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Weather news and views from Brian Gaze.
Parts of north eastern Britain will see very wintry conditions through the rest of today and tonight as rain turns to snow more widely. Tomorrow the chance of snow pushes southwards for a time. In the longer term the picture is less clear.
A disturbance pushing across Britain is bumping into colder air over eastern counties and becoming slow moving. That means rain increasingly turns to sleet or snow in north eastern Britain. Initially snow will be mostly over high ground but it is likely to fall to low levels later. Snow continues tonight and it becomes more widespread in the north and north east.
The chart below is generated from the Meteo France Arpege 6z model run. It shows forecast rain and snow at 10am tomorrow morning rain. By then the risk of snow has extended southwards and is reaching Lincolnshire.
Through tomorrow the band of wet weather keeps slipping southeastwards. By 5pm the Arpege 6z shows the possibility of snow even reaching parts of the south east. With wet ground and rain at times, I would expect a wet rather than white picture in much of the south east, but a covering of snow is possible over some hills.
The main problems in the next 24 hours are likely to be in north eastern Britain. Over high ground accumulations of snow could exceed 20cm locally and even at lower levels some moderate falls are possible. Tomorrow evening the precipitation should fade and clear away.
I've been flagging up the possibility of a cold snap or spell during the last third of January. Ensemble models in recent days have offered strong support for, although there has been uncertainty about the intensity of the cold. Things have changed somewhat today with the latest updates shifting towards a more uncertain and mixed outlook.
The London GEFS 06z plot below illustrates. Between 21st to 25th January there is still a signal for colder than average upper air temperatures. It's a weaker one though and more of the individual runs in the GEFS are going down a milder route. The other point is that after 25th January there is support for temperatures to rise. I flagged this up in the 14 day video forecast yesterday (You can watch on the TWO YouTube channel) but since then the signal has become clearer.
At this stage it remains a case of watching how things evolve in the next few days.
In the next 24 hours snow is expected to cause problems in parts of north eastern Britain. Heavy falls are likely over high ground and even at low levels several cms are possible. Tomorrow the snow risk slips southwards before fading away.
In the longer term things become more uncertain. The signal for a significant cold outbreak during the last third of January has weakened in the last 24 hours, particularly in the southern half of the United Kingdom. However, with the models in a state of flux it is too early to call time on that outcome.
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