>Record Streak Ends For Scotland As ‘Heights’ Lower & Core Of Warmth Shifts South, Big Change On Way!

Written by on March 28, 2012 in Rest of Europe with 0 Comments


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Record Streak Ends For Scotland As ‘Heights’ Lower & Core Of Warmth Shifts South, Big Change On Way!

Following a solid 10 days of dry, sunny, settled and warm weather, this weekend heralds a big change for much of next week as we see a return to normal temps and more unsettled conditions, rainfall chances increase

Warmth & 100% sunshine covers Glasgow on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Mark Vogan)

Record Streak For Scotland Ends As Clouds Roll In

Old March Record

22.2C record March 1957 at Gordon Castle

New March 2012 All-Time Record High’s For Scotland

Sunday:   22.8C at Fyvie Castle (Aberdeenshire)
Monday:  23.2C at Cromdale, (Moray)
Tuesday: 23.6C at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire)

Over the course of the weekend, the ridge of high pressure both migrated north from Iberia and France and as it did so intensified. By intensifying, it ultimately raised ‘heights’ which meant cloudcover throughout the UK was unable to form through strong ‘sinking’ of air underneath this summer-strong system.

Yesterday morning’s MODIS satellite image!

The above upper level chart from yesterday off the ECMWF model shows the strong high sat directly over the UK. The core of this strong high, positioned over the north of England/southern Scotland meant the greatest depth of atmosphere for sinking air and strongest surface warming was over found over Scotland rather than England. Notice how highs only today are warmer than Scotland, why? the core of high pressure has shifted south in the past 12 hours with the advance of a trough and cloud-bearing front which is introducing cloudier, breezier, cooler conditions.

Going back to yesterday, with light winds blowing out of the south and combined with the high’s position, this meant by the time the breezes reached Scotland, they were dried out fully, only enhancing, not moderating the warm air. There was no cooling/modifying influence off the chilly waters of the Atlantic, North Sea or English Channel. Strong sunshine, an unusually warm pool of air sat parked directly over Cumbria & the Scottish borders, combined with a drying out effect of a southerly air flow meant the perfect environment for a very rare, very warm March day over Scotland.

I even believe the recent lack of rains over Scotland and this dominance of high pressure which has brought sunshine since late last week and it’s drying out of damp soils has also helped these unprecidented March temps not only over the Highlands and NE but throughout Scotland. Records for March were set across many areas and this is no mean feat.

This morning’s MODIS satellite image!

The top satellite image shows the perfectly clear skies covering ALL of the UK and Ireland. This is rare even in summer never mind March and also illustrates perfectly the rare setup which brought the rare warmth. You can’t get this setup without a display of meteorological perfection, i.e a series of events setting up perfectly.

The clear skies covering the region was only produced by a STRONG high, the strongest we’ve seen yet. Stronger highs have both a stronger sinking of air-ability which supresses the atmosphere’s ability to form and support clouds. Only at night, when the atmosphere cooled, did the clouds and fog form, right down at the lowest part of the atmosphere. Did you notice the clouds not only formed near the surface but they burned off fast, especially in the last couple of days, this was because the mid and upper atmosphere was very warm, compared to normal and once the sun rose, the warming at the surface started fast.

The below satallite image shows clouds pushing southwards. This is a trough and lower heights. Lower heights means cooler air and cloudier skies, breezier conditions return. The high will continue to bring warm, sunny weather to England Thursday and Friday but by this weekend, the trough and cool pool will win out, deflecting the high off to the northwest.

Next weekend is looking rather cold compared tothe conditions we’re seeing just now. Hill snow is likely in the north and a brisk northwest wind and highs struggling to reach 10C is likely across a broad area.

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HIGH: 91° at Wink, TX
LOW: 15° at Big Piney, WY


HIGH: 73° (22.8°C) at St James Park (Central London)
LOW: 27° (-3°C) at Katesbridge (Co Down)


HIGH: 66°
LOW: 31°

Thanks for reading.

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