UK Weather - Spring 2023

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Simon Culling
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UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

A change of month and a change of season, but the weather is not quite catching up. Here in Tiverton, the first five days of March have been dull and overcast apart from Thursday (2nd March) when the cloud broke up and we did have plenty of sunshine. It has also got progressively colder with a maximum today and yesterday (Sun + Sat) of just 5°C which is colder than any day in February. This has occurred without a change of airmass as the high pressure has only drifted a little to the NW.

The Met Office are going for a sharp cold spell this week as cold northerly winds spread south today and tomorrow, but the worst of the weather appears to be for more northern parts with mostly just cold rain for us in the south. There could be quite a bit of snow over Scotland, but that is not unusual in March and I think a level 3 cold weather alert may be a bit over the top for England + Wales. We shall see.

There were initial reports of another earthquake in the English Midlands on Saturday, but it turned out to be a sonic boom from RAF jets assisting a civilian plane that was having communications problems.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-l ... ium=social
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The cold snap duly arrived towards the end of last weekend and has given Scotland and N Ireland and the far north of England some decent wintry weather. The clear cold air struggled to get into the south and got mixed in with fronts pushing NE into it and we have had a lot of cloud down here with some rain + snow.

Here in Tiverton we had snow overnight into Tuesday and I measured 2cm in the morning with a near full cover. The photo below does not show any roads which were only partially covered in the town. As the front approached SW England, it introduced a warmer slot of air just above the ground and as a result we had a couple of hours with ice pellets mixed in with the sleet + snow into mid-morning. We do not see this form of precipitation very often in the UK and they were very small (1-2mm) clear balls of ice - just like frozen raindrops, and they make a lovely clicking noise when they fall. Today, Thursday 9th March, it has turned much milder here in the south (up to 12°C in Tiverton), but the cold air has not been displaced further north and there has been quite a bit of snow in the middle of the UK with 20-25cm on the higher ground of northern England + Wales (above about 150m amsl) - see BBC article.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-64904704

With regard to the low temperatures, these have been in northern Scotland over snowfields of 10-20cm of snow on the ground. These are the lowest figures on the last two nights:

Wednesday 8th March, -15.4°C at Kinbrace (Caithness), -14.7°C at Loch Glascarnoch (Highland) and -14.4°C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire)
Thursday 9th March, -16.0°C at Altnaharra (Sutherland) and -15.8°C at Kinbrace
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Nev »

Nice 'snownado' or 'snow devil' in the Shetlands on Wednesday...

https://news.sky.com/video/rare-snow-to ... d-12829041
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Thanks Nev for posting the link to the tornado that was observed near Sandness of Shetland - which is to the NNE of the Scottish mainland and much closer than me to the source of the cold air. I cannot recall ever seeing a tornado over snow in the UK.

The snow duly moved into northern England on Thurs/Fri and gave some very deep falls in this area with many places seeing 10-25cm of level snow and some up to around 40cm. The attached photos are from the higher parts of the city of Sheffield (around 150-250m amsl) and show at least 30cm of level snow. The pictures are copied from the Twitter feeds of Laurie Smith/Paul Haigh.

Over this weekend it has turned much milder (up to 13°C in Tiverton today, and yes, it is raining), but the colder weather will return into next week with further snow in the north. Then back to much milder weather by next weekend.

The CET for March was 3.4°C (-2.3°C) up to the 11th and the EWR was 34mm up to the 10th, which is 52% of the monthly average of 65mm.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The mild weather has remained in place and it has become more unsettled with a SW flow and plenty of rain and showers. This looks like continuing for the foreseeable future. A couple of days last week (and today Sat 18th) saw 16°C reached in a few places.

Quite a significant tornado occurred last Monday (13th March) around 6am in the morning in a village in the Derbyshire Peak District which caused quite a bit of damage. Attached is TORRO's initial thoughts (from their Facebook page) - we will probably lift the rating to T4 when all data is collected.

Today (Sat 18th) three funnel clouds were seen in England on what was a showery day. Here in Tiverton, most of the showers were in the morning and we managed a bit of Spring sunshine this afternoon - in what has been a very dull March so far.

The CET for March up to the 17th was 4.9°C (-0.8°C) and the EWR up to the 16th was 61mm which is 93% of the monthly average.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

It has been quite mild in the last few days but also on the wet side with rain or showers on all days. We seem to be catching up for the dry weather in February.

The unsettled weather looks set to continue for a while and it will turn quite a bit colder from Sunday as the wind switches round to north behind the next low pressure crossing the UK tonight and into Sunday.

