Emergency breakdown

March 2013

View our older posts from The AA Special Operations Response Team (AASORT) and expert meteorologist Matthew Hugo.

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March blog posts

Thursday, 28 March, 9am

A Cold and Wintry Easter

There’ll be no need to put your Easter Eggs in the fridge this year if you like your chocolate cold as the weather is set to remain distinctly cold for late March and as a result Easter 2013 will be a rather wintry one. The broader weather patterns remain similar and that is high pressure either over or just to the north of the UK continuing to keep the Atlantic weather fronts at bay and maintain the cold and wintry theme across most areas of the UK throughout the Easter weekend.

The weather, overall, should be relatively quiet and benign. No significant or disruptive snowfall is expected despite the continued risk of some snow flurries across parts of the north and east of the UK in particular, but again no significant accumulations are forecast. Most areas will experience some bright or sunny spells and for many little or no precipitation is expected, so a predominantly dry weekend is likely. The exception to this may be the far west and south-west of the UK where fronts trying to move into the UK off the Atlantic may bring some rain or showers, but again excluding a few snow flurries the weekend does look mainly dry for many areas.

The primary hazards over the weekend are likely to be some localised fog or freezing fog patches across central and northern areas and an on-going risk of some harsh frosts and icy patches, particularly so where any lying snow continues to melt by day but then freezes by night. For late March some particularly cold nights are to be expected with lows ranging between -2C and -4C generally, but across snow cover and within rural areas then lows may fall to between -4C and -8C which would lead to a particularly severe frost.

So despite the cold weather continuing fortunately no disruptive snowfall is expected over the Easter weekend and travelling conditions, for the most part, should be good. However, watch out for those harsh frosts, icy patches and perhaps some fog or freezing fog patches in places.

Happy Easter!

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Wednesday, 27 March, 11am

Remaining cold and wintry across many areas

Mid-week has arrived and the cold and wintry conditions that have become ‘locked in’ across the UK persist and are forecast to continue throughout the weekend, into the Easter Weekend and also well into next week which is clearly the opening week of April.

The persistence of the cold weather throughout March is clearly of significance and importance, primarily due to the persistence of high pressure to the north and north-east of the UK allowing for an almost continuous feed of cold air from the Continent. That general pattern is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future, so further forecasts placing emphasis on below average temperatures, frosts, ice and wintry precipitation will continue for some time yet.

Taking a closer look at the short term, through the rest of the week and generally the outlook is relatively straightforward. High pressure will persist to the north and north-east of the UK, whilst low pressure develops to the south and south-west. This broader synoptic pattern will maintain a cold east, north-east and at times south-easterly air mass across the UK with resultant below or well below average temperatures. For the record average temperatures at this time of the year should be around 10C to 12C, maximum temperatures through the rest of the week look set to be between 2C and 6C generally, so clearly markedly below average.

The risk of wintry showers (sleet and snow) will continue for parts of the north and east of the UK in particular given that the easterly flow passing over the North Sea will continue to generate some showers and the areas at risk continue to be highlighted well by the forecast graphic in the previous discussion. Overall no significant accumulations are to be expected though and a large portion of the UK will continue to experience some prolonged dry, bright or sunny spells by day. Clearly the risk of widespread sub-zero temperatures by night will continue with widespread moderate or severe frosts with lows ranging between -2C and -5C generally, but locally lower than this across rural areas. Ice will also be an additional hazard particularly across areas where snow melts during the day and then freezes at night.

A more specific outlook at the Easter Weekend will be issued tomorrow.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Monday, 25 March, 3pm

Wintry weather expected to continue

  • AA patrols and Land Rover crews spent weekend battling ‘winter warzone’ conditions to rescue members
  • High breakdown demand across all areas due to freezing conditions, particularly Lake District and Birmingham area
  • AA has attended more than 1,100 call-outs to people stuck in snow, ice or flood water since Thursday
  • Drivers warned of ice risk until at least Easter weekend

Breakdown workload remains high due to the widespread cold, which is warning drivers of icy conditions until at least Easter weekend.

