14 day UK: Uncertain outlook

Issued Thursday 18th December 2014

Week 1

A mixed outlook with the chance of chillier air returning for Christmas.

Friday: Cloud and rain clearing away from the south during the morning to leave all of the UK under brighter skies. In the north west showers are expected and these could be wintry with snow over higher ground. Temperatures close to average in the south after a mild start, quite cold in the north.

Saturday: A dry day with sunny spells in southern and central regions. In the north cloud clover is likely to build during the day but it should remain mostly dry. Overnight rain spreads across much of the north west with heavy bursts in Scotland by the morning.

Sunday: Cloudy with spells of rain in the north, these are expected to be heavy in western Scotland. Southern and central regions probably mostly dry but overcast. Windy but quite mild.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: A mild start is expected with outbreaks of rain at times. Forecast confidence falls quickly through this period. On balance the favoured outcome is for colder conditions to return from the north and push southwards over the whole of the UK for a time. Christmas Day could bring scattered wintry showers to the north of the country, but most places are forecast to remain green. 

Forecast confidence is low to moderate.

Week 2

During the first half of the week unsettled conditions are expected with outbreaks of rain mixed with brighter and showery spells. In northern regions it could be quite cold with the risk of snow over higher ground. Temperatures in the south probably close to the seasonal average.

The second half of the week might remain mostly unsettled with temperatures close to the seasonal average. Confidence is low and there is a chance of it becoming cold with an increasing risk of snow.

Forecast confidence is low to moderate through this period.


Forecast confidence quickly falls after the first few days. At the start of the forecast period polar maritime air will return but this is set to be quickly displaced by mild tropical maritime air with pressure remaining high to the south of the UK.

By Christmas Eve colder air could again be returning from the north west, but high pressure is likely to quickly build in from the west with milder air returning after Boxing Day.

Between Christmas and the New Year high pressure may build over Greenland leading to an increased chance of a colder outbreak in the UK. At the present time a continuation of the unsettled theme is favoured, although colder incursions are more likely in the northern half of the UK. 



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