– Britain Shivers In Blast Of Cold Weather (Sky News, Jan. 28, 2012):
Bitterly cold Arctic air sweeping across Britain is expected to force temperatures down to lows of -5C this weekend, as forecasters warn the chill is set to last until next week.
The warnings of freezing conditions come after weeks of unseasonably mild weather.
Sky News weather presenter Jo Wheeler said: “After a winter that has yo-yoed between mild conditions and the occasional cold spell, it looks as though a high pressure system over northeastern Europe is going to feed Arctic air into Britain over the next few days.
“How long this cold snap will last is largely dependent on the drift of that high pressure system.
“If it edges north, then it could bring some sustained wintry weather to central and eastern parts of the country.
“A slide southwards however, would give some cold conditions for a few days, but little in the way of snow.
“Over the coming weekend, milder conditions from the Atlantic will try to spread in across Scotland and Northern Ireland. This rain, meeting up with the cold air in residence, could give some snowfall on Monday.”
Sky News meteorologist Christopher England predicted a dry night for the UK on Saturday, with clear spells allowing for widespread frost and some patches of freezing fog.
He added: “Sunday will see the fog lifting to give most places a fine day, but rain will spread across Wales and the West Country, bringing sleet and snow to the hills.
“Eastern Britain will see a few wintry showers too, while Ireland will remain overcast with rain for many.”
The Met Office said there is a 70% chance of “severe cold weather” to carry on until Wednesday.
It has predicted temperatures in Scotland to drop to as low as -5C and in England and Wales they could fall to -1C.
Next week, temperatures in London are expected to peak at between 3C and 5C – two or three degrees colder than the average for this time of year.
Chris Burton, forecaster with Meteogroup, said: “It is cold enough for sleet and snow in the higher ground such as the Pennines and the Lake District.
“It’s looking like it will get increasingly cold through the weekend and into next week.”