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The seasonal forecast is updated every three months. Spring - March 1st, Summer - June 1st, Autumn - September 1st, Winter - December 1st.
Forecast Issued 01/12/2018
Important note about long range weather forecasts: It is considered impossible to say with certainty what the weather will be like more than a few days ahead in the UK. Long range forecasts on TheWeatherOutlook have not been independently verified, and we make no claims for their accuracy. A range of factors including seasonal computer models, recent weather patterns, sea surface temperatures and teleconnections are considered when making the forecasts.
The forecast headline is for a colder than average winter with a risk of snow in all regions. In large part it is due to an increased risk of high pressure areas blocking off the Atlantic flow. However, it means there is huge amount of uncertainty and a very mild winter is considered a more likely outcome than an average one. In other words, it may be a case of all or nothing this year.
Below the 30 year average taken over the three month period as a whole.
Rainfall levels are forecast to be slightly below average.
Slightly above average.
The early part of the month will be dominated by unsettled weather. In the north it could be quite cold at times and there is a risk of rain turning to snow over high ground. Southern and central areas generally stay mild. Later on all regions probably become colder for a time and that leads to a risk of widespread frosts and wintry showers. The change may not last too long as risk of rain and more changeable weather returns by the end of the period.
Early on spells of wet and windy weather are probably interspersed with brighter and showery ones. Temperatures are expected to be above average in the south and close to average in the north. Later in the period it could turn colder in the north. There is a chance of the colder air gradually spreading southwards and that leads to a possibility of snow, especially in the north and over high ground.
Slightly below average.
Close to average.
The early part of the month is expected to bring unsettled and rather mild weather to much of the country, but it could be drier and colder further south and east, with a risk of frost. Towards the middle of the month a colder set-up perhaps extends over most of the country. That brings a greater risk of sleet or snow showers, particularly in the east. Nighttime frosts may also become widespread.
The second half of the month may see a more changeable, but predominantly cold pattern becoming established. That would potentially create the conditions for snowfalls in the northern half of the UK. Southern counties could also see snow during this period but more frequent milder spells are likely and at times it could become very wet.
A period of mixed and often mild weather is expected to develop early on. Later the likelihood of drier and colder spells increases. That trend continues towards the end of the period and the risk of sleet or snow may increase.
The second half of the month may see predominantly cold weather becoming established, especially in the northern half of the UK. Throughout the period the forecast is for an increased likelihood of a north or easterly flow covering the UK. That suggests a risk of snow showers in northern and eastern counties as well as the possibility of more prolonged periods of rain and snow, as weather fronts move up from the southwest.
Signals from seasonal models, teleconnections and forcing mechanisms are very mixed this year. Therefore the TWO forecast has been tipped towards a colder outcome by the increased tendency this year for the prevailing Atlantic based pattern in the UK to be disrupted. It is assumed that it will continue during the coming months, leading to an increased chance of cold periods. It is fair to note that using it as a forecast input may be considered subjective, therefore other agencies may not consider it valid.
Below is a summary of how the TWO winter forecast has performed in the last decade when measured by temperature.
TWO forecast: Close to or slightly below.Outcome: Colder than average
2009/10TWO forecast: Slightly colder than averageOutcome: Much colder than average
2010/11TWO forecast: Colder than averageOutcome: Colder than average
2011/12TWO forecast: Close to averageMilder than average
2012/13TWO forecast: Slightly colder than average Outcome: Slightly colder than average
2013/14TWO forecast: Colder than average Outcome: Much milder than average
2014/15TWO forecast: Close to average Outcome: Close to average
2015/16TWO forecast: Milder than average Outcome: Very mild
2016/17TWO forecast: Close to average Outcome: Mild to very mild
2017/18TWO forecast: Below averageOutcome: Slightly below average
Use the place of postcode selector at the top of this page for the local weather forecast. The links below are to discussion and long range outlooks.
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