Snowdrift taller then our SORT Land Rover

Since Thursday 21 March, we have attended more than 1,100 call-outs to people who have got stuck in snow, ice or flood water. Over the weekend, our patrols and Land Rover crews worked long hours in very demanding conditions to rescue members in rural areas who were sometimes virtually cut off. They faced snowdrifts taller than their vehicles and often had to move several abandoned cars to clear a way through.

Incidents included a couple of off-duty patrols going to the rescue of a member with a young child who were stuck in snow west of Bradford. The patrols left their hotel at 10.30pm, returning at 2am having rescued all involved.

It wasn't just snow that caused problems. A member and his family were left soaked after trying unsuccessfully to push their car out of flood water under a railway bridge near Droitwich, West Midlands. While a specialist AA flood rescue crew headed to the job, another off-duty patrol diverted off the motorway to provide shelter in his van to the very cold family. The vehicle was recovered from the water and the family taken home.

Breakdown workload

So far today (as at 13:30), we have attended around 9,000 breakdowns nationwide, including 121 cars stuck in snow, ice or flood water. Call-outs peaked earlier at around 1,700 every hour (currently around 1,200) and we expect to exceed 16,000 for the day, compared to around 10,500 on an average Monday.

Busiest areas currently are Lake District and Birmingham area but workload is high across all areas as more people venture out after a weekend tucked up at home.

Darron Burness, the AA's Head of Special Operations, says: "Conditions in places over the weekend were like a winter warzone – it was challenging enough in a four-wheel-drive, never mind a normal car on summer tyres.

"Some drivers put themselves and others at risk by venturing out against police advice. You have to remember that conditions are very changeable, so while it may be clear where you are, it could be quite different further down the road. Keep tuned to local travel updates on the move and override the sat-nav to stick to main routes where possible.

"With temperatures barely rising above freezing, icy conditions are expected to persist till at least Easter weekend, so take extra care, particularly when approaching junctions and roundabouts."

Monday, 25 March, 10am

Remaining very cold and wintry this week

The final week of March will see little change in the weather as the particularly cold and wintry conditions continue. The answer won’t be known until later this coming week, but no doubt March 2013 will end up being one of the coldest March months now in many, many years.

risk of snow in the east of the UK

The majority of the coming week, Monday to Thursday, can be grouped together in terms of the general weather patterns. High pressure is forecast to persist to the north and north-east of the UK and combine with lower pressure to the south of the UK to maintain a cold east or south-easterly air mass across many areas. As a result the weather throughout the next 3 or 4 days will be for some bright or sunny spells to be evident, but also with a risk of some snow showers across parts of the north and east of the UK in particular. No significant snowfall is anticipated however with just a few centimeters possible locally. I have highlighted, on associated image, which areas are at greatest risk of snow showers, but almost anywhere could see a few snow flurries in the coming days.

Widespread and harsh overnight frosts are expected widely and particularly so given a continued bitterly cold wind at times as well. Also of significance will be the risk of ice almost anywhere but particularly so where surface snow cover melts during the day and then freezes at night as overnight temperatures fall to between -2C and -4C generally, but over snow cover in the north then temperatures down to -4C to -8C are distinctly possible.

The end of the week does have some uncertainties as another low pressure is attempting to move into the UK. Latest forecast model data from overnight however, is showing that the colder and blocked pattern is likely to persist as a result any threat of rain and snow is expected for southern areas at the moment, with northern areas maintaining a cold theme with some bright or sunny spells and a few scattered snow showers. The threat of frost and icy conditions will continue into the end of the week and next weekend as well.

The obvious question that everyone is asking at the moment is; how long will the cold weather last? – The answer to that at the moment is to at least into the Easter weekend (30th and 31st) and may be into the opening week of April as well. As a result there is no end in sight to the particularly cold conditions for at least another 5 to 7 days.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Friday, 22 March, 3pm

March 'may be coldest for 50 years'

  • Blizzard conditions in several areas with some roads impassable
  • Busy snow-related workload in Northern Ireland, West Midlands, North-west England and North Wales
  • Drivers urged to keep tuned to local radio and carry winter essentials
  • AA likely to exceed 12,500 call-outs for the day, compared to around 9,500 on an average Friday

It was a challenging commute to work for many this morning with our Land Rover crews reporting blizzard conditions in several areas with some roads impassable and abandoned vehicles stuck in snowdrifts.

