Met Office tracking two weather events ‘fighting for influence’ over UK

The Met Office is tracking two weather events "fighting for influence over the UK" which could bring more low temperatures in the coming weeks.

Meteorologists have observed a sudden stratospheric warming is under way, which is associated with very cold weather.

Sudden stratospheric warming in 2018 brought the heavy snow termed the Beast from the East; however, the Met Office said the event is more likely to bring more cold weather without heavy snow, though it is difficult to predict.

49 PHOTOS
Britain hit by snow and ice
See Gallery
Britain hit by snow and ice
A woman clears snow from her windscreen near Mam Tor in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A dog peers out from a car boot in snowy conditions near Mam Tor in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man falls off a sledge near Winnats Pass in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
BRADFORD - JANUARY 02: A woman walks a dog in the snow around Peel Park on January 02, 2021 in Bradford, United Kingdom. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
A car navigates snowy conditions near Mam Tor in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
BRADFORD - JANUARY 02: A man rides a quad with a child in the snow around Peel Park on January 02, 2021 in Bradford, United Kingdom. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
BRADFORD - JANUARY 02: People go sledging in the snow around Peel Park on January 02, 2021 in Bradford, United Kingdom. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
A car drives through snowy conditions near Mam Tor in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Children play in the snow near Winnats Pass in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Orographic clouds above the Pennines as viewed from Bishop Auckland, County Durham. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
Kevin O'Neil (R) speaks to a participant in the freezing temperature of Combs reservoir as he leads a cold water therapy treatment group near Chapel en le Frith, northwest England on January 1, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
A walker photographs the snow and frost in Marchwood near Southampton. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Individuals swim in Combs reservoir as they take part in a cold water therapy treatment near Chapel en le Frith, northwest England on January 1, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Rosie Parker plays with daughter Scarlett Parker play on a snow covered field on December 29, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. Heavy snow fall has covered the West Midlands and other parts of England as the Met Office has issued yellow warnings throughout the day. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
A COVID-19 testing centre continues to operate in Ancoats, Manchester city centre, as snow hits the UK. Tuesday 29th December 2020. (Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
WIMSLOW, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: A football training session takes place on snow covered pitches on December 29, 2020 in Wimslow, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: A general view outside the stadium as residents enjoy the snow in the surrounding areas prior to the Premier League match between Burnley and Sheffield United at Turf Moor on December 29, 2020 in Burnley, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Driving instructor Steve Smith removes snow off the top of his car as heavy snowfall falls down on the west midlands overnight on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Driving instructor Steve Smith removes snow off the top of his car as heavy snowfall falls down on the west midlands overnight on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Cars are covered in snow as heavy snow falls down on the West Midlands over night on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Footsteps in the snow as heavy snow falls down on the West Midlands over night on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: A dog walker walks her dog for the first time in the snow as heavy snow falls down on the West Midlands over night on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: A dog walker walks her dog for the first time in the snow as heavy snow falls down on the West Midlands over night on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Layers of snow on the wall as heavy snow falls down on the West Midlands over night on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
Hikers in snow on Bleaklow Moor in the Peak district of Derbyshire, after days of wet and wintry weather across the Christmas break, with a cold snap and icy conditions still to come.
Hikers in snow on Bleaklow Moor in the Peak district of Derbyshire, after days of wet and wintry weather across the Christmas break, with a cold snap and icy conditions still to come.
Red deer in the snow alongside the A82 in Glencoe, Scotland.
A snow plough spreads grit as it passes through Killin in Stirlingshire.
Paige, 10, and her sister Katy, 2, sledging in the snow in a park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Pippa the goldren retriever plays in the snow in a park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Lizzy and daughter Connie, 6, are chased down a snow covered hill by their golden retriever Pippa in a park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Niamh, 2, sledging in the snow in a park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
William (surname not given) sledges in the snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Overnight snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Overnight snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Maddie, 7, plays in the snow in a park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Konrad (surname not given) sledges in the snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Brothers William (right) and Konrad (surname not given) sledge in the snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Overnight snow in Burford, West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Vehicles in snowy conditions on the A40 near Whitney West Oxfordshire. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Snow covering the village of Oulton in Staffordshire. (Photo by Tom Leese/PA Images via Getty Images)
Snow covered houses in the village of Oulton in Staffordshire. (Photo by Tom Leese/PA Images via Getty Images)
Snow covered fields near the village of Oulton in Staffordshire. (Photo by Tom Leese/PA Images via Getty Images)
Cristina, 4, and her sister Stefania, 3, play with snowballs in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Horses on the gallops in the snow at Sam Drinkwater's Granary Stables in Upper Strensham, Worcester. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)
A message written on a car window after a snowfall in Liverpool overnight. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: A car wheel spins in the snow as heavy snowfall falls down on the West Midlands overnight on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. Heavy snow fall has covered the West Midlands as the Met Office issues yellow warnings throughout the day. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
STOURBRIDGE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Members of the public help a car that is stuck in the snow as heavy snowfall falls down on the West Midlands overnight on December 28, 2020 in Stourbridge, England. Heavy snow fall has covered the West Midlands as the Met Office issues yellow warnings throughout the day. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
(Parental permission given), people make the most of a snow downfall on Camp Hill, Woolton, Liverpool. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The agency is also tracking a La Nina in the Pacific, which could bring wet and stormy weather as it increases the UK's chances of westerly winds.

Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey told the PA news agency: "You've got the two events happening at the same time so they vie against each other in a sense.

"They're sort of fighting for influence over the UK, we're a very small dot in the middle of the ocean."

She added that the warming in the stratosphere takes at least 10 days to move down into our atmosphere.

Ms Maxey continued: "The feeling at the moment is that we may see some colder weather towards the end of January into February, but probably the sort of weather that we're seeing at the moment, as opposed to what is popularly perceived as a Beast from the East.

"There's still a lot to play for, we're keeping an eye on the situation, the experts are working on how that might influence our weather."

Winter weather Jan 4th 2021
Many areas have already seen chilly conditions (Peter Byrne/PA)

It came as forecasters predicted that the cold spell affecting much of the UK is due to continue, with temperatures expected to remain slightly below average into next week.

Temperatures will stay in single digits across the UK in the coming days, with rain, sleet and snow expected in parts.

Ms Maxey said: "This cold spell will last certainly this week and into next week, although we should see a little bit of recovering temperatures as we start next week.

"By the time we get to Friday, we're starting to see the chance that things might warm up a bit, but we're still looking at 3C (37.4F) or 4C (39.2F) for London, with isolated areas perhaps seeing 6C (42.8F)."

Leeds will see temperatures of around 4C (39.2F), while parts of Scotland will hover around freezing in the daytime.

Ms Maxey continued: "Temperatures are a little bit below average for January. I think by the time we get to mid-month we're probably going to see those temperatures move closer to the average for this kind of year."

Persistent rain is expected in the South East, with between 0.2in (5mm) and 0.6in (15mm) set to fall over two days.

Some parts of the UK may also see sleet and snow, though it will largely stay on higher ground.

Ms Maxey said: "We may see the odd flurry down to lower levels, particularly in the North East, maybe the North West depending on what day you're looking at, but certainly any snow to lower levels will be quite transient really and not last very long.

She added that the South East could also see some snow on Thursday and Friday, but "if it happens, it won't stay around for long".

"A half a degree difference in temperature can make the difference between snow and rain, so snow is one of those things that's difficult to be prescriptive about too far out."

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS