UK weather: Snow and 'wintry conditions' set to strike
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Bitter gusts will scour the nation through the rest of this week thrusting temperatures back below freezing. Torrents of snow in the run up to the weekend could leave parts of Scotland under a winter blanket. Britons are warned to keep plans later this week in check with severe and disruptive winter weather possible.
Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin said: “Low pressure is heading off towards Scandinavia, and cold air is going to return.
“The wind will continue to be a feature on Thursday by which time the cold northerly winds drive right across the UK bringing a chillier feel everywhere, and that wind in the east will exacerbate the feel of the cold.
“The showers will have a wintry flavour, there will be hail, sleet and some snow to lower levels in Scotland as the cold air persists.
“By the end of Thursday, we are all in the colder air, with rain, sleet and hail showers.
“If you have plans on Thursday, keep up to date with the forecasts.”
A separate low-pressure system from the west on Friday will crash into cold air over Britain unleashing another torrent of snow.
While the weekend is expected to be drier, temperatures will drop well below average for the time of year.
Mr Deakin added: “During Friday another feature will bring some moisture from the Atlantic hitting that colder air bringing some snow in the south.
“It will be a little bit drier at the weekend with some sunshine, but still chilly.”
Weekend temperatures could plunge to -8C in Scotland on Saturday with lows of -10C possible on Sunday.
Elsewhere, the mercury will hover around freezing although bitter winds will make it feel much colder.
Wind-chill charts show feel-like temperatures hitting -14C in Scotland on Thursday with much of the country shivering of lows between freezing and -6C.
Spring weather records are once again under threat, although unlike the unseasonable March warmth, it is Arctic cold which will threatens the books.
Daily records for April are likely to tumble over the weekend as temperatures dive into minus double figures.
The record minimum for April 9 is -8.3 (17F) recorded at Alwen, Conwy, Wales, in 1968, while for April 10, which this year could hit -10C, is -10.1C (13.8F), set at Grantown-on-Spey, in the Scottish Highlands, in 1978.
The cold will be driven by low pressure churning across Scandinavia pulling cold air in from the north.
The jet stream, which has plummeted southwards over the UK, will drive the chilly blast by opening the gates to numbing air from the Arctic.
Further snow is forecast through Wednesday in parts of Scotland before dry, bitter air sweeps the UK.
Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: “There will be another dump of snow on Wednesday and then on Thursday cold air will be across the country.
“The main theme for the end of the week and the start of the weekend will be frosts, and these will be widespread as the cold moves southwards on a Polar front.
“The jet stream is further south than usual for the time of year, and that is controlling this weather pattern.”
Britain can expect further blasts of cold, wet and miserable weather through the start of April, he warned.
“We will be looking over our shoulders until Easter weekend,” he said.
“This is likely to be the patter, with most of the rain in the north and the west.
“Otherwise, we can expect more showery, and at times cold weather through the first half of April.”
The weather will take a nationwide turn for the worst tonight as northerly winds pour into Britain.
Netweather’s Jo Farrow said: “There will be a change for everyone after midweek.
“The overnight low into Thursday will also bring strong winds.
“It is turning colder for all of the UK but very windy around the low for north-west Scotland and Northern Ireland into the North Sea early Thursday.
“Then we are back to real cold by Thursday afternoon in a brisk north to north-westerly wind.”
Bookies are slashing the odds on this month tearing up the record books as the coldest April ever.
Ladbrokes is offering 1-2 from 10-11 on the coldest April on record as temperatures nationwide prepare to dive.
Spokesman Alex Apati said: “We’ve already seen snow and heavy rainfall this month, and the latest odds suggest a record-breaking cold April could well be on the cards.”
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