Weather forecast: Storm Caroline’s Arctic winds augur fresh Met Office warning as high winds, heavy rain and – yes

December 5, 2017
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Storm Caroline’s Arctic winds are set to sweep south across the UK later this week as the Met Office on Tuesday warned of a fresh cold snap featuring high winds, heavy rain and – yes – even snow.

Forecasters have issued a new yellow warning covering much of the country, which is due to come into effect in some areas on Thursday morning (December 7).

The third named storm of the year after Aileen and Brian , Storm Caroline is expected to bring gusts of between 50mph to 80mph and showers that will fall as snow across many areas.

While the south east is expected to be spared the worst of Caroline’s fury, the Met Office is urging people to be aware of a likely prolonged period of unsettled weather, especially by Friday (December 8).

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In a lengthy blog posted on Monday (December 4), the Met Office said the cloudy and “relatively mild” conditions early this week will soon give way to a “marked change to colder conditions”.

During Tuesday, when Storm Caroline was officially named, a low pressure system arrived from the west and is due to work its way south bringing with it “heavy rain and strong winds”.

This system will draw in northerly colder air, and by Friday the whole of the UK is “expected to be under the influence of an Arctic Maritime air mass”.

And while temperatures will range from freezing to 6C, the Met Office said the wind chill factor woulf make it feel “bitterly cold” in some areas.

Deputy chief forecaster Chris Bulmer said: “On Friday, conditions will be cold enough for any showers we do see to fall as snow across the country.

“The most frequent showers and greatest risk of snow settling, which may cause disruption, will be for areas exposed to a north to northwesterly winds.

“There is still some uncertainty regarding the precise wind direction later in the week and this will be key to determining where the largest snow accumulations will be.”


So why is it going to get so cold?

Weather events across the world can all end up having an impact on conditions here in the UK.

Among them is La Niña, a likely influence on the snowy winter of 2010/11 experienced across much of the UK – it’s the counterpart to El Niño.

When the influence of La Niña is more pronounced, it usually results in cooler temperatures in the early stages of our winter.


“There is the potential for the weak La Niña signal to affect the UK’s weather this month,” said the Met Office.

“But it is vying for influence on the UK winter weather with a range of other competing global climate influences which can also affect our weather.”

The Met Office added that La Niña was just one influence and other factors, such as the jetstream, can also have similarly significant effects for our weather.

(Image: AP)

What about the Met Office’s new yellow warning?

Thursday (December 7)

  • Wind: 8am to 11.55pm

The yellow warning on Thursday largely concerns the start of the cold front moving south from Scotland and the north of England.

Those most likely to be affected will be in coastal areas where there will be spray and larger waves.

Friday and Saturday (December 8-9)

  • Snow and ice: 12.05am on Friday through to 6pm on Saturday

The Met Office said roads and railways could be affected and there will be longer journey times for those taking to the roads.

“Probably some icy patches on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths”, along with the risk of “injuries from slips and falls”.