A wet and windy weekend for most

  • A visible satellite image taken at 1400BST on 18th August 2016 illustrating a rapidly developing extra-tropical low. This low pressure system is forecast to track north-east over the next few days, impacting the British Isles this weekend.

    A water-vapor image taken at 1400BST 18th August 2016 showing the ominous storm depression as it tracks gradually towards the UK.

    A forecast of MSLP (mean sea level pressure) for 0600UTC on Saturday 20th August 2016. The forecast plot illustrates a deep low pressure system tracking across central Ireland with a strong pressure gradient/wind field to its south.

  • A wet and windy weekend for most
    18.08.2016 14:10

    An area of low pressure is rapidly developing in the North Atlantic and will gradually track towards the UK in the next few days bringing a big change in weather conditions for most areas. Bands of rain will move in from the Atlantic just in time for the weekend with high winds accompanying the unseasonably intense weather system.


     A band of rain will extend north-east across the UK Friday with some heavy bursts expected, especially near exposed coasts of northern England and west Wales. Accumulations of rain-fall in excess of 30mm are possible in upland western regions through Friday.  However, the rain will clear into the North Sea quickly and some southern and south-eastern parts will become dry and largely sunny by evening. South-easterly winds will gust widely to 40mph in the west through Friday with occasional gusts to 50mph, particularly through Irish Sea coasts. Overnight the centre of the low pressure system will trundle towards Northern Ireland, with winds veering south-westerly.

    Saturday will be a windy day away from Scotland with fresh or strong south-westerly winds gusting above 40mph in places with some very strong winds along exposed Irish Sea coasts, definitely not a day to be grabbing a ferry across the Irish Sea.

    Showers will be widespread in western areas and are likely to be thundery at times. Significant rainfall totals are expected across north Wales and north-west England with frequent, heavy blustery showers here. Fortunately these showers will be more isolated in the east/south-east with sunny spells and just occasional blustery showers. A cool day for most but in sheltered south-eastern areas temperatures may peak at 23C. The low pressure system will gradually dissipate on Sunday with its associated showers becoming increasingly isolated. It will remain quite windy though with a fresh westerly breeze.

    Early next week

    Numerical weather model output suggests a north/south split in conditions early next week with high pressure ridging into the south-east bringing dry and fine conditions with hazy sunshine by day and only occasional showers. However, things are likely to be very different in the north with Atlantic low pressure systems often nearby bringing the threat of rain.

    Turning much hotter next week?

    As we take a look at our probabilistic forecasting tools and try to determine what the weather conditions are likely to be next week, there is minor but notable support for significant warmth developing across the UK from mid-week. There is potential for very hot conditions developing in the south-east but if this did occur it would bring the risk of thunderstorms.

    Stay tuned to the forecast to see whether the UK will get a final blast of summer heat next week. 

    By: Matthew Martin