Monday 20 January 2020

Snowfall in Britain - it will be even colder than Siberia in the coming days

*Snow forecast in Ireland on higher ground tonight
* Rain and sleet forecast for tomorrow in Ireland

Tonight's forecast for Ireland and Britain. Photo: Twitter/ ‏@metoffice
Tonight's forecast for Ireland and Britain. Photo: Twitter/ ‏@metoffice

Parts of Britain will be even colder than Siberia in the coming days.

Forecasters are predicting lows of -5C in parts of Britain. In Tomsk in Siberia temperatures are expected to stay above freezing with lows of 1C.

While in Ireland, temperatures are forecast to fall as low as -1 degrees tonight. Today has been cold due to wind chill from a strong northerly wind.  Snow is set to fall on higher ground tonight, as well as widespread grass frost.

Tomorrow in Ireland, there will be some scattered showers of rain and hail and occasional snow showers.

On Thursday, a dusting of snow will be seen on high ground. 

Hopes for a sunny May bank holiday are fading as forecasters predict the unsettled weather will continue.

Conditions have felt far from Spring-like across the UK and Ireland.

In Britain, wintry showers are falling as far south as Bournemouth. Temperatures dropped below freezing overnight in many parts of the country, the lowest recording being -3.4C in Powys in Wales.

Snow across Britain prompted incredulity on social media today.

Ed Snowden wrote on Twitter: "I have I just seen #snow in London. It's almost MAY."

Some suggested the arctic conditions were a gift from the late popstar Prince, alluding to the lyrics of his song  Sometimes It Snows In April.

Bookies have cut the odds on this month becoming the coldest April on record. Jessica Bridge of Ladbroke’s said: “April 2016 to break the record is now at 5-1 chance which was 8-1 last week so that’s been cut.

“And May to be the coldest on record cut to 2-1 from 10-1, so that’s a big move for that market.”

She added: "It's snow joke that Spring's weather has been all over the shop this year, and it looks like May isn't going to be much better."

Meteo Group forecaster Billy Payne said temperatures across the UK were about five degrees colder than expected for late April, with average lows this week due to be below freezing at around -1C, compared to expected levels of 5-6C.

But he poured cold water on the reports of snow blizzards in southern areas, claiming the conditions could actually be "soft hail".

"I think a lot of it might just be soft hail," he said. "It appears quite like snow in texture but it might be soft hail.

Soft hail is "similar to summer hail" but softer with more air, meaning it breaks up like snow, he said: "It's just a different formation process".

The coldest April on record was in 1917 when the overall average mean temperature for the month was 4.3C.

While the average for the first half of April this year was above that level, at 6.9C, the overall average for the month could drop below that after a cold snap in recent days.

Nicky Maxey from the Met Office said: “The first half of the month was well above the coldest month, but we have had a cold few days. I would think it’s unlikely but that’s not saying it won’t happen.”

It was “unusual” to see snow this late in April, she said.

“We have cold air coming down from the north, polar maritime air, and that’s bringing these cold temperatures.

“We end up with the colder air which means that you’re likely to see these wintry showers particularly over higher ground further north.”

While temperatures should warm up towards the bank holiday weekend, there is still the chance of snow, particularly in northern areas.

“Unsettled and colder weather will continue as we get into the weekend,” Ms Maxey said.

“It’s quite unstable so we are likely to see some thunder and hail particularly as we go through the rest of the week. The bank holiday weekend is looking unsettled.”

“There’s still chances of frost and patchy ice," she added.

“There’s still a bit of a threat, but a diminishing threat that we may see some snow falls further north on higher ground.”

Wednesday should see a mix of sunshine and wintry showers, with hail, snow and sleet across the UK.

There will be more heavy wintry showers on Thursday, particularly along the east coast, with a chance of snow settling above 500 metres.

Snow is most likely in the Scottish highlands this weekend.

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