WeatherWebb

Making the weather more accessible

Heavy rain across much of England and Wales. Sun and showers elsewhere.

Today: Friday 20th February 2015
Heavy rain will slowly spread east across central and southern England and Wales. Sunny spells elsewhere, but wintry showers are likely in western areas.

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Tomorrow: Saturday 21st February 2015
Early rain will clear to leave a bright, but chilly day with spells of sunshine and scattered wintry showers.

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The Next Few Day

Windy with heavy rain spreading east on Sunday. Rain clearing to showers on Monday. Rain and snow spreading south on Tuesday.

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Heavy rain sinking south-eastwards

Today: Thursday 19th February 2015
A band of heavy rain will sink south-eastwards across England and Wales, with sunny spells and scattered wintry showers following  behind.

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Tomorrow: Friday 20th February 2015
Heavy rain will spread east across England and Wales. Scotland and Northern will see sunshine, but also wintry showers.

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The Next Few Day

Once any lingering rain clears on Saturday morning it will be bright with showers. Windy with heavy rain spreading east on Sunday. Rain clearing to showers on Monday.

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Dull and wet in the north-west. Fine elsewhere

Today: Wednesday 18th February 2015
Spells of sunshine for much of England and Wales, but cloud will thicken from the north-west. Cloudy in Scotland and Northern Ireland with spells of rain.

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Tomorrow: Thursday 19th February 2015
A band of rain, heavy at times, will sink southwards through the day, followed by sunny spells and scattered showers, some wintry in Scotland.

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The Next Few Day

Sunshine and showers for most on Friday, but rain will move into the south. Once any lingering rain clears on Saturday morning it will be bright with showers. Heavy rain or snow spreading east on Sunday.

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Mostly dry with spells of sunshine, but cloudier in the north-west

Today: Tuesday 17th February 2015
Predominately dry and sunny, but cloudier in the far north-west, but with wintry showers in western Scotland.

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Tomorrow: Wednesday 16th February 2015
Spells of sunshine for much of southern and central England. Elsewhere, it will be largely cloudy with rain spreading south-eastwards.

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The Next Few Day

Rain sinking south on Thursday, followed by showers. Rain clearing east on Friday leaving sunny spells and scattered showers. Rain and snow will clear on Saturday to leave spells of sunshine.

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Rain spreading east, followed by showers

Today: Monday 16th February 2015
A band of rain will spread eastwards, followed by sunny spells and scattered showers. Turning colder.

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Tomorrow: Tuesday 17th February 2015
Cold and breezy with spells of sunshine for most, but rain in the north.

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The Next Few Day

Breezy on Wednesday with rain in the north-west. Rain sinking south on Thursday, followed by showers. Rain clearing east on Friday.

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A fair amount of cloud

Today: Sunday 15th February 2015
A few sunny breaks are likely, although it will be mostly cloudy with drizzle possible. Windy in Scotland.

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Tomorrow: Monday 16th February 2015
Rain spreading eastwards through the day, followed by showers, some heavy.

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The Next Few Day

Rain clearing to sunny spells on Tuesday. Breezy on Wednesday with rain moving into the north-west. Rain lingering in the north on Thursday, but sunny elsewhere.

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A lot of cloud with drizzle possible

Today: Saturday 14th February 2015
Rather a lot of cloud with patchy drizzle and light rain. Brighter in the south-west. Windy in Scotland.

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Tomorrow: Sunday 15th February 2015
Some sunshine, but also a fair amount of cloud with a few spots of drizzle possible.

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The Next Few Day

Rain spreading east on Monday. Rain clearing to sunny spells on Tuesday. Breezy on Wednesday with rain moving into the north-west.

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Rain pushing eastwards. Windier.

Today: Friday 13th February 2015
A band of rain will push eastwards across the UK, followed by showers. Rather windy too.

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Tomorrow: Saturday 14th February 2015
A lot of cloud with fog and patchy drizzle. More persistent rain is likely in the south.

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The Next Few Day

Rather dull on Sunday with scattered showers possible. Rain spreading east on Monday. Sunny spells and variable cloud on Tuesday.

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Another rather dull day

Today: Thursday 12th February 2015
Fog lifting to leave another rather dull day with a few spots of drizzle possible. The best of any brightness in the north-east.

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Tomorrow: Friday 13th February 2015
Winds will strengthen as a band of rain spreads north-eastwards, followed by showers.

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The Next Few Day

Rain becoming confined to the south on Saturday. Rather dull on Sunday with scattered showers possible. Rain spreading east on Monday.

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Pressure, highs and lows

In the past year I have seen the media explain normal weather conditions as some very strange things. Recently, the “Weather bomb” has become a new definition, which is more understandable then some media phrases as the word bomb as a news headline could alarm a few people, but it did seem to be thrown around rather a lot. Anyway, I thought I’d clear a few things up when it comes to pressure.

The weather around the world is affected by pressure, which is measured by a barometer in millibars (mbar) or hectopascals (hPa). The standard pressure level is 1013mbar. The pressure continuously tries to balance out around the globe. In large scale terms, high pressure tends to be based close to the equator and low pressure close to the poles. This is because high pressure and low pressure systems surround the two polar jet streams as illustrated in the diagram below.

Diagram to illustrate global circulation (Climate4you 2015)

Diagram to illustrate global circulation (Climate4you 2015)

High and low pressure systems develop where the jet stream meanders. In the northern hemisphere, the low pressure systems form to the north of the polar jet stream in troughs and high pressure systems form to the south of the jet stream in ridges.

High pressure systems bring settled weather to the  UK, this can be dry and sunny or cloudy, as this week has shown. Winds travel in a clockwise direction around a high pressure system (in the northern hemisphere) which can lead to cold or warm air from the continent being brought into the area. In comparison, low pressure systems bring unsettled and windy weather to the UK. The winds travel in an anti-clockwise direction and usually have frontal systems associated with them with can bring heavy and persistent bands of precipitation. An example of how these systems appear on a synoptic map is shown below as well as how pressure is illustrated by isobars; lines of equal air pressure.

Synoptic map showing low pressure across the UK and high pressure across the Mediterranean (KNMI 2015)

Synoptic map showing low pressure across the UK and high pressure across the Mediterranean (KNMI 2015)

Just to make things even more confusing, there can be different types of high and low pressure systems. The most significant variant of a high pressure system would be a high a Blocking High. This works in the same way as a normal high pressure system. However, it is more rigid in it’s form and therefore low pressure systems fail to move it out the way or break it’s barrier. These systems tend to last 7-10days.

When it comes to low pressure systems, the most notable is probably a Bomb Low (also now known as a Weather bomb). A Bomb Low is when the pressure at the center of the low drops by more than 24mbar in 24 hours; this means there are often very strong winds associated with them. Another low pressure system that can lead to notable weather is a Polar Low. Polar Low’s are short lived low pressure systems, but they can be very intense. The form in cold conditions when the sea below is warmer. These systems are often associated with heavy snow and strong winds.

Over the next few weeks I’ll try and explain frontal systems and air masses in more detail, so that you can read the crazy headlines and translate it into what the weather is actually going to be like!! E.g. “Arctic blast to hit the UK” last week would be “Normal conditions for the UK in the middle of winter.”

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