Cold weather is expected this weekend courtesy of an arctic maritime airmass spreading across the country from the north. Everyone will notice a change in the weather after the second mildest start to November on record.
On Friday the cold air will begin to spread southwards with showers falling as snow over high ground in the north and increasingly to lower levels here later. Across northern and eastern Scotland and the northeast of England accumulations of 1-4cm are likely in places at low levels, whereas above around 150m around 5-10cm could accumulate. Furthermore, overnight Friday and into Saturday other areas of the UK could see snow, with some accumulations possible, mainly over high ground.
Strong to gale force north or northwesterly winds are also likely Friday night and Saturday across central and southern Britain and will enhance the cold feel in what will be the coldest air of the season so far. There is a risk of severe gales with gusts of 60-70mph in the most exposed locations.
Yellow ‘be aware’ National Severe Weather Warnings have been issued for the risk of impacts as a result of the snow and wind.
By Saturday the cold air will be in place across all parts of the UK with a mixture of sunny spells and wintry showers likely over the rest of the weekend, with any settling only likely to be temporary because the ground is so warm after the recent mild spell. However, many places inland will avoid the showers and see some good sunny spells. To see what weather you can expect in your area, check out our forecast pages.
In a stark contrast to recent days when temperatures have been well above average for the time of year, we can expect temperatures to be below average with maximum daytime values of around 3-7 degrees Celsius. Overnight minimum temperatures are likely to drop below freezing away from coasts, to give a widespread frost, with the risk of some icy patches where showers have fallen during the day.
Chief Operational Meteorlogist Frank Saunders said: “With strong winds and some snow forecast for this weekend there is the likelihood of some difficult driving conditions and disruption to transport. There remains some uncertainty regarding the strength of the wind and snow amounts and so if you have travel plans over the weekend we’d advise that you keep an eye on the warnings for your area.”
Although this will be the first widespread cold spell of the season, it is fairly typical for mid-late November and it’s not unusual to see snow to lower levels in the north of the UK in late autumn. In recent years the most notable snow event was in late November 2010 when there was lying snow across parts of northern and eastern Britain.
This cold spell will be fairly short-lived with temperatures expected to return to more typical values for the time of year early next week with the weather remaining unsettled.