Emergency breakdown

Our special operations team, helping you in severe weather

Keep track of major weather incidents affecting roads around the UK, with the help of our 'storm-chasing' Special Operations Response Team (AA SORT for short). Our SORT team supports the AA's regular patrol force and is sent out during bouts of severe weather – usually situations involving floods, snow, ice and mud.

The team has had rigorous rescue training and often works alongside the local police, fire and rescue services, Mountain Rescue, and the Highways Agency, among others. This is the place to find out what they're up to.

We've also teamed up with expert meteorologist Matthew Hugo, BSc, FRMetS, who has more than five years of forecasting experience, including winter hazard forecasting, to make sure you have useful information when you need it. Check our severe weather page for Met Office warnings.

Read our latest blog posts

Wednesday 23 April 10am

Remaining Unsettled

  • Generally unsettled through the rest of the week with showers or longer spells of rain at times.
  • Risk of some heavy rain or showers and perhaps some thunderstorms at times too, particularly on Wednesday (today) and Thursday.
  • Drier and brighter at times in-between the showers on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Risk longer spells of rain developing during the course of Friday.

Wednesday

An unsettled day is expected today as a more organised area of rain moves north and east across the UK. Heavy rain is expected across Ireland, Wales and SW England for a time, before the rain gradually becomes lighter and patchier. Ahead of this area of persistent rain will be a mixture of sunshine and showers for more northern and eastern areas of the UK including; Scotland, N England, Midlands and E England. Some of these showers may be heavy at times this afternoon. More organised rain will re-develop this evening and overnight across England and Wales and will then move north and east into Scotland and E England with time. Following on behind will be clearer skies and some locally dense fog patches are possible across SW England and Wales overnight.

Thursday

A potentially foggy start for parts of Wales and SW England and this is something to be aware of, but this will soon clear during the morning period. Elsewhere it’s a dry start with some bright or sunny spells, but cloudier conditions with patchy rain may well be lingering across E Scotland and NE England. As Thursday progresses showers are forecast to develop and these may become heavy and perhaps thundery during the afternoon. As is often the case the showers will be ‘hit and miss’ and not everywhere will see them, but locally some downpours are possible.

Friday

Into Friday and the week is set to end generally unsettled as low pressure dominates. Showers or longer spells of rain are possible nationwide, some of which will be heavy, especially across more southern and south-western areas of England and Wales and also potentially across E Scotland and E England too. Some brighter spells are possible across W Scotland, but generally a cloudy and damp day for many areas with sporadic spells of rain or showers for many areas.

Potential severe weather and temperatures

Some locally large rainfall totals are possible in places through the rest of the week given a combination of more persistent rain and some heavy and perhaps thundery downpours. It is difficult to pinpoint any specific area, as the risk is particularly localised and generalized, but parts of England and Wales may see in excess of 15mm to 25mm of rain between Wednesday and Friday with perhaps locally higher totals. Some temporary localised surface flooding is possible especially in association with any heavy showers or thunderstorms. Temperatures through the rest of the week will generally be near average with highs ranging between 13C and 17C, but it will be locally cooler beneath any persistent rain, but conversely it will feel pleasant in any sunshine.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Monday 21 April 10am

An unsettled week ahead

  • Generally unsettled across many areas of the UK this week with showers or spells of rain at times.
  • Risk of some heavy rain or showers, with thunder across parts of England and Wales in particular.
  • Despite the more unsettled conditions some drier and brighter conditions are possible at times.
  • Temperatures generally near to average, if not slightly above so feeling mild, if not warm at times.

Easter Monday

Mainly dry for many areas of Ireland and Scotland today with bright or sunny spells and feeling warm. Despite some sunshine across England and Wales, with warm conditions here as well some scattered heavy and perhaps thundery showers are possible in places. These will be hit and miss, but could locally bring some torrential downpours in places, with a risk of thunder. The main areas at risk through Monday afternoon are; Wales, Midlands, Southern England and across to parts of South-east England.

Tuesday

Low pressure is expected to be dominant through Tuesday and bring a mixture of sunshine and showers or longer spells of rain. Once again some of the showers could be heavy with a risk of thunder during the afternoon period, particularly so through central areas of England and Wales where some thunderstorms are possible locally. Where these occur then some large rainfall totals are possible along with a risk of hail and lightning. For Scotland and Ireland drier and brighter weather is expected here, but with some rain or showers too and feeling chilly across eastern Scotland and north-east England given an on-shore wind off the North Sea.

