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Cold & Wintry – Will there be snow?

7 December 2022

We’re 7 days into meteorological winter and cold weather has arrived across the UK, indeed over the next couple of days much colder weather will be drifting southwards across the UK bringing widespread frosts, the risk of ice and in a few places the risk of some snowfall.

Any snow over the coming days will generally be confined to Scotland and northern parts of England, this snow-depth chart from the UKV gives a good idea as to where snow is most likely to fall and accumulate over the next few days and through the weekend. Elsewhere it’ll be largely dry but increasingly cold with sub-zero temperatures by night for most of us.

Into next week things become a little more.. interesting. A developing & for a short time tropical area of low pressure out in the Atlantic will begin to move towards Europe. This low has the potential to bring an area of more significant snowfall into southern and south-western parts of England as moisture bumps into the colder air in place across the UK.

Computer models are struggling to resolve the track and intensity of this system for a couple of reasons;

  1. The system could have tropical characteristics for a short time and models often struggle to resolve the finer details of these systems
  2. Models often struggle with milder low pressure systems coming up against colder blocking areas of air

Given the above, computer models have been swinging between several different solutions.

The most likely solution at the moment is for the low pressure system to slide eastwards underneath the cold block and to the south of the UK, the exact track will determine if this brings any snowfall to the UK or if the moisture associated with the low remains to the south and misses entirely.

A more northerly track would bring the potential for widespread snowfall but would also usher in milder air ending the current cold spell, this seems like an unlikely option at the moment.

Next weeks finer detail aside – We are now entering a prolonged period of below average temperatures across the UK and this is likely to remain the case out until the 16th/17th December. Beyond that things become increasingly uncertain with a split within the ensemble members.

With cold air in place there will be snow risks to talk about, we’ll keep you updated on this site & over on our Twitter page with advisories being issued for snow where and when necessary.