So far today (as at 14:00), we have attended around 7,000 breakdowns nationwide, including 106 cars stuck in snow, ice or flood water. Call-outs are currently coming in at around 900 every hour and the AA expects to exceed 12,500 for the day, compared to around 9,500 on an average Friday.

Our SORT Land Rovers out on the road

Busiest areas currently for snow-related call-outs are Northern Ireland, West Midlands, North-west England and North Wales; and wet weather is causing most problems in the South-west, particularly Dorset.

Darron Burness, the AA's Head of Special Operations, says: "March is certainly living up to its billing as one of the most extreme and varied months for weather.

"If you do have to venture out, keep tuned to local radio for the travel updates, as local weather conditions can quickly change. Give yourself a bit more time too, as you don't want to be rushing in these conditions – on snow and ice, things can go wrong very quickly.

"It's a freezing wind so take plenty of warm and waterproof layers, blanket or sleeping bag, food and drink, fully-charged mobile and road atlas or sat-nav in case of unexpected diversions."

Thursday, 21 March, 2.30pm

Britain faces weekend whiteout

  • Amber alerts for heavy rain and snow for most of UK
  • Risk of major travel disruption with up to 20cm snow, 60mm of rain and risk of localised flooding
  • Strong, possible gale force, winds will cause drifting snow
  • Drivers should be well prepared and check travel reports before departing

Visibility could be seriously reduced

There is a risk of major travel disruption and hazardous driving conditions as a band of heavy rain, snow and gales is set to move across the country.

Darron Burness, the AA's Head of Special Operations, says: "It's going to be a real witch's brew of driving wind, rain and snow, which will inevitably cause disruption on the roads. Drivers should be well prepared as even short journeys can quickly turn bad.

"Drifting snow could repeat the scenes we saw in southern England last week when hundreds of drivers got stuck overnight - it only takes one or two vehicles struggling for grip for the situation to quickly escalate.

"Keep your speed down as visibility could be seriously reduced and there's a risk of localised flooding - just stay out of flood water. Also with temperatures set to remain low, any snow that settles will likely persist for several days, so be wary of icy patches.

"Wherever you’re going, take plenty of warm layers, check the travel reports before heading out and stick to the main roads where possible."

Thursday, 21 March, 9am

Severe weather ahead - updated information

As discussed in the last blog the end of the week is set to deliver an array of potentially hazardous weather conditions from heavy rain to heavy snow and gales. Confidence continues to increase regarding the details surrounding the weather during Friday and into the weekend and this blog now supersedes the previous one regarding the end of the week.

Heavy rainfall across parts of Ireland, SW England and South Wales

The initial cause for concern remains heavy rainfall across parts of Ireland, SW England and South Wales through the remainder of today (Thursday) and into Friday. There is now good model agreement for a widespread risk of 20mm to 40mm of rainfall within the highlighted red area on the associated map, but with the potential for up to 60mm of rainfall locally by the start of the weekend. This amount of rainfall is likely to lead to a risk of flooding, again particularly so within the highlighted red areas. Accompanying the heavy rain will be an increasingly strong, if not gale force south-easterly wind through the remainder of Thursday and overnight into Friday.

As was signaled the other day the next issue into Friday and Saturday is the development of some persistent and at times heavy snowfall from the Midlands northwards. Weather fronts associated with a deep area of low pressure situated to the south-west of the UK, which is bringing the very unsettled conditions, will slowly move northwards and interact with the cold air over northern areas to turn the rain readily to snow into the early hours of Friday. At the present time the main areas at risk (highlighted in red) of significant and disruptive snowfall include; North Wales, North Midlands, NW England, NE England (away from coastal areas) and also up to Southern Scotland. A lower risk exists for Northern Ireland across into more Central areas of Scotland and also further south into more central areas of England and these areas have been highlighted yellow.