Wednesday to Friday

The theme from the middle of the week onwards is for unsettled conditions to dominate. A more organised area of showers or longer spells of rain is expected to move north and eastwards on Wednesday with perhaps some locally heavy precipitation in places. Into Thursday and rain and drizzle may linger across parts of Scotland and north-east England, whilst elsewhere it’s back to a mixture of sunshine and showers, these perhaps heavy and thundery across England and Wales. Uncertainty over the details is evident for Friday but a general continuation of the unsettled theme is currently expected.

Potential severe weather and temperatures

The primary risk of severe weather this week comes from the local and regional development of heavy showers and thunderstorms. Where these occur then some torrential downpours are possible, with localised temporary surface flooding. Hail and lightning are possible too. At the moment Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are the days at main risk and the primary risk will be across inland areas of England and Wales. Temperatures are forecast to be near average, though starting slightly above average early in the week with temperatures up to 18C to 20C in places on Monday. Generally though, maximum temperatures will range between 13C and 16C.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Friday 18 April 1pm

Turning increasingly unsettled

  • Turning cooler and cloudier during the latter half of the week after the sunny and warm conditions of the last few days.
  • Risk of some rain or showers across more northern areas on Thursday, still mainly dry in south and dry for many again by Friday.
  • Easter weekend starting dry but becoming increasingly unsettled from Easter Sunday onwards at the moment.

Good Friday and Saturday

High pressure is expected to dominate the weather across many areas of the UK during today (Good Friday) and into Saturday. As a result this will bring fine and settled conditions to many areas of the UK after a chilly start with plenty of sunshine, particularly for England and Wales. It will feel pleasantly warm in the sunshine this afternoon given light winds. Overnight tonight into Saturday it will turn chilly beneath clear skies and light winds and some local mist and fog patches are possible along with rural frost. This then leads into another mainly dry day for many on Saturday with bright or sunny spells, but with generally more cloud overall than compared with Friday.

Easter Sunday and Monday

A marked change to more unsettled conditions is expected during Easter Sunday and into Monday, particularly so across England and Wales. Lower pressure is set to bring showers or longer spells of rain into England and Wales from the south-east during Easter Sunday, some of which could be heavy with some locally large rainfall totals. It will also be quite windy too with a fresh or strong east or north-easterly wind and this will create a much cooler, if not rather chilly feel compared with the previous days. For Scotland it is likely to remain mainly dry on Sunday with bright or sunny spells. The generally unsettled weather is then set to continue into Easter Monday for many areas of the UK, but particularly so across England, Wales and Ireland when further showers or spells of rain is possible.

Potential severe weather and temperatures

The development of increasingly unsettled conditions during Sunday and into Monday will bring some heavy rain to parts of England and Wales, but especially so across more southern counties. Up to 20mm to 30mm is possible and perhaps with locally higher totals in places. Some poor driving and travelling conditions are possible at times. Temperatures this weekend generally ranging between 10C and 15C, feeling particularly pleasant in the sunshine on Friday and Saturday, but equally feeling much cooler beneath the wind and rain by Sunday and Monday.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Wednesday 16 April 1pm

Cooler and cloudier

  • Turning cooler and cloudier during the latter half of the week after the sunny and warm conditions of the last few days.
  • Risk of some rain or showers across more northern areas on Thursday, still mainly dry in south and dry for many again by Friday.
  • Easter weekend starting dry but becoming increasingly unsettled from Easter Sunday onwards at the moment.

Today

Another fine and dry day for many areas of England and Wales today with plenty of prolonged spells of sunshine expected. With light winds combining with the sunshine it will be another pleasantly warm day with temperatures slightly above average. Generally cloudier and cooler for Ireland and Scotland today however with the risk of some rain or showers developing here, particularly so across northern and western areas of Scotland this afternoon.

Thursday and Good Friday

A cloudier and cooler day is expected on Thursday for many areas than compared with the first half of the week. Showers and perhaps some longer spells of rain are possible across Ireland, Scotland and Northern England at times, but no heavy or widespread rainfall is to be expected. Despite being mainly dry for more central and southern areas of England it will be cloudier here than compared with previous day’s, despite some bright or sunny spells at times. A much cooler ‘feel’ is expected for all areas of the British Isles primarily due to a moderate or locally fresh north-westerly wind.

Easter Outlook

At the moment fine and settled conditions, for most, will continue into Saturday with some spells of sunshine at times. However, despite uncertainties there is a clear trend towards more unsettled conditions developing during Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, particularly so across England and Wales with a risk of showers or longer spells of rain develop, some of which may be heavy. As a result the best of the weather this Easter holiday is likely to be on Good Friday and into Saturday.

