Friday 29th November
We started this week with such promise. Firstly all eyes were on a ‘one in a 100 year comet’ plus we had gorgeous autumn sunshine and a crunch under our feet. Then the comet fizzled out and dull cloudy weather rolled in for many! A double negative! One positive is that the cloudy made it much milder. This weekend is a tale of two halves with temperatures around average.
It looks like it’s bad news for many hopeful star gazers, but there could be a small light at the end of the tunnel! Over the last week as the comet has been hurtling towards the sun at around 850,000 mph it has been getting brighter and brighter which had been a good sign. However on Thursday evening when the comet was at it’s closest to the sun-with a scorching heat of 3000 degrees-astronomers saw a dense trail of particles suggesting it has broken up. Such a sad end to a comet that is 4 billion years old and has travelled 90 million miles. However, there are some reports that there is a small part of the comet that has survived. So it’s not all over yet! We could still see the comet early in the morning during the start of December, although much fainter than we had hoped. So keep a look out.
Friday a cold front sinks south, with sunshine returning but a drop in temperatures and significant wind chill, especially in the north with snow showers over the mountains. High pressure will then build back with lighter winds and the temperate bouncing back to average.
Saturday will be your best day of the weekend with beautiful autumn sunshine for many and lighter winds so feeling less cold. Mostly dry with a few showers in the far northwest and in the east.
Sunday a weak weather front creeps in from the west bringing cloudier skies.
Mostly cloudy and generally dry for most of the UK on Tuesday with light winds, but outbreaks of light rain and strengthening winds in the northwest will move slowly southeast through the day, with scattered showers following in the northwest. Through to next weekend southern Britain will remain generally cloudy but dry, with colder, more changeable weather in the north spreading slowly south. Temperatures initially around normal for the time of year in the south, but it is set to turn colder from the north.
The early part of the month was generally rather unsettled, with rain most days and relatively mild.
There was colder weather at times from mid-month onwards, and it became more settled, with high pressure dominating especially from around 22nd onwards.
Temperatures: Despite a rather mild start in the south, have been slightly below average.
Rainfall: After a rather wet first half, rainfall totals for the month are below average in many parts, most notably Northern Ireland and eastern Scotland.
Sunshine: Around 120% up to 27th. It’s likely to be the sunniest November in the historical series (since 1929) for Scotland.
There have been reports in some papers that an icy blast will last for 3 months. While the Met Office don’t issue a forecast for Winter it’s fair to say that this is almost a statement of fact rather than a shocking headline as December, January and February are the months the Met Office define as winter and as such are the coldest months of the year! It’s too early to speculate about the whole of winter but the forecast for December is: Cold weather will gradually give way, first in the north, but finally in the south with milder westerly winds and unsettled weather reaching the north later. The south will probably remain more settled. From Friday 13th there are indications that temperatures are likely to remain near or slightly below average for the time of year, but otherwise fairly normal conditions for early winter are most likely. The wetter and windier weather should tend to be towards the north and west of the UK, and the best of the drier and brighter conditions further south.
Enjoy the sunshine while you’ve got it & keep those winter woollies ready.
Friday 15th November
Winter's on its way...
It’s been a pretty average month so far (see below for more details). This week we’ve had typical autumn weather, frosts by night, the first scraping of the windscreens for many, plus the leaves are finally changing colour. There’s been plenty of sunshine, other than northwest Scotland, where they’ve been plagued with showers or rain and cloud. It’s all about to change as autumn gives way to winter!
What’s happening this weekend?
It’s a tale of two halves - we’ll all see one day of sunshine and one day of cloudy wet weather. Weather front will move into the north west on Saturday bringing cloudy skies and outbreaks of rain here, which will slowly slip south through the weekend, affecting England and Wales by Sunday. So it’s a reverse of fortune.
What’s the forecast?
Scotland and Northern Ireland: Saturday cloudy with outbreaks of rain and drizzle arriving in the northwest, spreading to all through the morning, turning heavier and more persistent through the day. Sunday, the best day of your weekend as the weather front will have cleared through, bringing colder and fresher air, so a sunny with a few showers in the northwest and a chilly wind.
England and Wales: Saturday, the best day of the weekend with lots of dry weather. Mist and fog for some will be slow to clear. Sunshine to start, turning cloudier in the north later. Sunday will be a cloudier, breezier day with outbreaks of rain in the north during the morning, moving south, arriving in southern areas by the evening. Temperatures around average.
Is it really going to turn colder with snow next week?
Yes. It’s going to be significantly colder next week, cold enough for snow. This weekend's weather font will clear into the near continent on Monday, the winds will then turn to a northerly allowing the flood gates to open dragging bitter Arctic air across the country. For the first time this autumn temperatures will be below average, well below for many. Snow showers even over hills in the south, especially Dartmoor and Exmoor. Snow will accumulate over northern hills, there could even be some slushy deposits down to low levels. It’ll be cold and icy by night.
November so far
Temperatures wise it’s about average overall, however England and Wales have been nearly a degree above average, while Scotland and Northern Ireland have been nearly a degree below average. Rainfall is sitting around average but it’s been above average for southern England, where it’s also been a dull month to day.
Hunt out those gloves, scarfs and hats, you’re going to need them.
Friday 8th November
For some of us it has felt like winter arrived this week, with our first taste of snow on Tuesday in Northern England and Scotland, some living above 4-500m had an inch or two lying and even a dusting down to 200m in heavy showers for others this week. It’s actually typical for this time of year but it's easy to forget how cold it should be, after what was the ninth warmest October on record. We’ve had cold frosty nights and there’ll be more of them over the weekend, we are now fully in the grips of autumn with a hint that winter isn’t far away.
What’s happening this weekend?
Low pressure continues to sit to our north bringing more showers to northwestern areas that have been plagued by them all week. Some showers will be light, some heavy, some even ‘organised’ together, I know that makes the showers sound like they have a life of their own and decide to join together but that’s literally what happens. High pressure takes us into Sunday with a dry sunny weather but all eyes are looking to the west as our next weather front looks to spoil it for some of us.
What’s the forecast?
Saturday. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England will have sunshine and showers, heaviest, still in the west with hail and thunder, plus gusty winds . The rest of England and Wales will start fine and dry, then a band of heavy rain and showers moving into the west by 7am and clear the east around 4pm. Either side, sunshine and a few showers.
Sunday, a gorgeous cold and sunny start to the day, the fine weather will last for through the morning if you are marking Remembrance Sunday, which is great news. It won’t last as cloud and then rain will move into the west around lunch time, into central areas by the evening, meaning the east will stay dry all day long.
What does next week hold?
It’s hit and miss. A wet start for many, slowly improving through Tuesday, high pressure builds in from the south on Wednesday bringing a cold and frosty night but also a fine and sunny day with light winds. The rest of the week is a north-south split. The north will be closer to low pressure, which brings the risk of rain or showers and gusty winds. The south wins out closer to high pressure and keeps the nice sunny and mostly dry weather with chilly nights of all.
Super Typhoon Haiyan is one of the biggest and most powerful storms to develop one Earth. Torrential rain, battering winds and storm surges are forecast to cause catastrophic devastation.
The Typhoon has been gathering strength through the week out in the northwest Pacific with its sights set on the Philippines. It made landfall around 1am UK time on Friday morning. Out to sea waves the highest wind gust was reported to be 235mph, waves as high as 14 metres and a central pressure an astonishing 895mb, this is still a way off the lowest ever, which was 870mb in Super Typhoon Kipp back in Oct 1979.
Winds this strong mean that the Typhoon is the equivalent of Hurricane category 5 (the highest level), which is the same level that Hurricane Katrina was when she battered Louisiana in 2005. Many people don’t realise that Typhoons and hurricanes are the same thing; they are called Typhoons if they develop east of the date line!
The storm force winds stretch out 300 miles; the width of the UK but the huge and impressive cloud wall stretches out around 1300 miles and would engulf the UK. Winds inland have been reported to be as high as 200mph, which makes out 99mph at the Isle of White last week pale into insignificance. The storm surge that hit the coast was believed to have been around 15 feet, the height of a double decker bus inundated coasts. Rain will be relentless up to 500mm if forecast for some areas, that’s half the average UK annual rainfall in just 24-36 hours. This will cause life-threatening flash floods and landslides.
Haiyan will weaken as it tracks over the central Philippines, and then emerge over the South China Sea. There after the weakening storm continues to track
westwards towards Northern Vietnam. The rain from Haiyan will unfortunately add
to the accumulations from recent ex-tropical storm Krosa that ispresently decaying in this area. If that isn’t bad enough the centre of the storm is expected to pass close to an area where thousands have been displaced to as a result of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in mid-October.
Friday 1st November
This week we’ve finally felt autumn arrive, it all started with the damaging storm on Monday - more details below - it’s been a seesaw week with rain one day, showers the next and this weekend follows suit.
What’s happening this weekend?
Friday lulls us in to a false sense of security with a fine start for some but rain will soon move north bringing a wet end to the working week and your bonfire celebrations if you’re heading out on Friday night. Then as soon as that clears away, another area of low pressure developing in the Atlantic will sweep across the country on Saturday - again there’ll be some soggy sparklers! It clears through by Sunday to bring a day of sunshine and blustery showers - similar to Thursday.
What will you have?
Saturday. A cold and frosty start with lovely sunshine to greet many, wrap up and head out early to enjoy an autumn walk, because cloud and rain will soon sweep in from the west. Turning wet and windy for Northern Ireland and Scotland, then staying windy with showers through the afternoon England and Wales will be cloudy with scattered showers in the west by late morning, central areas by lunch time, with eastern areas staying mostly dry until mid afternoon.
Saturday evening-Bonfire celebrations-Scotland and Northern Ireland, a soggy and windy evening for bonfire celebrations. England and Wales will be hit and miss with scattered showers, however south eastern areas are more likely to stay dry. Wherever you area wrap up as it’ll be cold.
Sunday. Another cold start with a frost, especially in the north. It’ll be another
blustery day with sunny spells and scattered showers. Heaviest in northern and western areas, with the risk of hail and thunder, even snow across the mountains of Scotland. Southern and eastern parts will escape most of them with sunny spells. Feeling cold in the wind.
Will November continue as it started?
In a word, yes! More heavy rain on Monday in the south brings the risk of flooding. The rest of the week looks cold and frosty by night with the Atlantic firmly in charge, bringing further wet and windy weather sweeping across the UK.
You won’t be surprised to hear that temperatures have been well above average, both by day and by night, meaning it’s likely to be the mildest October since 2006 and make the top 10 in a series going back to 1910. Scotland has had a predominantly dry month but elsewhere parts of England and Wales have had above well above average rainfall with. England overall having at least 143% of the average rainfall, with some parts seeing more than others, Exeter has recorded more than 200% of its average monthly rainfall (up to 28th October) meaning it’s likely to be the wettest since 2000.
The big storm
Monday’s storm brought heavy rain, damaging gusts of wind that caused thousands of trees to topple, travel chaos for millions and tragically the loss lives. The storm quickly swept through southern England, as forecast with four days notice, it could have been so much worse, it doesn’t bear thinking about. It was the worst storm to hit the UK since January 2007.
Where and how did it develop?
On Friday an area of low pressure developed over Newfoundland and got swept up by the jet stream, it quickly crossed the Atlantic, rapidly intensifying - known as Explosive Cyclogenesis. The storm tracked from the Bristol Channel through the Midlands, then the Wash before clearing into the North Sea around 11am on Monday. It first arrived as heavy rain in southwest England around 7pm on Sunday, the winds picked up by 11pm with a gust of 63pmh in Culdrose, the narrow swath of damaging winds quickly swept through southern counties of England
Needles Isle of Wight 99mph
Landgon Bay, 82mph
Isle of Portland, Dorset 81mph
Andrewsfield, Essex, 79mph
Odiham, Hampshire, 78mph
Thorney Island, West sussex 76mph
Wattisham, Suffolk 76mph
Solent, Hampshire 75mph
Yeovilton, Somerset 75mph
Heathrow, greater London 69mph
The strongest winds developed between 4 and 10am on Monday, when they dramatically increased, this is thought to have been caused by a meteorological phenomenon called a ‘sting jet’. This develops around the southern flank of a low and can be identified by the ‘hook’ shape in a satellite picture. Unstable air is drawn from the upper atmosphere down to low levels, and this causes some of the most powerful gusts in European storms. It produced gusts of 120mph in Denmark, the highest gust they have ever recorded. There were astonishing videos of people being blown down the street.
This weekend, wrap up if you’re enjoying a bonfire party, take an umbrella and keep it handy for the rest of the week.
Friday 26th October
It’s been a stormy week of weather, but you ain’t seen nothing yet! Last Sunday morning there were unconfirmed reports of a Tornado in Hayling Island with 100 properties damaged. Tuesday night large parts of southern England had torrential thunderstorms with amazing lightning displays that lit up the sky, and roads temporarily turned into rivers. It’s also been really mild, around 6 degrees warmer than average by day, and a whopping 10 degrees milder by night.
Why so stormy?
October is always a stormy month with warmth left over from summer and cold air trying to fight its way in. The result of this battle are areas of low pressure all driven along by the jet stream which is right over the UK at the moment, and that means we’ve had one spell of rain after another. This weekend is no exception.
What’s the forecast this weekend?
Saturday will start cloudy and damp in places, but it’ll soon brighten up and feel quite warm. A spell of rain will move into Northern Ireland by lunchtime, then into Scotland during the afternoon. It will move into the west of England and Wales late afternoon. The southeast will be dry until the evening. It’ll be a windy night as the band of rain moves through, followed on by blustery showers. Don’t forget the clocks go back one hour on Saturday night.
Sunday an area of low pressure will sit to the northwest of the UK, giving an unstable westerly airflow with sunny spells and blustery showers. The showers will be most frequent in the west with hail and thunder plus gusty winds. Then on Sunday night a deep storm is forecast to hit the UK, giving horrendous weather for some parts on Monday.
Where is Sunday night's storm developing?
This weekend the jet stream strengthens to around 150mph and drives from northeast Canada across the Atlantic. It will engage with an area of low pressure, which hasn’t yet formed and this will cause it to deepen very quickly. This is known as Explosive Cyclogenesis. At the moment the exact track of the storm is uncertain, but it is most likely to pass through the centre of the UK bringing the heaviest rain and strongest winds on its southern flank to southern England and Wales.
There are already Met Office warnings in force for heavy rain with the risk of flooding and strong winds: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/
Stay tuned for flood warnings here: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/
The trees are in full leaf, so some leaves will fall after this weekend’s windy weather, blocking drains and so this increases the risk of flooding on Monday. There will also be fallen branches and possibly trees, giving the risk of travel disruption, ferries may also be affected.
How about the rest of the week?
It’s half term for many, after Monday’s stormy weather it improves! It’ll be cooler and showery. It turns more settled mid week, then the northwest looks more likely to be wet and windy, the south east looks largely dry until the end of the week.
Stay tuned to the forecast and stay safe.
Friday 18th October
It’s been a stormy week of weather a sure reminder that we are in the grips of Autumn. Last weekend we had the cold northerly gales along the North Sea with amazing photos of crashing waves.
This week has had people reaching for their heating, especially Wednesday morning, which was the coldest night of Autumn so far, temperatures dipped close to freezing for many and down to a chilly -2.9C at Kinbrace in Highland Scotland. Thankfully the winds have eased & milder air has returned but there is more wet and windy weather on the way.
Why so stormy?
As usual, the jet stream is to blame. It’ll sitting over us all weekend, low pressures in tow, allowing Atlantic weather fronts to sweep across the country. It won’t be raining all weekend, equally it won’t be dry all weekend either. Expect rain or showers but on the plus side there’ll be some sunshine and with a mild South westerly flow we won’t have cold frosty nights.
What’s the forecast this weekend?
Saturday: Friday’s rain will come to rest across Scotland, leaving a cool, cloudy and breezy day with outbreaks of rain on and off. Elsewhere a cloudy and damp start, soon brightening up with sunny spells for many. Scattered showers will develop, heaviest in the west with the risk of thunder. Windy in the showers, especially in the west, reaching gales at times.
Sunday: The cloud and rain finally relinquishes it’s grip on Scotland and we are all in the same mild boat. A day of sunshine and showers, as usual the showers will be hit and miss, but most frequent and heavy in the west with perhaps the odd rumble of thunder. If you’re in luck and dodge the showers and shelter from the breeze it’ll feel lovely with above average temperatures around 15-18C!
Does it improve next week?
No change really, Low pressure sits to our west, it looks fairly wet and windy to start the week, sunshine and showers from the middle of the week, staying mild by day and frost free by night.The hardest thing at this time of year is knowing what to wear, everyone had winter coats, jumpers and even scarves unpacked, ditch those big coats for now, more rainmacs and umbrella weather this weekend and next week.
