A TRIO of storms laden with freezing Polar air will plough through Britain this weekend unleashing a -13C (8.6F) Arctic snow blast.
Three low-pressure cyclone systems straddling the nation are about to give the weather a major shake-up amid warnings to brace for gales, torrential rain and snow. This weekend could bring the most ‘potent and notable’ winter spell of the year so far with volatile conditions threatening to hold out into next week. Overnight temperatures will plummet to -7C (19.4F) in Scotland and northern England by Monday with lows pushing freezing elsewhere.
Bitter Arctic winds dragged in by the cyclonic systems will make it feel close to -13C (8.6F), according to some weather models.
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said: “A more potent and notable spell of winter weather is set to strike this weekend bringing a widespread risk of wintry showers which may fall as sleet or snow.
“This is more likely from Saturday onwards as low pressure dominates the weather, significant snowfall is possible across northern and western parts of the country and there may be snowfall to lower levels.
“This is one to watch out for, and as bad weather clashes with colder conditions coming in from the north there will be a risk of wintery showers even across parts of southern Britain.
“Going forward, and there are early signals for all the right ingredients to be present for a troublesome cold spell in the run up to Christmas.”
Bitter forecasts have prompted bookies to take the axe to winter weather odds as a White Christmas grows ever more likely.
Ladbrokes is offering 1-3 on snow by the end of this week with 4-9 on a festive flurry and 7-4 on the coldest December on record.
Spokesman Alex Apati said: “The latest odds suggest we could be in for a record-breaking December.”
Coral is offering 1-2 for December to break monthly temperatures records with 4-5 on snow this week and 10-11 on a White Christmas.
Spokesman John Hill said: “With temperatures plummeting fast, the odds have been cut on this month ending as a record cold December.
“The betting suggests we could even see snow before the end of this week, while the odds on a White Christmas continue to fall as we edge towards the big day.”
Britain’s turbulent weather outlook has in part been blamed on an unusually powerful jet stream travelling directly over the UK.
The jet is being boosted by a temperature gradient driven by cold air to the north side clashing with milder air to the south.
It will help steer low pressure from the Atlantic towards the UK through the coming days bringing an unsettled weather picture for many.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “Conditions are going to remain very unsettled over the weekend and into early next week.
“There is a risk of strong winds and hill snow in northern parts of the country and there could be a few centimetres of snow accumulating in parts.
“It is going to remain cold, although there is a hint of things becoming more settled later next week.
“The jet stream is quite active at the moment and it has quite a narrow temperature gradient, this is going to invigorate it.
“There are several low-pressure systems that will pass over the northern part of Scotland at the weekend, one of which will be quite deep and this will draw colder air in from the north”
Weather models reveal three lows affecting Britain’s weather this weekend – one to the north of Scotland, a second off the west coast of Ireland and a third to the south of Scandinavia.
They will form a channel of cold air which will sweep southwards from the Arctic through the weekend and into next week.
The three systems will also be responsible for wind and rain which threatens to hammer the nation into the start of next week.
Cold weather will largely hold through the final run up to Christmas with some forecasters warning of a ‘wild time’ ahead.
Weathertrending.com meteorologist John Hammond said: “Weighing up all the evidence, it does now look as though a strong jet stream will bring a series of potent weather systems across the country.
“But the potential is there for some disruptive wind and rain, which could prompt the ‘naming’ of storms.
“Brief snowfall is also a possibility in the mix, especially across the north – especially if any such low-pressure systems follow a more southerly track.
“The mid-month period could become quite wild for a time.”