Get ready for the snow – up to 12 inches predicted for the Thames Valley

Early forecasts suggest up to 12 inches of snow is on its way Phil Creighton

WINTER may have been mild so far, but advance weather forecasters are warning that  up to 12 inches of snow could fall in the Thames Valley.

Temperatures are set to plunge from today’s 11ºC to sub-zero by Thursday and the snow is on its way. Early forecasts suggest that by 9am on Friday, January 31, there could be 3cm (just over an inch) of snow across the Thames Valley with more on the way over the weekend.

Maiden Erlegh School has its own weather station, which has an aim of creating an interactive resource for geography lessons and a weather club.

It has posted three advance models of what the weather could be like next Friday, showing up to 3cm on snow on the ground. Most parts of the country will be affected by the snowfall, with only Kent, Anglia and parts of Wales and Cornwall escaping. The heaviest snowfalls will be in Scotland, where highs of up to 32cm are currently forecast.

Some advance forecasting it has carried out suggests that snowfall may continue until Tuesday, February 4  and the total snowfall could be as much as 12 inches (30cm) – but this is still a very early forecast and may come to nothing.

James Winfield is an amateur forecaster who runs the Weather Forecast For Reading, Berkshire, UK page on Facebook and says that the weather for next week will “certainly be interesting”.

He has been predicting a cold end to winter since the beginning of December, but is unsure whether the snow will end up as rain in the Thames Valley.

In a weather forecast post, he said: “In my long-range forecast issued at the beginning of December, I did mention that weather systems would come down from the north-west at times during January bringing marginal snow events, albeit always more likely rain here.”

In one of his latest posts, he shows a map that predicts up to 12 inches of snow could fall by Monday, February 3 – but he adds the caveat to take it with a “very large pinch of salt”.

Although it’s too early to be 100% certain snow will fall by Friday, it’s never too early to be prepared. The NHS has prepared a guide for keeping warm and well, particularly for people who are aged 65 or over, on a low income, have a long-term health condition or are disabled.

Advice includes eating hot meals, wrap up warm both in the home and outside, and kep the main living room heated to between 18-21ºC.

They also encourage people to check on older neighbours or relatives. If you’re worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, you can call Age UK on 0800 009966.

For more details

Follow the weather: Maiden Erlegh Weather on Twitter @MESchoolweather

Search for for James Winfield’s forecasts.