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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 24 Feb 2017 to Sunday 5 Mar 2017:

Plenty of dry and sunny weather is expected on Friday, with one or two showers, but it will feel cold. Wind and rain is then likely to spread in from the west later and last through Saturday but it will be accompanied by milder air. Changeable and mild weather is likely to continue through the rest of that weekend and into the following week, with wet and windy conditions affecting the north and west of the UK the most. The south and east should see the best of any drier and brighter weather. However, there will generally be brighter, cooler, more showery days in-between weather systems. This changeable pattern is currently expected to continue as we head into March.

Updated at: 1217 on Sun 19 Feb 2017

UK Outlook for Monday 6 Mar 2017 to Monday 20 Mar 2017:

For March there is a fair amount of uncertainty, but the weather is most likely to be unsettled at first. There will be spells of wet and windy weather, interspersed with brighter and showery conditions with some snow possible across the north of the UK. There will, however, also be some drier and brighter spells, particularly in the south and east where we may see some local frost and fog at times overnight. Temperatures are expected to be a little above normal for the time of year but there remains a small chance of seeing a more prolonged cold spell, which is most probable later in the period.

Updated at: 1217 on Sun 19 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).