Snowstorms could hit the UK next week as forecasters warn of a weather event in the coming days that has fueled fears of an Arctic blast.
There will be a Sudden Stratospheric Warning (SSW) event, with the first signs becoming apparent this week, the Met Office said.
The climate could drop to -8.5°C on Sunday night in Tulloch Bridge, Scotland, while in England, temperatures could reach their lowest point in Benson, Oxfordshire, at -6°C. The Mirror reports.
Meteorologist Alex Deakin said: ‘This cold air coming in over the weekend is likely to continue for most of next week. By the time we get to the next weekend, things mellowed out a bit.
“But as you can imagine, at this stage there is a lot of what we call spreading. There is still a lot of variation. but that’s a pretty strong signal that it’s likely to stay cold for much of the week next week.
A map showing the chance of snowfall (in purple) in the UK on Thursday 9 March
This is teetering towards next Friday, with the highest chance of snowfall in the Highlands
“The big question mark, as I said, is whether we see significant snowfall, whether we get an injection of moisture to combine that snowfall. So this is what we know about next week.’
The Met Office has warned that snow could arrive in Britain in the coming weeks after temperatures dip below freezing overnight.
Forecasters have issued a notice of a large Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) – a sharp increase in temperature causing a high-pressure lockout – for late February and early March.
And the weather forecaster has now warned of a possibility of snow and wind combining to cause disruptions in the UK next month.
It came as the Northern Lights were spotted in the sky last night — and the Met said they’ll probably be visible again tonight.
Stunning photos taken around the country showed a purple and pink sky around sunset.
And bookmakers downplayed the odds of March being the coldest on record.
On Sunday evening, the Northern Lights were pictured on Crosby Beach on the Merseyside coast, north of Liverpool
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes told the Mirror: “The incoming Beast from the East has forced us to downplay our chances of hosting the coldest march on record next month.”
The mercury in Scotland was predicted to drop to -8°C overnight as temperatures in March would drop below average.
The northern and eastern coasts are expected to see the bulk of winter conditions late this week before snow and rain are expected to move west.
Today starts on an icy note, especially in Scotland and parts of southern England, the Met Office said.
“It will be dry for many, but occasionally a few showers will move into the East of England, the Midlands and Wales,” the forecaster added.
The Met Office forecast for today says it will be cloudy with scattered light showers and a few clear breaks. Western and especially northwestern areas will be the sunniest.
The clouds will continue tomorrow scattered showers in eastern and central areas. Frost will hit north west Scotland.
Wednesday through Friday will look calm but still cloudy, the forecast says, and showers will continue in northern and eastern coastal areas. It will be cold with little wind.
The Met Office is forecasting today – cold and windy conditions across Britain
On Sunday night, a high-velocity stream arrived in a coronal hole in Britain, combined with a fairly rapid coronal mass ejection, leading to sightings of the aurora across the UK.
“The Aurora Borealis may be visible as far south as south central England tonight, where skies remain clear,” the Met Office tweeted. “Monday night will probably also see the northern lights again.”
The Met Office tweeted a series of photos taken by members of the public capturing the light phenomenon in Scotland’s North Uist, North Wales, Cambridgeshire and Shropshire.
It encouraged users to upload photos of other sightings using the hashtag #LoveUKWeather.
Royal Museums Greenwich explains on its website that the lights are caused by solar storms on the sun’s surface that eject clouds of electrically charged particles that can travel millions of miles and collide with Earth.
Most of the particles are deflected away, but some are caught in Earth’s magnetic field and accelerate toward the north and south poles, where they collide with atoms and molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, the observatory said.
The lights are the product of this collision between atoms and molecules from the Earth’s atmosphere and particles from the sun.
In November last year, strong light shows were seen all over Scotland.
A Met Office spokesman said the rare sightings of the aurora borealis further south in the UK on Sunday evening were due to the ‘strength’ of a geomagnetic storm and the ‘stretch of cloudless skies’ in southern regions.