Snowfall totals of between 2cm and 5cm in central UK

It is across the areas highlighted red that snowfall totals of between 2cm and 5cm are expected widely and down to lower levels, with a distinct possibility of 5cm to 10cm quite widely as well and especially above 150m to 200m. There is the potential, locally and regionally, for snowfall totals by the end of Saturday to have reached 10cm to 20cm in some instances, particularly so across parts of North Wales and Northwest England at the moment. A strong or near gale force south-easterly wind will bring a significant risk of blowing and drifting snow, especially on higher ground and within the red area significant and widespread travel disruption seems a distinct possibility through Friday and into Saturday with some areas potentially experiencing 18 to 24hrs of almost continuous snowfall.

So as you can see, anything from heavy rain leading to localised flooding across west and south-west areas to heavy snow is expected to end the week. Prepare for hazardous travelling conditions at times and some major disruption as well during the course of Friday and well into Saturday. The weather will slowly improve during Sunday and into the start of next week but will remain cold or very cold for late March with temperatures well below average, so any snow that settles will likely persist for numerous days to come.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Tuesday, 19 March, 9am

Potential severe weather

The cold and wintry conditions remain dominant across many areas of the UK at the moment and particular so across Scotland and Northern England and as forecast yesterday these areas have and continue to be affected by some significant snowfall.

Thursday and then more particularly through into Friday is of some particular concern now given the development of a large area of low pressure to the west or south –west of the UK and its associated frontal systems that are forecast to move north across the UK to end the week. It should be noted that at the moment there remains some uncertainties over the details of the weather to end the week, but there is now some confidence regarding the risk of severe weather across parts of the UK.

Localised flooding possible in the south west and Ireland

One initial risk is the threat of some heavy and persistent rainfall across south-western areas of the UK later on Thursday and then through into Friday. At the moment a general 20mm to 30mm of rainfall is possible, but perhaps with locally/regionally higher totals. As a result some localised flooding is possible to end the week across the areas I have highlighted and the heavy rain will be accompanied by strong winds.

Disruptive snowfall expected in Scotland

At the moment as the weather fronts, associated with the low pressure, move northwards through Friday they will encounter the cold air that is forecast to persist across northern areas in particular throughout the rest of the week. This interaction is likely to lead to a spell of snow, perhaps with some heavy snow as well for parts of Northern England and Scotland. The specific amounts of snow at the moment remain uncertain, but particularly above 200m to 250m then a significant and noteworthy snowfall event is possible to end the week with the potential for some widespread travel disruption across northern areas. The snow is likely to be accompanied by strong or gale force south-easterly winds so some drifting snow is also a possibility, again especially on higher ground. I have highlighted which areas I believe are at greatest risk of some disruptive snowfall in red and with a lower risk across the areas in yellow. Further updates will follow later this week, but be prepared for a potentially hazardous end to the week weather-wise with anything from heavy rain to gales to snow all possible.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Monday, 18 March, 10am

Another cold and wintry week ahead

The recent cold and rather wintry conditions are forecast to persist across many areas of the UK throughout the coming week and in fact become even more substantial for parts of the North of the UK in particular within the next few days.

Particular are at risk of a general 5cm to 10cm of snowfall in East Scotland

So focusing on today and into Tuesday and a complex area of low pressure is affecting many areas of the UK, but it is just to the north of this low pressure across parts of Northern England, Scotland and later Northern Ireland that a particularly cold and raw east or north-easterly wind is forecast to develop over the next few days. Parts of East and South-east Scotland and down into North-East England in particular are at risk of a general 5cm to 10cm of snowfall away from coastal areas up to the end of Tuesday but up to and over 20cm of snowfall is possible inland and above 200m in particular. Some extensive and significant travel disruption is expected across the areas highlighted in red through Monday and Tuesday on the associated image and with a lower risk within the areas highlighted yellow.

Some wintry precipitation is possible elsewhere and particular so across parts of Northern Ireland into Tuesday with some accumulating snowfall possible, but generally many central and southern areas of England and Wales will experience far less severe conditions than further north. Overnight temperatures throughout this coming week will potentially drop to or below freezing so frequent frosts and icy patches are to be expected. The coldest night is currently forecast to be Wednesday night into Thursday morning when temperatures across rural areas of the north may drop to between -4C and -8C and generally between -1C and -4C across inland areas.