The last few days has seen the warmth of recent weeks knocked out of it. From Monday's high of 22.4C at Donna Nook in the east Midlands, and Tuesday's high of 22.3C at Wainfleet (also east Midlands) we stooped to just 13.8C at best yesterday (Chivenor, north Devon). Autumn is now showing signs of the more traditional pattern and the frosty nights have begun in northern Britain, where air temperatures have started to dip into low single figures during the early mornings.
Today we've got a split in conditions as the north west of the British Isles becomes controlled by an area of high pressure, and the south east falls foul to low pressure, grey skies and outbreaks of rain.
The weekend sees a very similar weather set up. Western and north western areas will do best for dry conditions and sunny spells. The further southeast you are the cloudier the skies will be and the more rain you're likely to see. Some southeastern areas could see more than an inch of rain over the next few days.
The generally north easterly airflow will keep the colder feel for us all, with temperatures sitting where they should be for this time of year (at around the low to mid teens Celsius). We've done well to keep the heating off so far this autumn, but we'll be hitting the switch soon if we haven't already. Despite the downturn in the weather, have a great weekend!
Watch my new video forecast, Laura's Look Ahead, to find out what weather is coming up beyond the weekend.
Thunderstorms clear to give a promising weekend
This time of year Atlantic weather fronts have the UK in their firing line. However for the first half of the week high pressure did it’s thing and tried to keep them at bay. That was until Thursday when low pressure returned bringing wet and humid weather, this is a recipe for storms. Thunderstorms and persistent rain gave more than 40mm of rain over Western Scotland, North Wales and Dartmoor in the space of 24 hours. We also saw up to 23mm (almost an inch) of rain in thunderstorms at Manston in Kent during Thursday evening between 10 and 11pm. That’s roughly a third of Kent’s average October rainfall in just one hour! The good news is, high pressure seems to like us and will return this weekend.
What does the weekend hold?
An improvement for many. Though Friday doesn’t look too impressive after a mild night with overnight temperatures will be around or even higher than they should be by day at this time of year. Crazy stuff. It’ll feel claggy and humid, plus look grey and gloomy. Expect mist and hill fog plus drizzle and some showers or thunderstorms lingering in the north and east. Then our friend high pressure makes a spectacular return just in time for the weekend. It does three great things: 1.Cap off the showers so it’ll turn drier. 2.Open up the Isobars meaning the winds ease. 3.Clear skies will bring mist and fog by night but also fine weather by day.
Is this weekend good to get outdoors?
Yes - it’ll be great. It really won’t feel like the start of October, it’ll feel more like early September. Both days will start misty and foggy, if you’re up early enough. A few last showers lingering from Friday will soon clear the east. Then other than a weak front moving into northwestern Scotland it’ll be a dry weekend, such a contrast to the 36 hours before. Winds will be a gentle southwesterly, so sheltered eastern areas will have the best of any sunshine and warmth. Temperatures will be above average with highs of 17 to 20 Celsius. I can’t promise wall to wall sunshine but you’ll all see some blue skies and it’ll even feel warm enough for a BBQ, have it early as the nights draw in much quicker now.
Will the fine weather last?
More good news. High pressure sits close to the south, low pressure close to the north. So it’s a northwest/southeast split. The risk of cloud and rain at times for parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Elsewhere generally fine, settled and staying mild!
October, the month of change looks like it’s being kind. How long will it last? Watch my new video forecast, Laura's Look Ahead, on Monday to find out.
Friday 27th September
Warm weather stays with us until the end of September
It’s been a week of highs and lows, it’s felt like Autumn in the morning with the foggy skies, while it can cause travel delays it also creates beautiful views as it starts to lift - the river Thames had a real Sherlock holmes feel to it. We had clear skies and minus 1.2C at Aboyne on Thursday morning with a grass frost for some, but in contrast a scorching 23.7C in London on Tuesday making many reach for the sundresses and shades, throwing us back to summer.
What’s the outlook this weekend?
Pretty good thanks to high pressure sits to our east, it’ll try to keep weather fronts at bay but some progress will be made in the southwest. A chilly easterly wind will strengthen, taking the edge off the temperatures. Elsewhere we’ll all see some sunny spells it’ll still be warm with temperatures between 17 and 21C (average 15-18C).
What’s in store this weekend?
Southwest England and South Wales, more humid air moves in bringing scattered showers, they’ll be hit and miss but some will be torrential with thunder, they’ll be more confined to the southwest by Sunday.
Far north of Scotland and the Northern Isles will have a decaying weather front bringing cloud and outbreaks of rain on Saturday, so feeling cool. Turning drier and brighter on Sunday.
Elsewhere largely dry with sunny spells. Feeling mild for many and humid in the south but a strengthening southeasterly develops this weekend. This’ll make it feel cool along the North sea and Channel coasts, with gusts 40-45mph to the lee of high ground in Wales and southwest England.
Will the warmth last?
High pressure will stay to our east. It’ll keep that chilly breeze along North sea coasts. Eastern areas will be driest and brightest. Western areas will be cloudier with outbreaks of rain but still mild. Later in the week Atlantic weather fronts will battle in and it looks like they could win out so expect a cooler and wetter end to the week.
September to date
I always think of September as being a lovely month with late BBQs and walks by the river. We had a lovely start to the month and a pretty good end but in between many of us were reaching for our heating. So overall (with a few days to go) it all looks pretty average. Temperatures have been above average for southwest England and northeast Scotland, but below average for northwest England - overall we are only 0.1C above average but with mild weather in the outlook it looks to be a mild month. Rainfall is 70% of average (up to 26 September), and wettest in southeast England and driest in northeast England and eastern Scotland. A little dull with only 70% overall.
Climate change report
The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report was published at 9am on Friday. The UN run the IPCC which only has 12 full time staff. It gathers climate experts from all around the world every six years and all the latest data from global weather and climate models, and together they decide on their projections for the outlook.
The Met Office have more information on climate change in the following links:
What is climate change?
What drives weather?
Key facts from the report
- Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia
- The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased
- Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850
- In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (medium confidence)
- Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system.
- Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system
- Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions
- It is very likely that the Arctic sea ice cover will continue to shrink and thin and that Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover will decrease during the 21st century as global mean surface temperature rises. Global glacier volume will further decrease.
Read the full Climate Change report here
Friday 20th September
Warm weather returns and we have a hurricane to thank!
Rain, gales, hail, sunshine, fog and even frost. This week’s had it all. We started with last weekend’s stormy weather where we had a gust of 100mph over the top of Cairngorms, even to low levels we reached 67mph at Aberdaron! It’s not just been windy but chilly, temperatures have been below average, loads of you have been tweeting me saying you’ve had your heating on or have resorted to the winter coat already. We even had a frost with the mercury dipping below freezing to -0.2C on Tuesday morning in Cairngorms. We have had rain most days but all that is about to change. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
How will a hurricane help our weather?
‘Humberto’ became the first hurricane in the Atlantic. (Read previous blog for more info) He’s now a tropical depression and has been sitting in the mid Atlantic gathering lots of warmth and water. Through Friday and Saturday he will track north and get swept up by the jet stream. A ridge of high pressure sitting to our southwest will be amplified as the warm air moves north. The warm air will win out pushing ‘Humberto’ (essentially an area of low pressure) north of the UK allowing the high pressure to build bringing settled and more importantly warmer weather!
What’s the forecast?
Both Saturday and Sunday look pretty similar. Good news for many. Not, however in northwest Scotland, closest to the low, you’ll have scattered showers at first then a weather front will push in bringing cloud and rain plus strengthening winds, the risk of gales on Sunday.
Southern England and Wales will have a weak weather front lurking on Saturday morning making it cloudy with drizzle during the morning, but come the afternoon things should brighten up nicely.
Western areas will have the fed of milder air, this bring the risk of low cloud and mist around western coasts.
Elsewhere, the best weekend we’ve had in a while. Dry with light (and more importantly milder south westerly) winds and some sunny spells plus feeling milder. The best of the blue skies and the warmth will be in Eastern England and Eastern Scotland, sheltered from the winds, where we could reach 22C. Temperatures will be above average for all of us away form the northwest for the first time in two weeks.
Will the nice weather last into next week?
It looks pretty good to start with high pressure dominating. Mid week it’ll turn chilly by night with a touch of frost in the north. Then towards the end of the week it’ll turn cooler for all. Unsettled with cloud and rain for more north eastern areas. The southeast looks largely dry with sunny spells.
Did you see the Harvest Moon?
Many of you did. It was so bright on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I really thought there were loads more street lights on. Thanks if you sent me a photo. It’s the closest full moon to the Autumn equinox (22nd September-the start of astronomical Autumn). The equinox is when the sun sits over the equator and everywhere has equal day and equal night. From Monday onwards our nights will be longer than our days!
If you’re out enjoying the weather this weekend and take any nice photos send them to firstname.lastname@example.org (put FAO Laura Tobin) I might use them in my blog or on air.
Friday 13th September
What has happened to our weather?
It’s been the question everyone’s been asking me this week! Autumn arrived, that’s what, it crashed summer's party and it looks like it’s packed a big bag!
It’s hard to believe that just over a week ago it was hot and sunny with 30 degrees. It’s fair to say it’s been a pretty rubbish week, we’ve had every type of weather even fog and a frost. Plus lots of rain, so much so my Editor’s water butt’s overflowing. It’s been cold, I’ve seen winter coats, scarves and Sue Jameson even admitted to wearing gloves (it’s cold first thing outside Downing Street).
Some of you’ve even put the heating on! I refuse to do that until November, I’m even wearing flip-flops in defiance! Alas it’s to no avail as this cool and unsettled weather will be with us for at least another week.
What happens this weekend?
A reverse of fortunes then our first autumn storm! Thursday’s rain that gave wet and windy weather in the north will come to rest across southern England and Wales on Friday, waves will pass along it ‘pepping up’ the rainfall and stopping it from clearing away, this means it’ll still be hanging around for a while on Saturday.
Better news in the north as high pressure builds in bringing more settled conditions, but this is the calm before the storm. A deep and intense area of low pressure developing in the Atlantic will bring very wet and very windy weather, especially in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Met Office warnings have been issued already.
What does that mean for you?
Saturday: Southern and southeast England cloudy with outbreaks of patchy rain on and off, slowly easing and clearing from the west. Elsewhere a largely fine day with light winds and sunny spells. Just a scattering of light showers.
Sunday: Awful! Cloudy, wet and windy weather over Northern Ireland and Scotland will quickly march southwards across the UK, reaching the southeast of England by the afternoon. Rain will be heavy at times. It’ll quickly be followed by showers in the northwest, some heavy and squally with hail and thunder, even the risk of snow over hills of Scotland! If that’s not bad enough it’ll feel cold in blustery winds, gales or severe gales in the far northwest.
Will warm weather return?
Unfortunately not next week. It still looks Autumnal with cloud, wind and rain. Chilly with a risk of frost by night and snow over peaks of Scottish mountains. Then, light at the end of the tunnel next weekend as things may turn more settled, with drier brighter and warmer weather in prospect.
In other news-Finally the first hurricane in the Atlantic!
The peak in the Atlantic Hurricane season was last weekend. We finally saw the first hurricane on Wednesday Humberto. This is the joint latest (with Gustav in 2002) for a hurricane to develop for 60 years. Records began in 1851 and only 7 times since then have we seen a hurricane develop later than this. Latest was 8 October in 1905.
Its funny because it was forecast to be an active season with various things coming together including bad weather in Africa (where the initial storms develop) above average sea temperatures in the Caribbean and no El Niño, causing a warming of the Pacific which affects the Atlantic. However, we’ve had lots of dust/sand particles lifted from the Sahara in the upper atmosphere and also sinking air in the central and eastern tropical Atlantic which causes storms to dissipate. That said there’s no reason why the second half of the season won’t make up for the slow start, conditions are now ripe.
And finally, if you get the chance to take some nice pictures of the weather this weekend, send them in to email@example.com and the best ones will be used in my blog.
Friday 6th September
We’ve gone from Summer to Autumn in 24 hours...
Stunning start to September, then it’s all change!
We hit the magic 30C (86F) for a few places in southeast England and East Anglia, namely Writtle in Essex and Frittenden in Kent. Wattisham also had their warmest September day since 1973. It’s still way off the all time highest September temperature, which was the 2nd in 1906 when we saw 35.6 C at Bawtry in South Yorkshire. This week its felt like mid summer for many, with temperatures well above average, despite us Meteorologically being in Autumn (September-November).
The summer stats have been counted and it looks like Summer 2013 was the sunniest and warmest since 2006, and the driest since 2003. Temperatures were above average for all and ranked equal-ninth in the records dating back to 1910.
So are we having an ‘Indian summer’?
In a word-No! it’s a little too early in the year. The Met Office’s Meteorological Glossary, states that ‘An Indian summer is defined as a warm, calm spell of weather occurring after the first frost in autumn, especially in October and November.’
The origins of the term Indian summer are uncertain, many people think it’s after the country India but several writers suggest it may be have been based on the warm, hazy conditions in autumn when native American Indians chose to hunt. The earliest record of the use of the term is in America at the end of the 18th century.
Why the dramatic change in our weather?
Many reasons but the main one is a weak weather front that was lurking in the northwest on Tuesday, it’s made slow progress across the country. This will bring fresher air and a significant drop in temperatures, 10 degrees for some. Then through Friday it’ll engage with warm air over France, giving it more energy causing the front to come back to life, this will bring persistent and heavy rain with the risk of localised flooding. Warnings here. It’ll feel like we’ve gone from Summer to Autumn in 24 hours.
What’s the weekend forecast?
It starts pretty awful and slowly improves.
Friday will see heavy rain for many away from Northern Ireland and central/northern Scotland. It’ll be prolonged, slow moving and heaviest in North Wales, northern England and the north Midlands-60mm is forecast with torrential, slow moving thundery showers (80mm is possible) later in the day for southwest England and south Wales. This gives the risk of localised flooding plus river level flooding. If that isn’t bad enough the brisk northeasterly wind will make it much cooler than the last few days.
Saturday the rain changes it’s focus and moves to Northern Ireland, Scotland, NorthwestEngland and North Wales. (So basically Northwest England and North Wales will have two bad days of weather). It’ll start heavy and persisted but slowly ease through the day. Most of England can breath a sigh of relief as you’ll have drier fortunes. In South Wales and south west England, showers will develop but no where near as heavy as Fridays. A winds day for all and still feeling cool.
Sunday the weather front will continue to ease and move away. Then it’s a west-east split. Western areas will be sunshine and showers. Eastern areas will be largely dry with sunny spells, not as warm as this week 20C at best but at least not as wet as Friday!
Is this the end of summer?
It’ll feel like it for a while, next week starts with scattered showers. Mid week low pressure sits in the North Sea dragging a cool northerly across the UK with rain in the east. It’ll be a real Autumnal setup with temperatures below average for the first time in a long time. Summer tries to fight back in the south later in the week, and thankfully it looks like it might win!
Friday 30th August
Summer, the season that keeps on giving?
This week has been gorgeous and it’s all thanks to high pressure that camped out over the southern half of the UK giving a late burst of summer sunshine and warmth. While the mornings have been notably chillier, the evenings have been beautiful. Many of you have been sending me your photos. If you take any nice ones this weekend email them to me on firstname.lastname@example.org (terms at itv.com/terms)
Tis the season of change
Autumn officially arrives this weekend - no need to panic, meteorologically summer is June - August and autumn is September - November. It doesn’t mean come Sunday the floodgates open to Atlantic weather fronts and temperatures will plunge, but what it does mean is the shorter days provide less heat to hold the high pressure over our shores and progressively weather fronts will try to push it away. Some will be successful, bringing wet and windy conditions; others (as with this week) will quickly decay, being nothing more than a damp squib.
During the next month it’s common to have a big swing in our weather, often starting with warm conditions, then from mid month things (statistically) become more unsettled and stormy.
What’s happening this weekend?
Friday, sunny with a warm 25C in the southeast but a weather front will push into Scotland and Northern Ireland bringing cloud, outbreaks of rain and gusty winds-the risk of gales for the Northern Isles. It’ll slowly sink south, decaying as it runs into the high pressure, so a cloudier end to the day in the south. Behind the weather front, great news high pressure builds back in but crucially the wind direction changes to a fresher northwesterly.
Saturday and Sunday look pretty similar. Scotland and Northern Ireland, sunny spells and scattered showers, heaviest in the west and feeling cool in the gusty northwesterly wind, despite temperatures being around average (17C). England and Wales look largely dry with a bit of a breeze, temperatures 22C at best, fresher than this week but still feeling warm in the sunshine.
