Met Office says snow is coming as new maps show extent of chaos

Weather: More rain on the way for the UK

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A wet and windy weather pattern which has battered Britain is set for change in the next few days, with snow now on the horizon. That’s according to the Met Office who has laid bare the risks of wintry showers hitting parts of the country by the middle of next week. Colder air from Scandinavia is set to come in from the east this weekend, replacing a somewhat mild January so far for more typical winter conditions.

Explaining how this change in frontal systems will happen, the Met Office said in its long-range forecast for next week: “Much of this period is likely to be rather unsettled. On Monday, with cold air in place, showers are likely to be wintry across the north, even to low levels, with some wintriness in showers further south too, but equally there will be some sunny spells.”

Interactive weather maps show temperatures dropping to below freezing in Scotland and the north of England on Sunday morning, with central parts straddling 0C. By 6pm that night, the mercury will drop another 2C.

By 3am on Monday, most of the country will be blanketed under frost, as -2C appears to be the top temperature for many, apart from the south east where highs of 3C are expected. During this time, the first widespread snow is due to fall, reaching as far as Manchester.

Overnight on Tuesday is when the most severe snowfall will come, with it blanketing parts of Wales and central England. This time, it looks set to reach the Midlands – with up to 5cm expected in northern areas.

The Met Office’s long range forecast continues: “For the following few days, the most likely scenario is one of generally colder conditions, compared to recently, to dominate, with potential for brief incursions of milder air tied with Atlantic frontal systems.

“This means further wet weather is likely, especially in the west, with perhaps a greater incidence of snow compared to what we’ve seen so far in January. Strong winds or gales are also possible at times.”

While the forecaster has not shared specifics of when and where the snow is likely to fall, its outlook for the rest of January and into the start of February shows the risk of snow does not leave for a matter of weeks.

Looking up until February 9, it continues: “The end of January may see more settled conditions, particularly across the south, with spells of strong winds and rain confined to northern areas for a time. 

“Into the start of February, confidence is markedly low. A return to unsettled conditions is most likely, with further spells of strong winds and rain for all areas. Temperatures generally mild, although some colder interludes likely, bringing wintry conditions at times.”

Speaking in the Met Office 10-Day Trend, meteorologist and presenter Aidan McGivern said the UK would still have to tolerate blustery conditions until at least this weekend. He said:  “The jet stream is approaching the UK from the west and sending us further areas of low pressure, with tightly packed isobars across the UK.

“That continues to be the case as further low-pressure systems deepen and get sent in from the west.It’s going to stay blustery, with some strong gusts in the west in particular and these lows will continue to send us outbreaks of rain and showers heading into the weekend.”

Today, weather warnings are in place for rain, with concerns over flooding over already saturated ground. Mr McGivern added: “With all that wet weather coming in, there are concerns, particularly for those areas that have already seen so much rain across western England and Wales.The wettest weather is likely to see 60-80mm falling across the Brecon Beacons and Exmoor.”

He continued: “Next week, the jet stream is a bit more amplified and it’s coming at the UK from the northwest rather than from the west like recent days. This subtle change into the start of next week will see colder weather coming in and rather than prolonged bouts of rain from the west, we’re likely to see rain and showers coming from the northwest.

“These showers from the north could fall as snow over the high parts of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland later in the weekend, and as we move through next week often below average temperatures could support a mixture of rain, hail sleet and snow. Most of any snow accumulation is likely over higher parts of the northern UK. 

“However, at this point significant differences in the computer models emerge. Most solutions lead to some unsettled weather, but the distribution of the rainfall and where we’re likely to see any snow varies as well. On Tuesday next week, the greatest risk of snow will be across northern parts of the UK, perhaps central areas and mostly over the hills.” 

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