UK's weather forecast
Britain is bracing for a brutal -12C deep freeze according to the latest weather charts, as a forecaster warned a shift in the jet stream could lead to freezing Arctic air smashing into the UK.
Heavy snow is expected to batter Scotland, the latest snow depth models from WXCHARTS show. Central parts of Scotland could see deep levels of snow, with 19 inches (50cm) on Friday, January 29. A few days later on Friday, February 5, the snow is expected to accumulate to reach 21 inches (54cm).
Luton and London may also see a sprinkle of snow during the first weekend of February. Temperatures could also plummet as low as -12C on Sunday 7 in central parts of Scotland. Many parts of England could be hit with freezing lows from next week too, with northwestern regions including Carlisle and Cumbria seeing -5C on Sunday, February 6.
North Yorkshire could also see -2C next Tuesday. Cold temperatures could also hit Manchester with -3C on Saturday, February 6. Claire Kennedy-Edwards, senior meteorologist at The Weather Company, warned of a split in the polar vortex at the start of next month potentially bringing cold air to the UK.
|UK long-range forecast: Britain is bracing for cold air in February (Image: WXCHARTS)|
She told Express.co.uk: "Our latest forecast for February indicates it will be an increasingly cold month - colder than average across the UK. This is due to a weak stratospheric polar vortex (SPV) and related impacts of a recent sudden stratospheric warming event."
"The weak vortex and wind reversal high in the stratosphere forces the jet stream further south and this allows colder air from the Arctic to move south to mid-latitudes."
"Another disruption or split in the vortex is possible at the end of January and early February. These disruptions to the vortex usually lead to -North Atlantic Oscillation (-NAO) conditions which we are currently experiencing now."
"These -NAO conditions mean colder drier spells and more likely across parts of northern and northeastern Europe, wetter and milder over southern Europe."
She added colder conditions will develop as next month progresses, bringing a greater risk of snow.
Ms Kennedy-Edwards said: "We are expecting February to start mixed and relatively mild especially over southern regions of the UK but remaining colder than normal in the north. Our latest forecast signals colder conditions moving across the UK from the north and east of Europe as February progresses. With -NAO conditions expected to continue into February our forecast for the month 'as a whole' is colder and drier than normal."
|UK long-range forecast: Scotland could see 21 inches of snow (Image: WXCHARTS)|
"The greater risk of any snow events coming in mid to late February but confidence is low in this at present and much depends on events in the stratosphere at the end of January. A defined split in the SPV end of January could bring a much colder end to winter for the UK."
The Met Office's long-range forecast between Wednesday, January 27 and Friday, February 5, warned of wintry outbreaks at the start of February.
The forecast said: "Unsettled conditions look likely to dominate for this period, with low pressure across the UK. This should bring changeable weather to most of the country, with periods of rain, showers, and strong winds at times."
"While westerly and southwesterly winds are expected to be dominant for most of the period, occasional northerly winds are possible, bringing a chance of snowfall, likely confined to the far north."
"Milder conditions, in general, may start to spread across most of the UK at points during most of this period. Towards the end of the period, we may see high pressure bringing a higher than average chance of cold weather with wintry outbreaks."
The BBC Weather forecast added prolonged cold weather is likely during the middle of the month.
|UK long-range forecast: Polar Vortex is expected to push freezing air in February (Image: WXCHARTS)|
The forecast said: "The temperature is likely to still be very changeable, shifting from a few degrees above average in the mild spells to several degrees below average in the cold snaps with some sharp frosts likely."
"Again, as with late January, some wintry weather is possible as fronts move in over the top of the colder air. There are some signals that by mid-February it may tend to be milder most of the time."
"This will ease the risk for wintry weather (at least for everywhere but the Scottish Highlands!). However, there remains a significant risk that more prolonged cold could develop into mid-February, which would be caused by stronger high pressure to the north."
"Confidence is therefore very low at this range as computer model forecast skill has been very poor in recent days."
"There is a high risk for more prolonged cold to develop into mid-February, which would be caused by stronger high pressure to the north."
On January 24
According to Weather Online, low pressure pushes down the UK on Sunday and it will push rain, sleet and snow to lower levels across Ireland and Northern Ireland during the early hours and then into west Scotland, Wales and southwest England by dawn. The low pressure centre is then expected to track across Wales and down over southern central England pushing the snow risk further east across England. Far eastern areas of the country as well as northern Scotland, however, look to remain dry but will cloud over. Cold for all. Highs at 1 to 5C.
|Photo: Weather Online|
Sleet and snow moving northeastwards across parts of England, Wales and perhaps Northern Ireland, accumulations in places. Sunny spells in the north, though further wintry showers for the northwest, Met Weather reported.
Outlook for Monday to Wednesday
Fine and cold on Monday. A band of rain, sleet and snow then spreads erratically northeast through Tuesday and into Wednesday. Milder weather follows from the southwest; colder in Scotland.
Europe's weather forecast
Heavy rain across Portugal and northern parts of Spain through today. Dry with sunny spells to the south and east. It will be windy with periods of rain and showers across Italy and feeling cold here as well. Heavy rain in the west of Greece but eastern areas should be drier and brighter. Turkey will be dry with plenty of sunshine and only occasional showers in the west.
A band of rain, sleet and snow will push eastwards across France. Showers in the Low Countries and rain affecting southern and eastern Germany. Drier elsewhere here further north and west. Rain in the north and west of Poland but drier elsewhere. Hungary will have scattered showers whilst Austria and Switzerland will have rain or snow.
Denmark will be bright with sunny spells. Snow across northern Sweden but drier further south. Largely dry for Norway but snow showers affecting southwestern areas. Rain, sleet and snow clearing southern Finland first thing and pushing northwards. A dry morning through the Baltic States but rain, sleet and snow will push in from the south later.
On January 24
According to Weather Online, low pressure has pushed east away from Spain and Portugal so it will be a more settled day here on Sunday but still with showers affecting northern and western areas mainly. Drier elsewhere. Windy through the central Med; across Sardinia, Corsica, Siciliy and much of Italy where there will be heavy outbreaks of rain, turning to snow over higher ground here, particularly so earlier on in the day and easing through the afternoon. Rain becoming heavier and more widespread across western Greece. Largely dry bar some scattered showers for Turkey.
|Photo: Weather Online|
A largely dry morning for France but cloud will thicken in the west and rain, sleet and snow will push into western areas during the afternoon. Rain first thing across the Low Countries will soon clear to allow for a dry but cold day here. Cloudy with patchy outbreaks of rain across Germany and Poland. Rain, sleet and snow turning heavy as the day progresses down the Balkan States. Some snow showers for Switzerland and Austria.
Weak high pressure building across Scandinavia will bring mainly dry conditions to Norway and Sweden. Finland, however, will see cloudier skies and snow showers to the north and a mix of rain, sleet and snow to the south. Rain, sleet and snow expected through the Baltic States too. A cloudy but largely dry day for Denmark, just a few scattered wintry showers about.
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