SSEN's Weather Watch for January 2018

Colour weather graphic of the UK

Our winter weather is being typically volatile and that also goes for other parts of the world too. Storm Caroline and Storm Dylan brought unsettled weather to parts of the UK and Ireland in December, and just recently a major winter storm hit eastern parts of the USA.

The satellite photo (which is credited to the Met Office and can be seen in the image on our main page) shows both the swirl of cloud as the low pressure was intensifying, as well as lying snow across parts of Georgia and the Carolinas.  

Over in western Russia, temperatures have been well above average for the time of year – night values have stayed above freezing in Moscow this last week but they typically fall to minus 15 degrees. It’s been just the opposite in South Korea and Japan with a prolonged cold snap, and a subtropical storm is disrupting summer in parts of New Zealand at the moment with strong winds, heavy rain and flooding. 

Coming back home now and looking at the prospects for January, high pressure will develop across Scotland through the weekend and start of this week as night-time temperatures fall rapidly under the clear skies. We’re expecting values down to minus 5 in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, minus 7 in Inverness and minus 9 degrees for Perth. This brief cold snap will probably be the most severe of the month. Our forecast is based on the expectation that the high pressure will move away to the east and as a result the Atlantic weather patterns will start to arrive.

So for the middle part of January, we’ll find low pressure swinging in to bring spells of wet and windy weather. This unsettled weather regime is likely to last through the second part of the month too. 

The map above (credited to MetDesk) shows the forecast weather map for the period 15-20 January. The main low pressure centre will be near Iceland and the high pressure will stay to the west of Portugal. The strong westerly winds blowing in from the nearby Atlantic will limit the risk of cold snaps and keep the changeable weather pattern going.

As a result, rainfall, wind speeds and sunshine levels are likely to be above average. And for anyone heading to the Alps for a great skiing holiday – you should be treated to plenty of snow.


If we see any signs of a significant change to the jet stream pattern, we’ll update the blog. 

For more weather information you can follow our senior meteorologist, Simon Cardy on twitter @weather_king.

About the author

Picture of Simon Cardy

Simon Cardy Senior Meteorologist for SSE

Simon is the Senior Meteorologist at SSE and a Fellow Member of the Royal Meteorological Society. Through detailed analysis of the weather and climate, Simon provides valuable information to departments across SSE, including Networks (power distribution), Renewable Energy (wind farms and hydro dams) and Energy Demand Forecasting (how much electricity and gas we need each hour).

Read more articles by Simon Cardy