A “wall of snow” could hit the country as a storm from the Atlantic threatens sub-zero temperatures. The freezing air coming from the United States means there is a risk of “widespread snow”, one expert said based on computer modelling. The collision between freezing air from the USA and warmer air from the Gulf of Mexico will supercharge the jet stream and bring freezing temperatures with it.
Exacta Weather’s James Madden said: “Some computer models are now favouring a bitter easterly blast later next week, and this could bring the risk of widespread snow.
“This is expected ahead of next weekend, and if it happens, temperatures will plunge across the country.
“Snowfall in parts could bring the risk of disruption, and depending on the severity of this blast, this could be on a scale or greater than anything we have seen so far this winter.
“We could see temperatures dipping to -10C or even -15C in some urban regions in a cold spell that could hold out for seven to 10 days.”
Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern came to the same conclusion, saying: “A huge area of cold air across North America is coming up against milder air to the south, and we are getting a powerful jet stream which is helping to deepen areas of low pressure.
“An area of low pressure deepens explosively and becomes a real beast coming out of North America, and although that’s deepened by the jet stream, the size of that low affects the shape of the jet stream and helps to push its energy southwards and northwards amplifying the jet stream.”
Mr McGivern added: “That will ultimately decide how much of the cold air stays to the east of the UK and how much it influences the UK itself.
“What we think is that there is an 85 percent chance that next week will start off colder and drier in the south but milder with some rain in the north.”
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He continued: “Then gradually through next week westerlies will sink south bringing changeable but milder air across the UK. But there is a 15-per cent chance that it will turn very cold especially across the south and east with snow.”
However, UK bulletins had different forecasts with much milder temperatures.
The Met Office predicts a “rather cloudy” Saturday evening with some drizzle in northwestern hills and some clearer spells developing across east Scotland and perhaps southwest England. Temperatures will range between 7 and 9 degrees across the country tonight.
The weather service also reported Saturday’s temperatures were above the February average, with the highest temperature of 13.5 °C recorded in Scotland.
While the sky will remain overcast this weekend, BBC Weather’s Ben Rich reported there is a “better chance” of brightness over the next few days but still cold temperatures.
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Temperatures will remain above season on Sunday, with 10 and 11 degrees recorded across the country.
However, “temperatures are likely to drop” on Sunday night, he said, meaning there could be a “touch of frost” on Monday morning. But clouds will remain across central and eastern parts of England with temperatures holding above freezing. Scotland will experience higher temperatures thanks to a breeze.
With a southerly breeze on Monday, there will be spells of sunshine across the country and eastern parts of England will hold on to the cloudiest of the conditions.
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