BBC Breakfast: Jon asks Carol about Christmas Day's weather
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Temperatures are poised to plummet below freezing for the whole country over the Christmas period. The cold-blast is set to begin from December 20 as an area of low-pressure builds over Scandinavia, BBC long-range forecasters predict.
Britons can expect the unsettled conditions to continue into the New Year, with a “greater chance of colder weather heading in from the east” from December 27, Netweather.TV forecasters say.
The latest temperature maps produced by WXcharts show a band of freezing-air heading in a westerly direction from the continent on Tuesday, December 21.
The entire UK becomes gripped by the bone-chilling conditions over the following 24 hours as the whole of the country turns blue on the maps.
Eastern areas of the UK are set to be worst affected as the charts turn a shade of purple in those areas.
According to the 850hPa air mass charts, those colours suggest temperatures 1,500m above sea level could reach -10C.
Most weather patterns suggest if the mercury reaches -5C or below then it is cold enough for snow showers.
The Netweather.TV forecast from December 27 to January 2 notes there is “potential for some snowfall” during this period.
As the Nordic weather system sweeps in from December 21, inland temperatures are poised to plummet to freezing.
Minimum temperature maps produced by WXcharts show a large area of the UK turning a pale shade of blue on December 22 as temperatures dive to lows of 0C in England and Wales, and -1C in Scotland.
Thermometers are then forecast to dial down further over the following 24 hours period, with lows of -5C in Scotland -4C in the North, -2C in Wales and -1C in the South.
The BBC’s long-range forecast from December 20 to January 2 says: “For the later week of this period and into the new year the high is favoured over Western Europe and into the eastern Atlantic with low pressure over Scandinavia.
“This would give a trend for the dry pattern to continue, especially across England. Most areas should remain more seasonal in temperature or slightly cooler. Scotland could see the only chance of any rain.
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“Fog in England and Wales would be a possibility under the high pressure. There is a chance that the high is located further south to the west of Iberia late in this period, with increased troughing over northeast Europe.
“This would bring more unsettled conditions with some lower temperatures over the country.”
The Netweather forecast from December 27 adds: “Confidence is lower for this period but there is a greater chance of colder weather heading in from the east at some point during this period as highest pressure transfers further north, most likely towards Scandinavia, so there is potential for some snowfalls, but not a certainty, as much depends on the specifics of the wind direction and the extent of cold air masses over the near Continent.
“It looks set to remain generally drier than average, but possibly less so than during Week 3, especially for eastern parts of the country.
“Sunshine totals are most likely to be below normal in the east, but above normal in the west.
“Overall, temperatures are most likely to be a little below normal for most of the country, with negative anomalies of around 1C, but near average temperatures are more likely in northern Scotland.”
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