By Brian Gaze
Easter Sunday falls on April 9th. The weather in April is often very mixed and snow is not particularly unusual, even in the southern half of the UK. However, the long days and strong sun mean it doesn't hang around for long and even under a cold air mass it can feel quite pleasant in afternoon sunshine. Nonetheless, it is often still too cold to sit outdoors for long periods of time, especially by the early evening.
Last year Easter Sunday was on April 17th. The Easter period brought a good deal of fine and warm weather with high pressure centred to the south and east of the UK.
Easter eggs amsterdam" by Rotemdan - Own work. Licensed under Attribution via Wikimedia Commons
The Easter weekend weather prospects are becoming clearer, but it is still too early to be confident about the day to day details. In general terms, computer models are suggesting that high pressure will have a lot of influence through the period, but towards the end there are signs of rain bearing fronts beginning to push in from the Atlantic.
The postage stamp plot below shows the precipitation forecast from all of the individual runs in the GEFS ensemble on Easter Sunday afternoon. Although different scenarios are still possible, a dry day in most of the UK is favoured. Comparable charts for Easter Monday show an increasing chance of rain in the west and particularly the north west.
The postage stamp plot below shows the maximum temperature forecasts from all of the individual runs in the GEFS ensemble on Easter Sunday.
Many of them show close to or slightly above average temperatures. The difference in temperature between north and south is not well sign posted. More often than not it becomes cooler as you head northwards, but some of the individual runs are showing the highest temperatures in Scotland and Northern Ireland. That would probably result from high pressure being centred close to the north of the UK and a cooler easterly wind blowing on its southern flank.
At this stage computer models are pointing towards the possibility of a mostly dry Easter period. However, there is a chance of it turning wetter on Easter Monday, particularly in the west and north west. There could also be showers in eastern England on Good Friday.
Temperatures may well be around the April average when taking into account night time values. However, it could feel pleasantly warm in afternoon sunshine.
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Models include UK Met Office UKV and MOGREPS-G, ECMWF, NCEP GFS, Meteo France Arpege and Arome.