Yesterday (Friday 24th March) was a showery day across most of the UK with discrete lines of showers being seen on the radar - the one across southern England shown below was probably triggered over Dartmoor (SW England) in the morning and propagated NE in the general WSW flow along a convergence line - see tweet attached below. A reply to the tweet gives a radar derived rainfall total map for the UK and clearly shows the bands of showers - some places got up to 30mm or so during Friday whilst others had no more than a few light showers.

https://twitter.com/simon_culling/statu ... 1408976907
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

It has remained cool and unsettled with periods of rain followed by showers for all of the UK. We really are stuck in a rut weather wise - it is miserable and wet with not much in the way of sunshine and we are certainly paying the price for a mild and dry February. Everything balances out, I suppose.

March 2023 will be one of the wetter ones in the record books, especially in England + Wales, and we have yet another low pressure approaching the SW as I type. It has been named Storm Mathis by Meteo France as the strongest winds on its southern flank will affect NW France - we will see winds to 60-70mph along our southern coasts later tonight + into Friday. Rain (yes, more of it!!) will be the bigger problem for the UK.

To illustrate how miserable it has been, today was the warmest day of the year so far with 17.8°C recorded at Santon Downham in Suffolk, East Anglia. Here in Tiverton it was very showery, but also the warmest day of the year at 14°C. Despite this year running over a degree above average, this is the chilliest start to the year in terms of the warmest day since 2018 when 16°C was the peak by 30th March. In 2021, the temperature hit 24.5°C in London on 30th March. Despite the mildness, it is the lack of any decent usable weather that is notable this year.

The CET for March was 6.7°C (+1.1°C) up to the 29th and the EWR was 109mm which is 167% of the monthly average. It will go up quite a bit more in the last 2 or 3 days of the month.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Lovely satellite picture (from one of the NASA satellites) of Storm Mathis taken on the afternoon of Thursday 30th March 2023. It was at around 980mb at this time and is predicted to run across southern England and into the Benelux countries by tomorrow afternoon, filling a little.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

After Storm Mathis moved away, the weather has dried up and gone back to mundanity - some cloud, some sun and a few showers. It has still been on the cool side with some frost at night, but just rather quiet. The forecast is for a fine Easter weekend for most with the temperature nudging the old sixty degree mark, but rain + showers for Easter Monday. The models are also firming up on quite a deep low pressure system for Tues/Weds next week which at the moment is expected to cross the middle of the UK. Maybe our first named storm of the winter half of the year?

The final CET for March was 7.0°C (+1.4°) so another warmer than average month. The final EWR was 137mm, which is 209% of the monthly average. March turned out to have been a very wet month over England + Wales and N Ireland, but not so for Scotland. For England + Wales it was the third wettest in the current series that goes back to 1836. Whilst it was a mild month for the south, it was colder than average in Scotland due to persistent sharp overnight frosts. It was also very dull for those of us in England. See Met Office press release for more details.

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/p ... her-review
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Easter was not too bad weather wise here in the UK. Up to the end of Sunday it was dry with sunshine at times and the thermometer managed to reach 16-17°C on all four days including Easter Monday - which is a Bank Holiday here. The latter day was much more unsettled though, with a band of rain clearing east this morning followed by plenty of hefty showers, quite a few of which were accompanied by hail and thunder. Here in Tiverton it was windy, but we missed most of the showers today after 10mm of rain overnight. The maximum here was only 14°C for Monday which felt chilly in the stiff WW breeze.

Another low will pass over the country tomorrow and Wednesday giving us plenty of wind and rain, but there is a good hint in the models of the weather settling down by next weekend and our first taste of summer next week - into the low 20's for a few days.

The CET for April was 8.1°C (+0.2°C) up to the 9th and the EWR was 11mm up to the 8th, which is 17% of the monthly total of 63mm.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

'Storm Noa', as it was christened by Meteo France, crossed the middle of the UK on Wednesday (12th April) at around 975mb and gave all of us a windy and wet day. It was quite a bit windier than earlier Met Office predictions and I am not sure why they did not name the storm. A gust to 96mph was recorded at the Old Battery at Needles on the Isle of Wight, but this is a very exposed site. Many other more representative sites on the south coast, in the SW and in Wales reported gusts in the 70-80mph range. Here in Tiverton the rain cleared overnight + Wednesday was showery and windy with some hail in the showers and with a maximum of just 9°C it felt cold. We had gusts to 55mph.

