Issued: Saturday 15th December 2012
Duty forecaster: Simon Keeling & Captain Bob
'Has anyone a spare hair shirt I could borrow please'?
Once again it is looking increasingly likely that Christmas 2012 will sadly be joining that all too boring and disappointingly long 'green list' of British Christmases....any 'white stuff' more than likely being confined to previous accumulations over higher ground of northern Britain.
For folks like myself who like their 'winters to be winter' and the conditions to fit neatly into their correct seasons especially 'Christmases to be White' this is a disappointment, however from a meteorology point of view this is just another portion of the sequence of patterns that make up this 'World of Weather'. I have to admit defeat in that the patterns have not delivered on their expectations during this early winter period, the deck was 'stacked heavily' that colder conditions already in Eastern Europe would flow westward, not in the 'hysterical media' proclamations that were trumpeted, but certainly colder than they have turned out to be, so a hair shirt for Christmas for me then?
The Atlantic themed conditions look set to run through the short and medium term, rain and at times rather strong winds bringing unsettled weather through all areas in the run up to and through Christmas and Boxing Day, a good deal of cloud at times, this holding the temperatures up into the 'mild to cool' category.
There may be brief colder incursions just after Christmas into the New Year interim period as low pressure crosses eastward and pressures rise to the west, this not lasting too long as further Atlantic low pressure heralding wet and mild weather approaching the west.
The New Year brings little cheer for winter lovers as anything remotely resembling this is going to be transient and all too quickly shunted away by the Atlantic, a northwest to westerly flow ensuring it's all too on the 'mild to cool' side of the scale rather than cold.
It may not be until the beginning of the second week of January until winter arrives in the UK...but then on recent performance 'what do I know'?
The Atlantic will hold all the cards here and will be delivering a mixture of rather unsettled conditions interspersed with calmer and sunny days. Bands of wet and windy weather will pass quickly through all areas on a rather brisk westerly to south- westerly flow driven on by low pressure passing close to the UK.
There will always be cooler and cloudier interludes with showers or longer spells of rain, but given all the cloud and breeze temperatures will be holding up well, so the risk of frost in limited to the quieter and clearer spells between systems as the flow swings into the northwest and falls light for any length of time.
Only late in this period is there just the chance that it turn chilly for a time as colder air slips south through all areas.
It may just briefly turn colder here as pressure sufficiently rises to settle the conditions and temperatures fall back, but this soon is replaced by low pressure and its associated cloud and patchy rain moving into western Britain.
The conditions turn unsettled here once and any chance that they be a white one is extinguished as mild Atlantic air floods through all of the UK, rain and a fresh breeze may make it feel rather cool despite the 'oceanic source'.
It will remain rather unsettled and cool through this period, low pressure moving close to the UK so breeze too for much of the time with a good deal of cloud, some brighter and sunny spells between the main bands of rain.
High pressure looks set to build across the southern and south-eastern quarter of the UK, so here it'll become drier and brighter, still on the mild side during daylight but the increased risk of frost and fog overnight. This may become slow to clear as time goes on, so it'll be chilly where this persists for any length of time.
Northern and western Britain will remain mostly unsettled with further spells of rain and a fresh breeze, gales at times in exposed north-western areas. Blustery showers following the main bands of rain, feeling cool at times as a result.
High pressure continues to build to the east and with lower pressure to the southwest this looks like strengthening the south-easterly breeze across the UK, colder air into much of the bulk of England and Wales, perhaps some shower activity slowly becoming increasingly wintry as the period ends.
Pressure continues to rise across to the north and east, so more of an easterly flow becoming established with temperatures markedly falling away and the threat of wintry showers.
Simon & Capn Bob
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