February 3, 2023
What's Driving The UK Weather This January?

January is one of the coldest months of the year in the UK, and this January has been no exception. With temperatures dropping and snow falling in many parts of the country, we are all wondering what is causing this chilly weather. In this blog post, we will be taking a look at the different factors that are driving the UK weather this January, and discussing how they impact the temperatures in the region.

The Jet Stream

The Jet Stream is a fast-flowing band of air that moves around the Earth at high altitudes. It can have a big impact on the weather we experience in the UK, as it can bring different air masses from the east and west. The Jet Stream is currently influencing the weather in the UK this January, bringing with it colder air from the Arctic and warmer air from the Atlantic. This combination of temperatures has been causing a lot of variation in our weather, including rain, wind, and even snow in some areas. Understanding how the Jet Stream works is key to understanding the UK’s current weather conditions.

Currently, the Jet Stream is located further south than normal over Europe due to an area of low pressure located over Scandinavia. This low pressure area is drawing warm and moist air from the Atlantic towards us, which explains why there are periods of wetter and milder weather occurring over the UK during January. However, due to its southerly location, the Jet Stream is also allowing cold northerly winds to pass across the UK more easily than usual. These winds are leading to cooler temperatures than usual for this time of year, particularly overnight when these winds are strongest.

What's Driving The UK Weather This January?

Cold Air From The Arctic

The UK is being influenced by cold air from the Arctic. This is caused by a phenomenon known as the polar vortex, which is essentially a large area of low pressure over the Arctic region. When this pressure drops, it creates an area of high pressure further south, and this high pressure pushes cold air down towards the UK. This is why temperatures have been dropping dramatically in some areas, with lows well below freezing in some places. This cold air can also bring snow and icy conditions to parts of the UK.

As we move further into January, these colder temperatures are likely to persist for the foreseeable future. In addition to the low temperature, wind chill will also be present in some regions. Wind chill occurs when cold winds blow across exposed surfaces such as bare skin or ice, causing a drop in temperature due to evaporation. This means that if you’re out and about on days where the wind chill is high, it’ll feel much colder than the actual temperature reading. Additionally, strong winds from the North-east can bring storms to parts of the UK, leading to potential disruption.

Warm Air From The Atlantic

The warm air from the Atlantic has also been playing an important role in the UK’s weather this January. This warm air has been travelling north and is helping to raise temperatures around the UK, making it feel milder than usual.

It’s not just temperature that is influenced by this warm air, but also the amount of precipitation. Warm air carries more moisture, meaning the wetter weather that is often associated with this warm air can be seen across the UK too.

The warm air has also been bringing thunderstorms to some parts of the country, creating dramatic and sometimes dangerous weather. This is due to the rapid rise in air pressure when warmer air meets colder air, causing instability in the atmosphere which can lead to strong winds, heavy rain, hail and even tornados.

Overall, the warm air from the Atlantic has been helping to shape the UK’s January weather, leading to both pleasant days of mild temperatures and potentially dangerous thunderstorms.

What's Driving The UK Weather This January?


Storms can be a big factor in influencing the UK weather during January. Storms bring with them strong winds, heavy rain and sometimes even snow. The wind that accompanies storms is known as the Jet Stream which is a band of strong winds located high up in the atmosphere. The Jet Stream acts as a barrier between cold air from the Arctic and warm air from the Atlantic Ocean. When the Jet Stream moves further south, it brings with it cold Arctic air, resulting in freezing temperatures across the UK. On the other hand, when the Jet Stream moves further north, it allows warm Atlantic air to reach the UK, resulting in milder weather conditions.

Storms can also bring with them strong winds and heavy rain. Storms are often accompanied by gale force winds which can cause damage to buildings and property. High winds can also lead to power outages as trees and branches are brought down onto power lines. Storms are also often accompanied by heavy rain which can lead to flooding in some areas.

All in all, storms can be a major factor in driving the UK weather during January and should not be taken lightly.


The UK weather this January has been highly variable and unpredictable. It’s been the result of several different factors, from the jet stream and cold air from the Arctic to warm air from the Atlantic and storms. With all of these elements playing a role, it’s no surprise that the UK has seen some wild weather this month. All that’s certain is that we can expect more extreme weather events in the coming months. We need to remain vigilant and prepared for whatever may come our way.

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