UK snow forecast: -12C ‘nasty’ Arctic freeze strikes Britain as snow to fall in 24 hours

BBC Weather: UK set for cold and wintry showers

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Britain will see the weather take a dramatic turn for the worse within hours as freezing temperatures, snow and gale-force winds take a firm grip on the nation. The latest charts from Netweather show maps already turning icy blue by 9pm on Wednesday, with lows of -1C throughout large parts of Scotland. This freezing weather really begins to bite at 9am on Thursday with lows of -3C north of the border, while the mercury falls below freezing in North West England.

Snow will also begin to fall in Northern Scotland during the early hours of Thursday morning, with up to 5cm falling heading into the evening.

Minimum temperatures will struggle for the rest of the day although the freezing weather front that will grip much of the UK is forecast to ease slightly heading into Friday morning.

But this is short-lived, with the UK weather map from WXCHARTS again quickly beginning to turn icy blue on Friday evening, setting Britain up for a bitterly cold weekend.

Up to 9cm of snow is set to fall in an aera of Scotland, while parts of Northern England could see up to 4cm.

Temperatures will dip to as low as -7C in the early hours of Saturday, with large parts of Northern England plunging below freezing and southern areas struggling to keep above 0C.

This bitterly cold snap expands at pace through Saturday morning, with minimum temperatures plunging to -5C across most of Scotland and -3C throughout large areas of northern England.

But this Arctic blast will really be felt on Saturday evening, as the mercury could plunge to as low as -10C in Scotland at 6pm on Saturday while also falling below freezing throughout most of England and Wales.

Minimum temperatures are set to plummet further, with the charts showing -12C in an area of Scotland at midnight on Sunday as the rest of Britain continues to freeze.

Snow will also become more widespread throughout Saturday, with 9cm falling in an artea of Scotland and up to 8cm falling in a large part of Northern England. 

Lows of -11C are forecast in an area of Scotland heading into Sunday morning, with parts of Northern England being blasted by lows of -4C.

The Weather Outlook’s Brian Gaze warned: “There is a distinctly wintry flavour to the weather which is heading in our direction. Strong winds and even snow are likely in parts of the UK.

“As we go through Friday and into the weekend, things become very interesting and potentially quite nasty because another area of pressure moves down from the North West and it looks like this one is going to be heading southwards over the North Sea.

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“We have very cold air moving down from the Arctic as that area of low pressure pulls away, but also the isobars there are packed tightly together, which is indicating the probability of very strong winds affecting much of the UK.

“Looking at the 2m max temperatures for Wednesday, single figures throughout the UK – 7s, 8s and 9s – colder in Scotland.

“Moving forward to Saturday, it will be much colder, with maximum temperatures of 4C in the south and colder as you move northwards.

“In parts of Scotland, temperatures will potentially remain below freezing.

“Looking at the map for 9am on Sunday, widely below 0C with -7C in Scotland and even in the south, dipping to 0C or just below.

“At 3am on Saturday, 60-70mph gusts affecting North East England and then moving forwards three hours, over 60mph gusts still over much of Central and Eastern England, even towards the London area.”

Netweather senior meteorologist Nick Finnis also warned: “Friday sees a deepening area of low pressure drop southeast from Iceland towards the North Sea.

“This will bring strong to gale-force north to northwesterly wind behind a cold front moving south bringing a squally band of rain which clear the south coast by early afternoon.

“Blustery showers following across northern and western Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and South West England.

“Showers wintry in the north, falling as snow to low levels across northern Scotland and later Northern Ireland. Temperatures reaching 6-9C.”

Mr Finnis added: “Staying unsettled, windy and cold through the weekend.

“A deep area of low pressure could drop south down the North Sea, close to eastern England on Saturday, bringing northerly gales here and a spell of rain, sleet and snow.

“Wintry showers following across northern Scotland, western and eastern coasts further south, mostly dry and sunny but windy away from these coasts.

“Sunday still with a strong northerly wind but showers, wintry at first, confined to eastern coastal areas and the far southwest. Dry and sunny for most.”

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