Brutal polar air has forced temperatures to subzero lows this week with wintry weather smashing into Britain. The Met Office issued a new updated alert as snow is forecast to spread and hit parts of western Scotland tonight. A yellow warning for snow was first issued after it started to fall in Scotland on Wednesday evening but it will now continue over more than a 36-hour period until 9am on Friday, also impacting northern England.
The Met Office warned: “Snow is likely to bring a brief period of travel disruption to parts of Scotland and Northern England early on Friday.”
The Met Office also claimed Thursday night would likely become the coldest night of 2020 so far with thermometers expected to plunge to -10C.
They wrote on Twitter: “Tonight is likely to be the coldest night of #2020 so far.
“As of 1700, temperatures are already minus 7°C across parts of Scotland and they are likely to fall a few more degrees in places before cloud arrives later in the night.”
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A chart, which was posted alongside the Met Office’s Tweet, showed parts of northern and western Scotland reaching lows of -10C, with freezing conditions right across the country.
While the Met Office warning for northern England, added as much of 20cm (7.8 inches) of snow could fall over higher ground.
It read: “Areas of snow are expected to develop during Thursday evening and the early hours of Friday.
“Snow may briefly settle across areas as low as 150m above sea level, although later in the night and on Friday morning the snow level will likely rise to 500m and above from the east as milder air arrives from the east.
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“Snow will then turn to persistent, and at times heavy, rain at lower levels.
“The bulk of snow accumulations will be over hills and mountains. 2-5cm of snow is possible above 150m, with transient sleet/snow at lower elevations.
“Steadily increasing amounts are likely at higher levels; perhaps as much as 10-20cm above 400m, significantly affecting higher transport routes for a time before it turns to rain.”
Terry Scholey at Netweather said low pressure will sweep a bitter chill towards the UK.
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He said: “It’s a messy, cold weather picture over the next few days and into the weekend as complex low pressure becomes established across the country.
“We have polar air that’s been modified by the ocean making it a little less cold than true Arctic air, but it’s nonetheless raw and above all moist.
“So it doesn’t take much when skies clear at night for surfaces left wet by showers to freeze leading to black ice. Yellow warnings of snow and ice have been issued to this effect, so please be extra careful when venturing out.
“Blustery showers, which are heavy in places have already brought hill snow to the North and West of Scotland, where there’s also been some snow at lower levels.
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“Further wintry showers are in the offering today, with the snow accumulating in the mountains. At lower levels after an icy start in places, the showers will fall mostly as sleet, hail or wet snow. Across the East and South of Scotland, any showers will be well scattered, where you’ll see the best of the sunshine today. The hills of Northern Ireland have also seen some snow, but here too wintry showers will largely fade leaving sunny spells.”
Jim Dale from British Weather Services warned the UK could see snow hitting northern regions over the next few weeks while the freezing lows could also linger until Christmas.
He told Express.co.uk: “It is quite magical to see snow is not off the agenda this year. Britain is a big place so widespread snow is unlikely.
“Northern cities like Glasgow or Edinburgh in Scotland have the most chance of snow until Christmas, but not southern areas like London.
UK snow warning: The cold front could linger until the weekend
“In order for widespread snow to hit, we will need to get northerly flows from the Arctic in our direction, but we usually get Atlantic and Siberian flows.
“However, I think it will be cold this Christmas, which will people keep on their toes. It could continue to stay cold until February.”
Betway has also slashed odds on a white Christmas.
Betway’s Chad Yeomans said: “We’ve all noticed a dramatic drop in temperatures across the UK, with snow predictions coming in thick and fast but, will it last till Christmas?”
“Ten years since the last widespread White Christmas in the UK, odds for snow on the 25th in Manchester and Birmingham are 5/1 and 11/2 respectively, while in London odds have been slashed from 8/1 to 11/2.”