Will summer stay next week?
It will for some. The closer you are to high pressure the more settled your weather but if you’re closer to low pressure then you’ll be more unsettled. Next week we are between the two! Low to our north and high to our south. The outlook is a Northwest-Southeast split. NW cloudy with showers or longer spells of rain, windy and feeling cool. SE largely dry with sunny spells for much of the week, with average or a little above temperatures.
Summer hasn’t stopped its fight just yet.
Friday 23rd August
As summer draws to a close, it’s been a pretty good year for the weather, for once - and with another bank holiday on our doorstep, we’ll have every type of weather thrown at us. While we won’t have the heatwave continuing all weekend, don’t worry, it won’t be a washout. There’s still the opportunity to get the BBQs out, though you might want to avoid Saturday!
What will you need to pack this weekend?
Pack a bit of everything. Sunglasses, suncream and an umbrella for Saturday, keep it handy for Sunday. Then you can keep the sunglasses for the bank holiday but you’ll probably need to dig out an extra layer!
Through Friday warm and humid air will be drawn up form Spain and France where they’ve been having a heatwave with temperatures into the low 4’s. This will bring sunshine and temperatures will shoot up to 30C. BUT on Saturday a weak weather front will move in from the west and engage the humidity air causing thunderstorms to break out! Then the heat and humidity will drop, taking the ingredients for a storm away giving a lovely end to the bank holiday.
What’s the forecast?
Saturday. While it will be warm with sunshine on offer, especially in the north. The humidity will trigger thunderstorms to develop. Many are at risk of seeing them but they will be pretty hit and miss. But the areas most likey are central and southeast England. The best of the sunshine will be in Northern Ireland, western Scotland and southwest England.
Sunday. Showers could occur almost anywhere most likely in southeastern, quarter of England, plus parts of central Scotland and Wales. The good news is they won’t be as heavy or as many as Saturday. Elsewhere bright or sunny spells and a fresher day with temperaures back down to average 19-24C.
Monday. The best day of the weekend. Patchy cloudy with sunny spells on offer and mostly dry. There is a risk of showers in the far north west and south east but nothing too heavy. It’ll feel warm in the sunshine and light winds. Perfect for those BBQs but it’ll be much cooler in the evening.
What will the last week of summer be like?
Bad then good! The working week starts unsettled with spells of rain and becoming windy for some, so feeling cool. Then finally the jet stream that drives weather systems across our shores migrates north towards the end of the week bringing back our lovely dry, sunny and warm summery weather. Hooray!
Laura's sums up her wonderful week of Laura's Landmark's adventures!
The Tower of London
There is so much to see and learn that you’ll need a whole day here. A visit wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Crown Jewels, there are some of the biggest and best jewels in the world. It houses the biggest diamond in the world and the oldest diamond in the world which apparently holds a curse for the wearer-only if they are a man, as apparently he will die a horrible painful and slow death! Thankfully if you’re a woman you’ll be absolutely fine! The big attraction at the moment is the Lilly font that little George, Price of Cambridge will be baptised in later in the year.
There’s also the Beefeaters or their official title (which the prefer) Yeoman warders, I chatted to Barney. Plus the stunning ravens, legend has it that if there are fewer than 6 ravens in the tower the kingdom will fall! Thankfully there were 8 when I visited with the biggest performer by far ‘Merlin’ (a girl). She took quite a shine to Barney, even letting him stroke her-you should NOT do that, they have sharp beaks!
The White Cliffs of Dover
They are very imposing yet beautiful when you see them and stand up to an impressive 350ft/110m. They are the closets point in the UK to the near continent and can bee seen clearly from France. They have been witness to battles and soldiers returning to war along with a greeting point for Royalty but mostly associated with Dame Vera Lynn’s world war 2 song ‘White cliffs of Dover’ (I had that in my head all day) You can also see hidden caves and south foreland light house-the first in the world to have a working light! While there area occasionally big rock falls, the cliffs are only slowly erroding around 1cm a year, so you’ve got plenty of time to visit.
You’ll find something for all the family here. The Cutty Sark is so big, and beautifully crafted that you could walk around it for hours, it’s amazing to think that it sailed the sea’s back in 1870 with only 28 crew. The most amazing fact I learnt was, the tea clipper carried enough leaves in a single voyage to make 200 million cups of tea! Then the observatory with it’s stunning view across London and a chance to stand on the international date line! It felt weird to have one foot in the western hemisphere and one in the eastern hemisphere, every new day starts at Greenwich.
The sun was shining and it had everything you could want on a visit to the seaside, a beach, funfair and a pier. Not just any old pier, the longest pleasure pier in the UK and actually in the world. It’s 2158 metres long or a mile and a third in old money, if you’re lazy like me you can always catch the train to the end, grab a bite to eat and then walk back! My visit was topped off by having a local favourite-Rossi ice cream from the oldest ice cream shop in town. It’s been there since 1932 and they still make it fresh everyday! It was so nice I had 3 different flavour-top tip-go for the lemon.
What a way to end the week with one of the most iconic building and traditional seasides in the UK than coming to Blackpool. Its got a beach (no donkeys anymore) the pleasure beach and the world famous Blackpool tower! It was commissioned in the late 1800’s by John Bickerstaffe-the mayor of Blackpool-who was inspired after seeing the Eiffel tower in Paris. It was a firm favourite with my family and me and still is with many today.
Friday 16th August
Weekend wash out?
What a week it’s been, a mix of sun, wind and rain, but the highlight had to be the annual Perseids meteor shower and their peak on Monday. The skies were clear for many and if you stayed up late or got up early (as I did and saw one) you weren’t disappointed. It was a spectacular display, up to 60 per hour! Here’s an interesting fact, a meteoroid is a rock in space, a meteor is a rock in the atmosphere and a meteorite is a rock on the ground! Lots of you have been asking the difference.
We’ll all see some wet weather this weekend - why?
It’s all thanks to low pressure! Our flow has been coming off the Atlantic all week and continues into the weekend. Friday’s weather front will slowly clear the southeast, then Saturday our next weather system tracks across the country bringing wet and windy weather! Then clears away by Sunday-this is the best day for outdoor plans.
Saturday. While central and eastern areas start dry and sunny, Western Scotland, Northern Ireland and northwest England will start cloudy and wet with a strengthening breeze. By lunchtime it’ll be raining in southwest England, Wales, the Midlands and Northern England. Eastern and southeast England make the most of it as you’ll get the cloud and rain arriving during the afternoon. A really windy day compared to what we’ve had lately, they could touch gale force in the Irish Sea and the far northwest of Scotland. Temperatures will be back to average.
Sunday. An improvement for many, the wet weather will clear away but it’ll still be windy, especially in the north (closer to the low pressure). England and Wales, fairly cloudy with bright spells and mostly dry. Northern Ireland bright spells and a few showers. Scotland sunny spells and scattered showers, thankfully the blustery winds will half to push them through quickly. We’ll all notice it’ll feel fresher and less humid.
Will summer return?
It looks like next week will start unsettled with more breezy weather and rain or showers but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and high pressure will try to build back. Pushing away the weather fronts, meaning less winds, drier and sunnier weather looks more likely, just in time for the bank holiday weekend, perfect timing!
There’s still plenty of time to plan some summer days out keep reading to find out my Top 5 castles, museums, zoos, film locations and theme parks. Have fun. X
August 15th - Tobin’s Top 5
Although some kids in Scotland have gone back to school this week, many are still on their holidays. Regardless of the weather I’ve come up with some top days out up and down the country - from the traditional to the more adventurous... my Tobin’s Top 5! Five Top 5 countdowns to keep you busy, plus they won’t break the bank as many are free. Here they are, in no particular order.
Windsor Castle is where the queen stays at weekends and Easter but not in the summer as she is in Balmoral. Leeds Castle, which importantly is in Kent. Edinburgh Castle with the festival that runs until the end of the week. Cardiff Castle, in the city centre, which even has its own moat. Finally Alnwick Castle in Northumberland which was used as Hogwarts for the first two Harry Potter films.
Natural History Museum, where you’ll be greeted by Dippy the diplodocus who is 150 million years old and only ate plants. National Railway Museum in York that has the royal carriages, so you can see how the Queen travels. Portsmouth Historic Dockyards, where you can see the amazing HMS Victory, which fought against Napoleon. Titanic, Belfast that uses CGI to recreate what life was like for the 2200 people on board. Finally, my favourite - the Science Museum in London, where you can learn about space travel, how your body works and the weather - I felt like I wanted a Saturday job there.
I cheated a little and actually have a top six, as on Wednesday I went to Blackpool Zoo and met penguins, had a kiss from a sea lion and was lucky enough to come face to face with a Western Lowland Gorilla which is on the critically endangered list. The work the zoo is doing helps to raise money and awareness for the Gorilla, which is on the top 10 list for mammal species that are reliant in zoos. London Zoo, which invented the abbreviation Zoo. Edinburgh Zoo with its panda who was ten years old on Wednesday. Chester Zoo that has had a recent baby boom with the recent arrival of Northern Cheetah cubs and two rare Sumatran tigers. Whipsnade Zoo who have a nine-month-old Greater One-horned Rhino. Finally Marwell Zoo that has three baby snow leopards, also an endangered species with less that 5000 in the world.
4. Film locations
Harry Potter-Kings cross station-Platform 9 & ¾: check out the photo of me as Harry with the rest of the Potterets, who had just been at a Harry Potter convention. World War Z, starring Brad Pitt, was filmed at George Square in Glasgow. If you like a bit of period drama, Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly was filmed at Chatsworth House. The hilarious Alan Partridge film, Alpha Papa, staring Steve Coogan, put Coogan's home town Norwich on the map. Finally the stunning Temple Church, the 12th century building in which Tom Hanks tried to solve the Da Vinci Code.
5. Theme parks: Perfect timings as Friday is National Rollercoaster Day!
Alton Towers - its latest ride certainly made me scream! It has 14 inversions and plunges 30 metres. At Thorpe Park have a go on Swarm; Thorpe Park's latest rollercoaster has a new twist this year - you're dragged backwards through a 127ft metal billboard! Chessington World of Adventures has ten different areas to play in from Wild Asia with its Kobra which spins you at over 40 miles per hour to the Forbidden Kingdom area which has the super soaking Rameses Revenge!
But if that all seems too scary for you then there are other options:
If you have younger children Drayton Manor might be more up your street. It's the fifth anniversary of Thomasland and you can celebrate by taking to the skies on board Harold the Helicopter! And finally your little ones will love a visit to Legoland Windsor. This summer they have a new Splash and Play area.
If you haven’t seen the video of me being the first person in the world to ride the Smiler at Alton towers, check it out here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkotiCXZu6M. It’s worth a look - it was brilliant.
That should leave you with plenty of ideas on how to enjoy a family day out whatever the weather. Have fun! x
This week we've seen a really mixed bag of weather. The gardeners would have been happy with Tuesday's downpour but for those of us holidaying at home it's been fun and games dodging the showers, but there was also some warm spells of sunshine, especially for southern areas.
Today it's an improving picture with most of last night's rain now gone through, although there'll still be a few showers across eastern fringes of the UK until later today. This afternoon west will be best with drier conditions and some sunny spells. Temperatures in the north 16-20 C. Warmer in the south 20-25C.
This weekend it'll be best to plan ahead as the weather could spoil your outdoor plans unless you adopt the attitude 'whatever the weather'.
On Saturday, it will feel cooler and fresher at first but there will be plenty of sunshine around during the morning. The cloud will build everywhere by the afternoon and the west of Scotland, North West England and Northern Ireland could see some scattered showers at times. The south will stay dry until later on when southern counties of England will see rain spreading in from the west during the evening and overnight.
On Sunday it will start cloudy with outbreaks of rain for the south and southeast of England but this should clear during the morning, conditions will then brighten up across England and Wales, with just a few showers for northern and western districts. For Scotland and Northern Ireland, we'll see a mix of sunshine and showers. Some of the showers could be heavy and prolonged, especially in the west, and there's even the risk of thunder. It will become breezy everywhere, with the strongest winds for exposed northern and western coasts. This will make it feel cool in the north.
Some of the papers have been talking about another heatwave. At the moment there are no signs of this, but that's not to say we won't see a few more hot and sunny days.
Friday 2nd August
Summer shines back
A shift in wind direction is all it takes, with a heat wave in Spain and our winds flipping to a southerly, this allowed hot and humid air that originated across Africa to spread across the UK on Thursday, temperatures peaked at 34.2C at Heathrow. Such a dramatic rise from Wednesday where some places were 10 degrees cooler. What a week, last weekend thunderstorms brought 80mm of rain in 24 hours in Cumbria, one of the wettest days of the year. Then we end with the warmest day of the year!
What’s happening this weekend?
Through Friday a weak front will cross the country clearing away the warm and humid air and bringing fresher cooler conditions.
Through the weekend an area of low pressure will sit to our northwest bringing an unstable south westerly airflow.
Basically that means breezy with sunshine and showers on Saturday. Cooler for all with temperatures around average at 19-24C. The north and west will see the cloudiest of the weather, and it will be windy with a risk of gales across the far northwest of Scotland. The showers could break out anywhere though and one or two of them are likely to be heavy and thundery.
On Sunday thicker cloud and more general outbreaks of rain will start to edge in across the British Isles from the west and southwest, although probably not reaching the east of England and northeast Scotland until late on in the day.
A northwest, south east split for many. Northwestern areas will be fairly cloudy with showers of longer spells of rain developing. It’ll be breezy and turn cooler too. The southeast will have better fortunes with largely dry and warm weather but don’t rule out a little rain at times.
It looks like July will be the warmest, sunniest and driest since 2006! We also had the longest heat wave since 2006. Many other records were broken.
It certainly felt like summer during the first half of the month, with only 6% of our average rainfall and many places having less than 5mm of rain. During the second half of the month torrential thunderstorms soon made up for that and lead to flash flooding. We ended (on 28th) with 61% of our average. Houghton hall in Norfolk had their driest July for 34 years with 20mm of rain. The driest overall was Cromer in Norfolk with a tiddly 6.8mm. The wettest was Carlisle in Cumbria with 171.8mm.
July was the first month to have above average temperatures for a year! Around 2 degrees above where it would normally be. The highest average temperature was 21.07C at Heathrow. Aldergrove in Antrim smashed their 86 year average temperature record with 17.92C (previously 17.44C).
It’s been one of the top 5 sunniest Julys since records began on 1955 with 137% (up to 28th). The sunniest overall was Valley in Gwynedd with 335.8 hours. Again records were broken with Bude in Cornwall having 322.74 hours of sunshine beating their previous record by 18.64 hours held since 1923.
Lets hope August follows suit!
From heat wave to storms!
Well what a week it’s been. We started with Melting Monday, where we peaked at 33.5C in Heathrow and Northolt, which meant it was the warmest day of the year and also the warmest day for 7 years. We broke another record. We reached 28C every day from 6th July to this Wednesday, which was the longest spell since 1997.
All this coincided with the birth of the Royal baby - what a day to give birth! The heat and more importantly humidity built, this lead to torrential thunderstorms developing. Amazingly at 4:30 pm at the same time as the birth, a storm developed on the south coast of England, this then tracked north, grew and grew and became the spectacular light display that many people experienced. On Tuesday Nottingham had 73mm, more than a months worth of rainfall in 24 hours! Thursday Ayrshire had reports of a tornado and a house caught fire after being struck by lightning.
What is happening this weekend?
High pressure that brought our sunny settled weather has been squeezed away by low pressure this both, dragged humid air from France and allowed a weather front to push in from the Atlantic. This warm but unsettled theme will continue this weekend with further thunderstorms.
Saturday, some uncertainty with a storm in France, it looks like it will spill lots of cloud into southeast England plus scattered showers during the morning, then longer spells of rain and the risk of some continental thunderstorms, during the afternoon, which could bring localised flooding. It could stay in the southeast; it’s likely to move across East Anglia, possibly the Midlands and maybe as far as Wales. Scotland, North Ireland and Northern England will again experience heavy showers and thunderstorms. In between lots of dry warm and sunny weather. Top temps into the mid 20’s.
Sunday is more straightforward. The southeast will have a much better day, drier and brighter conditions. Then for many hit and miss with sunshine and showers, heavy, frequent and thundery in the north yet again. Falling onto saturated ground, this brings the risk of localised flooding. Still warm in the sunshine between the showers.
Will the heat wave return?
Unfortunately not next week. The outlook remains unsettled with showers, it’ll be windier, with temperatures slowly slipping away. On a plus side it won’t be as humid oh and there will still be sunshine between the showers.
