TWO Buzz

Weather news and views from Brian Gaze.

Done and dusted with winter?

Posted Tue, 12 Apr 2016 19:00

High pressure may bring a spell of drier weather next week. A few computer model runs then go on to develop a cold spell during the last third of April as high pressure becomes centred farther north and west, allowing a cold arctic plunge to head down towards the UK.

Overview

This afternoon's GFS12z run shows cold air pushing south across all parts of the UK from about 23rd April. By 25th April a cold northerly flow is established and this brings wintry conditions even to the south of England. It was about the same time in April 1981 when the famous wet snow blizzard happened. I'm old enough to remember it and in York (where I lived at the time) accumulations reached about 10cm. From recollection it was quite well forecast several days by the Met Office? 

 

GFS12z

 

The GFS12z precipitation forecast charts show snow affecting the UK over several days. I've posted the chart below (for 00:00 on Wednesday 27th April) to give you an idea of what they are serving up. 

GFS precipitation type

Summary

At this time of year an amplified pattern can lead to cold or warm conditions, depending on where the ridges and troughs set up. In many ways it's more interesting than the winter when we often end up stuck in flat southwesterly flow for weeks with low pressure to the north and high pressure to the south. However, it's a fine balance between cold and warm with different air masses often fighting it out close to the UK and this can make medium range forecast even more difficult. Nonetheless, it's worth keeping an eye on the computer model output in the coming days to see whether there's much support for a very late blast of winter!

Chart viewer

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