Britain braces itself for 'Arctic plunge' - but will freezing weather really last until March?

Updated: 

The Pennine hilltops near the A66 following further snow showers across parts of the UK.


Forecasters have predicted freezing temperatures for winter with snow showers predicted for December.

The Weather Channel's Leon Brown told AOL Travel: "From the end of next week and across the weekend 7 to 8th December there is a hint of a colder Arctic plunge again.

"Certainly the northern half of the UK will become a lot colder for a time with the risk of snow showers, even at lower levels. There are some extreme model forecasts for the end of next week with temperatures struggling to lift much above zero by day on the 7th and 8th December, and snow showers over northern Scotland and along eastern and western coasts.

"However, we would give them a 30% risk at the moment with the coldest plunge most likely just to the east of the UK and across central Europe. This colder pattern easing away again over the UK with less cold weather returning from the west by the 10th December."

The Daily Express reports that a "three-month big freeze" will hit Britain in days and is set to be "one of the worst" winters in history, lasting until March.

But the Met Office said "it's not currently scientifically possible to provide a detailed forecast over these long timescales."

It says: "The current outlook for December-January-February says the chance of the coldest scenario happening is between 20 and 25% and the chances that the period will fall into the warmest scenario is between 10 and 15%.

"So while uncertainty is quite large, below average temperatures are more likely than above average (for note, average maximum temperatures for the UK in winter are about 6.6C and average minimum temps are about 0.9C)."

The Met Office adds that for the mid to latter part of December, "there are indications that temperatures are likely to remain near or slightly below average for the time of year, but otherwise fairly normal conditions for early winter are most likely".

Where to go in December

Where to go in December


Related articles

'Big Freeze' to return with a vengeance next week

'Idiot' risks life in Cornwall sea 15ft waves durning St Jude storm