Met Office confirms chances of snow chaos hitting UK in matter of days

UK weather: Met Office forecasts further blustery conditions

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A risk of snow is looming over the UK, with the Met Office refusing to rule out “wintry showers” in the coming days. Forecasters are aware of a colder spell potentially hitting parts of Britain in just under a fortnight’s time, but exactly what it will bring is yet to be determined. Experts are less likely to confirm snow chaos weeks before an actual weather event, but a spokesman for the Met Office has delivered a verdict on what current radars are showing. 

WXCHARTS interactive maps show a colder surge of air coming from the east on Saturday, January 21, with a drop in temperatures dropping and a flurry of snow over some high ground. 

At the moment, there is no certainty over how much snow the country could get, but it shows Scotland, Wales, and the north western coast of England could potentially get a dusting by midday on January 22.

Met Office spokesman Nicola Maxey told “The temperatures are staying mild for much of the country this week, they do trend downwards as we head into next week.

“However, although temperatures will perhaps be colder than of late we are not expecting anything unusual, perhaps nearer average for the time of year, although some colder interludes are likely, bringing wintry conditions at times.”

Ian Simpson, a meteorologist from Netweather, spoke about the weather models and what they are showing at this early stage. In his blog, he said: “The current outlook is for more of the same as what we’ve been having during the past fortnight, with generally mild and wet weather and low pressure systems regularly moving in from the North Atlantic.

“It will often be milder than of late in Scotland, with some warmer tropical maritime air masses often pushing well into northern parts of Britain.

“The longer-range model outputs from the ECMWF and GFS are hinting that we could move into a colder west to north-westerly type towards mid-January which could bring some snowfall to lower levels, particularly in the north and west of the UK, but this is a long way off and subject to change.”

And this outlook is something the Met Office has echoed in its long range forecast for the rest of this month and into next.

The forecast from January 14 to January 23 says the country will be battered by heavy rain at first this week, especially in the west and the south west. But it does confirm a colder northerly flow. 

It says in full: “On Saturday, showers or rain, locally heavy, with some bright or sunny spells at times. Drier conditions more likely in the north, whereas southern areas will perhaps see some persistent, heavy rain.

“Windy, especially across parts of the west/southwest. On Sunday, low pressure will probably be replaced by a ridge from the west, introducing a colder northerly flow. Conditions will be a mix of sunny spells with the occasional shower, wintry in the north.

“Rain, likely on Monday from the west/northwest. Later in the period unsettled conditions are expected to persist with showers or longer spells of rain for all areas at times. Any drier or more settled interludes will likely be brief. Wettest conditions will be in the west. Windy conditions are often likely. Temperatures around average, occasionally mild.”

Looking further ahead into the end of January and the start of February, the forecaster says there is a chance of more settled conditions, which, with a colder airflow could create perfect snow conditions.

It adds: “The end of January may see more settled conditions, particularly across the south, with spells of strong winds and rain confined to northern areas for a time. Into the start of February, confidence is markedly low.

“A return to unsettled conditions is most likely, with further spells of strong winds and rain for all areas. Temperatures generally mild, although some colder interludes likely, bringing wintry conditions at times.”

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