UK cold weather forecast: Big freeze to hit this week as temperatures plunge to -4C

BBC Weather: Showers set to hit the UK as temperatures drop

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The early spring sunshine and mild temperatures seen over the past few days are set to come to an abrupt end this week, as a cold trough of air moves in from the north, followed by a second bout of low pressure. The latest weather charts forecast the mercury is set to plunge to lows of -5C from late Thursday. The chilly conditions also brings an increased risk of snow, with parts of the UK forecast for some wintry showers.

Jim Dale, from the British Weather Services, told the cold spell is due to the loss of high pressure and a northerly breeze moving in.

He said: “The reason for it is we lose the high pressure. We start to pull in a northerly air stream.

“That has got potential for some sleety or snow showers, especially over the high ground in the north.”

The weather expert said he doesn’t expect a repeat of the conditions seen in early February but said there is “potential for ice and snow warnings as the week goes on, towards the weekend”.

Mr Dale said he expects the cold spell to last until the early part of next week.

Weather charts show the mercury will dip to lows of -5C in Scotland, with northern England and parts of Wales falling to lows of -2C at midnight on Friday.

Further south temperatures are not expected to rise about 4C.

By 6am on Saturday the chilly conditions have become more widespread, with a weather map showing the whole of the UK turn an icy blue.

Scotland will see the coldest temperatures with lows of -4C forecast, with -2C averaging across the rest of Britain.

The chart, by forecasters Netweather, show the mercury is not expected to rise above freezing, except for the capital.

The freezing conditions are expected to continue throughout much of the day and into Sunday, with a second chart valid for 12 noon on Sunday showing temperatures of between -4C and 1C.

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By Monday evening the colder temperatures become more confined to the south of England, with -1C forecast there and temperatures of up to 6C forecast across Scotland.

The cold temperatures are set to last for about a week, as the mercury is not expected to rise to double digits again until Sunday March 14.

The cold spell is set to coincide with snowfall in parts of the UK.

Snow risk charts by Netweather show the whole of Scotland, parts of northern England and Wales is set for some snow on Tuesday March 9 at 6pm.

The map shows northern parts turn white and red, indicating between an 80-100 percent snow risk.

Other parts are covered by green and yellow colourings, which shows a more moderate snow risk, of between is 30-70 percent, is forecast.

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The snow risk for the north of the UK continues until later in the week, as shown by a second weather map that shows patches of red in northern England and Scotland at 6am on Thursday March 11.

The Met Office has warned temperatures will start to plunge from Wednesday.

They state: “Much colder, clearer weather already across the north, then follows south late Thursday. Frosts becoming widespread.”

From the weekend, the forecasters add temperatures will remain “rather cold” for the bulk of the UK.

BBC forecasters credit the change in conditions to a trough of low pressure moving in.

They said: “Towards the weekend, high pressure is likely to begin to shift away to the west.

“This will allow for some colder air to flow in from the north for a few days, bringing temperatures below average.”

The forecasters added: “For the second week of March (and meteorological spring), high pressure is expected to become less and less influential as it slowly shifts westward into the Atlantic.

“As it moves further away, a large-scale trough of low pressure is expected to develop near Scandinavia and Western Russia.

“This means for the UK, winds will be generally westerly or north-westerly and bring Atlantic weather fronts in from the northwest.”

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