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Long Range Weather

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Forecast summary

Outlook for the UK over the next 6-30 days

UK Outlook for Wednesday 1 Mar 2017 to Friday 10 Mar 2017:

An unsettled picture is likely at the start of March, as further weather systems affect the UK from the Atlantic. Frontal systems will cross the UK, bringing cloudy and wet weather at times, with some snow over northern hills. It will be rather cold at times in the north, with temperatures closer to average in the south. The changeable Atlantic influence is expected to remain in place through early March, with strong winds and rain at times and possibly gales. Temperatures will be around normal, and possibly a little above average in the south. In between frontal systems, there is likely to be some spells of drier and brighter weather with some showers and patchy overnight frosts.

Updated at: 1221 on Fri 24 Feb 2017

UK Outlook for Saturday 11 Mar 2017 to Saturday 25 Mar 2017:

For the rest of March signals are weak and confidence is low. It will probably be rather unsettled with spells of wet and windy weather at first, interspersed with brighter and showery conditions with some snow possible across the north of the UK. There should, however, also be some drier and brighter spells, where we may see some local frost and fog at times overnight. Temperatures are expected to be slightly above normal for the time of year. However, there remains the possibility of seeing a more prolonged cold spell, with an increased chance of snow in places. This is more likely later in the period.

Updated at: 1219 on Fri 24 Feb 2017

Long-range weather prediction

Predicting how the weather will behave over the coming hours, days, weeks and months is a complex undertaking. Each timescale presents its own challenges. In an ideal world, everyone would like to know exactly what the weather will do so we can make definite plans. Nature, however, doesn't work like that. When looking at forecasts beyond five days into the future the chaotic nature of the atmosphere starts to come into play - small events currently over the Atlantic can have potentially significant impacts on our weather in the UK in several days' time. Therefore whilst we can still forecast the general feel of the weather to a relatively high level of accuracy using our ensemble models, it becomes harder to offer local detail to as high a level of accuracy as our shorter range forecasts. For this reason our forecasts for 5 days and beyond are written on the scale of the UK as a whole.

Medium range (6 - 15 days)

Medium-range weather forecasts cover anything from around three to 10-days ahead. The UK medium-range outlook is covered in the five-day location and map-based forecasts as well as the meteorologist written forecasts. The 6-10 day text forecasts provide a broad description of the weather likely to be affecting the UK, including significant changes in the type of weather. It also provides a risk assessment of severe weather, such as heavy rainfall, severe gales or an extended period of high or low temperatures.

Extended-range (10 - 30 days)

Extended-range weather forecasts cover periods between 10 and 30-days ahead. This covers the end of our 6-15 day text forecast and the whole of our 16-30 day text forecast. If you are after a 14-day weather forecast then our 6-15 day text forecast will provide a broad description of the weather likely to be affecting the UK. The 16-30 day text outlook (which is updated on a daily basis) provides an indication of how the weather might change, or be different from normal, (i.e. warmer, colder, wetter, drier) across the whole UK. Met Office meteorologists consider output from a range of weather models when writing these forecasts. These models include those from the Met Office as well as models from other global forecasting centres such as the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts ( ECMWF).