Britain braced for five-day big chill with freezing winds and even snow

'Beast from the East' to bring 'raw' winds and low temperatures

Updated: 
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Weather forecasters have said Britain will be hit with a five-day chill starting from Friday - as a cold blast comes in from the east.

Experts warn it will feel "more like mid-January than mid-March", with low temperatures, made to feel even colder with a "raw" breeze, and even snow predicted on high ground from Wales and the Pennines right down to Somerset and Dorset.

Last weekend, balmy weather saw temperatures hitting 17.5C in some areas, but the next few days will see a return to winter weather.

Leon Brown, meteorologist at The Weather Channel, told Aol Travel: "A colder spell of weather is coming up.

"The final push for a while from the west is taking place now before a transition to easterly winds and a large area of high pressure to the east of the UK. The front brings rain to the west today and tonight will come to a halt over central Britain and on Friday morning before moving back to the west.

"One complication is that the rain may well start to turn to sleet and wet snow, especially across higher ground in Wales and over the Pennines, but some wet snow is also likely on Friday morning over the Midlands and possibly as far south as Somerset and Dorset. There is unlikely to be accumulations at lower levels, but above 300m a few centimetres is possible.

"The rain and wet snow will gradually die out in the afternoon as it moves away westwards. Quite a temperature contrast on Friday with East Anglia 11C to 12C in sunshine while western England and Wales under the rain and sleet a cold 3C or 4C.

"This weekend temperatures will be 3C to 4C below normal by day with a chilly east wind, and also a lot of cloud brought in from the east across England and Wales.

"It will be mainly dry on Saturday but some light rain and sleet showers are likely on Sunday. Clearer skies in the north over northern Scotland, but there will be sharp night frosts. Temperatures will struggle to lift much above 6C to 7C.

"Next week starts cold and cloudy with but clearer weather will spread northwards by later Monday and on Tuesday, so after a frost early on Tuesday southern England should feel warmer in the sunshine reaching 10C to 12C."

Chris Burton, forecaster at The Weather Network, agreed, telling Aol Travel: "This weekend will have a much colder feel compared to last weekend as we pick up a chilly easterly wind.

"Temperatures climbed to highs of 15C to 18C for some of us last Saturday, but this weekend we will struggle to see much above 5C to 8C.

"And with largely cloudy skies and a brisk north-easterly breeze, it will feel even colder.

"It will therefore feel more like mid-January than mid-March with only western areas likely to see any decent spells of sunshine.

"It is all down to a huge area of high pressure which is building across northern Europe.

"This will block weather systems and milder air from moving in off the Atlantic and allowing a chilly easterly flow off the North Sea.

"The cold snap shouldn't last too long with temperatures slowly recovering as we go into next week."

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