Dig out those cardies and brollies but keep the sunglasses at the ready.
Record Heat will lead to Torrential Storms
It's been another very warm weekend across many parts of the country, with the highest temperatures recorded in the west. The hot, sunny weather has been with us for weeks, but this week will see a major change in the weather across the UK as the thundery breakdown arrives.
How hot will it get?
Well, it looks likely that Monday will see a new high temperature for 2013 recorded, we could possibly hitt 34C in the Greater London area, or perhaps north Kent, making it the highest temperature for 7 years in what has been the longest heatwave since 2006, back then we had 14 days of 30C+ maxima in the UK, we've had that here since last Saturday.
There are still Heat Health warnings for most of England and again East Anglia and the southeast are back upto level 3 - for the latest, check out this link:
When does the thundery breakdown begin?
Today! The high pressure responsible for this prolonged period of dry, hot and sunny weather is finally relinquishing its grip on the UK, allowing a weak weather front to creep in from the west. More importantly humid air is being drawn up on a hot plume of air from the near continent. This will collide with the very hot air in place across the UK, the perfect recipe to trigger thunderstorms. So if you're craving for some rain, I know my garden is (July has been a particularly dry month so far... up to and including the 15th, less than 5mm of rain has fallen across most of England, Wales and eastern Scotland), then this week should bring some respite.
Very Isolated thunderstorms will develop through central areas on Monday, you'll be unlucky if you get one. Then Monday night the spectacular light display begins and the heavens open. Tuesday & wednesday you'll feel the oppressive humidity build with more widespread & torrentrial thunderstorms with hail & gusty winds. The dry parched ground & heavy bursts of rain up to 1cm in 10 minutes will cause surface run off and potentially the risk of localised flooding. The Met Office has already issued a Yellow Warning for the whole of England, Wales and the far south of Scotland:
Does that mean summer is over? Luckily not! From Monday to Tuesday for some the temperature will drop upto 8 degrees! Then take a slow tumble. We'll be looking at temperatures returning to the low to mid-twenties Celsius for many places for the rest of the week. This is still above the seasonal average and it will continue to feel very warm in any sunnier periods. So welcome relief for some, welcome rain for some, and a little less sunshine on offer than we have become used to. Don't forget though, that even if turns cooler, the sun is still very strong at this time of year.
It looks like summer is here to stay!
Friday 19th July
And the heat goes on.
Yes we are in the grips of the longest heat wave since 2006. Temperatures peaked over 30 degrees last Saturday and have done every day since. The top temperature this week was 32.2C, the magic 90F making it the warmest day of the year so far.
Why is it so hot
The jet stream is still behaving it’s self and sitting to the north of the UK allowing warm air to move up from the near continent. High pressure has been anchored across us for two weeks bringing settled weather and shows no signs of moving just yet. This weekend we may start to break local temperature records, especially in Scotland.
What’s the forecast this weekend?
The high pressure will migrate north and be centred over northeast England. This will take the warmer air to more northern areas. The winds will start to come in from the east. This will do two things bring cooler conditions to eastern areas and also cloudier skies.
West is best this weekend with hello will have a lot of sunshine around the temperatures will climb into the middle hi 20s and 30s the son of the other part of Scotland we could have record-breaking temperatures.
Is the east it's not looking great because we've got low cloud mist and fog sitting in the North Sea. The easterly winds will bring that all inland. The low cloud in the east & foggy conditions will burned back to eastern coast through the day. So not spectacular conditions here but inland the sunshine will breakthrough as we had through the day.
If you're hoping for wet weather this weekend you are set to be disappointed. There will be isolated showers in the northwest on Saturday and they could develop across the Southwest on Sunday.
What to do in hot weather?
Stay cool, drink lots of water, wear sun cream & make sure you stay out of the sun in the middle of the day. Temperatures are well above average this weekend. The metoffice still have heat health warnings in force the details can be found online, some places already at level three, four in the highest.
How long will it last?
The weather is forecast to last well into next week lots of people have been asking if we're going a thundery breakdown, that might happen at the start of next week. Thunderstorms are developing in the near continent and they are likely to track into southern areas at the start of next week.
Enjoy the beaches & BBQ's, it looks like the hot, dry and sunny weather is here to stay-for now.
Friday 7th June
Summer is here!
I’ve been reading through your weather requests and saving this for a while and now I’ve only gone and done it, I offer you summer, not like the soggy summers of recent years, no, the summers we all remember when we were children. Well it’s obviously not my doing but this time I mean it.
Hot and sunny-is this linked to the heat wave across America?
No, the heat wave in America is across western states, they have had high pressure for weeks and weeks, the combination of dry desert conditions and the atmospheric blast furnace mean that many daily, monthly and all time records have been broken. This also triggered the devastating scenes of wild fires that took peoples lives. It was phenomenally hot. Las Vegas reached 47C, 116F equalling their all time highest temperature. Death valley was an astonishing 54C, 130F close to the all time temperature record on Earth, 57C. So hot that there were reports of a runners trainers melting on the road!
Where is our hot weather from?
Well this time we have the ‘Jetstream’ to thank. It’s given us glancing blows recently with weather fronts mid week but finally it’s making it’s journey north, taking the weather fronts and more importantly wet and windy weather with it. This allows the ‘Azores high’ to build and build right across the UK. This means, dry sunny and more importantly warm weather.
What’s happening this weekend?
Maybe a little misty or foggy first thing thanks to clear skies overnight. This leads to beautiful sunny days. Dry for most of us with barely a cloud in the sky and light winds. The strength of the July sunshine means the temperature will soar to low 20’s for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Mid 20’s for England and Wales, possibly 28 or 29 degrees in the southeast. If this is too hot the coasts will always be refreshingly cooler, you could even brave dipping a toe to cool down.
The exception to the hot sunny weather will be for western Scotland and Northern Ireland, on Saturday a weak weather front will bring cloud and outbreaks of rain, for Sunday there could still be a legacy of cloud and light drizzle.
Things are hotting up on and off the court at Wimbledon. Andy Murray won't be pleased to hear that Friday’s temperature will climb to 26C under unbroken sunshine and Sunday in case he is wondering could reach 29C but much hotter on court. Not quite the all time tournament record of 34.6C in 1976.
How long will it last and how hot will it be?
The high pressure and summer like weather are forecast to last at least a week!
We won’t get close the all time UK record of 38.5C set on 10th August 2003 at Faversham in Kent. However temperatures are likely to reach the low 30’s maybe even the magic 90F!
The bad news is that the pollen levels will be high to very high all week and with moderate to high UV levels there’s a risk of lots of burnt people.
Get out the BBQ, put everything on ice, lather up in sun cream and enjoy!
Friday 28th June
June draws to a close much as it started, with warm spells of sunshine and a hint of summer.
It’s all thanks the Azores high-it should sit over us in the summer months bringing warm, dry & sunny weather. This week it’s been to our south west deflecting weather fronts until Thursday! While there will be outbreaks of rain over the coming days, they won’t be too heavy. It’ll stay mild with warm spells of sunshine too. Plus into next week the high tires to return to it’s rightful place.
So many summer events this weekend.
Glastonbury: A soggy start on Friday after rain on Thursday night. Then the outlook is pretty good. Water, suncream and havfever tablets are a must.
Silverstone: Friday has the risk of rain on and off for practice but qualifying and the rain on Saturday and Sunday respectively amazingly look drier, sunny and warm.
Wimbledon: Friday could see rain on and off, the weekend lots warm, dry and sunny so suncream at the ready.
Tour De France: Corsica, it’s looking up. After heavy showers on Friday it’ll be dry and warm with 24 degrees for the first day of the 100th tour on ITV4.
What’s happening this weekend?
One weather front will move onto the north, Saturday a warm front and Sunday the associated cold front. Both days there will be a north south split.
Saturday and Sunday much of Scotland and Northern Ireland will be fairly cloudy with outbreaks of rain or drizzle for western areas and a few sunny spells in the east. Much of England and Wales will be drier and brighter plus less humid with the claggy weather in the west clearing. It’ll be 22 degrees on Saturday and could be as warm as 25 degrees in Sunday.
How has June been overall?
It started settled, dry sunny and warm until 9th, then it turned more unsettled with cloud wind and rain. From mid month it became drier, warm and muggy on 19th Herstmonceux recorded 26.4 °C, the highest temperature so far this year in the UK. We’ve ended on a settled note.
Overall Scotland and Northern Ireland have had above average temperatures, England and Wales below average. Meaning overall temperatures for the UK are close to average. Sunshine across the country has been pretty spot on and if you’re thinking you’ve not seen much rain you’d be right, we’ve seen just over half of what we would normally see in June, the exception is Northern Ireland who have been just above average.
As we move into July will the warm weather last?
The outlook is good, I can’t promise a totally dry week but as high pressure claws it’s way back it’ll bring warm settled weather, so mostly dry, Tuesday into Wednesday is most likely. There will be a northwest southeast split. The north being cloudier and windier with rain at times. The south will be lovely, largely dry with sunshine and feeling warm.
Now that the festivals are here it looks like summer may finally have arrived!
Friday 21st June
Does that day ring a bell? It should because it’s the summer solstice - the longest day of the year
For many it’s synonymous with warm sunshine, BBQ’s and flip flops. This week hasn’t been the case, although it’s been warm and humid with air being drawn up from France, (where it’s been in the mid 30’s) giving us 26.2C on Wednesday. For many it’s been a week of showers, many heavy because of their warm origins. Warm by night too with 16 Celsius - too muggy for many - so welcome news this weekend as it turns cooler and less humid with those temperatures more typical for the daytime. Oh yes and this change all comes with rain.
What is the summer solstice?
The June solstice is here once again, marking the longest daylight period of the year and the start of astronomical summer in Earth’s northern hemisphere. At 06:04 BST on June 21, the sun can be seen straight overhead along the Tropic of Cancer, while the North Pole reaches its maximum annual tilt toward the sun. This means that areas within the Arctic Circle see the sun in the sky for 24 hours. Sunrise near Salisbury will be at 04:52, with sunset at 21:26 giving 16 hours 33 minutes and 33 seconds of daylight. In Aberdeen the amount of daylight will be 17 hours 55 minutes and 5 seconds!
What’s happening this weekend?
Friday be sunshine and showers but thankfully not as many or as heavy as recent days. Then all change Friday night as the Atlantic battles back successfully pushing a band of rain across the country. It parks a low pressure across the north all weekend and this means all change. It pushes away the warm, humid and showery air and replaces it with cooler unsettled weather! Will this never end!
Saturday we will all see some wet weather, be it from passing bands of rain through the morning to showers developing later in the day, watch out in the northwest they’ll be heavy and thundery. It’ll be a windy day with gales along the south coast.
On Sunday spells of rain will give way to showers again. The difference is that the focus will be for Eastern Scotland and Eastern England. Here the showers will be frequent, heavy and with the odd rumble of thunder possible. Away from here there will be fewer and lighter showers with the best of any sunshine for western areas. So basically improving from the west through the day. Temperatures on both days a cool 16 or 17 degrees.
Will summer return next week?
Let’s think, start of Wimbledon & Glastonbury on Friday - it can only mean one thing right - rain? Wrong, it looks largely dry in the south. The low pressure pulls away (hurray) high pressure moves in (hurray) - there’s got to be a catch right? Yes, the winds will be coming from the north west, meaning it’ll be cool and not warm.
In traditional British style grab the strawberries and an extra layer and enjoy!
Friday 14th June
Where has summer gone?
I know, it’s the question I’ve been asked all week. We sure have had some crazy weather with literally every type possible. We started with lots of cloud, fog and drizzle. Then clear skies amazingly lead to frosts for some parts. Then heavy rain, thunderstorms and hail and if that wasn’t bad enough we’ve had gales to add insult to injury. One saving grace (I’m clutching at straws) despite the lack of sunshine it’s been relatively mild with temperatures around or above average!
Why did it change?
I feel like saying sorry but it’s not my fault, the blame lies with the Jet stream (yet again). Last week it was sitting to our north allowing warm air from Spain to flood across the country. Now it’s dipped south sitting right over us allowing the floodgates to open to Atlantic wet and windy weather. The ‘break down’ (transition form settled to unsettled weather) happened when the remnants of ex Tropical storm Andrea bumped into our high pressure that up until then had been deflecting weather fronts. She brought warm tropical air and drew up lots of water from the Ocean and made easy work of kicking the high pressure away.
What’s happening this weekend?
It’s not a wash out and we will all see some sunshine but (don’t read on if you want the bad news) also a some showers with rain later!
Saturday, low pressure will sit to our north keeping the blustery westerly wind bringing showers to Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and northwest England. Heavy with coastal gales, hail and thunder, especially in the northwest. Elsewhere, sunny spells and the odd shower, breezy with top temps between 16 and 19C.
Sunday looks promising. A weak ridge builds and for many it will be a find dry start, the blustery winds will have eased for Scotland and Northern Ireland there will still be a few showers but not as heavy as Saturdays. While northern/eastern England enjoy the fine weather all day. Bad news for Wales and southwest England the weather isn’t that kind the next low pressure zips in bringing more cloud wind and rain and it will spread to all overnight and into Monday!
Is summer set to return?
In a word-No. Well, not like we saw at the start of June for the whole country. That said the south and east are more likely to be influenced by high pressure giving largely dry, sunny and warm weather. However the northwest is more likely to be battered by weather fronts bringing showers or rain, gusty winds and below average temperatures!
Next Friday is the summer solstice (the longest day of the year) Maybe the weather will stand up and pay attention then? In the mean time enjoy any sunshine while you can.
Friday 7th June
Summer's finally here!
June arrived, the start to Summer (according to the Met Office) and it seems the weather was paying attention. Like flicking a switch, the warm sunny weather we have all been craving arrived. Thursday was the warmest day of the year so far, with 25 degrees celcius at Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire. It seems we missed Spring, but I’m not complaining.
What’s happening with the weather - Why has it been so nice?
High pressure is the simple answer. The jet stream has moved to our north, allowing warm air to push up from France and Spain. High pressure has deflected weather fronts to our north keeping us dry and sunny. The good news (if you like warm and sunny) is that it’ll stay with most of us all weekend.
What’s the forecast?
Both days are pretty similar and also very similar to much of this week. There are some subtle changes.
By night mist, low cloud and fog will reform and roll into central areas from the North Sea. By day the sunshine will soon get to work punching holes in the cloud and burning it back to eastern coasts. Here will stay fairly cloudy, grey and cool most of the weekend with temperatures around 16C.
Away from the east there will be lots of beautiful warm sunshine, unbroken blues skies for many. It’ll also be dry for most places. For northern England and Scotland there will still be a low risk of a few scattered showers. One thing that is more uncertain are thunderstorms developing in France, they are likely to push into the Channel islands and may move into southern or southwest England. Any showers will be few and far between.
Winds will mostly be light allowing the temperature to climb to a warm 19-22C widely. If that’s too hot then head to the coasts where the onshore winds and sea breeze will help to give a fresher 18C.
What ever you do have a great weekend, take hay fever tablets as pollen levels remain moderate to high in the south and sun cream is a must, UV levels will be up to high in the south with the sun as strong as it is in France and northern Italy. I can smell the BBQ’s already.
Other things to watch out for this weekend...
The international space station. The skies will be clear making for perfect viewing. It will be passing every night, 2 or 3 times, roughly between 10pm and 3am. There are loads of apps to check what time, how strong it will be and where to look. It looks like a slow moving white light moving through the sky, I’ve seen it once when astronaut Chris Hadfield was on board. I follow him on twitter, his photos of Earth are amazing, it’s crazy to think we can see them and they can see us.
The hurricane season is under way. It brought heavy rain and flooding to Cuba and is now crossing Florida, bringing the risk of tornadoes. Orlando, Florida, has collected 81mm of rain, over 3 inches, in the 24 hours to 1am our time today and Tampa 86mm.
The hurricane season runs from 1st June to 30 November. The peak is from the end of August to the start of September. This year both the Met Office and NOAA are forecasting an above average season with more named storms and hurricanes than normal.
Where do the Hurricane names come from?
A panel of people from the National hurricane centre come up with the names.
They are in alphabetical order. They alternate girl, boy, girl etc. There are 6 lists which rotate around every year. If there are more than 21 storms they start using the greek alphabet. If a hurricane has caused major devastation then it will be removed from the list, never to be used again, like Katrina and a new one will replace it. Interesting stuff. I have to wait until next year to have my name used.
These are the names for the 2013 season: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.
What about next week?
High pressure has need deflecting the weather fronts, from Monday they try to battle back. The remnants of 'Andrea' might be just what is needed to finally cause the 'breakdown' to allow the cooler and wet weather to return. As usual this transition in the weather has lots of question marks, it could be quite a slow progress.
