The week is set to get off to a much more milder feel this week, with temperatures in the low double figures.
There will be plenty of sunshine at times and the mild theme will continue until the middle of the week, when the weather will gradually change towards the cold side.
A change in wind direction will open the freezer door and winds from Russia will sweep in over the UK from the east.
We may be edging that bit closer to the official start of Spring this week, but unfortunately the weather has different ideas! Temperatures will gradually be on the slide pic.twitter.com/OFWzJQA2wY
— Met Office (@metoffice) February 18, 2018
This means quite a significant drop in temperatures as we head towards the weekend and next week, daytime temperatures will hover around 4C with night-times below freezing.
Forecasters think that as the Russian air takes hold during next week it could get even colder, resulting in the coldest weather over the last few years, with some weather forecasts providing some shocking predictions.
Forecaster MetDesk issued a weather model graphic showing that temperatures could dip to bitterly cold temperatures in some areas, which would make the UK one of the coldest places in Europe.
Some truly extraordinary cold heading into Europe next week as super frigid air pushes south-westwards out of NW Russia. This chart from the EC model shows how cold it is at roughly 5000 feet (850mb) – not a weather chart you see very often in our part of the world! pic.twitter.com/1GJtPmaQRw
— MetDesk (@metdesk) February 19, 2018
Although the colder temperatures, the snow risk is expected to remain small as the air that will arrive will be very dry, however, the Met Office say that this could change.
Chief Meteorologist Andy Page, said: “High pressure will become established across the UK by the middle of this week bringing settled weather for most, but also some frosty nights.
“However, as the high drifts east to be over Scandinavia by the weekend, it will allow colder air from Eastern Europe to be drawn towards us.
“The cold easterly wind will bring an element of wind chill which will make it feel colder in the south.”
A sudden Stratospheric Warming high up in the atmosphere is said to be the blame of the freezing weather that is on the way.
The recent Sudden Stratospheric Warming event above the North Pole could lead to prolonged cold conditions over the UK increasing the risk of easterly winds and snow https://t.co/AottfpTb2f pic.twitter.com/TYOy2SnNa5
— Met Office (@metoffice) February 16, 2018
Prof Adam Scaife, of the Met Office Hadley Centre, explained: “Signs of this event appeared in forecasts from late January and last week we saw a dramatic rise in air temperature of around 50°C, known as a Sudden Stratospheric Warming, at around 30km above the North Pole.
“This warming results from a breakdown of the usual high-altitude westerly winds and it often leads to a switch in our weather: with cold easterly conditions more likely to dominate subsequent UK weather.”
More than often a cold snap follows the warming and greatly increases the risk of wintry weather and snow.
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