Issued: 1000hrs Friday 18th January 2019
Duty forecaster: Garry Nicholson
Sustained cold temperatures
Cold and snowy weather is expected to dominate the rest of January with Arctic air masses influencing the British Isles. From Tuesday, very cold air is forecast to extend across the country, with heavy snow showers giving significant accumulations and disruption in some areas. By later next week, a bitter easterly wind is likely, maintaining cold weather for many days ahead.
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A frosty start for much of England and Wales. Staying dry across the south and south-east during daylight hours. Fronts moving in from the north-west bring rain and briefly milder air to Ireland, Scotland and northern England. Snow confined to the higher hills. Into the night, colder air returns, with snow falling to lower levels in the north. West to southwesterly winds will strengthen, to gale force around western coasts. Temperature rising slowly to 4 to 7C, mildest west.
A cold front passes southeastwards in the early hours, giving a spell of rain to southern England, but clearing in the morning. Much colder air follows, sweeping across the entire country into Tuesday daytime. Clusters of heavy snow and hail showers are likely to be focused around western coasts of Britain, also the north/west of Ireland, but spreading well inland on a stiff northwesterly breeze. Local significant accumulations of snow are possible. Some sunshine. Highs 1 to 5C.
Low pressure centred to the east is expected to give a cyclonic northerly airflow during midweek. Detail is uncertain, but clusters of snow and hail showers are likely. Most frequent showers are likely to draped around coasts in the west, east and north - fewest for central-southern England. Where showers are persistent, significant snow is possible. Expect icy conditions. Highs 0 to 4C.
The pattern is due to turn northeasterly in the second half of the week. Staying cold, or becoming even colder for most places. A bitter wind from the North Sea will bring snow showers inland across many eastern regions. Drier toward the west, although local bands of snow showers may continue. Highs 0 to 3C.
High pressure builds across Scotland and Ireland, whilst a northeasterly wind continues across England and Wales. Bands of snow showers in the east. Bitterly cold, with very low overnight temperatures in Scotland. Staying near or below freezing all day for many places across the country.
Easterly winds are likely to continue, so the chill continues. Some snow showers, mostly in the east, but some coming inland into the Midlands. Temperatures staying near or below freezing.