Have a good weekend, whatever the weather!
Laura’s lawns - Day 5: Logan Botanic Garden, Port Logan, Galloway
Three acres of walled sub tropical garden that make you feel like you could be in Brazil. The exotic plants of which 120 are rare, endangered or almost extinct are lovingly cultivated & grown. Including the tallest and oldest palm trees in the UK. They have 20,000 visitors a year and are open from the end of March to October.
It's due to its unique position that it can sustain such unusual plants. Its surrounded on 3 sides by ocean keeping it much milder than its surroundings and the gulf stream-which brings warm waters up from the Caribbean & stops us being as cold as Canada-also keeps it mild. It had such a microclimate that even a few miles up the road the plants would not survive.
Plants have been brought here from all around the world including, the palm trees from New Zealand, Eucolyptus with its amazing smell from Australia and Giant Rhubarb from Brazil. It can grow up to an
astonishing 14 feet high with leaves spanning 6 feet.
Standing under the palm trees, I really felt left I was 1000's of miles away. It's still amazing to
think it's Scotland. The giant rhubarb had to be favourite, I was thinking how it would make the biggest crumble ever until we found out it was poisonous! I interviewed Richard who is so passionate about his tropical paradise. He travels the globe bringing back plants to grow and even has one of only two rare rhododendron plants in the world.
Richards top tips to get a taste of the tropics in your garden were, ‘Go for plants that are hardy but exotic like Aeonium, that have a vibrant crimson colour and look amazing. Cannas with it’s green exotic leaves and bright red flowers. Or try a palm like Chusan, it’s guaranteed to give months of enjoyment over summer. Or you can always plant things in pots and have then out during the summer then bring them in during the winter-such as the Musa banana plant.
Find out more about Logan Botanic garden here
Friday 31st May
What a week it’s been. A sunny bank holiday weekend, it went down hill from Monday and for many it’s not improved since!
Western areas have been lucky with lots of sunshine and temps reaching 21C. I’ve been on the road all week with Laura’s lawns, read the blogs below to see how we got on.
June is just around the corner (and the start of summer meteorologically) we’re all hoping it will start to feel like it and I may be the bearer of good news.
May is set to be the coldest since 1996 and after a bitter March this Spring is set to be the coldest since 1962, over 50 years, making it the 5th coldest since records began in 1910.
June is the start of the Hurricane season, both the Met Office and National hurricane centre have said they expect it to be a more active season than normal with more named storms and hurricanes. That said on Wednesday Hurricane Barbara formed south of Guatemala and made landfall in the southeast of Mexico. This is very unusual, it’s the second earliest hurricane to make landfall in history and the furthest east to develop since 1966. It’s something to keep a close eye on over the coming months.
What’s happening this weekend?
The broad weather fronts will stop battering us from both sides and high pressure will build in from the southwest, meaning the weather will settle down.
Weak weather fronts will bring cloud and rain, mostly in the northwest, giving glancing blows at times. Friday will be warm for many 19C in eastern parts of Scotland and 23C in London, but across Northern Ireland and western Scotland you’ll notice the drop in temperature , 15 C against the 19 to 21C over the last day or two. The good news is there will be lots of dry and bright weather, with light winds it will feel warm but not as schorchio as last weekend.
A weak weather front will move into Northern Ireland and Western Scotland bringing cloudy skies and patchy outbreaks of rain or drizzle mostly.
Temperatures around 14C. After a sunny start southern and eastern Scotland cloud will move in during the evening. England and Wales good news, dry and bright with sunny spells with temperatures up to 19C, around average.
More of the same, pretty much. Scotland and Northern Ireland, fairly cloudy thanks to a decaying weather front with patchy drizzle in the north and west.
England and Wales staying dry with light winds and sunny spells, finally starting to feel like spring, even though it’s coming to an end!
How about next week?
High pressure centres itself across the UK, this deflects all the weather fronts and the week starts fine and dry. The high will not be sticking around too long though and as the week goes by, there’ll be some showers. On the plus side temperatures will remain quite warm but not what you would call flaming June just yet!
Thursday 30th May
Day 4 of Laura's Lawns and today I'm in Penshurst Place and Gardens, Tonbridge, Kent.
We arrived on Wednesday to tour the gardens, the sun was shining, it was beautiful but with a mild easterly flow coming in off the North Sea, I knew it wouldn’t last. Sure enough Thursday morning we were greeted by leaden skies and persistent drizzle! The gardens still looked gorgeous but not as glistening as the day before. The big issue was rain on the camera lens, thankfully I always take a shower cap on my lives, not for in the shower but for the camera! There’s a top telly tip for you!
We chose to visit Penshurst Place gardens as they are famed for their amazing 100 metre long border of Peonies. They should have flowered two weeks ago, however when we arrived they were yet to bloom, and guess what, it’s the weathers fault.
Head gardener, Cory Furness told us more: "The cold Spring and late frosts have meant that the Peonies are well behind where they should be, there’s not one in flower, this is very unusual. They only flower for 6 weeks a year. When they finally flower in around a week we are expecting them to be stunning", however the weather has also had a positive effect on the gardens,
Cory told me: "I’ve been here for 6 years and this years display of blossom was the best I’ve ever seen, the Magnolia, apple blossom & cherry blossom plus there were still some daffodils adding a splash of colour. It was amazing."
The gardens are one of the oldest in England and can be dated back to 1346, they are grade 1 listed. There’s 11 acres of formal walled gardens, set in 48 acres of estate. There’s over 500 apple trees, a jubilee walk and amazing topiary.
And with summer just around the corner, (promise) the blooms are ready to break out. The piece de resistance has to be the union flag garden; it’s been there since the 1700s and was planted to commemorate the union between Scotland and England. Plus later in the year there’s a Maize maze, which grows to 8 feet tall.
It’s unsurprising that there have been royal visitors to Penshurst Place including Queen Elizabeth I and Henry VIII used the property as his hunting lodge. Apparently he acquired the property because the previous owner committed treason, so he cut off his head!
We finished the morning with a cream tea, a British favourite in a British garden with the good old British weather!
Wednesday 29th May
Laura’s Lawns - Day three: Bowood rhododendron and woodland gardens, Calne, Wiltshire
It truly is a spectacular display of vivid colours along with beautiful smells. The rhododendrons are one of natures little treats, similar to magnolias they only flower for a few weeks a year. The 60 acres of stunning flowers and breath-taking vistas are considered one of the most exciting gardens of it’s type in the world.
The weather has been both with and against these small trees, last summers rain was actually good news as it provided much needed moisture for the ground, however the cold March, well in fact a cold spring has meant the flowers have blossomed much later then normal. Usually from Late April to early June, this year it’s Mid May to the end of June.
Lord Landsdowne the green fingered Marquis, has gardening in his blood. He is the current owner of Bowood Estate, which has been in the family for centuries. He was the other star of the show, well him and his cute dogs, we got to talk to him on the programme, it’s a shame he was only on for a short slot as I could have listened to him talk for hours. His love and passion of rhododendrons are infectious. He was so animated about the colourful shrubs, it’s in his blood. Back in 1854, several generations ago the first small trees were brought back from India. Since then each generation has added to the collection from far and wide. Recently it was subject to one of the most exciting and significant horticultural finds, 30 hardy hybrids thought to be extinct.
The secret to such a magnificent display is I’m sure love and care but also the soil. The gardens lie on a seam of green sand running from Poole to the Wash, this is slightly acidic and this is key to cultivating rhododendrons.
There is plenty to see and do once the rhododendrons have gone out of season. It’s set in 1000 acres of Bowood estate; elsewhere you can visit the house and manicured gardens, the lake and waterfall plus walled gardens.
Tuesday 28th May
Laura’s Lawns - Day two: Margam Country Park
It’s home to one of south Wales most beautiful gardens which are grade 1 listed.
There is so much to see and do. It’s set in 1000 acres of woodlands. The park attracts 300,000 visitors a year.
If it’s history you want there is plenty to feast your eyes on here. The gardens date back to 1661! In 1830 Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot built, Margam castle. He was so influential, hence the area being named Port Talbot, after him-what an honour.
They have the longest orangery in the UK, which used to be filled with orange and lemon trees. Talking of trees they are everywhere you look, steeped in history some over 100ft tall with canopy’s stretching out just as wide. As well as the trees and woods to ramble around, the park is also known for it’s beautiful rhododendron
There are a number of lakes, one with ducks and geese and I fed them my sandwiches. It used to have a river feeding into it and a mill producing flour, this is now long gone. There is still a cascading waterfall from the lake that would have been used to water the orangery. I can tell you the slate was slippy and I could see my crew were hoping to catch me falling in to bag £250 on you’ve been framed other than that it was noisy, so I had to battle against the sound of the water, without shouting.
On the other lakes you can go kayaking and canoeing. There is so much to do this half term bike trails, stand up paddle boarding and chances to meet lots of animal. Every twist and turn takes you to something new, from the ruins to the old monastery to newly renovated citrus house.
Find out more at www.margamcountrypark.co.uk
Monday 27th May
Laura’s Lawns - Day one: Clumber Park
It’s half term and across the country gardens are beginning to come to life, a little late I must admit after our cool spring. It’s fair to say we have some of the most beautiful and interesting gardens in the world. So we’ve tracked down some of Britain’s best gardens, picturesque potting sheds and vegetable patches and will be travelling the country showing you what’s on display. Plus we’ll also reveal some of the things you and your family can do at each location this half term.
Day one brings us to the heart of Nottinghamshire at the National Trust owned Clumber Park, set in an astonishing 38,000 acres of woodlands, heathland and Lakeland.
Inside is the beautiful walled kitchen garden containing four acres of fresh produce; this would have been used to provide all the fruit and vegetables for the estate back in 1770. It was seen as a symbol of elitism, much as a Ferrari would be now a days!
Currently four gardeners and around 40 volunteers seed, weed and pick the crop, which then goes to the café or is sold to visitors.
There are many impressive things to see inside the walls:
Glasshouse. One of the longest in the UK and the longest to the trust. Inside are vines stretching for most of its 45 metres in length.
Gertrude the cow. Many allotments have scarecrows but I’ve never seen a scare-cow! Gertrude has been resident for three years and helps to scare away the squirrels that like to steal the strawberries.
Rhubarb. I must say I love it, it’s one of my favourite deserts especially as a crumble! There are 125 different varieties and the collection is thought to be the second biggest in the world. Head Gardener Chris Margrave is a self-confessed rhubarb anorak. He talks about it as much as I talk about the weather. It really is fascinating. Its history can be traced back 5000 years when it was used for medicinal purposes and at the time was three times as expensive as opium. Since then it became a regular in people’s gardens, but in recent years has gone out of fashion. Clumber Park are working to cultivate the plants to allow generations to come to enjoy them too. I was lucky enough to even ‘pull’ some rhubarb. It was huge and one stick I’m sure will make a mean desert.
As well as orchards with over 100 varieties of apple, there are vegetable borders with onions, asparagus, kale, vegetable leaves and beans to name but a few. The message from here is have a go at grow your own, it’s become very popular, plus you can grown things in pots even if you don’t have a garden, the top tips from the gardeners were, try starting with leaves, herbs or onions and also plant things you like, you’re more likely to look after them.
Outside the walls
There’s an abundance of countryside to walk though including a stunning Lake covering 87 acres, which stretches out as far as the eye can see, beautiful to walk around and feed the ducks. There’s also a cricket pitch, and a campsite as there is so much to do you could certainly fill a day of two.
There is so much to see and do, no matter the weather. This week there is snail racing. You can make your own pots and plant your own seeds. Plus find out how you can make you own wormery.
Friday 24th May
Is it really the end of May? It feels more like March or April. It’s been another cool and unsettled week with wind, rain frost and even snow! Thankfully nothing compared to the awful scenes in Oklahoma. If you want to know more about what happened read my blog below. Thankfully cooler air has filtered in there meaning the tornado risk has gone as the clear up begins
Spring so far
As spring draws to a close (March-May is spring according to the Met Office) unsurprisingly it looks as though it will be the coldest spring since 1979, and the 6th coldest since records began in 1910! The mean temperature (which is daytime maximum added to night time minimums) should be 7.7C and this year is around 6.1C. This is largely due to the exceptionally cold March, and the influence of frequent east or north-easterly winds bring in cold Polar or European air. This goes against recent Springs as 8 out of the last 10 years have been average or above.
Will Friday’s stormy weather last?
In a word no but Friday's weather really will be atrocious for England and Wales. Thankfully high pressure will build across Scotland and Northern Ireland giving fine settled weather. A deep area of low pressure will sink south bringing outbreaks of heavy rain and more importantly strong blustery winds. Gusts 50-60mph, unseasonably strong.
As many people will be taking to the roads please take care and drive safe as there will be lots of spray and tricky driving in the winds.
What does the weekend have in store?
Well believe it or not, actually refreshingly nice weather. Friday night the stormy weather will clear away to the south. High pressure will build in bringing settled weather. We say goodbye wind and rain and hello sunshine!
Saturday and Sunday
A weather front will plague Northern Ireland and western Scotland, keeping it cloudy with outbreaks of rain on and off. Elsewhere with clear skies and light winds it will be a sunny but chilly start, a widespread rural frost with some temperatures below freezing! I know crazy but it’s a price worth paying. As both days will be lovely, it will finally feel like spring. Light winds, sunny spells and temperatures upto 19C. I can small the BBQs already!
It was sure not to last! The weather front lurking in the northwest will finally make slow progress south across the country bringing cloud and outbreaks of rain. They’ll reach the southeast by the evening. So make the most of your sunny morning.
All in all all a pretty decent bank holiday, other than the chilly nights. The outlook for the end of May is ‘unsettled’ so spells of winds and rain with temperatures below average! Make sure you have a BBQ, who know’s when you’ll get a chance again?
The Oklahoma tornado
Tornado alley has the perfect geographical and meteorological conditions to spawn tornadoes. This time of year spawns the most powerful and destructive.
But how do tornados form?
Warm moist air is drawn up from the Caribbean, Warm but dry air comes across from California then the final ingredient is cold air plunging down from the Rockies. These all collide over the centre of the huge landmass of the States and Tornado alley is where this happens.
The warm air rises rapidly over the cold air and with a little vertical wind shear (winds changing direction as you go up in height) then the rotation begins. A narrow spinning column or ‘vortex’ will quickly form a funnel cloud, when this touches the ground a tornado is born. These spiralling vortexes create the most violent storms in the world. The perfect conditions come together in April and May.
What happened on Monday?
A cold front sank south and collided into the warm air across the Midwest and the South central States where the air was unstable (meaning storms ready to grow). This caused huge amounts of energy to be released into the atmosphere and generating lots of thunderstorms, before long funnel clouds and tornados started forming, the biggest of which crossed Moore on Monday afternoon. It was an F4 on the fujita scale (which is a measure of a tornados strength and goes up to F5) although nearly impossible to measure the exact wind in a tornado it was estimated to be around 200mph! The astonishing thing is it was up to 2miles in diameter at it’s widest! That’s two miles of feroushous winds with tonnes swirling debris. As it passed it picked up trees like toothpicks and tossed cars like they were toys, flattening everything in its path!
Is this unusual for this part of the world?
No it’s very common during the late spring and early summer as the heat starts to build and cold air is still lurking from winter. In Moore this isn’t the first time Moore has seen such a damaging tornado. In 1999 they had an F5 tornado (the highest in the scale) with winds reported up to 298mph, the strongest wind gust every recorded on planed earth! Truly remarkable. That tornado wasn’t as wide as Mondays and it is this reason, plus the area now being more populated that means there is much more damage despite the winds being less powerful.
Are there more storms on the way?
The good news is they are clearing from Oklahoma but the bad news is they are travelling along the same cold front which is moving ease with more thunderstorms forecast and tornados warnings for Kansas, Missouri and Illinois on Tuesday.
Are a tornado and a hurricane the same thing?
No, they are two different things. Hurricanes are huge weather systems, which develop over warms waters and track across the Atlantic. There strength is measured on the saffir-Simpson scale they can be 100,’s of miles wide and can have tornadoes form within them. Tornadoes are narrow columns of cloud from a few meters to a few miles wide.
Friday 10th May
Thought spring had sprung? Think again!
Well, let's start with the positive, most of us had warm sunshine on Bank holiday Monday, which is rare and Tuesday was the warmest day of the year with 23.7C, this was all thanks to high pressure, which gave us sunshine and kept all the weather fronts at bay, until now….
What’s going on with our weather?
