Cold snap expected

3 12 2013

The UK is going to see a very short, sharp, cold snap.  From Wednesday night (4th Dec) into Thursday morning (5th Dec) Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland will see some strong winds, while Scotland will see some wintry showers and snow.  However temperatures will return to normal as we head through the weekend, and be more in line with what should be expected for December.

A rapidly deepening Atlantic depression is expected to move in an easterly direction to the north of Scotland bringing westerly gales, with gusts of 60 to 70 mph extending southwards across northern and some central parts of the UK on Wednesday night and Thursday.  Northern Scotland could see gusts of 80mph, and potentially 90mph for a time.

Because of this the Met Office has issued a Yellow Severe Weather Warning for strong winds. The public should be aware of possible disruption to travel, especially across Scotland, parts of Northern Ireland and Northern England.

The winds are expected to veer northerly and bring the colder arctic air southwards across northern areas before easing into Friday. The winds could exacerbate high tides and may increase the risk of coastal flooding in the Northern and Western Isles and along the East Coast of England.

A Yellow warning for snow is also in place. It runs from 6am Thursday to 12 noon on Friday, covering the northern half of Scotland, snow showers are expected to be most frequent across the Northern Isles, the North Highlands and northern Aberdeenshire.  Low laying areas could see 2 – 5cms of snow and higher altitudes 10 – 20cms. In addition the strong winds could lead to some drifting of snow and possibly blizzard conditions on higher ground.  Icy conditions may also develop on some roads across Scotland on Thursday night and Friday morning.

This winter storm is not expected to be as powerful as those in January 2012 and December 2011

This is expected to be a short-lived cold snap, with temperatures quickly recovering to near normal over the weekend.

Our video explains what to do during a Yellow warning for wind. You can also download a weather warnings widget for your website.





June set to be slightly drier and sunnier than average

28 06 2013

Provisional Met Office early June figures suggest that it has been drier than average and slightly sunnier than usual so far this month.

Rainfall for the UK from 1-26 June was 37.8 mm. At this stage we would expect to have seen about 87 % of the full month average, however we have only seen 52 %.

Up to the 26th we have seen 163 hours of sunshine in the UK, which is 96 % of the full month average – suggesting we are on track for a sunnier than average month.

However, the mean UK temperature up to the 26th has been recorded at 12.7 °C which is -0.3 °C below the 1981-2010 long-term average for the month.

The average maximum temperature so far this June is 17.1°C which is very close to the long-term average of 17.3 °C.

Looking at the individual countries, Scotland and Northern Ireland have had slightly above average temperatures so far.  Scotland’s mean temperature has been 11.5 °C (0.2 °C above average) and Northern Ireland’s has been 13.0 °C (0.2 °C above average).

Wales had the most sunshine with190.6 hours, already above the full-month long-term average.

Northern Ireland has had the most rain so far with 79.8 mm compared with England’s below average 27.5 mm and Scotland’s 45.3 mm.

Temperatures of 26.4 °C at Herstmonceux, East Sussex (19 June) and Mickleham, Surrey (20 June) are the hottest days in the UK so far.

The hottest day in Wales so far this year was at Usk (25.1°C on 19 June).

Scotland’s hottest day was at Glenlee (24.5 °C on 8 June) and Northern Ireland’s hottest day of the year so far was on 9 June (24.5 °C) at Magilligan.

Mean Temperature Sunshine hours Rainfall
1-26 June Actual Diff from Avg Actual % of Avg Actual % of Avg
degC degC hours % mm %
UK 12.7 -0.3 163.0 96 37.8 52
England 13.4 -0.7 168.2 92 27.5 44
Wales 12.7 -0.5 190.6 110 45.9 54
Scotland 11.5 0.2 148.9 99 45.3 51
N Ireland 13.0 0.2 150.4 100 79.8 105




April drier and colder than average

2 05 2013

After the wettest April on record in 2012, provisional full-month Met Office figures show this April has been slightly drier than average in the UK.

Rainfall throughout the UK was 64 mm this year, compared to the 1981-2010 average of 72.7 mm. That’s considerably less than the 128 mm we saw last year.

There were big regional differences in April rainfall this year. Scotland saw 121.2 mm of rain which is above the 91.1 mm average and Northern Ireland saw 75.2mm, almost spot on the 75.0 mm average.

However, both England and Wales saw well below average rainfall. Wales had 50.3mm, compared to an average of 89.3mm, and England saw 30.4mm, compared to an average of 58.7 mm.

The month was characterised by generally cold and dry weather, following on from the theme set in March. Despite this, April registered as only slightly colder than average with a mean UK temperature of 6.3 °C, which is 1.1 °C below the 7.4 °C long-term average.

