Temperatures plummet below freezing as Met Office warns snow could hit Britain in March – as Northern Lights stun sky-gazers across the UK
- The Met Office issued a notice on a major Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW)
- Forecaster now warns of the possibility of snow and wind next month
Temperatures plunged below freezing overnight as the Met Office warned snow could hit Britain in March and the Northern Lights stunned sky-gazers across the UK.
The Met Office issued a notice on a major Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) earlier this month – a sharp increase in temperatures which causes a blocking of high pressure – for late February and early March.
And the forecaster has now warned of a possibility of snow and wind combining to cause disruption across the UK next month.
It came as the Northern Lights were spotted in the sky last night – and the Met said they are likely to be visible again tonight. Stunning images taken across the country showed a purple and pink sky around sunset.
‘The Aurora Borealis may be visible as far south as central England tonight where skies remain clear,’ the Met Office tweeted. ‘The Northern Lights are also likely to be seen again on Monday night.’
Pictured on Sunday evening is the northern lights at Crosby Beach on the Merseyside coastline, north of Liverpool
The Northern Lights (aurora borealis) seen from Sheerness in north Kent yesterday evening
The Met Office forecast today – cold and windy conditions spread across Britain
A coronal hole high speed stream arrived in Britain on Sunday night, combined with a rather fast coronal mass ejection, leading to the Aurora sightings across the UK.
The Met Office tweeted a series of pictures taken by members of the public which captured the light phenomenon in North Uist in Scotland, North Wales, Cambridgeshire and Shropshire.
It encouraged users to upload pictures of any other sightings using the hashtag LoveUKWeather.
The mercury was forecast to fall as low as -8C in Scotland overnight as temperatures drop to below average entering March.
Northern and eastern coasts are expected to see the bulk of wintry conditions at the end of this week, before snow and rain is expected to move to the west.
Today is starting off on a frosty note, especially across Scotland and parts of southern England, the Met Office said.
‘It will be dry for many but a few showers will move into eastern England, the Midlands and Wales at times,’ the forecaster added.
The Met Office forecast for today says it will be cloudy with scattered light showers and a few brighter breaks. Western, and especially northwestern, areas will be sunniest.
The cloudy conditions will stay tomorrow with scattered showers in eastern and central areas. Frost will hit north west Scotland.
Wednesday to Friday looks settled but still cloudy, the forecast says, and showers continue in the northern and eastern coastal areas. It will be cold with light winds.
It comes as bookies slashed the odds on March being the coldest on record.
Alex Apati from Ladbrokes told the Mirror: ‘The incoming Beast from the East has forced us to slash odds on next month playing host to the coldest March on record.’
Aurora sightings across the UK on Sunday evening following a coronal hole high speed stream combining with a fast coronal mass ejection
Read more: Now brace for a stark March
Looking ahead to March 3 to March 12, a Met Office spokesperson said Britons face the possibility of snow.
‘Friday is likely to be mostly cloudy with some light rain in places, although some clear or sunny intervals remain possible.
‘Into the weekend, settled conditions are expected to continue, bringing variable cloud with some clear, sunny spells’, the outlook says.
‘Showers mainly along northern and eastern coasts could be wintry across hills. Later in the period, high pressure is expected to migrate northwestwards, increasing the likelihood of any wintry showers in the north and east.
‘There is a small possibility of more organised rain or snow spreading southwards, with the west and northwest most likely to remain under a settled regime.
‘Winds generally light to moderate, possibly becoming stronger in the north. Temperatures generally colder than average, with some overnight frost likely.’
Forecasters earlier warned of a weather event that could spark harsh wintry weather similar to the ‘Beast from the East’ storm that hit the UK with 22 inches of snow in 2018.
The Met Office said there was an 80 per cent chance a sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event takes place at the end of February.
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