After a cool few days, temperatures will recover through the middle part of this week, before turning cooler again by the weekend.
The cool spell we saw during the weekend just gone, and the colder conditions expected at the end of this week, are linked to the Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) event that occurred early last month. We are seeing high pressure to the north and west of the UK, resulting in a chilly northerly air flow – a type of weather pattern often called ‘blocking’ by meteorologists.
Blocking is frequently seen in the aftermath of SSW events, which involve the disruption of the normal westerly winds in the stratosphere. If the SSW had occurred earlier in the winter, the resulting pressure patterns could have produced some very cold and wintry weather.
Last weekend many places experienced rather chilly conditions with some wintry weather. Balmoral, Aberdeenshire, reached a maximum temperature of just 4.4 C on Saturday whilst sleet and snow fell as far south as the Midlands.
This week we can expect temperatures to recover and highs in the mid to high teens Celsius are possible for some by Thursday. However, another cold spell is going to bite back in time for the weekend. Temperatures will again struggle with many parts remaining in single digits. We are also going to see some further frosts as temperatures drop overnight.
Whilst there will be some outbreaks of rain this week, there will also be a good deal of dry and occasionally sunny weather too. The colder air over this coming weekend does however bring the risk of wintry showers to the north.