Monthly Outlook

 Last updated

Summary

A more unsettled pattern from later this month

This weekend will be dry for most parts but with some wetter spells in Scotland and Northern Ireland. There will be little change in this pattern early next week - it will become breezy by Wednesday with some more organised bands of rain over the country. Temperatures will be slightly above average for late January.

Into February, the weather becomes more unsettled with periods of wind and rain for most parts, but no sustained cold spells are expected. The unsettled pattern persists over the latter half of the forecast with slightly mild conditions expected.

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Rain at times, mainly in Scotland; drier elsewhere

High pressure is near the south of the United Kingdom this weekend and early next week, while some weak troughs affect the north of the country. From the middle of next week, the high is positioned further to the south-west, enabling a more westerly flow over the country.

This weekend will be dry for most parts but with some light rain for northern and western Scotland on Saturday. Sunday starts similarly but a more organised band of rain moves across north-west Scotland late in the evening. Temperatures over the weekend will be near to average.

There is no great change in the weather pattern early in the working week, but by Wednesday we will see winds will begin to strengthen over the northern half of the country. A band of rain will move over Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England on Wednesday evening.

The rain eases as it continues south on Thursday, clearing all regions by midday, but scattered showers develop over Scotland. Friday should be dry for most parts, but western Scotland may see some rain at times. Temperatures over the working week will be 1-2C above average.

Next weekend is looking wet and windy for the northern half of the country, drier but still breezy in other parts. Temperatures next weekend should be 2-3C above average.

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More unsettled; near seasonal temperatures

Into February high pressure should be stationed over the eastern Atlantic, extending across to southern Europe. Low pressure systems lie near Iceland and northern Scandinavia. This pattern would allow a more unsettled period of weather.

Through this week we can expect a series of fronts to affect the UK, bringing spells of wind and rain. Forecasting the precise timing of these this far ahead is difficult but the latest information indicates the change to a wetter and winder pattern could be early in the week. With this type of weather pattern, the northern half of the country is likely to see the bigger impact but everywhere is likely to see spells of wind and rain at times. Temperatures should be near average or slightly below.

The risk during this week is if the high pressure is further south-west over the Atlantic and the storm track shifts south. This may bring even wetter and windier weather our way, with the possibility of it being very windy over Scotland. We estimate this risk at 35%.

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Wet and windy at times; slightly mild

Over the first week of this period, low pressure is most likely over Iceland and Scandinavia, with high pressure over the eastern Atlantic extending over western Europe. This would mean temperatures slightly above the seasonal average for most parts. It will be wet and windy at times, especially over the northern half of the country.

By the second week, all the models are underperforming, meaning our confidence in the forecast is low. We think high pressure over the north-east Atlantic extending to south-east Europe is most likely, with low pressure near Iceland and northern Scandinavia. This would keep temperatures slightly above average for most parts. Spells of rain and higher than normal winds are likely, and it could be very windy over Scotland, but there should be some more settled days as well.

The uncertainty in this forecast towards the end of the fourth week is if the high pressure moves over north-west Europe. This would bring a drier, less windy pattern to the country. Despite the lack of confidence in this general forecast pattern, we are more confident that we will not get a sustained cold spell, as the polar vortex remains strong.

Further ahead

We will see if the models have more consensus for the weather pattern in mid-February.