Weather fronts that have been queuing up across the Atlantic but have been deflected by the high pressure, now that this has moved off to France and Spain the flood gates have been opened for low pressures to march across the country bringing wind and rain. Thursday was a stormy day with gusts 72mph at Mumbles that’s pretty exceptional for May and there were reports of trees down in south Wales and southwest England.
What’s happening this weekend?
It stays ‘unsettled’ with low pressure sitting to our north bringing spells of wind and rain or showers across the country. The timings of these will be uncertain but we will all have some wet weather at some point this weekend. It’ll be cooler with temps around 12-15C.
Saturday. Scotland and Northern Ireland look cloudy and breezy with outbreaks of rain on and off all day. England and Wales will start fairly cloudy with patchy rain then good and bad news. The sunshine will come out but it will be joined by showers, they will be hit and miss as usual but they’ll be frequent and when you catch one you’ll know it they will be heavy with the risk of hail and thunder!
Sunday. A promising start as a weak ridge of high pressure builds overnight. It means we will be greeted by the sun on Sunday morning. Make the most of it because, surprise surprise it won’t last all day. Things go down hill from the west as our next weather front brings breezy conditions along with cloud and outbreaks of rain. Northern Ireland, western Scotland, Wales and western England look likely to have the wet weather late morning. The eastern half of England and Wales will have the fine weather until the afternoon.
It’s not looking up! It remains unsettled with ‘Polar maritime’ air sinking across the UK. This will bring cooler air and showers, cold enough for snow over high ground in Scotland. Showers will be heavy with hail and thunder, breezy with temperatures below average!
There’s always next week!
Friday 3rd May
Will it be brollies or BBQs this bank holiday weekend?
A bit of both but thankfully more sunshine is forecast than rain (for once) so certainly not a wash out. When I think of May, I think of BBQs, eating outdoors and dusting off the sandals. While it has been warm enough for all of those this week, there’s still been a chill in the air, especially the mornings. Temperatures on Tuesday morning plunged to -6C! Amazingly the record lowest for May is -9.4C. In the sunshine we’ve hit a warm 18C a good 4 degrees above average.
Where were the April showers?
April certainly didn’t live up to its title this month. We either had cold weather with winds and rain or beautiful warm spring sunshine. The showers, when they made their few appearances made up for their no-show by drenching us from the heavens with torrential rain, huge hail and squally winds before whizzing off to their next unsuspecting customer... I should know, I was one of them. It was a rollercoaster month; we started with cold weather, it warmed up to 22C on 14th before plunging again as a biting wind hit back, then ending on a high of 23C! Overall temperatures were below average (probably from the cold and frosty nights). Rainfall was also below average, especially in the southeast of England.
What’s happening this weekend?
It’s not a promising start in the north on Friday. A weather front across Scotland will give heavy rain with the risk of flooding, colder air will dig in from the north giving snow on the Grampians over 200m! The band of rain sinks south through Friday night, slowly clearing the Kent coast on Saturday. Cooler air but sunnier weather tucks in behind. The sunshine will take many of us through the rest of the weekend but for Scotland and Northern Ireland the next weather front rolls in later on Saturday and isn’t in a hurry to clear off! High pressure to our south means her we will have largely fine weather.
What’s the forecast?
Saturday: Southern England will start cloudy with outbreaks of rain, this will slowly clear southwards revealing some sunshine. These cloudy skies will clear across the English Channel during the evening. Everyone else has a lovely start, dry and bright with welcome spring sunshine. However Saturday afternoon in western Scotland the winds will pick up heralding the arrival of cloud and rain.
Sunday and Monday: Scotland and Northern Ireland: Mostly under the influence of passing weather fronts so cloudy and windy with outbreaks of rain, heavy at times. The far northwest may have some sunny spells break with the odd shower. England and Wales: Generally fine, dry with light winds and sunshine for many, a little more cloud in far north and west at times. Temperatures for all around average but feeling warm in the sunshine.
This week the papers said we are in for the driest May on record, is that true?
As we are only a few days in it’s impossible to say if it will be record breaking. However the long-range forecast from the Met Office is that it’ll be drier than average, with high pressure close by. This conjures up images of warm sunshine-don’t get too excited, this isn’t necessarily the case! We start the month with a NW-SE split. The northwest closest to low pressure is more likely to be cloudy with outbreaks of rain. The southeast will be closest to high pressure, so is more likely to be dry with sunny spells and cold nights continuing.
From mid month the high is set to move to our northeast, meaning the winds will come from the east (oh no not again!) across the North Sea, which is much colder than it should be. So while we’ll have a lot of dry and bright weather, there’ll still be a chill in the air for some.
Friday 26th April
Where has spring gone?
Many of us thought spring had sprung this week or even that summer had come early. The temperature every day has been high teens or low 20s well above the 14C more typical for the time of year. This caused people to flock outdoors for lunch, exposing their winter white bodies, despite a sneeze here and there as the tree pollen starts to build, it put a smile on peoples faces.
Especially on Thursday as the temperature peaked at 23C, making it the warmest day of the year. Hooray, and nature has been just as excited. The daffodils, although a month late have been nodding their heads to the sun in the sky, the Magnolia trees have flourished from nowhere and we are expecting an explosion of colour as the spring bulbs finally start to sprout. The excitement is short lived and this weekend we’ll need to protect our small plants, covering them from a potential frost and also wrap ourselves in a few more layers.
Why this sudden change in the weather?
We have been enjoying mild south or southwesterly winds bringing warmth from the near continent. However, at the same time cold air has been gathering to our north and waiting in the wings. It started to make progress into Scotland earlier this week but during the early hours of Friday, a cold front sank south across the country, the winds flipped to a cold northerly allowing the arctic air to plunge across the UK. For some there’ll be 10 degree drop in temperature in just one day. Crazy!
What’s the forecast this weekend?
Saturday. Much of England and Wales will be cool and breezy with sunshine and scattered heavy showers. A Weak ridge will build across Scotland and Northern Ireland, cutting off the shower activity. So a fine, cool day with sunny spells, into the evening our next weather front will bring cloud and rain into the west before slowly moving south overnight. Clear spells and light winds mean a colder night to come with a more widespread airfrost-gardeners beware!
Sunday. A three way split, the weather front will be across Northern England, Wales and southwest England bring cloudy and outbreaks of rain. Northwest of here, so Scotland and Northern Ireland will be breezy with sunny spells and scattered showers. Southeast of here, so Midland, East Anglia and southeast England will be a drier day than Saturday with sunny spells.
How about next week?
May is just around the corner, while we will lose the April showers we unfortunately won’t loose this cool weather. Northwestern areas will be more unsettled with spells of winds and rain. Southeastern areas will be largely dry with sunny spells.
It’s amazing how the weather can make such a U-turn. This weeks warmth could be the last we see for some time! It’s true what they say. ‘Ne cast a clout before may is out!’
Friday 19th April
Well what a weeks it’s been. Last Sunday we had a top temperature of a summer like 22C, since then the temperatures have dropped but still been above average. We also saw the start of a blustery week of weather. Thursday gusts of winds peaked just over 100mph over the tops of the Pennines, then torrential thunder storms dropped huge hail from the sky!
Will the winds stop and the weather settle down?
Yes and yes but not for long! Through Friday high pressure will build from the southwest, trust me this is good news. The high pressure will put a ‘lid’ on the showers meaning they will become lighter, fewer then clear all together. We will have sunshine and the best thing will be the strong and gusty winds will FINALLY ease with light winds for many (for now). Oh this combination will bring chilly nights with a widespread grass frost!
What’s the weekend forecast?
Saturday: A chilly start with any patchy mist or shallow fog soon clearing. Then a lovely day for most of us. Dry with lovely spring sunshine and light winds meaning it’ll feel warm. Unfortunately, northwest Scotland won’t fair as well with a weather front bringing thickening cloud, outbreaks of rain and freshening southwesterly winds.
Sunday: Scotland and Northern Ireland a cloudy start with patchy rain, clearing to sunny spells and scattered showers, some heavy with hail and thunder. Cooler air will move in with showers falling as snow over 300m and those winds return! England and Wales another chilly start with hazy sunshine, make the most of it. Patchy rain will move into northern England and Wales by lunchtime, spreading
to all by the evening.
Yes, it’s the London Marathon this weekend. Can the weather really help you achieve success? The average temperature for the marathon is 15.6C, the joint warmest weather was 22.2C in 1996, and it was also the second sunniest. Even with the warmth 99% of runners finished, one of the highest ever! More facts here.
The forecast, from the little I know about running is good. A chilly start first thing with a temperature around 5C, then rising to 14C by 3pm. It’ll be dry with sunny spells and light winds. Latest Met Office forecast is here.
High pressure sits to our south, trying to keep our weather fronts at bay. The week starts fairly cloudy, largely dry with average temperatures! So not that exciting. Then, yes you guessed it, looks like the ‘unsettled’ weather returns! I’ll keep hunting for that warm spring weather!
Good luck if you are running the Marathon, such a huge achievement & enjoy the
sunshine, while it lasts. x
All this week I’m on the road doing my weather from some of our most popular landmarks.
Plus hopefully giving you some inspiration for last minutes Easter trips. Each one is truly iconic and each morning we’ll give you a clue to where we’ll be the next day. Plus photos, facts and things to do at each location.
Day 5: Disney Land Paris
Yes, we’ve finally finished our Easter holiday travels in style at Disneyland Paris. I was lucky enough to spend the day and night at the iconic park - meeting all the characters, watching the night-time Disney Dreams! Show and riding the attractions.
On 12th April 1992, Disneyland Paris opened its doors and has since welcomed 252 million visitors, 16 million in its 20th Anniversary year – which has been extended for another six months. To celebrate, every night the castle forms the backdrop to a spectacular show with lasers, fountains and fireworks and follows the story of Peter Pan’s shadow.
The resort is 2230 hectares and covers and area one fifth the size of Paris. 14,500 ‘Cast Members’ from one hundred different nationalities help to make the magic happen. An incredible 22 million meals are served in the park every year – including 4400 tons of fruit and vegetables. When you arrive at the park you walk up Main Street U.S.A, laid with 580,000 bricks leading up to Sleeping Beauty Castle with facades illuminated by 225,000 light bulbs. Amazingly, every Disney castle in every park faces South so that all your pictures are perfect!
There is so much to see and do – from Big Thunder Mountain the fastest, tallest and highest one of all the resorts, to exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle – and the secret dragon layer hidden beneath to the meet and greets with characters - Cinderella taught me how to act like a princess, Mickey welcomed me in to his dressing room and was even my Prince Charming.
How about the weather?
We’ve all been hoping that the warm weather will finally return and Spring will be with us – well this week it finally happens. We lose those nagging cold easterly winds thanks to the Jetstream having been further south than normal. Now it’s moving back north again (where it should be) we finally get milder south-westerly winds but unfortunately that also brings rain.
So what’s the forecast for the weekend?
Saturday: A fine but chilly start with sunny spells for many, make the most of it as a weather front will approach from the west. It will bring thicker cloud and outbreaks of rain to western areas before spreading east to most places by the afternoon. The best of the sunshine and the driest weather will be in north east Scotland and eastern England; here you’ll stay dry to the evening. Rain will be heaviest in the west with a risk of gales. Top temperature will be 14 degrees.
Sunday: Staying wet and windy for much of Scotland and Northern Ireland, England and Wales will be cloudy with patchy rain especially in the north. The best chance of seeing some brightness will be in the south east of England; here we could get up to a balmy 18 degrees! Forget Spring, it will feel like summer.
Next week starts unsettled but from the middle of the week the rain clouds should clear, the sunshine will come out and with the south-westerly winds still bringing mild air, we’ll definitely think that Spring has sprung.
Day 4: White Cliffs of Dover
For many the cliffs represent a boundary between land and sea, high and low, between Britain and the outside.
There are many firsts here. In the winter it’s the first place the sun rises. Meaning it’s also the first place to see in the New Year! It’s the first place you would reach if you drew a line from the UK to France as this is the closest point to the continent. It’s also the first place Charles II stepped ashore as King after years in exile. This is just one of many countless important moments in British history, the cliffs have formed the backdrop to.
It’s their proximity to Europe that has meant the cliffs have witnessed some of the most dramatic moments in English history, including the return of British forces rescued from Dunkirk in the Second World War. But long before this Julius Caesar wrote about them and William Shakespeare also famously brought the cliffs to the attention of the nation in the play King Lear.
You obviously can’t think of the cliffs without humming Dame Vera Lynn WWII song, The White Cliffs of Dover. The forces sweetheart is still so passionate about the cliffs that last year she, and a host of other celebrities help raise £1.2 million pounds to preserve them.
What really hits you is the expanse of white stretching out in front of you, this is because of course the cliffs are made of chalk. They are exposed to the elements and the continual weathering process means that new layers of white rocks are constantly revealed. When larger erosions happen the chalk has a long way to fall - as the cliffs are actually taller than big ben or 25 stacked London buses!
On the south east edge of the cliffs stands their most famous building - The South Foreland Lighthouse. This too is filled with firsts. The lighthouse was the first electric lighthouse in the world! It’s also where Guglielmo Marconi made his first ever international radio transmission. The Lighthouse was built in 1843 to guide ships through the dangerous offshore banks of the Goodwin Sands. The light was so bright it could be seen from 27 miles away and, whilst it’s not allowed to be on now, last year, to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee, the Lighthouse was granted permission to shine its light again for the first time in 30 years.
There are many tunnels systems running through the cliffs. The tunnels were first excavated between 1797 and 1802 to provide extra accommodation for the troops stationed at Dover castle. In 1938 the original caves were modernised to become in part the naval headquarters, plus the coastal artillery were also controlled from the tunnels. They were refurbished in 2011 and house an impressive D-Day exhibition that you can now explore yourself.
Time to get your thinking caps on. The clue for tomorrows landmark is ‘a mouse or un Souris!’ Send your guesses to email@example.com.
Day 3: The Tower of London
Built late in the 11th century this formidable fortress was commissioned by William the Conqueror. So many things spring to mind when you think of the Tower, including Beefeaters and Ravens and over the centuries the Tower of London has had many uses. A royal residence, an armoury, a treasury, a zoo, the Royal Mint, a records office and of course to house the Crown Jewels.
Many people, including me, thought that the Tower of London is just one tower. It is actually made up of twenty towers, each steeped in their own history.
It wasn’t originally built as a prison, I got to go in one of the Towers where the prisoners were kept and they were very roomy with fantastic views. The inmates could even bring their own servants. So it was quite a posh prison with not just your common criminal. Amongst its most infamous inmates ranged from Queen Elizabeth the 1st , to the Kray Twins and even Guy Fawkes.
The ravens are dotted all over the grounds. I met Assistant Raven Master Barney who makes sure there’s no ruffling of any feathers! There are currently eight ravens at the Tower. King Charles II decreed that there must always be 6 ravens at the Tower and Legend has it that should it fall below 6 then the Tower will fall! To this day thankfully that has never happened! If they aren’t up to the job then they’re fired. Such as Raven George who was told to spread his wings in 1986 after he developed a taste for TV aerials!
There is so much to see and do here, the crown jewels were for me one of the most impressive. I love that the British monarchy is the only monarchy in Europe that still uses its Crown Jewels in coronation ceremonies. Plus you can see the worlds biggest diamond, definitely worth a look. Rumour has it that the sapphire on the imperial state crown was given to a beggar by Edward the Confessor. It’s now found it’s way back to the Tower.
Keeping a watchful eye at all times are the always cheerful Beefeaters (here I am with the two Bobs) or, to use their full name, The Yeoman Warders. They are retired military personnel who have 22 years of military service, have reached at least the position of warrant officer and been awarded a good conduct medal.
If that’s not enough, in the early 1200s King John founded a royal menagerie in the Tower. It was filled with exotic animals given as royal gifts for the entertainment and curiosity of the court. The first animals to arrive were lions, an elephant and even a polar bear, which would hunt for fish in the Thames on a lead! The menagerie was closed by the Duke of Wellington in 1835 and the animals became the basis for London Zoo in Regent’s Park. Nowadays you can see a wire lif-size polar bear along with other animals including monkeys in the grounds of the Tower.
Now time for tomorrow’s clue. The word clue written on a blackboard! Now what could it be? Send your guesses to firstname.lastname@example.org - good luck! x
Day 2: The Iron Bridge, in Ironbridge, Telford
Did you guess right? I’m impressed with how many of you got it right. On the other hand we had lots of good but incorrect guesses, they include, the home of Irn-Bru (see what you were thinking) and Sheffield as that is where the metal plate for Irons comes from.
Iron bridge is the first Iron arch bridge in the world! Iron bridge has stood tall over the River Severn since 1779 and is now regarded as one of the great symbols of the industrial revolution.