This is the same mean temperature as recorded in April 2012. To find a colder April than the last two years, you have to go back to 1989 – which saw a mean temperature of 5.5 °C.

Scotland saw the coldest temperatures compared to country specific averages, with a mean temperature of 4.8 °C, which is 1.3 °C below average – and is the same temperature as recorded in 1998.

The warmest day of the month was 25 April at Faversham in Kent when the temperature recorded was 23.1°C.

In terms of sunshine, Scotland was sunnier than the rest of the UK with hours of sunshine totalling 170.9, followed by Northern Ireland with 168.0, England at 167.7 and Wales at 162.7 hours.

This compares with only 127.9 hours of sunshine in April last year throughout the UK. The sunniest April in the last 10 years was 2007 with 203.5 hours.

Mean Temperature Sunshine hours Rainfall
Apr-13 Actual Diff to Avg Actual Diff to Avg Actual Diff to Avg
degC degC hours % mm %
UK 6.3 -1.1 168.4 114 64 88
England 7.2 -0.9 167.7 108 30.4 52
Wales 6.4 -1.2 162.7 105 50.3 56
Scotland 4.8 -1.3 170.9 127 121.2 133
N Ireland 6.5 -1.1 168 115 75.2 100




How wet has 2012 been? Is it a record breaker?

27 12 2012

Provisional figures from the Met Office from 1 January to 26 December 2012 show that some parts of the UK have already had their wettest year on record.

New records have been set in England (1095.8 mm), northern England (1253 mm), E and NE England (1042.1 mm), Midlands (1048.2 mm), and East Anglia (788 mm), in a series that goes back to 1910.

A further 46 mm of rain is needed from 27 to 31 December for this to be the wettest year on record for the UK overall – the UK has had 1291.2 mm of rain from 1 January to 26 December. The wettest year on record for the UK is 2000 with 1337.3 mm.

2012 rainfall anomaly 1 Jan to 26 Dec

2012 rainfall anomaly 1 Jan to 26 Dec

In terms of temperature and sunshine the year as a whole is set to be unremarkable, both being around normal. However, overall 2012 is set to be cooler than 2011, but warmer than 2010.

  mean temperature sunshine duration precipitation
1 January to 26 December 2012 Actual Difference from 1981-2010 average Actual Percentage of 1981-2010 average Actual Percentage of 1981-2010 average
  degC degC hours % mm %
UK 8.7 -0.1 1354.1 99 1291.2 112
England 9.5 -0.1 1467.1 98 1095.8 128
Wales 9.1 -0.1 1354.0 97 1649.5 113
Scotland 7.3 -0.1 1186.8 100 1546.3 98
N Ireland 8.9 0.0 1234.0 98 1134.8 100
England & Wales 9.5 -0.1 1451.5 98 1172.2 125
England N 8.7 -0.1 1357.0 99 1253.0 129
England S 9.9 -0.1 1525.4 98 1012.6 128

More about the record breaking year of 2012





Last night’s coldest temperatures

30 11 2012

As the recent cold spell continues, last night saw some cold temperatures across the UK with widespread frost across parts of the country, with the coldest place being Shap, Cumbria where it fell to -7.0 °C.

The table below shows the top twenty coldest places recorded by the Met Office last night.

SITE NAME AREA MIN TEMPERATURE (celsius)
Shap CUMBRIA -7.0
Benson OXFORDSHIRE -6.7
Braemar ABERDEENSHIRE -6.6
Eskdalemuir DUMFRIESSHIRE -5.8
Ravensworth NORTH YORKSHIRE -5.8
Redesdale Camp NORTHUMBERLAND -5.8
Leeming NORTH YORKSHIRE -5.7
Carterhouse ROXBURGHSHIRE -5.7
Newton Rigg CUMBRIA -5.4
Bainbridge NORTH YORKSHIRE -5.2
Bridgefoot CUMBRIA -5.1
Pershore HEREFORD & WORCESTER -5.0
Tyndrum PERTHSHIRE -5.0
Keswick CUMBRIA -4.9
Hurn DORSET -4.8
Spadeadam CUMBRIA -4.7
Chillingham Barns NORTHUMBERLAND -4.7
Saughall AYRSHIRE -4.6
Topcliffe NORTH YORKSHIRE -4.6
Aboyne ABERDEENSHIRE -4.5

The tables below show a breakdown of the coldest three places for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

England

SITE NAME AREA MIN TEMPERATURE (celsius)
Shap CUMBRIA -7.0
Benson OXFORDSHIRE -6.7
Ravensworth NORTH YORKSHIRE -5.8

Scotland

SITE NAME AREA MIN TEMPERATURE (celsius)
Braemar ABERDEENSHIRE -6.6
Eskdalemuir DUMFRIESSHIRE -5.8
Carterhouse ROXBURGHSHIRE -5.7

