The UK is under the influence of high pressure, which is bringing colder than average weather for the time of year, and a marked reduction in rainfall amounts following a wet start to January.  

These cold and largely dry conditions will persist through much of this week, with areas to the south particularly cold compared to average.

However, by the time we reach Sunday a northerly airflow develops, which could increase the chances of wintry hazards for some.

Speaking in the latest Met Office Deep Dive, which takes an in-depth look at the meteorological drivers behind the UK’s long-range outlook, Aidan McGivern said: “A cold front from the north towards the weekend will mark another change in the airmass for the UK, moving from something with a bit of an Atlantic influence to air that comes more directly from the Arctic.”

This front over the weekend will bring some rain to northern areas, with the west of Scotland likely to most in the way of rain, but what it really signals is a reinforcement of the cold conditions as we move into next week.

Met Office Head of Situational Awareness Will Lang said: “There will be a resurgence in the really cold weather through the weekend and that spreads across the whole of the UK during the early part of next week. Initially, this means there will be more in the way of showers around the coasts, turning increasingly to snow for many areas, especially further north.”

Next week

Speaking on the Deep Dive, Aidan explained the set-up for next week’s weather. He said: “We start with a northerly airflow and snow showers, especially near the coasts in the north. But there will also be brighter skies for some. Then, from the middle of next week, low-pressure tries to move in from the southwest, and the impact of this is still a bit uncertain at this range.

“Different models are saying different things in terms of the track of this low, but you have the ingredients for snow with cold air in place and additional moisture supplied from the Atlantic, which will bring rain, but on the boundary with the cold air, you could see some snow.”

What’s uncertain is the intensity, location or impacts of any snow next week, with details still to be worked out in the coming days, though winter weather hazards remain largely in focus, and an increasing risk as we move through the week.

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