A brief respite from any significant snowfall is expected during Wednesday and Thursday however despite some wintry showers still across parts of the north and east. Many areas will have a drier interlude with some bright or sunny spells ahead of wet and windy conditions moving into southern and south-western areas during Thursday. The end of the week is also of particular concern as there is the risk of weather fronts moving up into the UK not only bringing a risk of heavy rain and strong winds for parts of the South-west but as these weather fronts interact with the cold air over the UK they may also bring a risk of some significant and potentially disruptive snowfall to some areas of the country. The details at the moment remain elusive, but this is something that will be analysed and discussed as the week progresses.

So another week of cold and wintry weather ahead with hazards including; snow, ice, frost, possible fog or freezing fog patches and sub zero temperatures and yes this is March!

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Friday, 15 March, 7am

A rather cold, unsettled weekend ahead

After a particularly cold week for March the coming weekend will unfortunately not see an improvement in conditions as a rather cold but unsettled outlook is expected for all areas of the UK. An area of low pressure moving into the UK off the Atlantic is forecast to become slow moving over the UK and be the dominant feature of the weather throughout the weekend across many areas.

For many areas this weekend will be affected by showers or longer spells of rain at times almost anywhere. Some of the precipitation is likely to be heavy at times and there is also a risk that some of the showers could become thundery across inland areas of England and Wales both on Saturday and also Sunday, so some locally torrential downpours are possible with hail.

The rather cold theme is also likely to bring a further risk of wintry precipitation across higher ground of northern England, Ireland and Scotland with sleet and snow possible above 250m to 300m in particular with perhaps some accumulation on highest ground.

With winds becoming light at times beneath the low pressure and where any skies clear at night for any length of time, then some further overnight frosts and icy conditions are possible with temperatures dropping near or slightly below freezing at times.

So as you can see a variety of weather types are possible this weekend from localised heavy and perhaps thundery showers, to further wintry precipitation and a continued risk of overnight frosts and icy patches. As a result extra care will be required at times if travelling and driving this weekend.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Tuesday 12 March, 12pm

Dirty driving isn't so cool

  • Drivers face £30 penalty if caught with no screenwash
  • Winter grime means many cars suffer obscured vision
  • Half of drivers only clean car every two months or less
  • Spring clean helps maintain car's value and reduce corrosion damage

With more than two million tonnes of road salt used during the winter, many cars are caked in grime, so AA AutoWindshields is reminding drivers to stay legal by regularly checking their screenwash level and keeping number plates and lights clean.

An empty washer bottle or obscured plates could land drivers with a fixed penalty notice and fine of £30.

Dean Hill, AA AutoWindshield’s technician of the year, says: "Many roads are as dirty as a ploughed field at the moment, so you go through a lot of screenwash. Get in the habit of frequently checking the level and keep it topped up with neat solution, which helps prevent freezing and bacteria growth in the bottle.

"You can actually be fined if your screenwash is empty – or potentially points if you can’t see clearly – but sachets of additive can cost just pennies. You also need to keep your windows, number plates and lights clean – lights obviously aren’t nearly as effective if they’re caked in muck."

Previous AA/Populus research has shown that half of drivers only clean their car every couple of months or less (3% no more than once a year) but a thorough clean will also help maintain a car’s value and reduce the risk of long-term corrosion damage.

Dean says: "The underside of the car takes the worst of the winter weather. Mud soaks up salt-laden spray and, if left, will cause corrosion over time, so it really pays to give your car a spring clean."

Dean Hill, AA AutoWindshield’s technician of the year

Monday 11 March, 9am

A cold and wintry week ahead

The predicted cold and wintry conditions have indeed arrived and many areas of the UK are starting the new working week with temperatures sub-zero and with some particularly low minimum temperatures across rural areas of the North, with lows at or below -10C in a few locations.