Wales

SITE NAME AREA MIN TEMPERATURE (celsius)
Tredegar Bryn Bach Park GWENT -3.6
Libanus POWYS -3.3
Llysdinam POWYS -3.1

Northern Ireland

SITE NAME AREA MIN TEMPERATURE (celsius)
Katesbridge DOWN -3.5
Aldergrove ANTRIM -1.0
Lough Fea LONDONDERRY -0.7

The latest forecast from the Met Office shows that it is likely to stay cold with temperatures falling below freezing across many parts of the country over the next couple of night. Temperatures are expected to fall to similar lows tonight, with it perhaps a little colder still on Saturday night.

A full and regularly updated forecast is available on our website.





How wet has this September been?

1 10 2012

The latter part of September saw some exceptional rainfall in parts of the UK which caused disruption and flooding at times.

With such a great deal of rain falling in a short period of time, some people have asked whether it will make September one of the wettest in our national records going back to 1910.

Provisional early statistics up to 26 September show this isn’t the case, however, with the month looking set to be slightly wetter than average – but by no means a record breaker.

Up to the 26th, UK rainfall is 96.3 mm – which is 100% of the full month average. After 26 days we would, assuming rain falls fairly evenly through the month, expect this to be around 87%.

Of course, rain doesn’t always fall evenly throughout a month – as we saw this September. The first three weeks saw relatively little rain in many areas, but then a particularly active weather system brought four days of persistent heavy rain.

Northern parts of England were particularly badly affected by this, as you can see in the rainfall map below. In the map you can see a band of blue colours across northern England denoting above average rainfall for the month, whereas much of the country is coloured white to denote near-average amounts.

Two brown areas, one across central Scotland and the other in East Anglia, show it has been drier than average here – even despite the heavy rain in the latter part of the month.

 

Temperatures up to the 26 September are also fairly ordinary, being slightly below average. Mean temperature for the UK is 12.2 °C, which is 0.5 °C below the long-term average for the month.

While September looks set to be slightly wetter and cooler than average, the good news is sunshine hours were slightly up – with the UK having seen 126.1 hours of sunshine, 101% of its whole-month average.

Again, we’d expect it to be around 87% after 26 days, so we’re ahead – but not by a record-breaking amount.

So this September is set to go down as a fairly average month overall, but – as is often the case – this belies some very stark contrasts and some less-than-usual weather.

Met Office provisional 1-26 September figures
mean temperature sunshine duration rainfall
Actual Difference from 1981-2010 average Actual % of 1981-2010 average Actual % of 1981-2010 average
degC degC hours % mm %
UK 12.2 -0.5 126.1 101 96.3 100
England 13.2 -0.5 145.2 106 80.6 116
Wales 12.1 -0.8 124.5 97 115.3 99
Scotland 10.4 -0.5 98.6 94 117.2 86
N Ireland 11.8 -0.5 105.3 93 94.0 103
England & Wales 13.1 -0.5 142.3 105 85.4 112
England N 12.4 -0.4 124.0 98 121.4 150
England S 13.7 -0.5 156.4 110 59.0 93




Is it the wettest UK summer on record?

26 08 2012

This summer started with the wettest June in the UK in the national records which go back to 1910 and was followed up by a wetter than average July (16th wettest), so are we set for the wettest summer on record?

Officially, in meteorological terms, summer runs from the start of June to the end of August – so there are still a few days to go for this year.

The Met Office holds many different climate datasets but uses the UK national series that goes back to 1910 when referring to records.

In this dataset, the record to beat was set in 1912, when the UK had 384.4mm of rain – although we don’t have to look too far back to find a very wet summer, as 2007 is third in the rankings with 357.8mm. The 1971-2000 average for the UK in summer is 226.9mm.

Looking at this year, we have the figures for June and July, but for the UK as a whole we currently only have data up to 15 August – which show rainfall had been slightly below average to that point.

That means we can say with some certainty that we have seen 300.8mm of rain so far this summer (145.3mm in June, 115.9mm in July, and 39.6mm to 15 August), ranking 20th in the records.

There has been a fair amount of rain since then, so that ranking is sure to have climbed – but it’s not possible to say until all the numbers have been crunched at the end of this month.

It’s important to remember that the UK total rainfall is effectively an average of the rain that falls across the whole of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – so looking at one station, or even one country, isn’t a reliable indicator of how much rain we’ve seen for the UK as a whole.

We can say that this summer is likely to be one of the wettest on record – some may argue that, as it’s already in the top 20% in records dating back to 1910, it already is one of the wettest on record.