Potential severe weather and temperatures

No severe weather is expected in the coming days. Temperatures are expected to reach 14C to 18C generally today (Wednesday) but markedly cooler by Thursday and Friday with highs generally 10C to 15C. Still quite chilly by night beneath any clear skies when rural ground frost is possible and lows fall to between 1C or 3C, but generally a few degrees higher than this in more urban areas.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Monday 14 April 10am

Often fine and settled

Monday and Tuesday

The opening few days of the week will be dominated by high pressure and this will bring fine and settled conditions across the whole British Isles. As a result both days will experience bright or sunny spells at times, these prolonged across England and Wales. By night clear skies will lead to rather chilly conditions, especially rurally with a touch of frost possible along with localised mist and fog patches, but these soon clear after dawn. With light winds and plenty of sunshine it will feel pleasantly warm, especially across more urban areas of England and Wales.

Wednesday and Thursday

Around mid-week there is expected to be a greater risk of some patchy rain or showers developing across Scotland and Ireland in particular and also perhaps into N England too. As a result a cloudier and cooler couple of days is likely across these areas, but still with some bright or sunny spells and no extensive, persistent or heavy rainfall is to be expected. For many central and southern areas of England and Wales the fine, dry and settled weather will continue.

Friday

At the moment high pressure is set to return to many areas to end the week and this will bring a renewed spell of fine and settled conditions across many areas. Variable amounts of cloud are expected, so it won’t be bright or sunny all the time, but it will be dry across many areas. Potentially rather chilly again by night to end the week as winds become light once again with perhaps some patchy mist and fog too.

Potential severe weather and temperatures

No severe weather is expected this week. Temperatures are forecast to be around average with highs ranging between 10C and 15C generally. Urban areas of the south and south-east of England may see temperatures up to 17C to 19C on Tuesday and Wednesday, but this will be a more local exception. By night lows ranging between 2C and 5C are possible, but once again more urban areas are likely to be somewhat milder. Feeling cool across the north mid-week given cloudier and windier conditions, but equally many areas will feel pleasantly warm at times this week in light winds and the sunshine by day.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Friday 11 April 9am

A mixed weekend

  • Often dry, bright or sunny across England and Wales this weekend despite some patchy rain or drizzle for a time on Saturday.
  • Generally more unsettled across Scotland and Northern Ireland overall with a greater risk of rain or showers.
  • Temperatures generally near average, pleasant in any sunshine but otherwise quite cool and chilly by night beneath any clear skies.

Saturday

For England and Wales and particularly central and southern areas of England then a dry day is expected with some bright or sunny spells, despite cloud increasing during the afternoon. For Northern England after a dry start to the day it is expected to become cloudier for at time during the afternoon with some patchy rain or drizzle, especially to the west of the Pennines, but this then clearing towards the late afternoon with some evening sunshine. For Scotland and Ireland early rain clearing south, then a mixture of sunshine and showers and feeling cool here given a moderate or fresh west or north-westerly wind.

Sunday

Across Scotland, Ireland and later Northern England Sunday is expected to become increasingly unsettled. Showers or longer spells of rain across Scotland to start the day are expected to move south-eastwards into Ireland and Northern England, but the rain generally becoming more fragmented and lighter than is expected across Scotland. For central and southern England and Wales Sunday is set fair with bright or sunny spells despite some variable amounts of cloud at times.

Potential severe weather and temperatures

Risk of some heavy rain across Scotland, but nothing of any concern and quite windy here as well. Otherwise no severe weather is expected this weekend. Temperatures generally near to average and feeling pleasant in any sunshine across England and Wales but conversely it is likely to feel quite cool or cold further north and west in the more unsettled conditions and stronger winds. Highs are expected to range between 8C and 12C, though locally 13C or 14C in the south. Rural frost is possible, but this is generally a low risk.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Wednesday 09 April 1pm

Patchy rain

  • Mainly dry and bright, if not sunny for most of England and Wales for the rest of the week.
  • More unsettled conditions across Scotland and Ireland at times and these filtering down into more northern areas of England later on Thursday.
  • Temperatures near average so cooler than of late and with some chilly nights.
  • Early signs are for a mainly dry weekend for England and Wales, but with further rain or showers at times further north and west.

Thursday and Friday

The week is forecast to end predominantly settled across most of England and Wales as high pressure initially to the south re-develops and builds into England and Wales by Friday. A weather front is expected to bring thicker cloud to more northern areas of the UK including Scotland and Ireland through Thursday with some rain and showers slowly moving south-eastwards. These cloudier conditions are likely to move into more northern areas of England during Thursday afternoon and evening but with the precipitation by this time generally becoming particularly weak and fragmented. Ahead of this for central and southern areas of England and Wales it is a fine and settled day.

