EMAIL EXCLUSIVE: John Hammond’s Month Ahead – Fancy some warmth before winter closes in?

I’ve been travelling quite a lot in the last week, and it’s been quite striking how much the countryside has morphed since the last time I journeyed the same route. The recent wind and rain, after earlier frosts, have taken their toll on the autumn foliage – each species reacting to these changes in weather at its own rate. How quickly will our trees be finally stripped entirely bare? It’ll depend how they respond to the next big change…



Brief mid-month warmth

Turning colder and frostier




A waft of late autumn warmth

The new week starts much as the old week ended. Atlantic winds will bring a mixture of sunshine and blustery showers in from the southwest. But unlike its predecessors, the next big area of low pressure on the horizon will be stopped in its tracks – stalling in mid-Atlantic. As we’ve been flagging up for a while, the wave-train of energy that carries such systems around our part of the northern hemisphere is about to come to a grinding halt.

Suddenly, a block of high pressure to our east will assert its dominance. It may be a messy transition that takes a while but, from midweek, we’ll be starting a period of drier weather.

Southerly winds will not only deflect rain-bearing fronts away from our shores, but will bring warm air our way for a time. Daytime temperature may well rise well into the teens in the sunshine. But as winds fall light, areas of low cloud and fog are increasingly likely to keep some areas much chillier by the weekend.


Chillier easterlies look increasingly likely to lower our temperatures



Suddenly it feels like winter 

There may be some attempts by the jet stream to remove this blocking high, with western areas most prone to some wetter skirmishes. However, for many, the drier spell will continue.

Rainfall aside, what sort of weather we get is another matter! Much hinges on the source of air reaching our shores. Initially the air will come from the mild Mediterranean. With time, though, there are signs that we will begin to tap into air from a colder source. Chillier easterlies look increasingly likely to lower our temperatures. Frost will become more widespread, and if winds remain light, freezing fog patches may be added to the mix.

So behind the mostly dry theme, this could well be a week of huge contrasts across the UK. From crisp sunshine to grey and murky mist, getting the detail right across the UK will be a real challenge, even for the best forecasters. The best advice would be to take layers to your outdoor event of choice; and there are plenty to choose from as the pre-Christmas calendar ramps up!


The ‘battleground’ will bring all manner of possibilities as early winter begins



Uncertainty reigns

Computer models have fluctuated wildly about developments by the end of the month. Changes in air pressure as far away as the tropical Pacific may have a say. They suggest that the jet stream may make a more energetic effort to displace the increasingly cold air from the east. We’ll see. The ‘battleground’ will bring all manner of possibilities as early winter begins

The dry spell may lose its grip. However, given the chilly air by now in situ across the UK, will it be wet or white stuff that falls from the sky? I’d be lying if I can be prescriptive at this stage.

It’s been interesting that a growing number of seasonal computer forecasts now indicate atmospheric patterns supporting enhanced cold weather this winter. Here’s a reminder of our Early Winter Forecast issued last month.

A more certain prediction is that the countryside will be stripped bare by early December. Will nature be better prepared for what’s to follow than we are…?