The seemingly endless wet (and cold) weather of the last 6 weeks looks like coming to an end. After yet another low moves away today, high pressure will build to our east and north east bringing dry weather well into next week. It will not be as warm as originally hoped, but at least it will be dry. We should see plenty of dry weather with some sunshine with temperatures into the mid to high teens. We might just see the first 20°C of the year.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-65249185
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Unfortunately the weather has not warmed up for most of the UK as the high pressure was a little further north than expected and we have had an easterly flow for the last week - and air crossing the cold North Sea at this time of the year is never going to be warm. The exception was the western side of the UK, and particularly Western Scotland, which benefited from dawn to dusk sunshine and a considerable fohn effect to the lee of the Scottish Highlands. However, only a handful of people live there. It was warm and sunny all week in this area and a temperature of 21°C was reached at Kinlochewe on both Monday (17th April) and Tuesday (18th). This is the highest for the UK so far this year and is comfortably ahead of the corresponding England high of just 17.8°C at Santon Downham on 30th March. It really is taking a long time to warm up this Spring.

In terms of the British Isles, it was even warmer last Sunday (16th April) in Eire, where 21.4°C was reached at Mount Dillon in County Roscommon.

The CET for April was 8.5°C (+0.7°C) up to the 20th and the EWR was 48mm up to the 18th which is 76% of the monthly average.

The forecast for the next few days is not inspiring - we have another plunge of cold arctic air on the way by the end of the weekend as yet another low moves east into Scandinavia - the showers will turn wintry over Scotland. There are tentative signs of a decent warm up for all next weekend. 8-o
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The weather has been a little better in the last few days in the sense that it has been somewhat drier, but it remains chilly across the UK and particularly in the north. The overnight low in Scotland fell to -7°C on both Tuesday + Wednesday morning.

Today (Thurs 27th Apr) we have had the thick end of another inch of rain here in Tiverton and it is only 11°C mid-afternoon - the average for the end of April should be nearer to 15°C. The forecast is a little better for the next few days with a further weakening of the jet and more influence from high pressure. It will warm up a little and we might just pass the old 60°F mark here in the SW before the end of April. :-)

One part of Europe is seeing a very hot spell of weather - the southern half of Spain. Yesterday, the national April record of 37.4°C (set on 9/24/2008 at Murcia) was equalled at El Granado (in Huevla Province) and it looks like it will be beaten both today + tomorrow. The forecasters are going for the earliest 40°C in that Country which would smash the April record. GFS maximum predictions for Friday - note N Africa is also in record breaking territory, especially Morocco.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

An update on the hot weather in Spain at the end of last week. Daily maximum temperatures were:

Wednesday 26th April - 37.4°C at El Granado (Huelva Province) - equalled the national April record
Thursday 27th April - 38.8°C at Cordoba Airport - new national April record
Friday 28th April - 37.8°C at Granada
Saturday 29th April - 37.5°C at Elche (Alicante Province)

Here in the UK it has remained rather cool and still with showery rain. Yesterday (Sat 29th April) we managed our warmest day of the year so far in Tiverton with some sunshine and a high of 16°C. It did actually feel pleasantly warm!
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by spwill »

Coronation day, a dry start for London then rain/ showers. It will be a great day regardless.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Thanks for the reminder, spwill. It has been dull and cloudy so far today (Sat 6th May) in London - it is now approaching noon. The rain started around 9am in the London area and has been light so far, but there are likely to be some moderate bursts this afternoon. The persistence of the low stratus this afternoon may way put the kibosh on the flypast by the Red Arrows which would be a shame. It is currently (12 noon) 14°C in the capital.

The last few Coronations have not been blessed with good weather - all the way back to the beginning of the last century. This Met Office Press Release has a few more details - the last Coronation (of Queen Elizabeth II) - on 2nd June 1953 - was cold and cheerless with a high in London of just 12°C.

Recent Royal Weddings have fared much better with the weather.

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/p ... ate-050523
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by spwill »

The rainy weather seemed to have very little impact on the coronation parade, it all looked amazing.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Hello spwill - thankfully, the rain in London was not too heavy and seemed to peter out later in the afternoon. The weather statistics for Saturday for a few of the London sites were as follows - day max temp/overnight min/temp/day rainfall (12hrs to 6pm)

St James Park 15.3°C/10.6°C/5mm
London Heathrow 14.5°C/9.8°C/6mm
RAF Northolt 14.1°C/10.4°C/6mm

Here in Tiverton the rain ended late morning on Coronation Day and the cloud broke up to give some afternoon sunshine and we had a maximum temperature of 18°C. It is not often we get the better of the weather!!

