In case you thought you could put your snow boots away for the rest of the year, think again.
Snow is expected to return to the UK next week, along with bitterly cold winds from Siberia dubbed the ‘Beast from the East’.
Despite recent spring-like weather, forecasters are expecting snow to return, marking a prolonged cold snap that could last well into March.
The Met Office said while the week had started milder, with temperatures as high as 14C in some parts of the UK, conditions would be short-lived with with cold air set to flow in from Eastern Europe over the weekend.
Chief Meteorologist Andy Page, said: “High pressure will become established across the UK by the middle of this week bringing settled weather for most, but also some frosty nights.
“However, as the high drifts east to be over Scandinavia by the weekend, it will allow colder air from Eastern Europe to be drawn towards us. The cold easterly wind will bring an element of wind chill which will make it feel colder in the south.”
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Sky News quoted its weather presenter Joanna Robinson as warning that while spring should be approaching, winter is “far from over”.
She said: “There is increasing confidence that easterly winds will develop, dragging in very cold air from Siberia as early as next week. This set up is often referred to as the ‘Beast from the East’.”
The Met Office said the cold spell could last well into next week with even colder air from Russia moving across the UK and while there’s a low risk of snow this week that could all change after the weekend.
Forecasters put the cold snap down to a ‘Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) event near the North Pole.
Prof Adam Scaife, from the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: “This warming results from a breakdown of the usual high-altitude westerly winds and it often leads to a switch in our weather: with cold easterly conditions more likely to dominate subsequent UK weather.”
The Met Office said there are signs the recent Sudden Stratospheric Warming above the North Pole could lead to prolonged cold conditions over the UK that could last into March.