Quite often when we experience a cold spell, one occurs shortly or a while after. This is because the atmosphere is still in a state to deliver cold conditions to the UK. In basic terms, the polar vortex that promotes westerly winds & mild temperatures, is still very much broken following on from the beast from the east that occurred around the turn of the month just gone.
At the moment, there is around a 55% chance of a return to very cold weather, with a risk of snow in around a weeks time (next weekend into the following week commencing the 19th of March noted as “key time”).
A 55% chance means there is a developing risk, however there are still some uncertainties, it does now look very likely that somewhere in Europe will get “the beast”, but whether it makes it into the UK, it’s still a little early to suggest the correct answer to that.
This means we still have to be on the look out for a possibility cold weather and the risk of snow, especially in around a weeks time (Saturday 17th on wards). It’s unlikely we will see temperatures as cold as the cold spell just gone, however temperatures could be even lower if the breakdown occurs with an area of high pressure, which promotes further long lasting cold; vs a low pressure breakdown that brought milder conditions into the UK fairly quickly last weekend.
When may this occur?
We need to be on the look out for the final 2 weeks of the month, the 16th to the 31st for a potential part 2 of the beast from the east, as early as the end of next week. Granted, we are even later in the cold/snow season now, so the affects of melting from the increased solar energy will be evident, as well as more marginality (some places could see rain – etc). Various computer models are trending towards a pattern that would deliver this cold spell, and yes a good risk of snow showers initially in the South East, however if the Atlantic makes inroads, more central, southern and western areas would be at risk, once again temperatures would be very cold if not almost severely cold, dropping in any showers.
European Weather Model forecast for next Sunday, showing very cold air over the country:
It’s too early to decipher details regarding snow risk, as the computer models are still “solving” this scenario. However I would say the chance at the moment sits around 55%, bare in mind this is long range (for weather forecasting), time scales that we are dealing with, which explains the uncertainty that is involved here.