A ridge of HIGH pressure brought excellent fair weather cumulus cloud formation over the SE today. The sat pic shows cloud streets of cumulus over the SE where local convection, capped by an inversion at 5000 feet created beautiful fluffy bubbly cumulus for much of the day. This came after the “coldest” night of the year at -1.2c in Reigate and -6c in the far north of the UK under clear skies and polar air.
Another point to note was the opposite wind directions at different altitudes today: surface SE flows giving way to NW flows above 7000 feet. The skew-t chart below illustrates these features of a super-lovely day here. The fairweather Cu convection was surpressed later in the day as an advancing occluded front spread high level cirrus and cirrostratus across the sky thereby creating an enormous regional inversion of warmer upper air that effectively stopped further convection and the cumulus gradually faded with incoming cirrostratus and altostratus later in the day.
The rest of the week for Reigate deteriorates and becomes cooler and damper and more gloomy. A large cut-off low is set to form over the continent, while a HIGH over Scandinavia will combine with this COOL-POOL to drag NE and easterly winds over the UK.
Usually such winds bring cool, damp and showery weather across the East and SE, including Reigate, with moisture picked up from the N Sea and temps from a cool early spring-time continent often creating layers of cloudy gloomy stratocumulus widely. Thurs/Fri may see brighter spells with showers.
A LOW from Denmark mid-week is modelled to drift across the N Sea and this is likely to exacerbate the cold by bringing an extra-cool shot of cold continental air (-6 at 850hPa) over the UK mid-week: snow is possible over high ground of the Pennines and NE at this time.
Later in the week and at the weekend a subtle shift in the location of the Scandi HIGH and Euro-low could allow warmer SE winds sourced from the Mediterranean to filter into SE UK edging temps to the upper teens once again. This is a fair way off still but will make the weekend a more pleasant prospect if this comes off.
Model predictions for the start of April look uncertain still with ifs-and-buts over how settled it will be. Several sugges high pressure building at times early on but other models put a LOW over the UK for this period… so charts definitely worth watching for Easter school hols.