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Long range forecast

Long range forecast

Thursday 19 Dec - Saturday 28 Dec

Cloudy with outbreaks of rain on Thursday, heaviest in the south and west, but moving north and eastwards. Also a risk of snow on the northern hills. In the west, windy with coastal gales. Likely frost overnight in the north, but elsewhere, temperatures generally around normal. Thereafter, it will turn milder and unsettled again as further bands of rain and strong winds edge in from the west. Changeable and sometimes windy conditions will probably last for the rest of the period. Most of the rain will probably be in the west with drier spells more likely in the east and southeast. Snow may occur at times in the north, mainly on high ground. There remains a chance of brief drier, colder interludes, with an increased risk of frost and fog.

Saturday 28 Dec - Saturday 11 Jan

Confidence is low throughout this period. Changeable and sometimes windy conditions seem more likely through late December, with the wetter weather in the west and longer drier spells in the east. By the time we go into January, longer spells of more widely dry, quiet and bright weather are possible, especially for southern and central areas, with the northwest more likely to remain unsettled. Temperatures should be near to or somewhat above average overall, but with the usual day to day variations. However in quieter spells, it is likely to be colder generally, with an increased risk of frost and fog.

Why isn't there more detail in the long range forecast?


Ever wondered why our forecasts for 5 days and beyond are written on the scale of the UK as a whole? 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 text forecasts for 5 days and beyond are written on the scale of the UK as a whole.

Our long range forecast (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).

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