Analysis: Spring always brings us extremes – get used to it

LAST week’s exceptional weather was down to the wind blowing in from the south.

We had high pressure sitting to the east of the UK and that drew warm air northwards from the Mediterranean, which warmed up as it travelled across France, and then was warmed still further as it moved across England towards Scotland.

There were also clear skies, so the land was heating up and it was heating the air above it, and as it moved north it just got warmer and warmer, and as a result, Scotland ended up enjoying record-breaking temperatures in the sunshine.

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Another factor were mountains in the wind’s path, because the records were broken, in particular, in the north east of Scotland, and what had happened was that as the wind rose over the Cairngorms, as it came down the other side it heated up that little bit more – it’s known as the Fohn Effect – and that added that little extra heat on the north eastern side of Scotland.

Basically, the snow that we’re expecting is down to the weather moving in reverse to last week.

The high pressure has now moved away to the west of us, letting northerly winds come in from the Arctic. That is mixed up with some weather fronts which are bringing the rain, sleet and snow to us.

There is no particular reason why we’re seeing this change in the weather, but what you do find in spring is that you do get quite extreme swings from very hot to very cold in a short period of time.

This is because the sun is getting hotter at this time of year, it releases quite a lot of energy in the northern hemisphere, which brings these rapid changes.

• Helen Chivers is a forecaster at the Met Office