An unusual winter pressure pattern is building in the early part of next week: a HIGH over Spain and NW Africa and deep LOWS over the Atlantic to the NW of the UK will combine to create what some meteorologists call the “blowtorch”. The relative position of HIGH and LOW pressure will funnel Tropical air from the Azores direct to Reigate possibly raising temperatures to 12°C on Tuesday (the big map shows temps for today, Saturday). This effect is sometimes called the “BLOWTORCH” (or hairdryer) because it can bring unseasonably high temperatures and melt snow rapidly across NW Europe (this blowtorch could reach as far as Russia where snowfall has been extreme). Reigate snow will be long gone by Tuesday but the warming effect could still be marked and a big contrast to a week ago when Tuesday temperatures fell to -6°C. Don’t break out the flip-flops just yet! Unfortunately, the blowtorch is unlikely to last more than a day or two at most and, in any case, it will be accompanied by rain and wind which might make it feel fairly unremarkable! Watch the video clip below which shows temperatures rising across the continent and the cold being beaten back as BLOWTORCH blasts through Europe!
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The weekend sees an atmospheric battle taking place overhead between tropical and polar air masses. The video below shows the stage being set for this battle: watch the westerly winds pushing against the cold polar North-Easterlies sweeping down from Scandinavia and meeting over… well, Reigate!! Anyhow, this weekend temperatures will fall throughout Saturday from 3°C to freezing by late afternoon. Rain could turn sleety from mid-afternoon onwards as the coldest air pushes in and light snow is possible, dying out early Sunday morning. Sunday looks dry and cold, feeling like -7°C in a chilly northerly wind. Monday is set to be even colder, staying near freezing all day and feeling like -8°C in the wind, but dry (though latest is for snowy front moving south according to UKMO). The rest of the week is unclear but likely to stay cold until at least Wednesday with more significant snow likely Tuesday. Longer term predictions suggest January will stay cool, with a few milder interludes.