Potentially impactful snow is possible for some next week, as an arctic airmass exerts its influence on the UK’s weather.
A northerly airflow will bring cold arctic air to the UK from Sunday and into early next week, with snow showers focused across northern areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Through the middle of next week, with cold air firmly in place over the UK, there’s a chance of disruptive snow for some areas as milder Atlantic air pushes in from the southwest. However, with around a week to go until that transition occurs, there’s still plenty of detail to work out.
Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist David Hayter explained:
“While the initial snow risk from Sunday onwards is looking most likely to be coastal areas in the north of the UK, including North Sea and Irish Sea coasts, there’s an ongoing likelihood of some disruptive snow through the middle to latter part of next week.
“What we’re keeping an eye on for this disruptive snow is where exactly this milder air from the southwest bumps into the cold air that will be in place over the UK. It’s where these airmasses meet that there’s a likelihood of some substantial snow for some places. At the moment, models are showing us a variety of options for exactly when and how this situation plays out and it’s something we’ll be able to add more details to in the coming days.”
Ahead of the weekend, largely cool and dry conditions are in place for much of the UK, with sub-zero temperatures overnight for many.
The UK Health Security Agency has a Cold-Health Alert in force, which highlights that possibility of significant impacts for the health and social care sector.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said:
“The temperatures we will see leading into the weekend can rapidly have a serious impact on the health of those over the age of 65 and those with pre-existing health conditions as it increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections. It is therefore vital to check in on friends, family and neighbours to ensure they are well prepared for the cold weather next week.”
With cool conditions in charge and the potential for snow and ice for some from Sunday onwards, travel plans could be impacted.
RAC Breakdown spokesperson Simon Williams said:
“With an increasing risk of snow and ice at the start of next week we urge drivers to make sure they travel fully prepared. Having a few essential items in the boot – no matter what distance you’re going – can make a massive difference in a breakdown situation in freezing conditions. A warm, waterproof coat, sturdy footwear and gloves, along with a blanket and a power bank to keep your phone charged are vital.
“While no one sets out to breakdown or get stuck in very cold, potentially snowy conditions, there are far too many instances where drivers have underestimated the severity of the conditions and found themselves in danger. It’s far better to prepare for the worse and hope for the best.”