Unseasonably warm 57F temperaures in southern England on Saturday

Weekend weather divide: Cloudy skies will bring unseasonably warm 57F to the South on Saturday… but low pressure risks rain and snow in the North and 80mph gales in Scotland

  • Much of England set for one-day break from winter chill with temperatures up to at least 11C (52F) tomorrow
  • Warmest weather tomorrow expected to be across southern England which will enjoy sunshine over weekend 
  • It will be colder on Sunday with highs of between 6C (43F) and 10C (50F) in England but still sunny in South
  • But heavy rainfall is expected in northern England, Wales and Scotland as well as snowfall over northern hills

Many Britons are set to a mild start to the weekend with temperatures hitting unseasonable highs of 14C (57F) in the South tomorrow – although parts of northern England and Scotland face heavy rainfall, gales and even snow.

Much of the country is set for a one-day break from the chill of winter with most of England and Wales getting to at least 11C (52F) on Saturday afternoon, following a sub-zero night that brought -4C (25F) lows early this morning.

The warmest weather tomorrow is expected to be across southern England which will also enjoy spells of sunshine over the weekend – although it will be colder on Sunday with highs of between 6C (43F) and 10C (50F) in England.

But not everyone will enjoy dry weather – with heavy rainfall expected in parts of northern England, Wales and Scotland this weekend and snowfall over northern hills on Sunday along with sleet and hail at lower levels.

The Met Office has put out a series of weather warnings over the weekend for strong winds gusting at up to 80mph around exposed coasts and hills and 70mph inland – warning this ‘will likely cause some travel disruption’.

Forecasters said the conditions will ‘generate some large and dangerous waves around the coasts’ and warned that ‘road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible’.

The Met Office said power cuts and mobile outages are possible, while ‘injuries and danger to life could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto susceptible sea fronts, coastal roads and properties’.

The first warning runs from 4am tomorrow until 3pm the same day, covering most of Scotland, Northern Ireland and England from Leeds northwards. There are also separate warnings for tomorrow in North East Scotland.

Another warning then begins at 6pm on Sunday and runs until 12pm on Monday which covers the whole of Scotland and northern England down to Sheffield, as well as the northern section of East Anglia around Norwich.

The lowest UK temperature recorded overnight into this morning was -4C (25F) at Topcliffe in North Yorkshire, while it was also just -3C (27F) in Somerset, Dorset and Oxfordshire and -2C (28F) in Bristol around dawn today.  

A group of people look out as the sun begins to rise near Fordingbridge at the New Forest in Hampshire this morning

Sunrise at Glastonbury Tor in Somerset this morning ahead of a weekend which will be unseasonably warm for some areas

A beautiful sunrise at Glastonbury Tor in Somerset this morning ahead of a weekend that will be dry for much of the South

Sunrise at Glastonbury Tor in Somerset this morning ahead of a weekend which will be unseasonably warm for some areas

Sunrise at Christchurch Quay in Dorset this morning ahead of an unseasonably mild day for southern England tomorrow

A group of people look out as the sun begins to rise near Fordingbridge at the New Forest in Hampshire this morning

The Met Office has issued various weather warnings for tomorrow (left) and Sunday (right) in northern England and Scotland

Today will see early patches of mist and fog soon lift and clear, and it will then be grey and overcast with thick cloud cover soon building as rain spreads across Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern England and Wales.

These downpours will continue across Scotland during the evening along with a threat of gales, and the rain will be locally heavy and persistent. Elsewhere it will be mainly dry but overcast and patches of mist and fog will form.

Tomorrow, early patches of mist will clear and rain will be heavy across Scotland in the morning before it becomes mostly cloudy with outbreaks of patchy rain and showers – most frequent across northern and western areas. However cloud will break during the day and spells of sunshine will develop.

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: ‘Actually, for the first time in some time, there’s plenty of weather’s talk about this weekend because high pressure which has kept things relatively quiet recently, is releasing its grip and we’re replacing it with low pressure often to the north with tighter isobars. So it’s a windy theme through the weekend, especially in the North.

‘We start off Saturday with gales for parts of Scotland especially exposed northern and north western coasts and some heavy rainfall – that really mounting up across the North West Highlands by the start of Saturday, but the heavy rain clearing then and the gusty winds taking the cold front south.

‘There’s a weakening feature fizzling out as it pushes into central parts of the UK, but it stays blustery in the north, brighter skies follow the front, but also colder air with these strong winds coming from the north and North West, though showers across Scotland turning to snow above around 400 meters or so and some sleet and hail at lower levels, especially in the Far North.

