Arctic blast to cause havoc across UK in 10 days as Brits brace for chilly March

Thoughts might traditionally turn towards spring in the UK during March, but forecasters are predicting that the third month of this year will herald the start of an Arctic blast.

The month that celebrates St Patrick's Day and Mother's Day is also set to bring sub-zero temperatures, snowstorms and icy conditions.

It is predicted that a sudden stratospheric warning (SSW), which began last week, will cause the cold snap in a scenario similar to when the same phenomenon proved the instigator of 2018's Beast from the East.

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An SSW did not have any affect on temperatures in the winter of 2019 but the Met Office's long-range forecast is suggesting that it will provide the spark for mercury to plunge following the mild, spring-like weather that has characterised February in the UK.

For the period from Monday, February 27 to March 6 – the day the first lot of snow is due to fall across northern England and Scotland – the Met Office said: "Monday is a mostly dry day although northern and eastern areas may see the occasional light rain. Breezy conditions likely across the south.

"Continuing through the week, high pressure is expected to dominate creating rather cloudy but dry conditions for most. For the rest of the period, a continuation of similar settled conditions is likely.

"Light winds in the north, increasing towards the south, with a risk of gales at exposed coasts."

The Met Office then predicts that conditions will change at the end of the first week in March.

"Towards the end of the period, there is an increasing likelihood of colder conditions with a chance of snow showers in many eastern and northern areas," it continues.

"Temperatures to start likely around average, most likely becoming below average towards the end of the period."

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With gas and electricity prices sky-high, many households will be looking for an excuse not to use the central heating.

But the Met Office's longer range forecast implies that the radiators might still be needed later in the month.

For March 9 to 23, it added: "Spells of rain or snow are more likely than earlier in the month, with a low chance that some wintry episodes could be disruptive, though north-western areas are most likely to see the driest conditions."

The only saving grace of snow falling in mid to late March is that warmer air can diminish the length of time any snow hangs around.

It continues: "Temperatures are more likely to be below-average than above-average overall but, later in the month, colder air will be fighting against a strengthening sun."


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