Arctic air, snow to blast the UK next week

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 22, 2018, 7:16:10 AM EST

Brutal cold is on the way to the United Kingdom as air from Siberia will travel to the British Isles and could bring some snow.

The setup for this extreme cold, often referred to as the “Beast from the East,” will involve a strong area of high pressure over Scandinavia pulling arctic air from western Siberia across northern Europe and to the U.K. by Sunday.

Southern and eastern parts of England will record the lowest temperatures, a contrast to the cold outbreaks of earlier this winter which focused the most intense cold over central and northern areas.

UK 2/21

However, this could bring even colder conditions to some of the areas that reported the lowest temperatures in years during December.

High temperatures to start next week will range from 2 C (35 F) in parts of eastern and southern England to around 7 C (45 F) in western Northern Ireland.

Overnight low temperatures are forecast to fall below freezing across most of England on Monday night with only coastal locations in Northern Ireland and western Scotland hovering near or just above zero C (32 F).

This stubborn arctic air will remain across the U.K. into next weekend; however, the most intense cold is expected from Monday through Wednesday.

Any moderation of temperatures during the second half of the week will be minor, and both high and low temperatures will remain several degrees below normal for late February and early March.

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Along with the biting cold, there will also be a threat of disruptive snowfall.

The first snowflakes could arrive as early as Monday along the east coast of England and Scotland. Snow may spread to more of the U.K. through Tuesday.

The bitter cold can allow snow to accumulate on any surfaces and could result in significant travel delays.

Additional rounds of snowfall are possible from Wednesday into next weekend with the potential for a widespread accumulating event.

Despite a cold and wintry start to March, AccuWeather meteorologists are predicting a milder-than-normal spring for much of the United Kingdom with prolonged warm spells in May.

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