Friday, for many, is dry after a chilly start with plenty of prolonged spells of sunshine. Few showers possible in the far north and perhaps the far south-east, but a fine end to the week and this is then followed by a chilly night on Friday night. The coming weekend remains mainly settled for most of England and Wales, but as with the end of this week Scotland and Ireland may be more unsettled at times, especially on Saturday and with some rain or showers moving south-eastwards into Northern England but weakening as it does so.

Potential severe weather and temperatures

No severe weather is currently expected during the remainder of this week. Temperatures are forecast to range between 10C and 14C generally which is near to average though a few degrees cooler at times across Northern England, Scotland and Ireland given that more unsettled conditions are likely here with less in the way of sunshine than further south. Chilly nights possible, with rural frost and rurally temperatures may fall to 1C or 2C on Thursday night across the north and then more widely on Friday night.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Monday 07 April 10am

Wet start then often dry and bright

Monday

A particularly unsettled start to the week is expected for England and Wales and most probably into S Scotland as well. A developing area of low pressure crossing parts of the UK will bring a persistent risk of rain and showers to England and Wales throughout the day with many areas seeing up to 10mm to 15mm of rainfall. However, there is scope for up to and over 20mm of rainfall in places along with the risk of some heavy and perhaps thundery downpours across more eastern areas of England this afternoon. For most of Scotland and Ireland it is a simple mixture of sunshine and showers, but these perhaps heavy and thundery.

Tuesday and Wednesday

An improving picture as we move towards mid-week with more settled conditions developing for England and Wales and with the exception of a few scattered showers both Tuesday and Wednesday will be dry with some bright or sunny spells after rather chilly starts. Further north and west, across Scotland and Ireland, there is likely to be a greater risk of some rain or showers at times, particularly for central and northern Scotland where it is also likely to be quite windy.

Thursday and Friday

We end the week at the moment with a risk of further showers for parts of England and Wales, but otherwise a lot of fine and dry weather is to be expected. For Scotland and Ireland a greater risk of rain or showers exists and particularly so by Friday when some wet and windy weather is likely to move in off the Atlantic at the moment. Some chilly nights are possible later in the week at times with a risk of rural frost in places, especially for the Midlands northwards.

Potential severe weather and temperatures

Heavy rainfall and showers on Monday bringing a risk of some poor driving and travelling conditions with a lot of surface water and spray. Some torrential downpours possible across eastern areas of England (Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, E Midlands) this afternoon and evening with a risk of thunder and some thundery showers are possible across Scotland and Ireland today as well. Otherwise no significant or severe weather is expected after Monday. Temperatures this week are expected to be cooler than of late with highs ranging between 10C and 15C generally, the highest temperatures most likely on Monday. By night it will also be cooler as well with lows ranging between 2C and 5C overall, though a few degrees higher in towns and cities. Some patchy frost is possible at times beneath any clear skies through the week.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Friday 04 April 9am

An unsettled but mild weekend ahead

  • Generally unsettled for many areas with a risk of rain or showers at times throughout the weekend.
  • Rain often heaviest and most frequent across more northern and western areas and especially across western hills of Scotland, N England and Wales with locally large rainfall totals possible.
  • Generally mild or very mild despite the unsettled conditions, especially in the east and south-east of England.

Saturday and Sunday

The coming weekend will be dominated by low pressure and this will bring unsettled conditions to many areas of the UK. Despite a possible dry start for some northern and eastern areas first thing on Saturday cloudy conditions with outbreaks of rain and drizzle across many western and south-western areas of the UK will spread northwards through the day with all areas of the UK at risk of some precipitation, but this heaviest across Scotland. Extensive low cloud and hill fog is expected to develop, so this is something to be aware of if traveling across higher level routes in particular.

Further spells of rain and showers will move north and eastwards across many areas overnight on Saturday and throughout Sunday. Some heavy rainfall is possible across western hills of Scotland, Northern England and Wales in particular with perhaps over 30mm possible in places. A clearance to somewhat brighter and more showery conditions is expected to develop across Ireland during Sunday afternoon, but for many areas a wet and breezy day is to be expected on Sunday and with limited brightness as well.

