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Becoming colder and more settled to end 2016

Following the unsettled, mild weather over the Christmas period, it looks like most places will see calmer, less windy but colder weather for the final days of the year.

Over the festive period a string of low pressure systems from the Atlantic impacted northern parts of the UK with Storm Barbara and Storm Conor bringing strong winds and rain. This came as a result of high pressure over Europe breaking down and the jet stream strengthening.

Gale force winds, snow and lightning affected Scotland with storm force winds in the far north. Storm Conor brought a peak gust of 95 mph to Sella Ness in Shetland on Boxing Day morning with many other locations in the far north of the UK recording gusts in the 80s mph. Northern Ireland and northern parts of England and Wales also experienced strong winds and periods of heavy rainfall. Southern regions missed the worst of the weather, remaining mostly dry and mild, with winds much less of a feature.

The low pressure systems, as well as bringing wind and rain, also pulled warm air up from the subtropical mid-Atlantic, leading to a very mild Christmas Day. A maximum temperature of 15.1C was recorded at Aberdeen Dyce airport, Aberdeenshire, just shy of the Christmas Day UK maximum temperature record of 15.6C (Killerton, Devon in 1920 and Leith, Midlothian in 1896).

High pressure is now building from the southwest and the stormy weather in the north is continuing to ease as Storm Conor weakens and moves into Scandinavia. As high pressure regains control over the UK, the weather will become colder and more settled. England and Wales are likely to experience the lowest temperatures with frost and fog likely. Daytime temperatures will likely be around 5 to 7 degrees Celsius but locally much closer to zero where fog persists, leading to some cold, dull days. Overnight the thermometer will drop below freezing for many areas leading to widespread frosts with values dropping to minus 5 in some prone cold spots.

However, there is good news for those heading out and about, much of the country will be dry with many places seeing spells of sunshine, especially early on this week. The far north of the UK will see some rain at times and it will also be windy, but nothing compared to recent days.

Pressure chart for midday Wednesday 28 December 2016

 

Deputy Chief Operational Meteorologist Martin Young said:

“After the recent stormy spell of weather, the UK should see a return to more settled conditions. However, with high pressure bringing lighter winds and lower temperatures we’ll see a return of frost and fog which could impact on people making journeys over the coming days.”

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