As anticipated yesterday the Met Office this morning issued a yellow warning for snow on Monday for parts of Scotland. The warning itself includes that classic evergreen line so beloved by weather presenters for the last sixty years or more – showers turning increasingly wintry. It’s certainly going to be cold couple of days across Scotland with temperatures back to somewhere near average for the first time since this year. And there are certainly plenty of odd shaped occlusions winging their way from west to east, but the big question is how far east will the snow penetrate and how much shelter will the mountains afford? Oddly the German ICON model has the main focus of the little accumulations of snow it expects further south than what the Met Office does. The warning area on the map and the text of the warning highlight the deficiencies of their existing warnings system, because you’ll notice that although they say snow will reach low levels away from the coastal fringe, the map area itself covers the entire western coastal fringe of Scotland and the Islands. The only way to display accurately where snow is expected to accumulate in situations like this when height is the critical factor is by a GIS display system rather than the blobs of custard they use at present. Surprisingly the warning is just for Monday when snow on Tuesday across Scotland looks just as likely.
I notice that the big Chief down in Exeter extended his snow warning till 11 UTC this morning as I anticipated he might have to, the thing is why didn’t he do it right way when it was quite obvious that the effects of the cold air would extend well into Tuesday? The other contradictory thing is how can he preclude the Hebrides from any snow in the text of the warning, and then include them in the map area and text of the updated warning despite them being Islands and part of the the western coastal fringes?