Brits facing ’emergency energy blackouts’ as grim winter temperatures plummet

The temptation to stick on the heating at night has not been too strong yet but that is set to change as temperatures plummet in next month.

People have so far been aided in their efforts to avoid crippling energy bills by a mild October with thermometers still hitting double figures in most regions of England.

Unsettled winter conditions are around the corner, however, according to a new long-range forecast analysis issued by NetWeather.

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Nick Finnis, a senior forecaster for NetWeather, has explained the detail behind the cold snaps that are set to be on the horizon for the UK.

He said: "The signal is for periods of high pressure over northern Europe and/or higher latitudes and low pressure over southern Europe.

This would mean the jet stream and storm track diverted further south than average, leading to a greater chance than normal of colder spells for northern Europe, including the UK during November, December and January."

If everyone can survive those three months, then the outlook afterwards is a little better according to Finnis, who added: "For February the outlook is milder with higher pressure over mainland Europe and lower pressure over the far north Atlantic and Arctic, drawing a mild flow from the west or southwest.

"A look at the temperatures for the three months combined shows temperatures close to average (0C to +0.5C) over the UK, but this still means a greater chance of colder spells than if it were showing well above average.

"But with the signal for high latitude blocking there through late autumn and early to mid-winter, there is a possibility of colder weather than the temperature anomalies suggest."

While Mr Finnis openly admitted the "accuracy of any weather model at this range for the whole winter is open to error", many people will be looking for alternative and cost-effective ways to heat their homes.

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National Grid sparked alarm earlier this month when it warned the country to expect "three hour planned blackouts" if the UK was unable to import electricity supplies from Europe as a result of Russia's war with Ukraine.

The energy distributor was merely unveiling its emergency measures to ration electricity if it needed to, but many people have been left fearful of sitting in the dark, in a home they may be unable to heat.

The National Grid warned that in the "unlikely event" that the company fails to secure gas supplies, consumers could face a situation where they are left without power for "pre-defined periods" during the day.

The Met Office, meanwhile, has issued its long range forecast for the first half of November, stating: "Nights may be noticeably chillier with mist, fog and frost in places. Daytime temperatures are expected to be around average for the time of year."

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