Issued: Wednesday 5th December 2012
Duty forecasters: Captain Bob
The New Year looks as if it'll be getting off to a chilly start, the indications still hold that there'll be polar air streaming southwards, the UK 'sandwiched' between high pressure to the west and lowers pressures to the north and east. A mix of wintry showers and sunny spells for all areas, the greatest concentration of showers likely to be through eastern areas, drier and sunnier closest to high pressure influenced western Britain.
The mainly dry and cold theme continues through the first week as high pressure drifts into the UK, showers dying away through most parts, it becomes less cold across northern Britain as a westerly establishes over the top of high pressure maintaining the settled conditions across southern England and Wales.
Through the second week and into the mid-January period it looks rather more unsettled for all areas, wet and windy at times as low pressure will always have the controlling influence. Temperatures fluctuating as various air masses affect the UK as low pressure systems transit the country on their passage west to east, signs that it will generally become colder later, the hint therefore of more in the way of wintry precipitation occurring over higher ground in the north.
Through the third week and into the latter stages of the indications are that it'll be becoming substantially colder, as high pressure builds to the north and east of the UK, a developing east to north-easterly flow covering the whole UK. Wintry showers will be moving east to west through many areas, with the threat of perhaps more widespread wintriness across some southern areas at times with low pressure encroaching into the southwest later.
A wintry start potentially to begin, this easing as high pressure builds into a large and slow moving feature over the UK, so a settled and very cold first week. High pressure looks as if it'll be controlling the conditions well into mid-month, so remaining settled and quite cold, frost and fog widespread.
There is the possibility of a wintry spell from the north as high pressure eases westward for a time, as this clears away, high pressure re-establishes quickly and the weather again settles into quiet but sold conditions once more.
High pressure continues to control right through the month, however it'll be drifting around to the north and northwest, maintaining a cold easterly, north-easterly or northerly flow across all areas, wintry showers almost anywhere but also a great deal of dry weather as you would anticipate under such conditions.
Little change is expected through the latter stages of February, high pressure predominantly in control, perhaps becoming more unstable from the east with more enhanced wintry showers but remaining generally cold throughout.
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