'Icy blast' set to blow away Britain’s mild winter

Jan 10, 2013

Unseasonally warm weather ends this weekend as temperatures plunge and snow begins to fall

Christopher Furlong

Traffic comes to a standstill in Stoke-on-Trent. Drivers abandoned their vehicles as the snow fell on Saturday night.

WEEKS of mild, wet days may have lulled Britain into a false sense of security, but the winter will finally bare its fangs this weekend delivering below-minus temperatures as well as sleet and snow.

An "icy blast" from the Arctic will dominate the UK’s weather for up to two weeks say forecasters and dispel the idea of a mild winter encouraged by unseasonal temperatures as high as 20C during the day and 10C at night.

The mercury will begin to drop overnight and temperatures in some areas will fall as low as "-4C or -5C" by Sunday, MeteoGroup forecaster Sean Penston told The Guardian.

"There's more of an easterly wind coming in, with the possibility of snow showers by the weekend and the start of next week," he said.

Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers told the Daily Mail that motorists will need to look out for ice on roads and there will be "widespread frost at night".

The east coast will bear the brunt of the cold weather with snow falling from Saturday onwards, Chivers said. It is likely to settle in Scotland and northern England, but mainly fall as sleet and rain further south.

After a brief respite the snow and sleet will return on Tuesday and Wednesday and it will remain "cold and frosty" for at least the rest of next week.

In the meantime, the milder weather has brought its own set of problems. Eighteen flights were cancelled at London City airport today because of fog, says the Mail, bringing the total number of aborted flights in the south-east to 300 since Monday.
Heathrow was unaffected by the weather today, but fog caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights yesterday, forcing some passengers to sleep overnight in the airport’s terminals.

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