A cold blast is coming for the UK in a not-so-welcome start to the new year. A bone-chilling snap of cold air could plunge much of the UK into sub-zero temperatures after an unseasonably warm beginning to 2022, according to the latest maps. The weather charts show a bitter front making its way toward Britain, due to hit around January 9.
Meteorologists from Netweather have warned temperatures could drop as low as -9C in parts of Scotland, and plunging to below freezing in Northern England to -2C.
Normally the UK sees average daytime temperatures of 7 to 8C in the south and 3 to 4C in the north in January, with night-time temperatures of 2 to 3C in the south and zero in the north.
Cold weather will hit most of the UK as soon as next week, getting progressively colder as the weekend approaches.
According to the Met Office forecast on Tuesday, the first week of 2022 will also bring a “corridor of thicker cloud and rains”, to the west of which temperatures will return to average levels for this time of year.
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This will develop into northwesterly winds, bringing showers that will become wintry across the far north of the country, with chances of snow in some of the northerly parts of the UK.
By Sunday, January 11, parts of northern Scotland including Aberdeenshire and the Highlands will experience temperatures as low as -10C, according to maps from WXCHARTS.
Snow is expected to hit the Highlands, with as much as ten inches forecast for next weekend.
The north of England will also experience sub zero temperatures, ranging from 0C to as low as -4C overnight.
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Weather in the south is expected to remain settled but become gradually cooler as the week goes on, with temperatures below freezing less likely.
Netweather’s Nick Finnis said: “It will turn increasingly unsettled by early next week, as winds turn more westerly and low pressure crosses the UK, with spells of rain or showers for most.
“Winds look to turn northerly for a time Tuesday into Wednesday, so turning cold across all parts, with a chance of wintry showers across northern and eastern areas.”
While a cold front comes in for the first week of 2022, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day could be some of the warmest on record, as maps show low pressure over the Atlantic Ocean pushing warm air upward over Europe and across the UK.
You may have noticed temperatures have already begun to rise – Exeter saw the highest temperature yesterday, reaching 15.7C, while recording a minimum of 13.7C last night, nearly 10C above the December minimum average for England.
Over New Year’s Day, England might enjoy temperatures reaching 16C or even 17C in the south, which could beat some date records.
Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: “The record is 14.8C on New Year’s Eve and that was in 2011.
“Temperatures look like they’ll be 14-15C (57.2-59F) so it is possible that temperatures could be that value.”
However, the warm air will come with plenty of moisture – so less layers, more waterproofs over the course of the weekend.
The New Year’s Day record of 15.6C, set in Bude, Cornwall back in 1916.