The popular proverb tells us that March tends to come in like a lion with wet and windy conditions before it goes out like a lamb with settled conditions. Well, the former is certainly going to be true of this week as it is looking very wet and unsettled. It will be largely on the cool side too. Let’s take it day by day.


A blustery westerly wind will continue into Tuesday morning feeding in further showers over Northern Ireland, Wales, northern England and parts of Scotland. Some of these could be wintry in nature i.e. sleet or snow, over the highest ground in northern England and southern Scotland but generally consisting of rain. Some sunny spells between the showers, best favoured in northern Scotland away from the Shetland Isles and over England.

However, cloud will thicken by the afternoon in the southwest of the country as a band of rain approaches. Maximum temperatures during Tuesday afternoon ranging from 6-12°C, around 4°C in the Shetland Isles which are not too far from the average for early March but the added windchill will make it feel much colder as will the relativity to the exceptional warm conditions of the end of February.

The rain to the southwest of the country will push northwards to affect the vast majority of the UK on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Some fairly strong gusts expected up to 30 or 40 mph inland in England during early Wednesday morning hours but the main thing will be the torrential rain. This rain could result in some spot flooding for a good few places and may even turn to snow over parts of Scotland, mainly the Highlands. This snow could be disruptive with 5-7cm accumulations possible.


A very unsettled start to Wednesday with widespread outbreaks of heavy rain. The rain will attempt to clear northwards but may stick around Scotland for a good part of the day with some snow occurring here. Behind the rain to the south of the country, it will become relatively milder for a time but even here, there is likely to be some very squally or blustery showers so not feeling all that pleasant. Maximum temperatures could reach only 3 to 6°C over Scotland on Wednesday whilst 13/14°C possibly within the London area.

As the low clears into the North Sea on Wednesday night into Thursday and the wind veers to a northwesterly, it will turn cooler with the possibility of an air frost in some spots, mainly in rural areas out west where clear skies are best favoured.


A northwesterly to northerly wind sets up on Thursday feeding some showers (wintry for places with sleet and the odd snow shower possible over high ground) down the North Sea into coastal counties of England and over Scotland. Brighter and drier in the west with the chance of a scattered shower. Maximum temperatures ranging from 4-11 °C, coolest over the Highlands and mildest along southern coastlines.

As the winds lighten and a temporary ridge of high pressure builds over the UK on Thursday night, temperatures are expected to drop below freezing for many and it will be the coldest night of the week. Don’t be surprised to wake up to a frost on Friday morning.

Friday & Saturday

Friday will get off to a cold start but also sunny spells for the country with the odd wintry shower still possible in the extreme north of Scotland and over the Shetland Isles. Cloud will thicken by the afternoon from the west with rain approaching into Northern Ireland. Maximum temperatures ranging between 4-12°C, around 7-12°C for most places.

The low will clear the west by Friday night with some cooler conditions again spreading here but not very cold by any means. Rain hanging on in the east which will clear by early Saturday morning only to allow showers from the west to spread eastwards. A very blustery day on Saturday with widespread rain showers and variable sunny spells in between on a gusty westerly wind. Maximum temperatures ranging between 4-10°C.

Beyond next weekend

The pattern is set to remain broadly the same with relatively cool conditions on the whole and lots of rainy spells of weather. Some brighter interludes in between lows but also showers during these periods are possible. There’s the chance of it turning more significantly colder through the second week of March though remaining unsettled but this is an outside chance for now.

Sean Bruen is a forecaster for Metcast (and Snow Watch). His main interests are historical and long range weather. He LOVES snow (his Twitter account is @SnowbieWx, go figure!) and his favourite season is Winter.


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