Scotland, northern England, central England and Wales face a growing risk of seeing wintry downpours by Friday. Sub-zero Polar air will spill into northern Britain through the coming days before sweeping southwards to meet mild, most air leading to snowfall. With predictions Polar conditions could reach far south as the capital it will be the first time snow has fallen in London in October since 2008.
With predictions Polar conditions could reach as far south as the capital it will be the first time snow has fallen in London in October since 2008.
Unseasonably cold conditions come amid predictions Britain is facing what could be the most savage winter on record.
The imminent cold snap will follow a period of wet weather with government warnings for rain in place on Friday and Saturday.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “It is going to turn colder over the next few days although it will be settled.
“On Friday we will see a change in the weather develop to something more unsettled with the risk of heavy rain.
“There is some mention in the forecast of transient snowfall over high ground and for some people this might be the first snow that they will have seen so far this season although we are not expecting any impacts.
“With the colder feel to things, it’s likely that more people will encounter the first frosts of the season, and these could be more widespread from the weekend under the influence of Polar maritime air.”
UK weather charts predict a risk of widespread weekend snowfall with the Global Forecast System (GFS) showing Scotland, Wales, Manchester, Nottingham, York, Leeds, Derby and Blackpool all in the firing line.
There is a pretty credible risk that some areas may see their first snowfall of the 2019/2020 winter season as early as this coming Friday
Long-range experts have sounded alarm bells to wrap up for what could be the coldest and snowiest on record, or for at least the past 60 years.
Southern Britain is likely to escape the weekend winter blast thanks to a warmer air mass from the Continent over the region, according to forecasters.
Temperatures across Cornwall, the West Country, and along the south coast could lift into mid-double figures, they say.
Netweather’s Paul Michaelwaite said: “There will also be a real contrast in temperatures north to south by the end of the week.
“To the north, from Thursday onwards, it’s likely to be cold enough for higher ground to see some snow.
“But in contrast temperatures in the south will be rising into the mid maybe even high teens.
“It’ll be along the boundary between the colder and warmer air masses where the heaviest rain is likely, but at this stage, confidence in exactly where that will be is low.”
Irish forecasting network Midland Weather Channel has issued similar warnings for snow across the Emerald Isle this weekend.
Forecaster Cathal Nolan said: “This is not an April fools joke come early.
“There is a pretty credible risk that some areas may see their first snowfall of the 2019/2020 winter season as early as this coming Friday.
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“A bitterly cold airmass for the time of year is expected to push southeastwards from the northwest on Thursday.
“At the same time a very warm plume of air carried within a zonal jet stream will push northeastwards from the sub tropical Atlantic.
“As the very warm and moist air comes into contact with the bitterly cold Arctic air its expected to generate some intense precipitation leading to a flooding risk in the southeast of the country at present, whereas along the northern and northwestern edge of the rainfall its expected to turn increasingly to snow.
“Snowfall in October is an exceedingly rare event in Ireland, however the last time snow was recorded in Ireland during October was 2009.”
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Parts of the country are in the firing line for heavy rain this weekend amid predictions some of this may fall as snow.
Flooding will be a risk in regions which have already beared the brunt of persistent downpours so far this autumn.
A spokesman for The Weather Company said: “On Friday widespread rain will spread eastward through the day with more persistent rain and moderate falls over England and Wales where there will be a risk of temporary flooding.
“It will be cloudy on Saturday with scattered showers, moderate rain will be heavier at times and there will be a local flood risk over England and Wales which will clear to the east through the morning.”
The Met Office has issued warnings for torrential downpours across Wales and northwest England with up to four inches of rain expected across some areas.
Met Office chief meteorologist Andy Page said: “Rain is expected to arrive across parts of the UK during Friday and become heavy and persistent, this is especially true for high ground exposed to the strong southwesterly wind.
“There remains some uncertainty to the locations likely to see the highest rainfall totals. This rain is expected to continue falling in similar areas for around 24 hours.
“As such during this period 40 to 60 mm of rain is likely, with perhaps as much as 100 mm over higher ground.”
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