Britain faces freezing winter as temperatures plunge to -18C
After a miserable summer, the winter’s going to be no better, with snow and ice expected
BRITAIN has endured a wet and miserable summer and there will be no respite from the bad weather as 2012 draws to a close, with meteorologists predicting a colder than average winter with temperatures plunging to -18C.
Mild Atlantic air will be blocked by high pressure systems over the country, according to forecasters. That means Britain will face freezing conditions even in the south, heavy snow and the prospect of serious transport disruption.
Bookies William Hill are already offering odds of 8-1 on a white Christmas in London, and say there is a 10-1 chance that the UK's coldest ever temperature of -27.2C could be broken. The snow has already arrived in the Scottish Highlands.
"We're forecasting a colder than average period from mid-November to late January, with significant snow at times, particularly in the north and east, but with London also seeing snow," Jim Dale of British Weather Services told Metro. "Minimum temperatures are expected to fall to about -10C in southern England and -18C in parts of Scotland."
Weatherweb.net also predicted a cold winter in store and predicted that the country would be hit by three of four "very cold snaps" lasting as long as a week.
The gloomy predictions came as the West Country and Wales braced themselves for gale force winds and possible flooding today. Ferry services to the Scilly Isles and the Isle of Man have been affected and coastal roads and rail services affected. More rain is expected to head in from the west later in the week.
"Strong westerly winds will cause stormy sea conditions which, combined with some of the highest tides of the year, will result in high sea levels and spray overtopping," warned the Environment Agency.
But there could be one final warm spell before the cold sets in for good. Hurricane Rafael in the Atlantic is expected to push a band of warm air across the country next week. Temperatures could reach 20C.