Freezing Weather On Its Way
BRITAIN is braced for a bitter Arctic blast to send temperatures plunging to below -5C (23F)
Forecasters warned that most of the country faces freezing winds and harsh frosts with snow likely on high ground.
People waking up in Scotland, Wales, northern England and the South-west have been greeted with wintry scenes after the second snowfall of the year.
Experts say the fallout from Hurricane Sandy in the US has triggered a shift in weather systems allowing freezing air to flood in from the North Pole.
They said the rest of this month is likely to be a straight run of wintry gales, snow and below-average temperatures.
Jonathan Powell, forecaster for Vantage Weather Services, said: “It is going to be a bit of a shock to the system.
“We are going to draw in northerly wind from the Arctic with overnight frosts and snow on higher ground of Scotland, Wales and England.
“The rest of the month and even as far ahead as December is looking colder than average with more snow and bitter winds on the way.
We are looking at some freezing temperatures, possibly sinking below -5C.”
Areas that escape the snow are likely to be battered by strong winds and torrential rain, bringing the risk of flooding.
The agency also warned that Britain is at a heightened risk of flooding throughout the winter after the unusually wet summer.
A statement said: “Ground-water levels are also unseasonably high following this summer’s unprecedented rainfall. There is increased risk of flooding from ground water in the south and east of England with Devon, Dorset and Hampshire particularly at risk.
“Flooding from surface water – where the amount of rainfall overwhelms the drainage network – is more likely as the ground is already saturated.”
The Met Office said the UK can expect overnight frosts and snow on high ground over the next few days.
Forecaster Dan Williams said it will feel colder with the wind chill from strong gusts.
He said: “There is the potential for snow over high ground over the next few days.
“It is also going to be pretty gusty over the whole country with strong winds in most places.
“There will be some heavy showers and very unsettled late autumnal conditions.”
“You all need to be buying your rock salt now before the snow gets to lower grounds” says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.