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The weather forecast

It's been a while since we posted the weather report on here but here it is from the Met Office:

'A mixed week ahead with both snow and rain-related hazards liable to feature, the snow at the start of the period, the rain more towards midweek as milder air from the south temporarily displaces the colder air currently in residence. Friday’s message, you may recall, was flagging up a potential snow event later tonight and Tuesday, this is still in the offing though looking increasingly like a higher-level issue. On the rainfall side of things, Friday’s optimism on rainfall totals this week has lessened somewhat over the weekend with bands of rain/showers now expected to follow from the S later tomorrow and into Wednesday/Thursday which, when combined with snowmelt from the higher ground, potentially raises the flood risk by the middle of the week. By next weekend the pendulum is starting to swing back to somewhat colder conditions again. Below are the main developments to watch for this week, along with the latest severe weather warning/flood risk status.

Main weather pointers this week:

  • Band of precipitation progressing NE’wards across the region after midnight tonight. Precipitation a mixture of rain/sleet/snow at low levels but predominantly snow above around 150-200m. Note, however, the risk of some freezing rain falling for a time (rain falling onto sub-zero surfaces) which could locally create some very icy conditions on roads/pavements by breakfast time tomorrow morning. Some heavier precipitation likely to develop which at higher levels will likely lead to appreciable snow accumulation over the more northern trans-Pennine routes (A69/A686/A689/A66/A684) and Cumbrian passes later tomorrow morning with subsequent travel disruption. At low levels across Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and W Lancashire any snow accumulations liable to be modest and fairly transient with snow liable to turn back to rain tomorrow morning.

Milder air following from the S into most parts from mid/late morning on through the rest of the day. Further rain/showers developing which could become widespread and occasionally heavy into tomorrow evening. There is a chance that the far N/NE of Cumbria and the northernmost Pennines will hang onto the colder air with further snow well into tomorrow evening, prolonging any disruption.

Remaining unsettled through Wednesday and Thursday with potential for further areas of rain to swing through the region but also some drier interludes. Temperatures holding up well in this period.

Friday and Saturday: Trending somewhat colder but also drier with reducing amounts of precipitation. Any that does fall could turn more to sleet/snow though no accumulations signalled at this stage.

Severe weather warnings now in force across the Northwest:

  • Updated medium impacts snow/ice warning (attached). Compared to Friday much of Cheshire, along with Merseyside and W Lancashire have been removed from the warning area due to decreased likelihood of any snow accumulations. Warning now restricted to NE Cheshire, GM, Cent/E Lancashire and Cumbria and suggestive of 1-3cm snow at low levels but as much as 5-10cm > 150m and perhaps as much as 20cm on routes above 300m. Note again the possibility of freezing rain in the text.

  • New low impact rainfall warning (effectively a combination of rain and snowmelt) issued for the Pennine spine for tomorrow evening into Wednesday. This ties up with the flood risk guidance below.

This morning’s Flood Guidance Statement:

  • The combined effects of rain/snow tomorrow, followed by further showers/longer outbreaks of rain Wed/Thu have placed all of the Northwest under a green Area Of Concern for the Tuesday to Thursday period with a low likelihood of minor impacts from rivers/surface water excess.

  • Along the Pennine spine the effects of likely snowmelt from later tomorrow onwards raise the likelihood of surface water impacts (run off from the higher ground in particular) to medium and thus yellow on the flood risk matrix.

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