BRITAIN is set to freeze today as icy Arctic air brings the recent unseasonable warm spell to a bitter end – and points to the imminent return of the dreaded Beast from the East.
Cloud and rain will push southwards throughout today as the weather front drags freezing air from the north – creating a New Year’s Day chill for many of us.
Cold northerly winds will blast Britain today – sending temperatures tumbling[/caption]
And forecasters warn a Big Freeze from Russia will cause temperatures to plunge even further for the next three months – with the UK on track for the coldest winter on record.
Temperatures will hover close to freezing in some northern parts today – and they are only set to colder throughout the week.
A chart by MetDesk predicts that by mid-January just about everywhere will be blasted by snow.
Experts also said the deep freeze could continue for months – with below average temperatures all the way to spring.
The cloudy weather will push southwards – leaving sunshine but bitter cold in its wake[/caption]
Met Office spokesman Simon Partridge said when a similar three-month forecast was issued at the start of last year – those predictions came starkly true.
He said: “Last year there was widespread snow across many parts of the UK and temperatures were well below
“There’s a higher chance of seeing colder spells, and given that, as a result, there’s a slightly higher chance of snow across the UK.
“It’s far too early to say in any detail, it might be that parts of Scotland which usually get snow will get more, or you might see snow spread more widely.”
Mr Deakin said New Year’s Day will be pretty sunny but commuters will need to have their ice scrapers ready for Wednesday morning.
He added that Tuesday will “start pretty glum through Northern Ireland, north west England and we’ll see cloud increasing across parts of South Wales.
“But for many we’ll see sunny spells throughout New Year’s Day. There will be a few showers in the far north east and it’ll still be pretty windy on the east coast.
“It’ll feel pretty cold here as well. In fact generally, temperatures will be dropping through the day, so a fresh feel to start the New Year.
“And especially as we go through the night of New Year’s Day – if you’re back to work on Wednesday morning, every chance you may have to scrape your car. It will be a cold start.
An update on forecasters at Meteogroup said: “A band of thick cloud and patchy light rain or drizzle will move south across England and Wales during today, with brighter skies following in the north.
“Scotland and Northern Ireland will be dry with some spells of sunshine, but cooler.
“Southern parts of England may also remain dry and bright.”
It added that tonight will be “dry with plenty of clear skies for many regions across the UK tonight.
“However, North Sea coasts will often be cloudy with little chance of any clear spells.
“Rather breezy here too, but it will stay dry. It will be quite cold under the clear skies with a widespread frost, especially in northern England and Scotland.”
The Met Office’s forecast for the middle to the end of January paints a much colder picture, with forecasters warning of a “higher than usual” chance of ice in January.
A spokesperson said: “It is likely start unsettled across most areas at first, with heavy rain and gales at times, especially in the north, where severe gales are possible.
ODDS-ON FOR SNOW TO FALL ON NEW YEAR'S DAY
- Edingburgh: 6-4
- Glasgow: 6-4
- Birmingham: 2-1
- Nottingham: 2-1
- Liverpool: 2-1
- Manchester: 2-1
- Leeds: 2-1
- London: 3-1
- Belfast: 3-1
- Bristol: 4-1
- Plymouth: 4-1
“Hill snow is also possible, as well as snow to lower levels at times in the north.
“By the third week of January there is then an increased likelihood of a change to much colder weather generally, bringing an enhanced risk of frost, fog and snow.
“These conditions may then continue to the end of the month, but some milder, wet and windy interludes also remain possible throughout this period.”
Meanwhile, with fears another “Beast from the East” is on its way, Coral make it odds on at 4-5 that this winter goes on to be the coldest on record.
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Coral spokesman Harry Aitkenhead said: “We didn’t get the White Christmas that many people were dreaming off but snow is on its way and we’ve slashed the odds on a White New Year.
“Edinburgh and Glasgow look the most likely to be bringing in the New Year with the white stuff but it’s a distinct possibility across England too.
“The UK has been spoilt by some very pleasant temperatures over the festive period but once 2019 comes around we are expecting the real winter to begin.
“It’s odds on that this winter will enter the record books as the coldest we’ve ever seen.”