As it was the first of it’s kind, no one knew exactly how to build it, so they followed traditional carpentry methods. The iron casts were made in the foundry, each one would have been individually and handmade. There were an astonishing 800 pieces of iron and took around 3 years to build.
It was funded by 3 men. Thomas Farnolls Pritchard, who wrote to a local ironmaster, John Wilkinson (or John ‘ironman’ Wilkinson as he was better known due to his obsession with Iron) to suggest building a bridge out of cast iron. Finally Abraham Darby III, an ironmaster working at Coalbrookdale in the gorge, was commissioned to cast and build the bridge.
Some facts. It cost £6,018 8 shillings and 4 pence to build and has 378 ½ tonnes of Iron in total. The largest single castings are the half ribs, each 70ft long and weighing 5 ¾ tonnes!
There have been many floods over the years and while all the wooden bridges have been and gone, Iron bridge remains standing tall. It’s certainly very impressive, only standing next to it can you appreciate it’s huge size and also the expertise that had gone into building it.
There isn’t just the Bridge that’s worth a visit in the Gorge, nearby is the replica Victorian town of Blists Hill; it’s a perfect example of life in England during the 19th century, it has museums, shops and even a local pub where you can have a sing song by the open fire.
Now for tomorrow’s clue-‘A crown’ It might not be what you’re thinking. Send us your guesses to email@example.com and tune in tomorrow to see if you’re right.
Day 1: Edinburgh castle
The first thing that struck me-other then the friendly people- about Edinburgh castle is how it dominates the already impressive skyline. It’s easy to see why it’s Scotland’s most popular paid tourist attraction and not a surprise that every year 1.3 million people visit.
It’s famously located at the top of the royal mile and built on top of a now extinct volcano. It is 430ft above sea level with high walls at 3 sides giving it a naturally defended position.
It’s said to be one of the most haunted places in the world and is surrounded by myths and legends. The most famous is the ghost of the lone piper, there have been may sightings of him wandering the corridors over the years & some even say you can hear his pipe from within the grounds. Scary stuff!
The castle is perhaps most famous for the Royal Edinburgh military tattoo, where 100 million people watch around the world every August. I’ve seen it in person and it was truly atmospheric and awe inspiring.
It’s steeped in history. The oldest building in the castle (St Margaret’s Chapel) dates back around 900 years, impressively it’s the oldest building in the whole of Scotland. It’s had many uses, a royal residence in the 15 century, a prison and in the 1600’s it became a military base and even today there is still a military presence.
Things you might not know, there is 152 year tradition of the 1 o’clock gun signal. It was a time gun for ships in the Firth of Forth-believe me it’s very loud. The castle houses Scotland’s crown jewels and it even has it’s own tartan.
Don’t forget I’ll give you a clue every day, to help you guess our next landmark. Tuesday’s clue is ‘An Iron’ If you think you know where I’m heading, email your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org and watch tomorrow to see if you are right. Tune in every day this week and see if you can make it a five in a row!
For more photos and to find out about the day in a life of outside weather broadcasts for Daybreak. Check out Martin the camera man’s blog.
What a month March turned out to be! Colder than the 3 months before it and colder than any month back to December 2010!
We also had heavy snowfall across parts of Britain - the north especially, made worse by a persistent and very cold wind that caused snow drifts high enough to completely cover cars.
So why was it so bad?
For a good deal of the month high pressure glued itself to the north of Britain dragging the winds around it in a clockwise direction and driving them across the land from the east and northeast - pulling in Russia's icy air.
It meant that whatever direction precipitation came from it turned wintry once it collided with the bitterly cold airflow, which assured a marked wind chill.
The jetstream also didn't help matters. It's positioning has been too far south, essentially blocking the warm air from the Atlantic and Southern Europe venturing into the atmosphere in and around the UK.
The temperature throughout March was way below average and taking into account daytime and nighttime temperatures, the average has been a chilly 2.2C. In the early hours of Easter Sunday Breamar stooped to minus 12.5C making this the coldest start to an Easter Day since at least 1960. Hard to think back a year when on 27th March Aboyne in Scotland hit a warm 23.6C.
Is springlike weather on the way?
There are signs of change around the corner. The high pressure which has kept things dry but cold will slip south thankfully blocking off the easterly flow. Our weather will start to come in from the west and the wind more from the south, so although the temperature won't recover quickly, just the change in wind direction will make a noticeable difference.
There'll be more cloud in most places but it'll be driest on Saturday but still feeling cold. During Sunday rain will spread in to the farnorth but its stays cold and dry elsewhere.
I know it’s cold and you’re fed up of it - me too. While I can’t promise you warm weather, I can promise that you’ll learn a thing or two in this blog. Oh, and don’t forget the clock ‘spring forward’ one hour on Sunday.
March is set to be the coldest since 1962 & joint 4th coldest on record, which dates back to 1910, with an average temperature of only 2.5C, which is 3 degrees below average!
Why has it been so cold?
The jet stream has a big price to pay. It’s a fast moving ribbon of air high up in the atmosphere that divides the warm air to our south from the cold air to our north. This March, in fact much of this year it’s dipped much further south than normal allowing latterly cold Siberian air to plunge across us and it doesn’t look like it’s in a hurry to move back north any time soon. Why? Is open to investigation but some scientists have linked it to the melting Arctic sea ice.
What’s the outlook for the Easter Weekend?
Easter of course can vary in date by around a month. It falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. This weekend looks like we could break another record. If the temperature falls to -10C by night (which looks likely) that would make it the lowest minimum ever recorded for any Easter. This weekend, high pressure builds from the north and this will do two things. Firstly cut off the snow showers and secondly give us lighter winds.
What the forecast for Easter?
Very repetitive! Cold mornings, especially over snow covered fields-here temperatures will plummet as low as -6 to -10C. Icy conditions will develop where snow is still lying or falling.
Sunny spells-finally! We should all see the sun at some point, the best of the blue skies will be in the west.
Scattered snow showers for northern and eastern areas. They’ll ease over the weekend to light flurries. So yes it cold be a white Easter but only in the northeast with a few flakes!
Winds will ease which will mean it won’t feel as raw!
So all in all dry and sunny weather with temperatures up to a balmy 7C! Wrap up and enjoy it, on Monday the raw easterly wind picks up again.
Is there an end in sight?
The forecast is colder than average conditions for the next four weeks. The nagging easterly wind looks set to continue for a week or two. Then from mid April a ‘slow recovery’ with a signal for more unsettled weather and temperatures returning to average!
It’s hard to believe this tie last year was the third warmest March on record, however we were also in drought. Back then we hoped for rain and we ended up with lots of it! Maybe we should just all hope for warmth and see if will power really works? It’s worth a try!
I know, it’s not the news you want to hear but the rumours are true (as was my last blog) Winter’s not done with us yet, there is MORE SNOW this weekend and it looks disruptive, especially on Friday. Pinch your self, yes it is now spring!
Why is this happening?
This time last year Aberdeenshire has their warmest March day on record 23.6C (the UK had it’s 3rd warmest). Back then the jet stream was sitting to our north and warm air was being sucked up from Spain and Portugal. Roll onto 2013 and this March the Jet stream has mostly been to our south allowing bitterly cold Artic or Siberian air to plunge across the country! Scotland’s temperatures have been 20 degrees lower with snow!
Why is snow returning this weekend?
A band of heavy rain spreading northwards across the UK will bump into the cold air that’s been with us all week and it will turn to snow through the early hours of Friday morning, then turning heavy and persistent for some, especially in the northwest. The front then stalls later Friday and into Saturday. The snow could affect a broad swathe of central Britain for up to to 36 hours! This brings the risk of severe disruption, particularly to transport and to power supplies. Then on top of that heavy rain will affect southwest England during the same time. Many weather warnings are in force http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/#?tab=map&map=Warnings&zoom=5&lon=-3.50&lat=55.50&fcTime=1363910400®ionName=em and with the heavy rain comes the risk of flooding http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx
What is the forecast?
Friday. Southwest England and south Wales will have heavy rain 20-40mm, up to 100mm on hills. This turns to snow for the Midlands north into southern Scotland and Northern Ireland. High ground may see snow 20-40 cm in places, with drifting and blizzard conditions due to the strong to gale force winds. At lower levels, parts of the north Midlands, northeast Wales and north west England may see 10-15 cm of snow.
Saturday. Many of us are likely to see snow. Southwest England and south Wales the rain will ease. Eastern Scotland the biting southeasterly winds will bring snow showers. For everyone else the weather front stalls with the raw winds undercutting and keeping much of it as snow. Heaviest and settling for eastern Northern Ireland and central England including East Anglia, easing during the afternoon. Mostly sleet in the south but don’t be surprised if you have snow.
Sunday. Through the early hours the front fizzles out leaving a largely dry day. However there will be a penetrating frost and the hazard is likely to be ice! A cloudy start with sunny spells later.
How about next week-will it every warm up?
Yes it will but not next week! High pressure will sit to our north, this drags cold easterly winds across the UK. Temperatures will remain below average. One positive is that the snow will ease and it’ll be largely dry. However, there is the risk of another weather front bumping into the cold air (again) bringing the risk of more disruptive snow towards the end of the week.
It’s true what we say, it’s more likely to snow at Easter than Christmas-Now you might start to believe it.
Friday 15th March
This weekend looks unsettled and less cold with temperatures close to average and well up on the perishing weather earlier this week. But yes, you’ve guessed cold weather returns next week. So much for spring!
What’s the forecast this weekend?
An area of low pressure approaches from the northwest bringing a band of rain that will sink south across the UK through Friday & Saturday with blustery showers following on behind.
A wet start for the southeast of England, the weather front will slowly clear away, with a drier and brighter afternoon. Most other places will have sunny spells but scattered showers will soon develop. In the northwest at first, then later in the day no one is immune from getting one. Watch out some will be heavy with hail and thunder, plus wintry over high ground maybe even to lower levels in heavier downpours. Blustery winds in southwest where showers will pep up later on Saturday.
The low pressure sits smack bang across the UK. It’s a day of sunshine and showers. Winds will be lighter and in the sun out of the breeze 7-9C will feel pleasant. However watch out for those showers again some will be heavy, especially in the south with hail and thunder. Still cold enough to fall as snow on high ground with the odd flurry to low levels.
How about next week?
Our area of low pressure will sink into the near continent allowing the bitterly cold easterly wind to return. This will bring the return of frosts by night, sunny spells by day but also SNOW again, mainly in showers in the west. The cold weather and below average temperatures look set to last well into next week.
When is the start of spring?
As I mentioned in my last blog, astronomical spring is 20th March (though it can vary each year). This is known as the Spring Equinox - which stands for equal in Latin as this is when day and night around the globe are of equal length as on this date the sun passes over the equator. From Wednesday onwards the sun will get stronger and stronger. It’s just a shame we’ll have snow on Wednesday!
It reminds me of a phrase: “March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb.” (Meaning March usually starts with cold, unpleasant weather, but ends mild and pleasant.) I’ll be on the look out for the lambs!
Friday 8th March
Just when we thought spring had sprung, winter bites back!
I hope you enjoyed the gorgeous sunshine on Tuesday, the temperature climbed to a balmy 17.5C in Trowescoed making it the warmest day of the year. I saw people lining the banks of the river Thames sitting on jumpers eating ice cream. This weekend will be a very different scene as surge of cold air returns from Scandinavia bring the return of snow, yes snow!
How can we have snow when it’s been so warm?
Well, Meteorologically although we are in Spring (March-May is defined as Spring according to the Met Office) (Astronomically spring is the 20th March, it’s then when the strength of the sun really starts to increase.) and the sun does have some umpfh, It’s the wind direction that dictates our weather. A southerly wind from Spain (that’s’ already started warming up) gives us mild air & the lovely weather we saw earlier this week. A northerly or easterly, like this weekend drags in cold air sitting across Scandinavia or Russia (which are still cold in from winter) We are basically still on a knife edge between the two. Did you know It’s more likely to snow at Easter than Christmas!
What can you expect this weekend?
Well Friday starts with two weather fronts. One in Scotland and Northern Ireland, here our cold easterly wind sets in and the rain will turn to snow over high ground. 5-10cm over 300m and 20cm over 400m. The second front sits across southern England bringing rain that will be heavy at times. The best of any sunshine till be in the west. Through the night the two fronts merge as one big swathe across the country.
Saturday. Across Scotland the front gives a wet day, persistent rain will ease through the day and sink into northern England, by then the cold easterly wind really sets in bringing the risk of snow down to 100m and a significant wind chill combined giving blizzard conditions over high ground. For east Wales, central and eastern England it will give a cloudy and wet day with 10-20mm locally 30mm of rain. Sunshine will be limited but mostly in southwest England and Wales. The two fronts merge and move south. Overnight a cold undercut across the Midlands and Northern England gives snow risk even to low levels 1-3cm and 5cm on hills!
Sunday. The front continues it’s journey south. By lunchtime Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England are in the brighter, drier colder air. The biting easterly wind continues and brings snow showers along North Sea coasts. The rest of England and Wales will have a cloud day with rain, drizzle and hill snow. After a mild few days the cold easterly will set in giving a really wind chill.
How about next week?
High pressure sits to our north east bringing largely settled but cold conditions, if you trace the air back it’ll come from Russia! The good news is there’ll be sunny spells by day. The bad news is cold frosty weather returns at night. Oh and the snow’s not done with us yet. There’s a risk light showers, in the east!
While I do like cold sunny weather, Spring needs to up it’s game I much prefer warm sunshine on my face.
Friday 22nd February
This week we’ve seen winter bite back, spring tricked us last weekend with that lovely sunshine and 14C at Kinlochewe last Sunday, since then they’ve been on a downward spiral with 4C top temperature on Thursday!
Unfortunately they won’t recover this weekend, that feeling of daggers in your face will continue, oh and there’s a risk of snow!
Why have we got this cold weather?
High pressure is sitting to our northeast. This is giving us an easterly wind, that originates from the centre of Europe, dragging their bitterly cold air to our shores! On a positive note it’s given us largely dry and settled weather! It will sit there all weekend, it’s not just the wind direction making it feel cold but the stronger the wind, the colder the wind chill!
Strongest winds will be in the south, here a temperature of 2C and speed 30mph gives a wind chill of -5C!
Snow you say?
Yes, nothing too significant or disruptive. From Friday morning snow showers (light flurries in general) will develop in exposed eastern areas, convergence lines (areas where the winds come together) will give more focused showers for some. Areas most likely, Kent, Thames estuary and from the Wash to the Midlands. These areas could see a slight covering, maybe up to 2-5cm for Kent and possibly the North York Moors by the end of Saturday.
What does this mean for this weekend?
Saturday and Sunday are pretty similar. A penetrating frost, especially in the north with light winds, it could be as low as -8C! Plus another cloudy, grey day for many, especially for central and eastern areas.
Don’t worry there will be some sunny spells, mostly in sheltered western areas, northwest Scotland looks like a favoured spot. Cold enough for snow flurries, mostly in eastern areas, accumulations likely for North York moors and Kent but anyone could see the odd flurry.
Temperatures will struggle between 2 and 4 degrees but the biting easterly wind will continue to make it feel freezing, or lower-‘Raw’ is the feeling! Winds will ease on Sunday.
How about next week?
Cold and settled weather looks set to stay until at least the end of next week. A weather front will push up from the south keeping it cloudy, largely dry with the nagging easterly wind continuing, though not as strong so not as raw.
Wrap up from the raw winds and enjoy the snow if you’re one of the lucky few, it could be our last!
Friday 15th February
After a week of cold, cloudy & snowy weather you’ll be pleased to hear milder and more settled weather accompanies us into the weekend, just in time for half term. The big yellow thing shining in the sky will be a sight some become familiar with over the next few days. Another treat with clear spells by night will be the passing of the international space station every evening until Thursday (times vary from 6-8pm) Plus Mercury in the west.
What is happening over the next new days?
High pressure will build from the south through Friday and sit to our east this weekend. This brings settled weather, keeping most weather fronts at bay, lighter winds and even better news no weather warnings for the next five days - I can’t remember the last time that happened.
What is the forecast this weekend?
By night clear spells and light winds will give a patchy frost with temperatures typically falling between 2 and 5C plus mist and fog will develop. Both days are pretty similar. A weak weather front tries to push in to western areas, so Wales, Northern Ireland and western Scotland will be fairly cloudy and windy with rain on Saturday, wind and rain easing by Sunday. Everyone else any mist and fog will soon clear to give us a lovely few days. Largely dry with sunny spells continuing, light winds and temperatures up to 10C! Positively tropical. Feeling almost like spring!
Will the fine weather last into half term?
