This week sees a typical autumnal mix of weather for the UK, with some foggy nights contrasting with wet and windy spells.
Frank Saunders, today’s duty Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “We can expect a typical mix of weather this week. A strengthening jet stream will drive frontal systems in from the west mid-week onwards, so we’ll see the weather swinging from foggy nights and pleasant sunshine to periods of strong winds and heavy rain.”
The week will see some more settled conditions that will bring mist and fog to some areas overnight. Eastern areas should be mainly dry and fine on Wednesday while the wind picks up and brings cloud and rain into western areas during the afternoon and evening. This rain may still be around in the east on Thursday morning, but western areas will be much brighter and the sun will break through in the east as well.
The changeable theme continues at the end of the week with more rain moving in from the west on Friday. Saturday looks to be the better day of the weekend with sunshine and showers, the heaviest of the showers being in the north.
So far this autumn, hurricanes have rarely been out of the headlines, as they have brought devastation to parts of the Caribbean and the southern United States.
These systems often head north out of the tropics, but when hurricanes lose connection with warmer tropical waters they lose their source of energy and weaken rapidly as a result.
These systems have decayed to a relatively large extent by the time they enter our latitudes, but their remnants still contain air of tropical origin, which can still exert an influence on the weather in the north-east Atlantic, including the UK.
Currently, meteorologists are watching the progress of hurricanes Lee and Maria as they take curved tracks across the North Atlantic. Both have moved considerably north of the Tropic of Cancer now, and are occupying the open waters of the North Atlantic. Although both systems will have weakened by the time they near the UK, there is potential for them to impact the weather in the UK though the extent of this influence is currently uncertain.
Frank said: “Ex-Maria is likely to impact our weather towards the end of the weekend and into the beginning of next week. However, it is important to say that any weather impacts will be far from those experienced in the Caribbean. “Hurricanes gain their energy from the warm tropical waters and Ex-Maria’ will be modified significantly as it tracks over the cool North Atlantic ocean. Ex-Maria will still contain tropical air brought north and it is this air which has the potential to affect our weather. Our waters are far too cool to sustain an actual hurricane.”
Frank continued: “These systems regularly head towards the UK, especially in autumn. They can bring very strong winds and heavy rain, but they are a normal part of our weather.
“At the moment the track of Maria is uncertain and therefore the direction in which it takes as it weakens and becomes ex-Maria is also uncertain. This makes it hard to assess the likely impacts ex-Maria may have on our weather, therefore it’s worth keeping up to date with the forecast for the latest information and we’ll keep you updated with any potential impacts for the UK.”
The storm naming convention dictates that if a storm affecting the UK is the remnants of a hurricane that had moved across the Atlantic, the name would not be changed, and would instead be referred to as ‘ex-hurricane X’, for example. This is to avoid any confusion in regards to where the storm system originated.