UK Weather: Temperatures to ‘tumble below freezing’
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UK snow maps show a barrage smothering parts of the country in a matter of days as leading weather forecasters warn of freezing fog and a “stratospheric polar vortex”. Millions of Britons have again been hit by heavy snow this week, with the Met Office forced to issue a number of weather warnings – including a rare amber warning – as temperatures plunge below freezing. But the latest weather maps from WXCHARTS show Britain has not yet seen the last of the snow and bitterly cold Arctic conditions.
On the morning of February 2, most of Scotland turns icy white on the map with up to two inches of snow falling as far northern regions of England also at risk from a dusting.
The following 24 hours see Scotland, northern England and northern Wales remain under threat from snowfall as temperatures continue to remain at just above freezing.
But on February 4 – the first Saturday of next month – the snow map again turns icy white, with 4cm forecast to fall in large parts of Scotland.
The bitterly cold snap continues throughout that weekend with the snow intensifying and up to 7cm forecast to fall north of the border.
One leading meteorologist has warned a weather frontal system is on its way which could see the UK facing freezing temperatures within days.
Netweather Senior Forecaster wrote “high latitude blocking towards Greenland” (a ridge of high pressure blocking the typical circulation of wind) could bring a “NAO” our way.
This refers to North Atlantic Oscillation, a weather phenomenon that sends freezing air to Europe when in its negative phase.
Mr Finnis said if it does arrive, “wintry precipitation” will first hit up north, although he added: “Colder conditions may spread south with a wintry risk to all parts briefly on the back of low pressure systems moving east and high pressure building to the west.”
Jim Dale, from British Weather Services, said the outlook for February depends on how the specific systems play out.
He told Express.co.uk: “Only stratospheric warming over the North Pole will keep us and other northern hemisphere countries in the wintry frame through February. The ‘fat lady’ is not yet singing.”
When asked if this stratospheric warming will trigger further wintry showers, Mr Dale warned this could be the case, and that people should certainly expect more.
The meteorologist continued: “It’s begun but it needs to continue, for the Polar Vortex to split and then we see where it goes.”
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The BBC warned if the polar vortex were to split, then the chance of colder weather would increase.
BBC Weather wrote: “We continue to monitor the stratospheric polar vortex which is likely to be disturbed, distorted and displaced off the pole in late January and early February.
“This does not necessarily mean a that it will be colder for northern Europe but if the polar vortex were to split then the chances would increase, as long as impacts propagate down into the troposphere.
“There is a lag in any effects, so we would probably be looking at mid to late-February for any significantly colder conditions if they occur at all.”
This comes with the Met Office issuing several yellow weather warnings for fog covering large parts of the UK, which is likely to spark travel chaos for millions of people.
The warnings cover London and South East England, the Midlands, North West England, Yorkshire and Humber, South West England, and Wales, running from 2am until 11am tomorrow.
The Met Office warned: “Freezing fog is expected to lead to some travel delays on Friday night and Saturday morning,” adding there is also a chance of cancellations to some flights.
The forecaster said: “Freezing fog is expected to develop during Friday night and will be slow to clear in places through Saturday morning. Some fog could be quite dense with the visibility falling below 100 metres at times.
“Additionally, freezing fog may lead to some untreated surfaces becoming slippery. Western England is more likely to see freezing fog persist into late morning and in a few places into the afternoon.”
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