Easter Weekend Weather

  • Easter egg display at Sandown Park. Photo: John Walton/EMPICS Sport/PA Wire.

    A strong jet stream (direction in green arrow) will be the culprit for the wet and windy conditions this weekend. The dotted blue line depicts the progression of the developing low pressure system in the North Atlantic.

    1-5 day precipitation totals encompassing the long Easter weekend, as forecast by ECMWF.

  • Easter Weekend Weather
    24.03.2016 15:47


    With the long weekend edging ever closer it’s time to have a look at the expected weather conditions across the UK, and unless you’re a fan of the wet and the windy then this may make grim reading. The past few weeks have been remarkably quiet weather-wise with a large area of high pressure stagnant close to or over the UK, in-turn giving dry and settled conditions for many. However, with a strengthening jet stream in the North Atlantic there will be considerably more energy bearing in from the west with deep low pressure systems bringing heavy rain and strong winds at times.

    Whilst many areas will get off to a good start on Good Friday as a transient high pressure ridge traverses the UK leading to dry and bright conditions, a low pressure system will be deepening all the while south of Iceland and gradually exerting its influence to north-western parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland. An associated front will give rain and strengthening winds here in the afternoon before edging south-east and affecting the western half of the UK overnight.

    By Saturday, this frontal zone will extend across much of the UK, continuing to creep south-east and giving heavy and persistent rain. There are some signs of an active cold front developing within the broader frontal system and if this pans out then an intense band of rain and squally winds will track west to east giving the risk of surface runoff. Latest weather models indicate that the cold front will be most active across southern England through the afternoon and evening with the odd thunderstorm not to be ruled out too.

    Following the clearance of this heavy rain on Saturday night, Easter Sunday is shaping up to be a cool and blustery affair as a strong and unstable south-westerly air flow brings a mixture of sunny intervals and heavy showers. A few scattered thunderstorms can also be expected, especially across western parts where the atmosphere will be most conducive for the development of intense showers. It might therefore be a good idea to check the precipitation radar should you decide to embark on a leisurely Sunday afternoon walk in case a heavy downpour is imminent.

    There doesn’t appear to be much improvement into Easter Monday and, unfortunately, it looks like getting considerably worse in places. The main cause will be another deep low pressure area arriving from the west, with its centre likely moving eastwards directly over the UK. The strength and exact track of the low will have big consequences on the resultant winds and precipitation, but latest weather models indicate southern England will be in the firing line and potentially see gales through the day. Outbreaks of heavy rain, meanwhile, are forecast to be fairly widespread meaning it is likely to be a washout and cap off a thoroughly unsettled weekend. Temperatures will also be fairly disappointing with highs falling from 11-14C on Friday/Saturday to 9-12C on Sunday/Monday.

    Remember to keep up with the latest weather forecast at www.weathercast.co.uk.


    By: Nick Prebble