Chance of sleet and snow in the east

The generally cold theme will continue throughout the coming week, but it is the first half of the week that is likely to be particularly cold. A bitterly cold east or north-easterly wind through Monday and into Tuesday will maintain a persistent risk of snow showers across parts of the east and south of the UK in particular. An area of low pressure over France may also bring some more persistent outbreaks of snow to far southern counties of England, generally to the south of the M4 corridor later today. A few wintry showers may develop almost anywhere, but in-between the snow showers some drier and brighter intervals are to be expected. The associated image highlights which areas are at greatest risk of further snow, with some accumulations, through Monday and into Tuesday. Also note I have highlighted the Channel Islands as well. Some significant and disruptive snowfall is expected here throughout Monday with perhaps over 10cm of snowfall a distinct possibility.

As Tuesday and Wednesday progress a subtle change in wind direction to more of a northerly flow is expected and this will limit the risk of wintry showers to parts of the north and east and at the moment no significant or disruptive snowfall is anticipated mid-week. Many other areas of the UK will remain mainly dry with bright or sunny spells by day with a persistent risk of frost and perhaps some icy patches by night with minimum temperatures generally ranging between -1C and -4C.

A developing area of low pressure across the Atlantic is then forecast to move into the UK during Thursday and Friday to end the week. At the moment the details surrounding this are somewhat uncertain, but a slightly less cold end to the week is expected but with the risk of rain, sleet and snow in places. At the moment higher ground of the north may experience some significant snowfall for a time, but the situation is likely to be finely balanced given the expected weather patterns and the time of year. More details on the rest of the week will be issued, as usual, throughout the rest of the week, but be prepared for further wintry conditions this week.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Thursday 7 March, 9am

Becoming very cold and wintry – weekend outlook

The weather so far this week has indeed become more unsettled than of late and many areas continue to be at risk of further showers or spells of rain during the rest of the week as low pressure dominates the weather. Some heavy precipitation is possible at times to end the week across parts of the south and west of the UK in particular. A change is then expected into the weekend and what a change it will be!

High pressure is forecast to develop and become increasingly influential to the north and north-east of the UK during the forth-coming weekend and then also into next week. What this will do is introduce a very cold easterly wind over the coming weekend which will plunge the UK back into winter.

Saturday, at the moment, will remain unsettled across many areas as lower pressure still remains influential. As a result further showers or spells of rain are forecast across many areas with some heavy precipitation still possible. The beginning of the change to colder conditions is forecast to take place across Scotland through the day, as a result precipitation here is forecast to turn to sleet and snow across higher ground (above 300m), but potentially to lower levels later in the day and overnight.

Chance of sleet and snow in the east

Sunday will be the main day of change across many areas of the UK as the high pressure to the north and north-east of the UK becomes the dominant feature of the weather. As a result of this a bitterly cold east or south-easterly wind will develop widely across many areas of the UK through the day and precipitation will turn increasingly wintry, especially across northern and eastern areas. At the moment, latest forecast model data is showing a risk of showers turning increasingly to sleet and snow across northern and eastern areas of the UK as Sunday progresses and then overnight and into the start of next week. Highlighted, on the image, are the areas I believe are at greatest risk of some sleet and snow by the end of the weekend in red and with a lower risk extending further west. Overnight frosts and icy conditions will become widespread from Sunday night onwards in particular and the very cold and wintry theme will continue well into next week.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Monday 4 March, 9am

Wintry weather on the horizon

The end of February and start of March have ended on a particularly quiet and benign spell of weather thanks to high pressure dominating the weather across the UK. The winter as a whole did produce some noteworthy cold spells and also some snowfalls across the UK and whilst we are now steadily progressing through the first week of March, there are some interesting signs on the horizon.

March can often be one of the most extreme and varied months across the UK. With the potential for some early spring warmth developing with temperatures into the mid-teens (Celsius), there is also the equal possibility of colder and wintrier weather returning depending on the weather patterns. Whilst the details remain uncertain at this stage, there are growing signs for the period towards mid-March to produce some late wintry weather.