In a word, yes! The weather remains settled and largely dry, thanks to our friend high pressure staying by our side. However it will move from the east to our northeast, this will
drag colder and colder air in from the near continent day on day. A tough of frost to start the week becoming severe by the end of the week! By day it's light winds and sunny spells with an increased risk of snow showers returning in the east. Elsewhere largely dry but turning chilly. For once the weather will be behaving itself.
So grab the sunglasses and ditch those brollies. But with two weeks of winter left, don’t put those snow boots away just yet, there’s always a chance it could bite back!
Friday 8th February
Snow set to make a comeback?
Yes! But (there's always a but) there is lots of uncertainty as to exactly how much, where, and when but Sunday the risk of significant snow returns! I know some of you have missed it and have sledges at the ready, will you be one of the 'lucky' ones?
Where does the snow risk come from?
Well cold air's been with us all week. Weak weather fronts have made progress bringing patchy rain, sleet and hill snow. Nothing too significant, Friday and Saturday are much the same. However, on Sunday things get interesting as the ingredients needed come together. A southeasterly wind drags cold air from the near continent. Then, a deepening low pressure with an active weather front arrive from the weat. This will collide into the cold air, a perfect recipe for significant snowfall!
Bear in mind that things are balanced on a knife edge. If the low is further south, the easterly undercut will increase and the precipitation will turn to snow more readily (and vice versa if the low is further north)! The closer we get, the arning areas will shrink and are likely to be upgraded.
What can you expect this weekend?
Saturday - A cloudy and dull day. A weather front moves in from the west, spreading to all through the day, bringing outbreaks of rain. Heavier bursts from the midlands into northern England will see it turning to sleet and hill snow.
Sunday - Most of us at risk of snow. Through the early hours a more significant weather front arrives from the west. So for western areas we start with rain and hill snow. Then, through the morning as the front progresses northeast and bumps into the cold air, snow develops over much of Scotland, northern and eastern England with rain elsewhere. By the afternoon the front covers most of the UK and the cold undercut causes the rain to turn to snow for the Midland and Wales. Up to 10cm is forecast. Western areas (Northern Ireland, SW England, W Wales and NW Scotland) are most likely to stay as rain, until overnight. The winds will pick up giving a marked wind chill.
How about next week?
Sunday night/Monday morning, the worst of the snow becomes concentrated to the southern half of the UK, including London where we are exposed to the driving winds. Potentially making for a horrendous morning rush hour. Tuesday and Wednesday high pressure builds in, meaning the weather settles down. The snow eases and clears, the winds fall light. Sunny days and frosty nights return. Thereafter more unsettled and less cold.
Whatever the weather dig out those winter woolies, one things for certain, winter's biting back!
Friday 1st February
A cold snap, but blink and you’ll miss it!
What a month January was! The first 2 weeks were mild and frost free with wet and windy weather for many. Then all change from 14th when winter decided to arrive with a bang, within a week 80% of the UK was covered in snow.
The morning of 16th was the coldest of the winter with a bitterly cold -13.6C at Buntingford. The 18th was a turning point when significant snowfall swept in from the west brining disruption to many, peak snow depths were recorded as 30cm. Then quick as a flash it was gone and we ended mild wet and windy!
At the start of February cold air tries to bite back, but it’s more of a nip! The fight begins on Friday. An area of low pressure sitting in central Scotland brings a weather front with rain and hill snow. This is the ‘dividing line’, as to the north the cold air sits and waits.
The low pressure will drag the cold air in and the rain will turn increasingly to snow giving 10cm on hills and some to low levels.
The northerly wind sets in through Friday and the dividing line will advance south, allowing wintry showers into Scotland. By evening the dividing line is as far as Wales and the Midlands, by midnight it will have cleared the south meaning we’re all into the cold frosty air for Saturday, that seems a distant memory. But blink and you’ll miss it, because wet and windy weather fights back later on this weekend.
So what does that mean for the weekend?
Saturday. A shock to the system. A cold frosty and for some icy start. Plus overnight wintry showers will have blown in on the northerly wind giving a covering of snow to North Sea coasts as far south as East Anglia. A sure reminder that it is still winter! A much colder day with a noticeable wind chill.
The best thing will be the cracking winter sunshine, which will be out in buckets. The wintry showers in the east will ease and become confined to East Anglia later in the day. Then sunshine turns hazy in the west as our next weather front approaches!
Sunday. Back to the familiar wind and rain returning from the west! Western areas start frost free but wet and windy. Eastern areas have a sunny frosty start, make the most of it! One positive with strong winds will be the rain band will make swift progress across the country, so we will all see a spell of rain but it’ll be short and sharp. It clears the southeast soon after lunchtime, leaving a blustery afternoon with the chance of a few brighter spells.
Unfortunately though further rain’s set to arrive in the northwest towards the end of the day. My grandma always said windy weather makes children act wild! It’ll be one of those days on Sunday!
We start with Autumn then add sprinkles of Winter!
One low pressure dominates keeping the outlook windy with gales in the north. This drags colder air across the country and the risk of snow returns increasingly through the week!
Enjoy the sunshine and lighter winds tomorrow, who knows when they’ll return?
Friday 25th January
More snow, then all change
It’s been an eventful and snowy week of weather. Heavy snow arrived on Friday and for many it’s continued on and off since then. A good 80% of the UK was covered in snow by midweek with the highest snow depth recorded as 30cm at Little Rissington in Gloucestershire. (There are higher amounts on hills and thanks to drifting snow but this is an official Met Office observing station) The lowest temperature was a bitterly cold - 12.2C on Tuesday morning in Cambridge, not quite breaking the coldest night of winter -13.4C on 16th January in Marham, Norfolk. The snow and plummeting temperatures, along with ice have caused travel disruption for many but delight for others.
This weekend is the weekend of change. We will have a completely different landscape by Sunday. Gone will be the snow and ice and our green landscape will return. Wind and rain will herald the change, for many who are fed up with the cold, it’s a price worth paying.
Why this dramatic change to our weather?
The cold European air has been anchored across us for weeks. For it to go we will need a barrage of mild air to push in from the west and this happens through Friday. The first weather front will push in from the west, as it hits the cold air turning quickly to snow. The second on Saturday night will bring the final onslaught of mild. The thaw will set in and the remaining snow will melt away.
What is the forecast for the next few days?
Friday: Eastern areas a cold start with a severe frost for some and freezing fog. Western areas a frost free start with cloud and outbreaks of rain. This will move east bringing snow. Western areas staying as rain all day, here the mild wind out. Through the morning falling as snow in Scotland. By lunch time into Northern England, the evening into the Midland and snowing in East Anglia and Southeast England overnight. 2-5cm in S, 5-10cm in N and up to 20cm on hills.
Saturday: It’s a dry and bright start across most of the UK. Be aware of the risk of icy roads and pavements first thing, once the rain/snow mix clears it’s still cold enough for a frost, the milder air is starting its battle and it won’t be as cold as Friday morning. A drier day follows with some welcome sunshine. Temperatures will be less cold in the west but still feeling raw over central and eastern Britain, with highs of 3 or 4 Celsius and a cold wind. Scattered showers will develop, mainly for northwestern areas of England and Wales. Overnight a band of heavy rain and strong gusty winds will sweep across the UK. 20-40mm of rain is forecast.
Sunday: Largely frost free for the first time in ages! If it’s wet first thing the heavy rain will clear but the strong winds will remain. The winds will bring showers, mainly in the west, they’ll be heavy with hail and thunder. Temperatures will be back to normal for January and it will feel a lot less cold than it has during the last two weeks.
All this rain and snow melt will give the risk of localised surface water flooding and river level flooding as the ground is still saturated from last year, especially in the southwest.
Check the latest weather and flood warnings.
What about next week?
The outlook remains unsettled with bands of wet and windy weather sweeping across the UK. Heaviest in the north with gales. Milder with frost free nights.
Goodbye sledges, hello umbrellas.
Monday 21st January
Many of us woke up to a winter wonderland this Monday morning, with 80-90% of the UK covered in the blanket of snow leaving the nation divided. Snow and ice have caused dangerous and treacherous driving conditions with accidents over the weekend with these hazards continuing through the week.
On the flip side with 1000's of schools closed young and old a like have been dressing up like the Michelin man and heading out to have fun in the snow, while it lasts.
How much more snow is in the forecast for the next few days and where?
The northern half of the country will see the snowiest conditions through Monday and Tuesday.
Northern England, Northern Ireland & Scotland will have snow throughout Monday, widely seeing 2-5cm and 10cm on hills. The heaviest snowfall will be in the northeast with up to 10-20cm of snow and gales causing blizzard conditions and drifting snow, needles to say conditions will be treacherous and the wind chill will be -9C! Elsewhere cloudy and cold with light snow flurries.
Tuesday southwest England and Wales are at risk of another covering. The snow for the northern half of the UK will ease and move away to the north with only northeast Scotland having more snowfall on Tuesday.
How long will this snowy and cold weather last?
There is an end in sight! The snowy weather eases first. Through Wednesday and Thursday high pressure builds in from the north and brings lighter winds and keeps the weather fronts at bay. So drier with some clear spells but also becoming VERY cold at night -10 to -13 C possible over snow covered fields. Temperatures this low mean ICE will continue to be an issue.
Through Friday, and on into the weekend the high pressure sinks south, this allows milder Atlantic air to finally begin it’s battle back from the west. It’s a slow process and there will be some sleet and snow, especially in the west but not significant amounts.
Through the weekend temperatures by day will finally rise above freezing with the sunshine showing it’s face, this will start the slow thawing process of the lying snow. Overnight frosts will continue so the risk of ice remains.
Will the cold weather return?
Hints are that next week will become windy with gales and some rain in the north with snow confined to hills in the north. Plus frosts and again ice by night. Temperatures will be pretty much back to average. Though with a month of winter left, there is still time for the cold to bite back.
If you can wrap up to get out to enjoy the snow, have fun but take care.
Friday 18th January
Snow and lots of it!
The battleground has been set all week, we’ve been drawing cold air in from Europe to our east, (this week temperatures plummeted as low as -13.4 Marham making it the coldest night of winter). Weather fronts have been trying to push in from the west, with no success. That all changes on Friday. An active weather front will finally cross the country, it will bring milder (less cold) air in from the west and as this collides with the cold air it will immediately turn from rain to snow, meaning the cold air wins the battle. This band of snow will drive across most of the UK on Friday with a widespread covering across most of the UK and significant accumulations. Strong to gale force winds will cause blizzard conditions and snow drifts. This will lead to travel disruption, but at least the sledge will get an outing!
When will the snow arrive and how much will there be?
The band of snow will arrive into the SW from midnight. By 6am it will be across much of Northern Ireland, Wales and SW England (rain in Cornwall). By midday it will be affecting all of Northern Ireland & Wales, plus into England as far as Lancashire-north Midlands and East Anglia (including London). By the evening rush hour it will start clearing SW England and Wales, still snowing in Northern Ireland, the rest of Wales the rest of England and arrive in southern Scotland.
Also all day snow showers for eastern Scotland and northeast England will give 2-5cm of snow before the main band arrives. The main snow band will set in across Scotland overnight and east from the southwest.
Many weather warnings are in force.
Yellow covers most of the country, away from NW Scotland and Cornwall here 2-5cm of snow is forecast with up to 10cm on hills.
Amber for western areas 5-10cm of snow is forecast with up to 15cm on hills.
A rare RED the highest level of warning only issued a few times a year for SE Wales, 10cm of snow is forecast widely with up to 20-30cm on hills. Adding in the strong winds the snow will blow around causing drifts and for some blizzard conditions, especially across Wales.
What do the warnings mean?
Yellow: BE AWARE and ensure you access the latest weather forecast for up to date weather information. Expect some minor delays due to slower traffic. Outdoor events may be disrupted or cancelled.
Amber: BE PREPARED. Take precautions where possible and ensure you access the latest weather forecast. BE PREPARED for some disruption to road, rail and air transport with difficult driving conditions likely and longer journey times. Widespread snow brings the risk of a number of road closures, others passable only with care.
Red: TAKE precautionary ACTION and remain extra vigilant. Follow orders and any advice given by authorities under all circumstances. Ensure you access the latest weather forecast. EXPECT significant disruption to normal daily routines. Avoid all non-essential journeys. If you must make a journey carry emergency food/ clothing/ blanket etc. Widespread deep snow with many roads closed or impassable. Roads likely to become impassable with high risk of drivers becoming stranded. Significant disruption to road, rail and air transport. Risk to personal safety. Expect significant disruption to normal day to day life as a result of transport issues, school closures
How about the weekend?
Saturday. A strong southeasterly wind will develop with and the areas for snow tomorrow will be different from Friday. Northern Ireland, Wales and northern England will see snow, Heaviest in the east exposed to the winds. Expect 2-5cm of snow with 10cm on hills. Further south it will be a quieter day with bright spells and only a few wintry flurries. A cold day with snow turning to ice.
Sunday. Sub zero temperatures mean an icy start. Snow will still be lying across most of the UK. Light winds mean it will also be a foggy start. Fog will lift into low cloud during the morning and break through the day to give some sunny spells. A much quieter day for all, largely dry, but southeast England and East Anglia can expect further snow.
Will we have more snow next week?
On Monday another weather front is set to arrive from the west and battle across the UK. This brings another spell of fresh snow, and although this front will be less active than Friday’s, eastern Scotland and northeast England are in the firing line for some of the heaviest falls. However, any snow will be unwelcome news.
Cold air stays with us well into next week with further spells of snow. Overnight temperatures plummeting below freezing will cause icy conditions to develop as melted slushy snow refreezes.
Take care through the coming days. Get out your sledges and tea trays and enjoy it if you can. There will be some beautiful snowy scenes and many a snow ball fight!
Friday 27th September
Warm weather stays with us until the end of September.
It’s been a week of highs and lows, it’s felt like Autumn in the morning with the foggy skies, while it can cause travel delays it also creates beautiful views as it starts to lift, the river Thames had a real Sherlock holmes feel to it. We had clear skies and minus 1.2C at Aboyne on Thursday morning with a grass frost for some but in contrast a schorching 23.7C in London on Tuesday making many reach for the sundresses and shade, throwing us back to summer.
What’s the outlook this weekend?
Pretty good thanks to high pressure sits to our east, it’ll try to keep weather fronts at bay but some progress will be made in the southwest. A chilly easterly wind will strengthen taking the edge off the temperatures. Elsewhere we’ll all see some sunny spells it’ll still be warm with temperatures between 17 and 21C (average 15-18C).
What’s in store this weekend?
Southwest England and South Wales, more humid air moves in bringing scattered showers, they’ll be hit and miss but some will be torrential with thunder, they’ll be more confined to the southwest by Sunday.
Far north of Scotland and the Northern Isles will have a decaying weather front bringing cloud and outbreaks of rain on Saturday, so feeling cool. Turning drier and brighter on Sunday.
Elsewhere largely dry with sunny spells. Feeling mild for many and humid in the south but a strengthening southeasterly develops this weekend this’ll make it feel cool along North sea and Channel coasts, with gusts 40-45mph to the lee of high ground in Wales and southwest England.
Will the warmth last?
High pressure will stay to our east. It’ll keep that chilly breeze along North sea coasts. Eastern areas will be driest and brightest. Western areas will be cloudier with outbreaks of rain but still mild. Later in the week Atlantic weather fronts will battle in and it looks like they could win out so expect a cooler and wetter end to the week.
September to date.
I always think of September as being a lovely month with late BBQ’s and walks by the river. We had a lovely start to the month and a pretty good end but in between many of us were reaching for our heating. So overall (with a few days to go) it all looks pretty average. Temperatures have been above average for southwest England and northeast Scotland but below average for northwest England, overall we are only 0.1C above average but with mild weather in the outlook it looks to be a mild month. Rainfall is 70% of average (up to 26 September) wettest in southeast England and driest in northeast England and eastern Scotland. A little dull with only 70% overall.
Climate change report.
The latest IPCC (intergovernmental panel on climate change) report will published at 9am on Friday. The UN run the IPCC which only has 12 full time staff. It gathers climate experts from all around the world every 6 years, they gather all the latest data from global weather and climate models andtogether they decide on their projections for the outlook.
The Met Office have more information on climate change in the following links. What is climate change?: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/in-depth/climate-infographic What drives weather?: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/in-depth/weather-and-climate
It is expected to say that scientists are more confident than ever that Global warming is happening and that humans are responsible for the majority of it. It’s all supported by observations of changes in polar ice, sea level and temperature. Some projections of future temperature rise are likely to be lowered from the previous IPCC report in 2007, but the message is we are still warming. If you read this after 9am, you’ll find the report here: http://www.ipcc.ch/