Met Office verdict as Arctic blast set to bring snow chaos to UK

Weather: Met office forecasts colder air for the week ahead

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Chances of an Arctic blast hitting Britain are growing, weather models show. March is pinpointed as the month where the UK may be subjected to strong snowstorms, icy conditions and sub-zero temperatures. This, forecasters say, would be a result of sudden stratospheric warming which began last week and sees a knock-on, delayed effect on this country’s weather system.

While sudden stratospheric warming was blamed for the Beast from the East in 2018, it had absolutely no effect on the mercury the following winter.

Its unpredictability has had forecasters poised for more indications of how March will look – with charts now starting to show how it will unfold.

And now the Met Office’s long-range forecast has given some direction over how next month will start – and how long, if any, snow will last. 

From Monday, February 27 to March 6 – the day the first lot of snow is due to fall across northern England and Scotland – it says: “Monday is a mostly dry day although northern and eastern areas may see the occasional light rain. 

“Breezy conditions likely across the south. Continuing through the week, high pressure is expected to dominate creating rather cloudy but dry conditions for most. For the rest of the period, a continuation of similar settled conditions is likely.

“Light winds in the north, increasing towards the south, with a risk of gales at exposed coasts.”  But the Met Office says it is the end of the first week of March when conditions are set to change.

“Towards the end of the period, there is an increasing likelihood of colder conditions,” it continues, “with a chance of snow showers in many eastern and northern areas.

“Temperatures to start likely around average, most likely becoming below average towards the end of the period.”

Much of Britain throughout February has been treated to spring-like conditions. Meterological spring is next month, which has led people to believe the start of warmer weather is on its way.

With gas and electricity prices sky-high, many will be looking for an excuse not to use the central heating.But the Met Office’s longer range forecast, looking further across next month, shows this will not be the case.

From March 9 to 23 it adds: “In this period, spells of rain or snow, are more likely than earlier in the month, with a low chance that some wintry episodes could be disruptive, though northwestern areas most likely to see the driest conditions.”

The only saving grace of snow falling in mid to late March is that warmer air can diminish the length of time any snow hangs around.

It continues: “Winds could often be from a northerly or easterly direction, and temperatures are more likely to be below-average than above-average overall, but later in the month, colder air will be fighting against a strengthening sun.”

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