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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 Friday 27 Jan 2017 to Sunday 5 Feb 2017:

Wet and windy weather will affect the northwest on Friday, with some heavy outbreaks of rain over higher ground. The rain will spread into mainland UK overnight but the southeast will probably stay dry and bright throughout Friday. This will mark a change to generally wet and windy weather over the weekend and next week. Bands of rain will cross the country, interspersed with brighter and showery interludes. It will be windy at times, with gales likely in the northwest. The heaviest rain is also likely across northern and western parts. Temperatures are likely to be mild into the start of February, however there is a chance that the southeast may be drier and colder at times.

Updated at: 1127 on Sun 22 Jan 2017

UK Outlook for Sunday 5 Feb 2017 to Sunday 19 Feb 2017:

At the start of this period the most likely scenario is for more unsettled weather with wet and windy spells interspersed with brighter and showery interludes. This would bring gales at times, especially in the northwest. Temperatures are likely to be slightly above normal for the time of year. South-eastern parts may well stay drier and brighter. From the second week of February, confidence in the forecast reduces but there is a possibility that high pressure will return, bringing more settled weather with lighter winds and a return of overnight frost and fog. As a result, temperatures may become colder at times, with frost and fog again possible.

Updated at: 1128 on Sun 22 Jan 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).