UK weather forecast – triple polar vortex brings -11C Icelandic blast as Britain braces for heavy SNOW

Murky and foggy conditions are expected to fade on Monday morning, allowing low pressure from Greenland to push in rather cold and harsh conditions for the month.

Forecasters expect pockets of the white stuff to blanket northern England from Wednesday January 10.

A Met Office forecaster told Sun Online: "Snowfall may strike the north of England towards the end of next week, while the south enjoys much milder temperatures.

"But temperatures will continue to drop as the week progresses, bringing heavier wintry showers particularly in the North East.

With less cloud cover next week, forecasters will expect to see very cold starts, with temperatures dropping to -11C, like this morning.

While there may be a north/south divide for a few days, it will not get any warmer as it will be the coldest January on record.

Exacta Weather forecaster told Mirror Online: "January is looking like a colder than average month overall, and we could see some of the lowest temperatures of winter so far during the next three weeks or so.

"There is also going to be a risk of widespread snowfall through the month, this is something we are keeping our eyes on."

The polar vortex which split three ways in the Arctic circle, just after Christmas, has pushed the harshest conditions to Europe, while the other two vortex's pass over much of North America.

And Public Health England have issued a joint level 2 health warning for the vulnerable with the Met Office..

Forecaster Helen Roberts said: "Temperatures in the north will struggle to get much above freezing.

"Elsewhere they will hover in single figures through the week."

Today will be dry for most tomorrow with a frosty start, after a freezing cold blast overnight.

The foggy patches will clear to reveal brighter skies for some areas of the south tomorrow, but Wales and southwest England will remain covered in shallow fog.

Temperatures are set to nosedive over the coming days bringing harsh frosts, freezing fog and even a risk of heavy snow.

She added: "There will be freezing fog in some areas, but not too widespread or thick.

"It should be shallow, patchy and localised, especially around areas like the Welsh Marches and southwest England."

"Severe" cold will grip the country this week putting the elderly, sick and very young at risk, according to Government health advisers.

Met Office meteorologist Helen warned freezing winds sweeping in from the Arctic circle will herald a big change in the weather.

She said: “It is going to feel noticeably colder as we go through the rest of the week, we expect fairly widespread frosts, freezing fog and very chilly temperatures especially in the breeze.

“Temperatures in the north will struggle to get much above freezing while elsewhere they will generally hover in single figures through the week.

“There may be more of an Atlantic influence by the weekend which will lift temperatures in western Britain, but it is still going to feel cold widely.”

Pressure patterns responsible for the recent calm conditions have shifted to pull freezing air in from the north, she said.

She added: “We have had a re-organisation of high pressure which is now bringing cold northerly air originating from Iceland into Britain.

“It will be very cold overnight and there could be some stubborn fog to deal with on Thursday morning.

“It is going to stay cold through the week and into the weekend which although may be slightly milder in parts is not going to bring any big change.”

PHE warned "severe cold weather, icy conditions and heavy snow" could wreak havoc into the weekend.

Slow-clearing freezing fog and below-average temperatures may see the alert ramped up before the end of the week, it said.

Elderly and vulnerable people are urged to wrap up and take extra care while out and about to avoid falls on icy pavements.

The PHE warning states: “Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.

“This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.

“Cold weather criteria may still be met in some central, southern, and southwestern areas over the weekend where any freezing fog patches are slow to clear.

“This may require the alert level being raised in these areas later this week.”

Malcolm Booth, chief executive of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners (NFOP), added: “Very cold weather can strike quickly and catch people unaware, especially the more vulnerable.

“It is vital that people prepare for cold weather ahead and make sure their homes are heated and they have enough in to keep them going.

“Elderly people should also take extra care while out and about as it is easy to fall on icy pavements and the consequences can be serious.”

Long-range forecasters say this could be the start of a lengthy cold spell with winter set to lock in for the next month at least.

A split in the so-called Polar Vortex driven by rising stratospheric temperatures threatens a repeat of last winter’s Beast from the East.

What could be the strongest Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) ever observed is about to set in driving the cold weather, according to climate experts.

An SSW event was responsible for triggering the extreme cold which virtually ground Britain to a standstill at the start of last year.

This time round it could be worse with temperatures in the Polar stratosphere expected to rocket before the end of the month.

Climatologist Judah Cohen from the US AES (Atmospheric and Environmental Research) said temperature rises of up to 80C over the North Pole threaten to drive the strongest SSW ever recorded.

While the potential impacts are still under discussion it could bring heavy snow across Europe, Eurasia and the US, he warned.

He said: “NASA Model [s] [are] predicting close to all time record warmth at the North Pole in the stratosphere.

“Temperatures are predicted to warm by nearly 80C or 140F in just a few days.

“The most robust cold signal following a significant PV [Polar Vortex] disruption is Northern Eurasia consistent with the temperature forecast.”

SSW which triggered the Beast from the East big freeze in March happens when air over the North Pole warms and compresses.

This stops mild westerly winds reaching Britain while opening the floodgates to freezing easterlies.

James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said January threatens to bring the coldest spell of winter so far.

He said: “January is shaping up to be a colder than average month overall, while temperatures may deviate at times we expect to see some of the coldest temperatures of the winter within this period.

“There is also a risk of several widespread snow events and over all we expect temperatures to be at well below-average for the month.”


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