The low pressure development that I have been referring to repeatedly over the last few days has now played its final trick and decided to track even further south (through the English Channel) than was predicted yesterday. Hence yesterday afternoon’s briefing which advised a risk of rain/sleet/snow up as far north as Lancashire with the possibility of disruptive snow, especially over the Pennine areas, no longer holds true. Whilst there is still some uncertainty as to how far north any rain/sleet/snow will reach, the risk of disruption now looks minimal with most, if not all of the region now set to miss it altogether. The Yellow Alert in force for snow that just fringed into Cheshire will be withdrawn further to the south. Hence, after all the initial concerns I had regarding rain, wind and latterly snow the final outcome is likely to be close to nil, a classic illustration of the vagaries of early 21st century medium-range forecasting.
The general picture emerging from today right through until Sunday night is a chilly one with a continuing risk of showers, wintry at times, especially (but not exclusively) over higher ground (>200m or so). With overnight temperatures falling close to or below freezing the risk of ice will be ever-present where showers have occurred. At this stage it is impossible to gauge where and when the showers will occur and exactly at what height any snow will descend to. With a W to NW’ly airflow shower bands may well form in which some areas are repeatedly affected whilst others, 10 miles or so either side, remain completely dry.
I will issue an update tomorrow if any features of note appear on the horizon.
Alan Goodman; Met Office Regional Advisor – NW England