Dog walkers on the beach at Tynemouth on the North East coast at sunrise this morning

People run across a field as the sun rises near Fordingbridge at the New Forest in Hampshire this morning

A surfer enters the sea before sunrise at Tynemouth beach on the North East coast this morning

People practise yoga on a field as the sun rises near Fordingbridge at the New Forest in Hampshire this morning

Surfers at Tynemouth beach on the North East coast this morning ahead of Met Office wind warnings in the North tomorrow

The sun begins to rise near to Fordingbridge at the New Forest in Hampshire this morning

‘Meanwhile, further south the cloudy picture for much of southern England, the Midlands into East Anglia and Wales. We start off without a frost or fog patches because of the cloud and the increased breeze.

Lovely and warm up here! Freak ‘temperature inversion’ makes a Welsh mountain HOTTER than Majorca as climbers enjoy a balmy 69F on reaching the top of one of Britain’s highest peaks 

Climbing instructor Mark Handford in North Wales

A Welsh mountaintop enjoyed 69F (21C) temperatures this week thanks to a freak weather phenomenon which saw lucky climbers applying SPF cream and sunbathing in the dead of winter.

Climbing instructor Mark Handford, 54, and his student – who were expecting to experience snow – were stunned by the freak heatwave as they climbed the Y Garn in Snowdonia, North Wales, on Tuesday. 

The balmy temperatures on one of Britain’s highest peaks were caused by a ‘temperature inversion’, which sees hot air trapped in a layer and the atmosphere get hotter the higher one travels. The term ‘inversion’ comes from the fact that the temperature does the opposite to what would it would normally. 

A Suunto Core watch shows how temperatures climbed from 3C (left) near the base of the mountain to 21C (right) at the top

The weather phenomenon which mostly happens in winter meant that while temperatures on the ground were an icy 35.6F (2C), by the time the pair reached the 3,100ft summit of the mountain, the mercury had climbed to 69.8F (21C).

Mr Handford said it was the biggest temperature change he had seen in his 22 years of climbing.  The summit was significantly warmer than the Spanish island of Majorca, which recorded just 59F (15C) that day.     


‘And that means it’s actually a mild day on Saturday in the south and it stays dry until this weak feature comes along later on. Further north temperatures dropping through the day. We peak around dawn, and then we’re back into single figures by the afternoon.’

Sunday is expected to be overcast for most areas with rain spreading into northern and western areas and may be heavy and wintry across Scotland, with sunny spells expected across South East England.

Mr McGivern continued: ‘By (Saturday) afternoon, the cold front slows down as it pushes South. It’s linked back to this developing system, which is also going to be influenced by a Nor’easter storm affecting north-eastern parts of the North American continent.

‘And some uncertainties in the position of this, as it develops through the weekend will also influence the shape of the jet stream downstream – and that will also lead to some uncertainties about how much the jet stream will spin up this low as it pushes into north-western parts of the UK later on Sunday.’

He continued: ‘We start Sunday with that low out of the way. And we’re going to see perhaps some cloud keeping things frost free in the South and South West depending on the timing of the frontal clearance. But otherwise clear skies will lead to a fairly widespread frost first thing Sunday and a bright start for many.

‘Actually, there’s plenty of sunshine around first thing – this high cloud will be drifting in from the West, turning to medium cloud and then eventually lowering through the day. But for many for the bulk of Sunday, daylight hours actually, it’s looking fine, especially in the South and the East.

‘But you can see the rain setting in there during the afternoon across parts of Scotland, particularly in the West, Northern Ireland, North West England and the wind picking up as well.

‘So the weather turns more unsettled in the North West that will impact the temperatures – it will feel quite cold under that rain and wind. Temperatures around average further south – not quite as mild as Saturday.

‘And then really the uncertainties over the development of the low to the north-west of the UK become quite important for the second half of Sunday as we go into Sunday evening.

‘It looks like it’s going to turn increasingly unsettled across the north – heavy rain and strong winds. But there’s the risk of really strong winds – gales – sweeping across north-western and northern parts of Scotland, particularly exposed coasts and the Northern Isles.

‘And there is the risk depending on the depth and the track of that low of snow, especially over the hills of Scotland as the system clears away and we pull in colder air from the North West. But there’s the chance that that snow will also affect some lower parts of Scotland and later, Northern England.

‘So a few differences in agreement between the computer models about the development of that low and we’ll be watching how things play out over the next few days.’

The start of next week is likely to stay changeable with spells of rain and showers, including snowfall over northern hills and further strong winds – with temperatures mildest in the South West, and coldest in the North East.

Yesterday’s warmest spot across Britain was Pershore in Worcestershire which reached a high of 14.8C (58.6F), while the coldest place was South Newington in Oxfordshire with a low of 1C (33.8F).

The sunniest place was Boulmer in Northumberland which recorded 7.2 hours of sunshine yesterday, which means it has locally become the sunniest January ever recorded there – exceeding the 94.4 hours in January 1991.

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