TWO Buzz

Weather news and views from Brian Gaze.

High pressure ahead

Settled with close to average temperatures

Published 21st January, 11:40

A lot of dry weather is likely during the last third of January. The outlook for temperatures remains less certain, but on balance fairly average values are favoured. 

High pressure dominating

As we head through the last third of January it looks as though high pressure will be the key player of the UK's weather. The forecast chart below from the ECM model is for Saturday, 28th January. High pressure is centred to the southwest, with winds blowing from a west or northwesterly direction across the UK. 

ECM 00z forecast pressure chart

Disturbances from the Atlantic are most likely to bring wet spells to the far north, although on occasion patchy outbreaks of rain could push southeastwards. Nonetheless, rain amounts across the vast majority of the UK look like being below the average for a significant length of time.

Temperatures will be dependent on the positioning of the high pressure. The chart above suggests they won't be far from the average for the time of the year. Daytime values would probably be around 5C (41F) to 9C (48F) and nighttime frost could develop, although cloud cover may restrict its extent. 

Ensemble model support

The general picture I've outlined is supported by ensemble computer models (the ones which are run many times to identify the probability of different scenarios occurring). 

The 16 GEFS graph for London below shows air mass temperatures rising in the short term but then dipping close to the 30 year average. There are a number of runs which bring in colder air, particularly around 29th January. In general they build high pressure further north and west which allows cold Arctic air to sweep southwards towards the UK. With that said, there isn't a signal for high latitude northern blocking and a negative North Atlantic Oscillation pattern.

GEFS 00z London 850hPa temperatures and precipitation

Translated that simply means that the chance of a very cold and snowy spell of weather during this period is low according to current computer model runs. 


The last 10 days of January are expected to bring a lot of quiet and dry weather. Temperatures probably won't be far off the seasonal norm, although there is uncertainty and much depends on exactly where high pressure becomes centred. 

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Models include UK Met Office UKV and MOGREPS-G, ECMWF, NCEP GFS, Meteo France Arpege and Arome.