We can also say that this year has continued a disappointing run of UK summers which started in 2007 – all of which have seen above average rainfall and, with the exception of 2009, below average sunshine hours.

However, we cannot say where this year will finish in the rankings or whether it will challenge the record set in 1912. For that final assessment, we’ll have to wait until after the end of August.

You can see a discussion about the causes of this year’s unsettled summer in an article posted earlier on our blog.





Another wet and windy June weekend

15 06 2012

It has been reported that this weekend’s weather is a once-in-50 year occurrence. In reality, last week’s weather was much more significant with winds recorded up to 84 mph and rainfall of 127 mm in parts of Wales. Although we are in for some wet and windy weather for the next couple of days, by Sunday and for the start of the new working week the weather looks set to be quieter with more sunshine, fewer showers, lighter winds and a warmer feel.

We have seen some more wet and windy weather this week, with heavy and persistent rain affecting many areas last night. However, rainfall totals and wind speeds have not been as severe as they were this time last week, when we saw disruption in west Wales and, later, south-east England.

Satellite image 15 June 2012 showing wet and windy weather over the UK.

The current warnings in place for Wales, the Midlands, northern England and Northern Ireland may seem to last for a long time as they are out for a 48 hour period. However, as Met Office Severe Weather Warnings are based on the impacts of the weather, it is important to ensure the public are aware of how long the worst of the weather will last. The longest warning issued by the Met Office was for the very cold snap in the winter of 2010/2011, where much of the UK was blanketed in yellow warnings for Ice untreated roads and pavements. These warnings were in place for as many as five days in a row.





Very mild start to November

17 11 2011

The first part of November has been very mild, dry and quite sunny across the UK, according to provisional Met Office climate figures.

The UK average temperature for 1-15 November was 9.4 °C, which is 3.5 °C higher than the long term average. The warmest district of the UK so far this month has been East Anglia where the average temperature was 11.2 °C, some 4.5 °C above the long term average for the area.

We would normally expect the first half of November to be warmer than the second as we transition towards winter (which, meteorologically speaking, starts in December). However, even bearing this in mind, the temperatures seen in the first half of this month have been much warmer than normal.

Rainfall amounts have been well below normal across the UK for the first half of the month. The UK has seen 25.6mm of rain so far which is well below the level you would expect at the mid point of the month.  Northern Scotland has seen the driest weather with just 10.9mm of rain being recorded, a mere 6% of the monthly average.

Rainfall 1-15 November 2011

As you might expect from the low rainfall amounts we have also seen a fair amount of sunshine during the first half of the month. The UK has seen 61% of average for the month with 35.9 hours and Northern Ireland has seen a full months worth of sunshine in the first 15 days with 55.4 hours.

  Average temperature Sunshine hours Rainfall
Location 1-15 Nov 2011 Difference from 71-00 monthly average 1-15 Nov 2011 Percentage of 71-00 monthly average 1-15 Nov 2011 Percentage of 71-00 monthly average
UK 9.4 °C 3.5°C 35.9 61 % 25.6 mm 22 %
England 10.2 °C 3.8 °C 29.2 45 % 26.9 mm 32 %
Wales 9.5 °C 3.0 °C 43.5 75 % 36.3 mm 23 %
Scotland 8.1 °C 3.4 °C 41.3 86 % 20.3 mm 12 %
Northern Ireland 9.0 °C 2.9 °C 55.4 100 % 27.7 mm 25 %

For the UK, the warmest November on record was 1994 with an average temperature of 8.8C; and the driest was in 1945 when 22.1 mm fell.

However, with more than two weeks of weather still to come and temperatures expected to return to more normal levels before the month is out, it’s too early to say where this November will sit in the record books.

 





Latest update as post-tropical storm Katia reaches the UK

12 09 2011

The deep area of low pressure which contains post-tropical storm Katia  was, at 9 am, centred approximately 200 miles northwest of Sligo, Ireland with a central pressure of 966 hpa. This can be seen on the satellite image below – the swirl of cloud to the west of Scotland/north of Northern Ireland is the low pressure system which was Katia.

Winds are strengthening,  with a recent gusts of up to 82 mph at Capel Curig in the mountains of North Wales. Elsewhere winds are widely gusting to 40 to 50 mph, with further strengthening expected across some northern areas through today.

The swirl of cloud to the west of Scotland/north of Northern Ireland is the low pressure system which was Katia.

Infra-red satellite image of storm affecting the UK at 9 am on Monday 12th September Source: EUMETSAT/Met Office

For the latest update for your area visit our severe weather warnings page. We’ll also be keeping you up to date on Twitter and Facebook. You may also like to follow Met Office storms on Twitter, who are tracking the progress of Katia and other tropical storms, hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones.

 








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