Arctic air and snow hits UK in -10C freeze before storm and gales

Met Office in-depth look at freezing weather and 'when it will end'

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The UK is bracing to be smothered in yet more heavy snow as a brutal Arctic blast triggers a -10C deep freeze before a storm and gales smash into the country this weekend. Deep snow is continuing to hit large parts of the UK, with the latest weather maps from WXCHARTS showing up to 20cm could fall in the far north of Scotland tonight. The rest of Britain remains at risk, particularly in England across the North East, North West and Midlands, as well as across Wales.

This heavy snow threat continues throughout Thursday before it rapidly intensifies on Friday, with the UK weather map beginning to turn icy white. It shows up to 33cm of snow could fall in northern Scotland by early afternoon, with this heavy snow spreading southwards as the day progresses.

A similar trend follows on Saturday before the UK weather maps show the snow spreading southwards again early on Sunday, this time into England, 1-2cm of snow forecast to fall. Scotland once again turns icy white on the map, with 30cm of snow set to smother a northern region of the country.

The risk of snow eases during the first half of next week before making an unwelcome return on Wednesday, with snow forecast for areas in England north of Manchester and Liverpool. More icy white areas appear on the UK map on Thursday and Friday as the risk of heavy lingers in the days leading up to Christmas.

The Arctic blast that has sent temperatures tumbling to well below freezing is also set to continue, with lows of -7C in large parts of Scotland tonight, -6C in northeast England and -4C further south.

Britain will still be gripped by this deep freeze heading into this weekend, with lows of -8C in an area of Scotland on Friday morning, -5C near Newcastle and -2C throughout most other areas in the country.

The brutal cold snap continues into Saturday morning that could see temperatures plunging to as low as -3C in Londonand surrounding areas.

Brian Gaze from The Weather Outlook warned temperatures could plummet to as low as -10C in areas of southern Britain, while a band of low pressure travelling from the southwest this weekend could trigger heavy snow.

To make matters worse, he warned gales could also become an “additional hazard” this weekend and early next week, particularly in the far south.

Mr Gaze told Express.co.uk: “In the short term it remains very cold with temperatures struggling to rise much above freezing point during the day and plunging to -10C by night even in parts of southern Britain.

“However, it’s all change this weekend as an area of low pressure pushes up from the southwest. It will bring a transition to much milder weather, but initially there is a risk of heavy snow as the weather fronts associated with it bump into the cold air over the UK.

“Disruptive snow is most likely in northern England and Scotland during Saturday night and into Sunday before the mild air arrives and snow turns back to rain. Gales could become an additional hazard this weekend and early next week, particularly in the southern half of the UK.

“Beyond that the details are still up for grabs, but at the moment it looks as though cold Arctic air will be pushing back into the north of the UK and it brings a renewed risk of snow. The cold conditions may push down into southern counties, but as we head towards Christmas it is still all to play for.”

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AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tony Zartman also told this website: “The cold air that has been in place across the UK for the past week will continue to remain in place through at least Friday. Accumulations of snow through Friday will largely be confined to northern Scotland, especially the highlands.

“However, areas farther south can still have frost at night and areas of freezing fog, continuing to provide some icy conditions. There will also continue to be wintry precipitation across far southwest England today.”

Mr Zartman also warned of a storm approaching from the southwest this weekend, with a risk of snow on Sunday as moisture crashes into the cold air that has been freezing the country over recent days.

He continued: “A storm will be approaching from the southwest this weekend. As it approaches from the southwest it will bring a surge of moisture into the UK, but it will also bring a surge of milder air into the country.

“Initially, as the moisture runs into the cold air that remains in place, there can be some snow on Sunday.

“Exactly where that occurs will depend on the location and timing of the advancing moisture and the advancing milder air. But, the greatest chance for snow initially from the storm will be across the northern UK.

“It is more likely that the southern U.K. would have all rain or just a brief period of snow before quickly changing to rain. Strong winds will be bringing the milder air north and northeastward across the area.

“There could be another storm toward Christmas, but there remains quite a bit of differences in location and timing of this system. Again, with temperatures expected to be near average, the greatest chance for any snow will be across the northern UK.”

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