By Brian Gaze
The meteorological spring runs from March 1st to May 31st. At the start of the season cold weather is a risk and March often brings more snow than December. In fact, this year the first half of March has been colder than the 30 year average and much of the UK has seen some snow. However, by May it can turn very warm and the chance of summer-like periods of weather increases markedly.
Winter 2022-23 was mixed and over the season as a whole it was slightly milder than average. Nonetheless, there were wide variations and December brought a period of very cold weather. On the 13th Braemar in Aberdeenshire recorded a low temperature of -17.3C. The cold December was offset by a January with monthly average temperatures for the UK 0.4C above the norm, and a February which was 1.7C above the norm. That made it one of the ten mildest in the series which goes back to 1884.
Rainbow over Berkhamsted
How are the prospects for the meteorological spring which covers March, April and May looking? The TWO seasonal headline is for a slightly warmer and slightly drier than average season.
As ever it should be noted that the skill level (accuracy) for long range weather forecasts remains low in the UK. Due to being positioned on the edge of a continental landmass, a number of air masses often affects the weather patterns with the borders between them being close to the UK.
This year seasonal computer models and recent climatology are favouring a warmer than average season. The signal for this is relatively strong in the context of the above. The signal for precipitation amounts is weaker, as is usually the case. Nonetheless, there are indications of rain amounts being below the 30 year average when taken over the 3 month period.
Short and medium range computer models are showing the likelihood of mixed weather through the second half of March.
During April and May warmer periods are expected to more than offset cooler ones. Precipitation amounts are forecast to be slightly below the average, although the increased chance of heavy showers in the southern half of the UK during the first half of May is noted.
The meteorological winter 2022-23 was varied, but slightly milder than average overall. The meteorological spring has started with rather cold weather dominating. However, the expectation is that the chilly start will be more than offset by warmer than average conditions through the rest of the season. A weak sign for a drier than normal season is being flagged up by seasonal computer models.
TWO seasonal forecast
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