John Hammond’s Month Ahead – UPDATE! – Very cold winds set to arrive this weekend

John gives us his latest thoughts on likely weather trends on the horizon over the next few weeks. To ensure you are reading the very latest weekly blog, check out Wow and Why



Wet then chillier again

In fact it won’t just be one area of low pressure that plagues us. The first one will bring a wet and windy start to the week for many, especially across England and Wales. As this low eases away into the North Sea, there’ll be a drying trend for a time. Lighter winds and sunshine will bring a pleasanter feel by Tuesday. But already by midweek, another low pressure area will be approaching from the west, with the prospect of more rain and wind. However, the eastwards progress of this system is less certain. It may be stopped in its tracks.

With the jet stream becoming increasingly contorted once more, there are signs that a blocking Scandinavian high pressure system will leave this low pressure stranded somewhere across the UK, bringing some very wet weather.

There is now increasing confidence that very cold easterlies will sweep westwards by the weekend, with some snow possible. This is initially most likely across some eastern areas. Temperatures will fall well below normal – barely above freezing point in some places by Sunday – with widespread frost. Significant windchill is also expected.

However the cold will not be as extreme as earlier in the month, with the snow melting readily in sunnier areas.



An ‘interesting’ week

We arrive at the Spring Equinox, with the overhead sun crossing the equator into the northern hemisphere. Ironically the weather looks to be arriving at a crossroads too, with the UK in ‘No Man’s Land’. A battle between cold north-easterlies and milder south-westerlies looks like being played out close to our shores. At this interface low pressure systems bring the prospect of further wet weather, perhaps even some flooding. Exactly where this battle is played out will hinge on the strength of the blocking Scandinavian High. But it’s the more northeastern parts of the UK that will continue to be most prone to the ongoing risk of frost and snow.

It’s set to be a pivotal week, but I must stress again that, come what may, we will not see a return of the recent extreme cold.



Spring back on track?

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, there are tentative signs that the jet stream may begin to rediscover its ‘mojo’. Signals from the various computer forecasts remain weak, but westerlies should start to resume their dominance by the end of the month. With these, we can expect a more concerted recovery of temperatures, but it may be a slow and erratic process.

I expect the driest and warmest of the weather do develop across the south and east of the UK, with more unsettled conditions focussed towards the northwest.

It’s amazing how resilient nature is, despite the extraordinarily cold start to March. By Easter Week, the greening hedgerows should provide a reassuring confirmation that spring is back on track and making up for lost time. Hopefully, that is…