Strong winds forecast for northern parts of the UK

A couple of Atlantic low pressure systems are set to pass to the north of the UK in the next few days – bringing strong winds to the country, particularly in northern Scotland. The first is swinging to the north of Scotland today and into tomorrow. The centre of this low pressure, and the strongest winds, will be well-offshore – but it’s influence will still affect many areas.

In the far north west of Scotland we are expecting gusts of up to 75mph – which could bring some damage and disruption. As you travel further south those gusts will be less strong, with about 40-50mph in northern England and 20-30mph expected by the time you get to the south-east of England. A Met Office yellow warning for severe gales or storm force winds has been issued for north-western Scotland.

The low will also bring some heavyrainfall, particularly in the north of the UK, but this will be fast moving and isn’t expected to bring significant amounts of rain. This may fall as snow on high ground above about 400m in Scotland – with 5-10cm of fresh snow cover in places.

A second low pressure system is set to deepen and follow a similar track, passing to the north of Scotland, on Saturday evening into Sunday morning. This will bring a repeat performance of the earlier low – with strong winds to the far north of Scotland. Gusts are currently expected to be 70+ mph in exposed areas of north Scotland, but will decrease the further south you are. It’s likely winds will gust to around 45-55mph in the North of England and about 30-40mph in the south. Once again a Met Office yellow warning for severe gales or storm force winds is in force for northern and western Scotland

The second low will also bring around 5-10cm of snow on ground above 400m in Scotland, and possibly with some slushy snow at lower levels too. You can check our latest forecasts and weather warnings to get the latest updates on the forecast.

Although we’re seeing two fairly deep low pressures in quick succession, this is actually not unusual for the time of year. We expect powerful Atlantic low pressures and storms to happen throughout Autumn, Winter and Spring and these often bring winds of 70mph and above. In fact, on May 23 this year we saw winds of over 115 mph across the highland peaks in Scotland.

Snow is also normal for the UK climate at this time of year. Looking at the records, you’d normally expect to see about five days of snow falling in Scotland during November. So we’re actually seeing a return to more ‘normal’ UK weather after a long period of relatively settled and mild weather which could see this year’s autumn (September, October and November) ranked as one of the warmest on record.

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