UK weather forecast: Snow in MAY? Polar blasts threatens SEVEN-DAY Arctic freeze – maps

UK weather: Temperatures to drop close to freezing

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A huge high-pressure system straddling Scandinavia and Europe has formed a 2,000-mile ‘lid’ holding in air from the Arctic circle as it engulfs the UK. It will block milder and more unsettled Atlantic winds from sweeping into the country while keeping any significant rain at bay.

North-easterly winds will feed -7C North Sea air into Britain which will remain trapped under the high-pressure dome for at least the next week.

Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: “This is a bit like when in the summer we see hot air trapped over the UK, but in reverse.

“Cold air from Scandinavia travelling over the North Sea into Britain is held by a sort of ‘lid’ of high pressure over the country.

“It will keep anything which could stir this up at bay, meaning that we expect more in the way of minus-figure temperatures and frosts for the next week at least.

“The only caveat to this would be that in the sun there will be the chance of seeing temperatures rise, and it is the shaded, cloudy areas which will be stuck in these cold conditions without much change.

”The cold weather is also being driven by the jet stream which is meandering further south allowing cold air in from the north.

The Polar front which separates Arctic air from Northern Europe has moved south of the UK bringing behind it a mass of freezing air from the North Pole.

Scotland and northern England through the next week may even see the return of snow showers, Mr Dale warned.

He said: “The Polar front is south of the UK bringing cold air in from Scandinavia where it is still very cold as they are not out of winter yet.

“This air is not able to escape as there is nothing in terms of low pressure to shift the air masses.

“People will really feel they are in this cold air, especially during the mornings when in parts of the country there will be frosts and it will feel very cold.

“The is the chance of some wintry showers during the start of next month.”

Britain will shiver under gloomy skies through the week with rural regions on alert for morning frosts.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin said: “It is going to be on the chilly side all week.

“The winds are relatively light, but under the cloud it is not going to feel very pleasant at all.

“We will see lows even in towns and cities well down into single figures and some rural spots will dip down to freezing.”

High pressure will shift over the next 24 hours trapping cold Arctic air over the UK, forecasters warn.

Eastern and northern regions will bear the brunt of the cold weather while western Britain may see more sunshine.

Netweather forecaster Nick Finnis said: “High pressure topples in across the UK from the north from Wednesday trapping a lot of cloud and cool Arctic-sourced air under it.

“It will be a cool and often cloudy second half to the week, but other than the odd spot of drizzle or light rain where cloud is thick enough, it will be mostly dry.

“Any sunshine will be limited with the best chance of sunny spells across western areas.”

Gardeners are warned to take in delicate plants with overnight frosts possible in sub-zero temperatures.

South-western parts of the country will see the best of any sunshine, according to Weathertrending meteorologist John Hammond.

He said: “If you’re a famer or a gardener, there will be precious little if any rain and if anything, it will stay on the cool side with the ongoing concern of the possibility of frost.

“In general, the further southwest of the UK you are, sheltered from the north-easterly breeze, you will get the lion’s share of the sunshine.

“Where the skies clear overnight the air will be chilly enough to get down to freezing or even below freezing and frost is possible, so gardeners take note.”

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