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Met Office Weather Warning - Freezing Temps Heavy Snow

13th December 2010

Tuesday 14th December 2010 and Wednesday 15th December

Frost in places overnight and during mornings both in air and on roads, with the continued low level icy road hazard - due to continued snowmelt which refreezes at night, which probably continues to be a factor over parts of eastern England and over Scotland, though gritting should be effective with this. A little rain in parts of the east too could lead to icy surfaces, this potentially turning to light sleet or snow for instance over SE England on Tuesday and Wednesday, though no significant settling is expected.

Thursday 16th December 2010 to Monday 20th December

We continue to monitor an area of very cold air coming out of the Canadian Arctic today and across Greenland tomorrow. Given the lead time, there remains an unusually strong consensus from the forecast models for this to come south across the UK on Thursday, preceded by a band of rain. This may turn to sleet and snow as it clears and poses a widespread black ice risk for Thursday morning across Scotland and a tricky situation for gritters. It will quickly give way to frequent snow showers in strong to gale force winds spreading south through Thursday. Heavy snow showers are expected to affect the northern halves of Scotland and northern Ireland, parts of Wales and southwest England as well as eastern coastal counties of Scotland and England.

During Friday it seems likely that it will increasingly be western areas which bear the brunt of the snow, along with northern Scotland, so in this respect differing from the previous spell of disruptive snow, with the potential for some large accumulations of snow over southern England and Wales Saturday into Sunday..... though by this stage confidence in regional discrimination becomes lower. There is also an indication that eastern counties of the north may again come into the firing line for frequent, heavy snow showers through the weekend. Overnight minimum temperatures, especially Friday into Saturday, are likely to be exceptionally low over snow cover (minus 10 to minus 20 C), with maximum temperatures close to or below zero C.

Confidence in this next spell of severe weather remains high, and its disruptive potential
looks similar to, or possibly higher than, those experienced recently. However, regional
detail will probably remain difficult to get right even up to relatively short lead times.
Outlook for the remainder of December

The signs are that the cold weather with hard frosts and some snow will continue at least in the north into first part of this period, though with decreasing severity. At the same time there are indications that it could turn milder from the south as we head into Christmas and through the last week of December, though confidence in timing and extent of this transition is low.

Briefing Issued on Monday, 13 December 2010 at 04:00

For the latest forecast go to -

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