Arctic Blast Brings Cold End To May, Possibly Coldest UK Spring Since 1979

Written by on May 22, 2013 in United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

2667_63502551730_8165063_nThe air mass now dropping down over the UK is very cold for the time of year but is it a big surprise? Especially given that we may be set to experience our coldest spring (March through May period) since 1979.

With high pressure to the west and low pressure to the immediate east, we have a strong north wind that is driving air straight from the arctic. The GFS has 5,000ft temps of -5 covering Scotland, Northern Ireland and north Wales tomorrow afternoon and this shall support snow above 2,000ft and within the heavier showers tomorrow, the snow level may drop to even lower levels.

Temperatures tomorrow afternoon will be more suited to early March and not late May with most struggling to reach double digits. Even London may hold at around 10C, that’s 10C below normal.

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For eastern parts of the UK where winds will be blowing strong out of the north along the coast, clouds may be thick with frequent, blustery showers, we see remarkably chilly daytime maximums of just 5-7C. It’s weird to think of ‘wind chill’ this late on, but during the middle of the afternoon tomorrow, wind chills will be widely in the 3-6C range. Highs over the mountains will remain below freezing with a howling gale, heavy snow and bitter wind chill.

The western UK and Ireland will fair best over the next few days, although showers and a chilly north wind will still make it’s presence felt here too though.

Conditions look to settle into the weekend as high pressure builds in so expect sunshine and warmer temperatures. The low which dives south over the North Sea will cut off from the jet and so the arctic connection is lost. This will allow the more settled air mass building into the UK and Ireland from the west to warm up. Highs Saturday and Sunday should be in the 13-17C range again with little wind.

The still chilly air in the mid and upper levels along with clear skies and light winds by night, is likely to help rural grass frost to form.

As for early next week, another low will dive into the UK bringing wind, rain and unsettled conditions. This looks set to persist into at least mid, if not late next week.

Though the models keep heights low and a largely unsettled theme into the first couple of weeks of June, the fact that the NAO still looks set to go well into positive territory, I remain cautiously optimistic of warmer and more settled times ahead.

Be sure to check out the video from earlier.

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