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Provisionally, up to the 9th February the Central England Temperature (CET) is 6.8C which is 2.4C above the 30 year average. In the last few days temperatures have dropped and there has been snow in places. Despite that the main weather story has been Storm Ciara. It brought widespread disruption due to strong winds and flooding.
Winter 2019/20 has been very mild but will there be a sting in its tail?
During the next week the focus is on unsettled weather. In fact Storm Dennis has the potential to bring more disruption during the weekend of the 15th and 16th. Maximum wind gusts should be lower than those Storm Ciara caused but 50mph to 60mph could be recorded over a wide area. There will also be heavy rain and the likelihood of flooding.
The GEFS postage stamp chart below is for Saturday 22nd February. Each stamp shows pressure patterns and represents one run of the computer model with the starting conditions tweaked to help account for uncertainty. The majority of the runs show high pressure centred south of the UK. That suggests drier periods are most likely in the south with the north remaining more unsettled. It is also a mild pattern with winds generally blowing from the west or southwest. Confidence in this outcome is quite high because it is the pattern which has been dominant throughout the current meteorological winter.
In recent days it has turned colder but the first third of February has been mild. In the coming days unsettled and at times stormy weather is expected and there is the likelihood of more disruption. During the second half of the month there are signs of high pressure nudging up from the south. That would lead to predominantly mild weather with the driest periods in the south. In the north wet and windy spells would be more frequent.
If the computer model predictions turn out to be correct winter 2019/20 could be one of the ten mildest recorded in the UK.
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