Archives For stratocumulus clouds

Tuesday 11 March in Reigate started with very cold wind chill temperatures down to -12°C at 5 am brought by strong NE gusts of +30mph blowing snow wildly into mini-drifts, especially on the North Downs.  Arctic air arrived from the North by mid-morning and, with slackening winds and breaking cloud, brought a much warmer and brighter end to the day with max temps of 4.4°C. The satellite photo shows the advancing Arctic air mass changing the cloud pattern as it nudges the cold NE winds to the south.
Calmer, brighter, drier HIGH pressure will remain in Reigate for a few days until a POLAR LOW from the NW brings rain and wind for the weekend. The arrival of this low from Greenland, wrapped with cold air, will not bring respite from the cool weather but temperatures will rise to 5-7C max so it will seem mild compared with our recent icy Polar experience!  More later on a potential re-arrival of Spring on 20 March!

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Thursday update: situation on Sunday – Tuesday is mostly GRIM, wet, miserable and cold but details are still uncertain regarding snowy-ness here in Reigate: could be lots or just sleet and rain mix.  Snow up north definitely but SMALL changes in location and speed of LOW centre and wind direction will make a BIG difference to what weather we get in Reigate. Stay tuned for latest! (nb re-reading my post here: “mild” means “relatively mild” at Tmax 4°C Sunday, Monday “cooler” means Tmax 2°C: so cold, wet and miserable right through from Sunday am!)

The Arctic wind built threatening, angry stratocumulus clouds over Reigate early today (pictured) and some built into perky sleet showers by the end of the day.  The rest of this week should be brighter, clearer, frosty and less windy but sadly no sign of Spring yet – models show cool conditions continuing next week. Light snow is possible in Reigate on a decaying occluded front over Thursday night.  The Arctic wind will shut down in the next few days as a HIGH pressure builds from the SW.  Significant snow is a possibility in the first part of next week anytime from Sunday night through to Tuesday for Reigate and SE England as winds swing Easterly associated with a trough slipping SE. It’s tricky to forecast whether it will be snow, sleet or rain and where exactly it will fall at this stage but ,despite this vague detail, models do agree that a SLIDER LOW will move down from the NW and bring, initially warmer southerlies and rain on Sunday, but then drag in some cool Easterlies which could cause a spell of snow, possibly for the rush hour on Monday.  Early next week will be cold and snow / sleet showers threaten anytime. It’s a tricky forecast because the temperature of these Easterly winds is now creeping up as Spring approaches and surface temperatures will hover at the upper threshold of snowfall (2° or 3°C) so that it could easily fall as sleet or rain. Places further east and higher up on the Downs are more likely to get snow rather than sleet: it is that close. Follow 1-10 on the slides to check the causes of this potential snowy event: it is quite different from our Skyfall last month.