There was a time when we had 4 seasons however 2018 has done its best to buck that trend.
Having had the Beast from the East parts 1 and 2 during March the UK quickly went straight into summer with hot weather in April.
This of course went on throughout the summer which was the warmest on record.
These good conditions have also lasted for a large part in Autumn however thats about to change.
Next week we will see an Arctic outbreak spread all the way to the South coast by Friday with a particular risk of snowfall down the western side of Scotland, England and Wales. Whilst no major snowfall is currently expected there could be snow showers in quite a few areas.
We are also at risk of some severe frosts especially in Scotland with temperatures as low as -6c.
We will have further updates on the areas at risk of snow as we get into next week.
The UK has been enjoying a rather mild Autumn so far however it looks as though the UK is about to be plunged straight into winter.
As we go through the next couple of weeks the weather will be dominated by a large area of high pressure sat over the UK bringing fine days and frosty nights.
As we near the end of the month and into early November this high pressure looks set to move towards Scandinavia drawing in an bitterly cold Easterly air flow and of course a risk of heavy Snow once again.
At this stage there is still scope for change however its a weather pattern that could bring significant risks across the whole of the UK as it did earlier in the year. That spell of Easterly winds was responsible for the deaths of 17 people in the UK and 77 across Europe in total.
Despite the risks there is plenty of time for change and therefor there is alot of uncertainty. We will update you as/if the risks increase.
NOAA’s Climate prediction centre announce a 75% chance of an El Nino winter this year and whilst it is not expected to be the strongest ever seen it will still effect the weather we see.
In summary El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), stretching along the equator across the Pacific Ocean. It is known to trigger intense weather patterns across the world.
Typically El nino winters will lead to colder weather towards the Gulf states of the U.S whilst being milder than usual in the North West of the country. Higher than usual precipitation can tend to give way to potentially record breaking snowfalls later in the season.
For the UK and the North West of Europe El Nino winters tend to be colder than average which will of course increase the likelihood of snowfall events. Whilst individual snowfall events look likely this winter they will almost certainly be interspersed between milder spells due to the temperate climate of the UK. So those hoping them headlines of ‘4 months of crippling snow’ would be true are likely to be dissapointed.
Other factors to consider for the UK also point to a colder winter:
At present the current solar cycle is the 24th. Solar cycle 24 is currently on pace to be the weakest sunspot cycle with the fewest sunspots since cycle 14 in February 1906.
2018 is also running close to the lowest sea ice extent in the Arctic ever for this time of year. This increase in fresh water has been linked with a slow down in the Gulf stream and an increase in Northern Latitude blocking.
A threat to life is becoming a real concern as the Heatwave takes a more sinister turn later this week.
The threat will come from numerous aspects of what is becoming the Hottest summer the UK has ever experienced.
The Met Office released an Amber warning yesterday due to the increasing temperatures and advised people not to go out during the midday sun with the risk of heat Exhaustion/stroke being high, Especially for those more vulnerable, The young, Elderly and of course your pets.
The dangers dont end there however, Strengthening southerly winds on Thursday will see an increased risk of larger, Longer lasting wild fires causing chaos for fire crews.
Then comes the third and potentially devastating risk of flash floods.
The North East, The Midlands, East Anglia and the South East are currently the highest risk areas for intense Thunderstorms to break out on Thursday & Friday.
These storms could see large amounts of rainfall in a short space of time. Should these be slow moving the risk of homes and businesses becoming flooded will be high due to the exceptionally dry ground being unable to absorb the water quickly. This threat will be coupled with frequent lightning, Large hail & strong winds, Posing a risk to Homes, Cars and anyone caught outside.
Whilst Thunderstorms could be severe it is worth mentioning at this stage there is still some uncertainty regarding how widespread they will be. Combine that with the likelihood storms will be isolated seeing one will be the exception not the rule.
As we look ahead the forecast shows a continuation of the same theme. Hot Hot, Chance of storms and then some more Hot weather.
Heavy snowfalls are now almost certain as we go through the weekend & into the early part of next week.
However compared to the cold spell earlier in the month the longevity of the cold & size of area covered in snowfall will be reduced.
But dont let that make you think part 2 is a typical poor sequel that fails to live up to the original.
For those in the hardest hit areas conditions could be as bad if not worse in terms of snowfall.
Currently areas in the South East can expect to see snowfalls of 10-20cms with some places seeing more than 1 foot within a 48 hour spell of dangerous conditions which will include the risk of thundersnow through Sunday.
Other areas at risk include East Anglia, The Midlands, Central Southern England and the South West. Wales may see some showers giving slight accumulations.
We will release a map showing exactly what you need to be prepared for tomorrow afternoon so stay tuned.
So we have heard people questioning wether the beast is derserving of the name.
Well dont write it off just yet.
Today will see a big increase in shower activity all down the East coast with particular heavy falls in the South East, North East of England and East coast of Scotland.
These areas could see 30cms of snow fall over the period of the day with potentially more for the same areas by the end of the week.
The temperatures are also expected to drop a touch however the windchill will drop considerably as the winds pick up through today.
Even if you are not near the Eastern side of the country there is a good chance today will be the day you start to see some snowfall with anything between 2 and 10cms possible further West.
The end of the Week is still surrounded with some uncertainty. Yes we will see an area of Low pressure bump into the cold over the UK with a small chance of Blizzards, However the exact positioning and intensity of any precipitation is yet to be decided.
Colder conditions are being felt right across the UK today with a bit of everything being thrown in from the skies.
Rain, Hail, Sleet & Snow have all been seen across the UK with much more of the later expected over the coming days.
Saturday morning is shaping up to be the main cause for concern as a band of precipitation is expected to turn to snowfall over central areas from roughly the North midlands Northwards.
This band could well see up to 10cms in places even for lower levels as heavy persistant snowfall sets in.
Currently the southern extent is uncertain and it is worth keeping tuned to the forecasts as the risk could push into areas as far South as Northamptonshire.
Following on from Saturday mornings snow the risk will largely be of ice.
Temperatures are expected to tumble quickly Saturday evening with a sharp frost right across the British Isles with lows of around -8c.
The extended outlook continues to suggest the UK will be placed firmly in the freezer during February with numerous cold frosty and snowy days so it may be worth keeping that fire lit and them wooly jumpers at the ready.
Finally we will have an update tomorrow as the high resolution models will help provide the detail on Saturdays snowfall.