(Nathan Rao, UK Times) Winter will roar in with a vengeance this week with a savage Arctic freeze likely to last until the middle of next month. Temperatures will plummet by more than 20C as Britain is plunged into weeks of shivering misery, forecasters warned.
The UK faces the coldest and iciest spell of winter so far as another “Beast from the East” roars in from Russia and the Arctic, they said. It could be the middle of February before any break from harsh frosts, ice and temperatures as low as -20C.
An unusually mild Christmas saw the mercury rise into double figures with the coming Arctic blast set to deliver a “real shock to the system”. Jonathan Powell, forecaster for Vantage Weather Services, said Britain is braced for
“winter to properly bare its teeth”.He said bitter gales will whip up blizzards in Scotland and the North, while ice will be a problem across much of the UK.
He said: “This is really going to be the first proper taste of winter with no sign of the cold retreating until after mid-February.
“We are going to see a significant drop in temperatures from the middle of the week as a blast of freezing air arrives from Russia and the East.
“The whole country is in for a big freeze with -20C likely in the North and temperatures falling to below zero across the UK.”
“It will be cold enough for roads to freeze over, turning them into deadly sheets of ice, a real shock to the system,” he added.The Met Office said that much of the UK will see rain this week with showers turning wintry as temperatures fall by the weekend with the potential for the coldest spell so far.
Forecaster Charlie Powell said:
“It will be a bit of a shock after the milder weather we have seen and things are going to feel very different.”Although the North will see the lowest temperatures, with snow expected on high ground, the entire country is braced for freezing temperatures and showers.
The Weather Channel warned temperatures could sink to 4C below the average of 3C for the time of year with snow likely before the end of January.
Meteorologist Leon Brown said Britain faces a “dramatic change” with temperatures plunging through the month due to a bitter blast from the Arctic. He said:
“Through this week the weather pattern will change and it will gradually become colder with night frosts returning.AA warned motorists to heed travel advice and be prepared for black ice. Jim Dale, forecaster for British Weather Services, said yesterday
“With high pressure to the north of the UK the usual westerly flow from the Atlantic will be blocked and our weather will come from the east much of the time. This could persist to at least the first part of February with the risk of some Arctic plunges reaching us via North-east Europe.”
“In mid-December we were expecting the Beast from the East although in the end it didn’t make it fully to the UK, but hovered over Europe.
“This time around there is a possibility we could see it, and come the middle of the month we could see some very wintry conditions.”