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Wintry start to spring possible

Posted Mon, 20th February 2017 12:30

Temperatures today could reach an unusually mild 18C (64F). As we go through the week it will turn colder in the north and by early March there is a possibility of wintry conditions becoming more widespread. There's even a chance of snow being back on the menu.


The last couple of GFS operational runs have shown a cold spell developing in late February and early March with the risk of snow returning. The catalyst for this is a rise in pressure to the northwest of the UK. How likely is this scenario?

The latest ensemble model data which is used to assess confidence levels in the GFS output suggests a mixed picture as we head into March. The London GEEFS06z 850hPa temperature plot shows a wide spread of outcomes with values ranging from -10C to +10C. The GFS 6z operational run which is forecasting a significant cold spell is represented by the thick green line on this graph. A few of the ensemble runs support it most don't.

GEFS06z 850hPa temperatures and precipitation


Ensemble postage stamp views

The GEFS06z postage stamp charts are another way of viewing the data. The one below is for Friday 3rd March. At this stage there's little support for high pressure to be centred to the northwest of the UK. Nonetheless, a few of the runs have a shorter lived cold incursion developing in the preceding days.  

GEFS06z 500hPA

The postage stamp plot below shows forecast maximum temperatures on Friday 3rd March. There are a few colder outcomes but most of the runs have temperatures peaking at 10C or higher.


GEFS06z 2m max temperature


The weather is set to turn colder in the north later this week and the south will lose the unusually mild conditions. As we head towards the end of February and through early March there are tentative indications from recent operational model runs of wintry weather returning. It's too early to be confident about this and most of the ensemble data favours a less cold and more changeable view.

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Must be from TWO chart viewer

kieron6791 5 hours ago
Wee bit frisky out today. Trees falling like dominos.

Brian Gaze 23 hours ago
scottai123456: See the latest news section on the TWO hp for more info. Arpege has been very consistent and recent GFS runs have upped max gusts speeds towards it a tad.

scottai123456 1 day ago
Brian: Obviously this is quite a potent storm and getting details correct is key. Strongest gust values vary from model to model. Arpege suggests strongest gusts across East Anglia which differs from the GFS. Which model is most favourable tomorrow?

BarrowiceInfo 1 day ago
In fact it was very mild through most of the 1930's

BarrowiceInfo 1 day ago
No Snow in 1934 either P. Stanwoth...

antss1 2 days ago
Frosts in March and April with some snow in Norfolk, high pressure over scandainavia

p.stanworth 3 days ago
its been 4 years since shropshire had any significent snow, my family weather of snowfall goes back to 1934 and there has never been a gap of of more then two years, until this year,and some people say global warming is not to blame,winters are going

kieron6791 3 days ago
14c in Lincolnshire today. Very nice indeed.


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