The graphic highlights what is currently forecast to happen. Higher pressure developing to the north and perhaps north-east of the UK is forecast to combine with lower pressure to the south of the UK to introduce a markedly colder east or north-easterly air mass across the UK towards and beyond the 10th and 11th of March. At this time of year higher ground may well be at greatest risk of snowfall, but what this development is likely to do is bring a marked change in weather to something far more wintry than what is expected through this coming week.

Higher pressure to combine with lower pressure

So if you think winter is well and truly over than unfortunately you may well be disappointed. After a relatively mild week this coming week, the following week, depending on subsequent details of course, could well end up bringing a renewed risk of frosts, icy conditions and perhaps even some snowfall. More information will be released in due course.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Monday 4 March, 8.30am

Mild but increasingly unsettled

After what has been a predominantly dry two weeks of weather across the UK thanks to high pressure being the dominant feature, the weather this week will become more unsettled as low pressure replaces the higher pressure. To start the week though high pressure will continue to influence the weather and as a result both Monday and Tuesday for many areas of the UK will be dry with some bright or sunny spells, especially across England and Wales, whilst Scotland and Ireland may be cloudier at times. Tuesday in particular looks likely to be the best day out of the week for many areas with some sunny spells and also feeling very pleasant in the sunshine and near average temperatures.

Greatest risk of the heaviest precipitation

From Wednesday onwards high pressure finally declines away from the UK and low pressure to the west and south-west becomes dominant. A series of weather fronts, associated with the low pressure, are forecast to move north and east across the UK between Wednesday and Friday. At the moment it is parts of the south and west of the UK that are at risk of the most persistent and heaviest precipitation with perhaps over an inch (>25mm) of rainfall possible in some places by the end of the week. I have highlighted, in yellow, which areas are at greatest risk of the heaviest precipitation this week. It should be noted though that flooding isn’t likely this week.

So enjoy the opening few days of the week given additional dry and increasingly sunny conditions before we see the arrival of some wetter and windier conditions from mid-week onwards, but it is likely to remain relatively mild throughout the week with temperatures close to average, if not slightly above average across England and Wales.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Friday 1 March, 9am

Supporting the Macmillan 4x4 UK Challenge

Macmillan

For the fifth year running, the AA has been invited to provide operational support to the Macmillan 4x4 UK Challenge which is taking place from 1-3 March 2013. This annual event raises money for Macmillan Cancer Support and, since it started in 2002, has raised well over £3/4 Million for this deserving cause. It is hoped with your support this years event will help top the £1 Million mark.

The AA is not a sponsoring competitor, but will be providing technical support by sending two Land Rovers from the Special Operations Response Team along with a support 4x4. The AA's vehicles will be crewed by Darron Burness (Operations Manager AA SORT), Gavin Webb (Sider - Patrol, Northamptonshire), Brian Evans (Patrol, Aberystwyth) and Brian Rogers (Area Manager, North Wales).

This year you can help us again by making a donation to Macmillan by visiting our fundraising page www.justgiving.com/AASORTONMAC4x42013

Thank you!

The AA SORT crew - Darron, Spider, Brian, the other Brian and Scott.

Friday 1 March, 9am

High pressure remains dominant

The quite prolonged dry conditions across many areas of the UK are forecast to continue over the coming weekend as high pressure remains the dominant feature of the weather. The daily regime of some bright or sunny spells, but with quite a lot of cloud in places then being followed by some patchy frost and fog by night, will continue across many areas this weekend.

A weak weather front may bring some thicker cloud to parts of Scotland and may be North-east England during Saturday which could produce some patchy light rain or drizzle, but for many areas a dry weekend is forecast. At the moment the best of the sunshine is expected on Saturday (away from the far north and east), with Sunday perhaps generally cloudier for most. The primary hazards this weekend will remain some overnight frosts and also fog patches, which could develop almost anywhere this weekend where skies remain clear for longest overnight.

As I briefly discussed in the last blog, the outlook remains settled and also increasingly milder into the start of next week, but the general theme is a progression towards more unsettled conditions with rain or showers developing as we continue to progress through the opening week of March, with perhaps some heavy precipitation developing across parts of the South and West of the UK later next week.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

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