News and information

Winter 2018/19 forecast

Cold periods



The UK seasonal forecast headline is for winter 2018/19 to be colder than the norm.

Precipitation levels are expected to be on the low side when measured across the UK as a whole, but regional variations are likely to be significant. There is considered to be an above average incidence of snow in all regions. 

The coldest periods are forecast to be in January and February with mild spells more frequent in December. Nonetheless, confidence is low and a very mild winter, rather than an average one, is considered the second most probable outcome.

Snow on Berkhamsted totem pole covered

Forecast factors

The forecast was produced by looking at a number of factors, including:

  • Seasonal forecast models
  • Persistence patterns during recent seasons and historical analogues
  • ENSO conditions
  • Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO)
  • Atlantic sea surface temperatures (ssts)
  • Solar activity
  • Autumnal weather patterns and the development of snow cover in Siberia


Forecast confidence for winter 2018/19 is very low. A number of indicators such as low solar activity, seasonal models and recent climatology suggest an increased chance of high pressure blocking which strengthens the possibility of cold periods in the UK. The weather patterns during September and October are thought to favour a cold winter but the mild November isn't.

In conclusion the TWO view is there is an elevated risk of disruptive snowfall and cold weather during the December, January and February period.  

From Brian Gaze, TWO founder
Since establishing TheWeatherOutlook over 15 years ago the site has grown enormously and running costs have risen. I intend to continue expanding TWO and keeping it free if possible. If you find it useful and would like to contribute to its development please consider making a donation.

TWO winter 2018/19 forecast

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