Weather Map

The areas at greatest risk of over 30mm of rainfall this weekend have been highlighted on the associated graphic and there is a low risk of perhaps some localised flooding in these areas, especially more prone areas;

Potential severe weather and temperatures

Rainfall totals up to and over 30mm possible over the weekend across the highlighted areas is the main potential severe weather with perhaps a low risk of some localised flooding. Low cloud and hill fog may bring poor visibility at higher altitudes; otherwise no severe weather is expected. Temperatures remaining mild or very mild with highs ranging between 12C and 16C generally, though perhaps a degree or two higher in urban areas of the south-east, but equally perhaps a degree or two lower across more northern and western areas and across those areas that are likely to see the heaviest rainfall.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Wednesday 02 April 9am

Increasingly unsettled

  • Increasingly unsettled across many areas of the country through the rest of the week with some heavy rain or showers at times, especially in the south and west.
  • Generally remaining very mild or warm at times, but eventually becoming cooler from the south-west by the end of Friday.
  • Generally unsettled theme continuing into the coming weekend with spells of rain or showers for most, especially in the north and west.

Wednesday

An unsettled day is expected for many western and south-western areas of the UK with a risk of rain or showers at times. Some of the showers may be heavy and perhaps with local thunder, but some drier intervals are possible in-between. Further north and east, especially across northern and eastern Scotland and eastern England then it is expected to be mainly dry with some bright or sunny spells, but low cloud and sea fog will continue to be a threat across coastal areas of eastern England and south-east Scotland.

Thursday and Friday

Weather Map

Low pressure becomes dominant to end the week and this will bring a more widespread risk of rain or showers to many areas. Showers or longer spells of rain are expected to develop across southern areas of the UK early on Thursday and gradually move north-wards through the day. Some heavy and perhaps thundery downpours are possible at times across parts of Central areas of England and Wales through Thursday afternoon, before more persistent rain spreads northwards. Into Friday and residual rain across northern and eastern areas of the UK clears and then many areas see a mixture of sunshine and showers and feeling cooler than most of the week. Areas at risk of the heaviest rain on Thursday in particularly have been highlighted on the associated graphic;

Potential severe weather and temperatures

Risk of up to 20mm to 30mm of rain across parts of Central areas of England, Wales, parts of SW England and also E Ireland on Thursday, but details are uncertain. Where any localised downpours/thunderstorms develop during Thursday afternoon then locally totals may exceed the above values with some localised flooding possible. Temperatures varying significantly to end the week given some warmer, brighter intervals in places, but cooler beneath any wet weather. However, maximum temperatures generally ranging between 13ºC and 16ºC, though few degrees higher at times in places and equally few degrees cooler beneath any persistent rain.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

March 2014 posts >
February 2014 posts >
January 2014 posts >
December2013 posts >
November 2013 posts >
October 2013 posts >
September 2013 posts >
August 2013 posts >
July 2013 posts >
June 2013 posts >
May 2013 posts >
April 2013 posts >
March 2013 posts >
February 2013 posts >
January 2013 posts >
December 2012 posts >

 

About the Special Operations Response Team (SORT)

Each vehicle is double-crewed and trained in flood response and search and rescue (certified to DEFRA Level 3) trained by the same people who train the RNLI and many fire service teams. Crews also undergo 4x4 driver training RoSPA certified, and regularly undertake joint multi-agency training exercises.

Meet some of the team

Darron Burness

Head of AA Special Operations Response Team

Darron Burness

While at school, I completed two weeks' work experience at AA Workshop in Birmingham, before joining the AA in 1991 as an workshop apprentice. I worked my way up to a Technical Specialist Patrol for Birmingham and Worcester.

August 2008 was a pivotal moment, when I attended the first 4x4 AA SORT course as a Patrol member of the SORT Team.

As well as being Area Manager for Coventry and Northampton, then Wolverhampton and Black Country managing 60 AA Patrols, I started to assist with managing the SORT team during deployments. Since December 2010 I have been managing the AA's response during severe weather and the AA's presence at shows and festivals throughout the year.


Matt Hugo

Meteorologist

Matt Hugo

I have a passion and interest in the weather from a very young age is what has driven me for many years to become a weather forecaster. Through years of education including a science degree and a year spent studying in Canada I finally made the break through in my late 20s and became a forecaster.

Now, with over five years worth of operational forecasting experience from winter hazard forecasting, and convective forecasting in summer to forecasting for the oil and gas industry, I have a solid understanding of the weather and forecasting. I'm now a Fellow of The Royal Meteorological Society (FRMetS) and live in Lancashire with my wife and little boy.


 

Breakdown cover

The AA's cover is recommended by readers of 'Which?' magazine

Get breakdown cover
Cover for breakdowns