Since then it has continued unsettled with further rain or showers and still not very warm.

The CET for May was 12.5°C (+1.3°C) up to the 10th and the EWR was 34mm up to the 9th, which is 55% of the monthly average of 63mm.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The weather here in the UK has settled down a bit in the last few days as we increasingly come under the influence of high pressure. It has been fine and mostly sunny here in Tiverton for the last 3-4 days with plenty of sunshine, although temperatures remain around average - and chilly at night. The fine and dry weather looks set to mostly continue for the rest of the week and into the weekend, although showers look likely on Friday.

Last week we did have a very active day on Thursday 11th May when a slack area of low pressure (only about 1012mb) was right over the UK. The winds were light with a general northerly flow, but this allowed sea breezes to develop and quite a few convergence zones were set-up over England. This resulted in a very showery day with plenty of thunderstorms and over 20 funnel clouds were spotted and photographed. Not sure if that is a record for one day, but must be close. One actually touched down as a weak tornado in the county of Suffolk in East Anglia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLhXFtVic2w
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The weather has settled down for much of the UK in the last few days as a ridge of high pressure from the Azores high is keeping weather fronts more to the north. The west and north of Scotland is catching the cloud and rain, but the rest of the UK has been predominantly sunny since Thursday. It has not been a scorcher, but it has been pleasantly warm and this is a welcome change. Should be dry for most of next week and remain just a little on the warm side of average.

The CET for May was 12.2°C (+1.0°C) up to the 19th and the EWR was 44mm also up to the 19th, which is 69% of the monthly average. Local reservoirs here in the SW are mostly back to near capacity, but a hosepipe ban has been extended from Cornwall to now include half of Devon.

Bit late with the UK summary for April, but it was an unsettled month and a tad cooler and duller than average with rainfall at the statistical norm. With regard to the sunshine, it was much sunnier than average in Scotland, but much duller down here in the S + SW.

https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2023/05/0 ... o-a-close/
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

High pressure has remained anchored to our SW with a ridge extending over England + Wales where it has remained dry and sunny for the last five days. Any cloud and rain has been restricted to Scotland and parts of N Ireland. With the wind predominantly from between N and E, it has not been hot but it has been pleasantly warm, especially in the sunshine. Today (Sat 27th May?, much of the UK had clear blue skies and Bramham (in Yorkshire) recorded 24.3°C which is the highest in the UK so far this year - this is a long way short of the May record of 33°C.

The weather looks locked into this pattern and the same conditions will persist through the rest of the weekend and the coming week. A bit more cloud on some days, but again it will be a case of 'west is best' for both sunshine + temperatures.

The CET for May was 12.5°C (+1.3°C) up to the 26th and the EWR was 44mm up to the 25th, which is 69% of the monthly average.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Orion »

Hope it's been pleasant weather for your Bank Holiday, Simon.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

Hello Orion - it was fine and sunny here in Tiverton on Bank Holiday Monday with a maximum of 18°C and a refreshing NE breeze.

The UK has been predominantly dry for the last week with just a little passing rain/drizzle in the far NW of Scotland. High pressure to the west has persisted and maintained a NE to E flow over England + Wales with cool and cloudy conditions on the east coast and fine + sunny in central and western parts. It was the hottest day of the year so far yesterday (Tues 30th May) with a fohn assisted high of 25.1°C recorded at Porthmadog in NW Wales. Parts of Scotland and Ireland also recorded a rounded up 25°C. England is still lagging behind because of this persistence of winds from an easterly quarter bringing air chilled after crossing the North Sea.

Despite al the sunshine, the sea surface temperatures are still quite low and this has caught out many bathers over the holiday weekend and there have been the inevitable tragedies. SST map for this past Sunday (28th May) - still too cold for me.
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Re: UK Weather - Spring 2023

Unread post by Simon Culling »

The final CET for May was 12.5°C (+1.4°C) and the final EWR was 44mm which is only 69% of the monthly average.

I cannot find the usual monthly summary for May on the Met Office website, but over the UK as a whole, May was a little warmer than average, but whilst rainfall was about average, it was much drier than normal in the north and much wetter in the south. Even in the south it dried up for the last 10 days. This Met Office blog entry is more about Winter/Spring rainfall situation, but is interesting nonetheless. Sunshine in May was about average, but with a big difference between the cloudy east and the sunny west of the UK.

https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2023/06/0 ... ity-alert/
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