so cold. The snow showers could easily bring 3-5cm for most of us, with the chance of 10-15cm over the Pennines and surrounding hills as they take a direct hit from the showers firing in on a, at times, gale-force gusting easterly wind. Warnings are in place and more could follow.
Snow showers will start to feed in from the NE in the early hours of Tuesday morning
Temperatures: Daytime highs will struggle above freezing and are expected to remain below freezing on Wednesday and Thursday at least. There will be hard penetrating frosts all week with lows down to -7°C, and -10°C in rural spots, especially over snow-cover.
Wednesday’s maximums – add on the wind and it will be Baltic
Wind-chill: All week the wind-chill will be sub-zero and midweek it is likely to start to feel like -12°C or lower.
Severe wind-chill this week – values as low as -12°C to -14°C in places by Thursday
Sunday: Sunny spells but feeling cold in the wind. Remaining dry. Max 4°C
Monday: The much colder air has arrived and with it more cloud than recent days. Sunny spells, a biting wind and perhaps some snow flurries later in the day. Max 2°C
Tuesday: During the early hours and into the morning there is a risk of some prolonged snow arriving from the NE, especially so in eastern parts. After this clears it’s a day of bright spells and scattered snow showers. Feeling very cold with a -7°C wind-chill. Max 1°C
Wednesday: A bitterly cold day with frequent snow showers from the east filtering well inland. Heaviest of the showers in eastern areas. Some of the showers could be thundery and there will be drifting of any lying snow as winds gust 30mph. Max 0°C
Thursday: Mostly cloudy, some light snow showers but there should be less than yesterday. Severe wind-chill (-12°C) and the coldest day for years. Max -1°C
A significant snow event looks possible next Friday which will cause disruption
Friday: Much uncertainty but likely to be cloudy, freezing cold with light snow arriving from the south. It will also be very windy with 40mph gusts. Again wind-chill values down to -10°C or lower. Further updates during the week. Max 0°C
Just to note: Snowfall is difficult to predict when it arrives in the form of showers. Some areas will see a lot more snow than others as showers produce localised amounts.
Follow @ChadWeather on Twitter to keep up-to-date with the severe weather this week.
Images: www.theweatheroutlook.com, http://www.meteociel.fr/, http://wxcharts.eu, Met Office.