People with health conditions have been urged to take extra care from Monday with killer cold weather forecast until mid-February. A spate of brutal winter storms on course to smash Britain threaten further havoc after 90mph Storm Ciara has passed the UK on Sunday. Heavy wintry downpours could cripple parts of Scotland and northern England with blizzards forecast to bring ‘metres of snow’ and deep snow drifts.
“Gusts will be in excess of at least 70mph to 80 mph in northern and western areas with disruption likely as this major low passes.”
Government forecasters warn strong winds will persist through Monday and Tuesday before another onslaught ahead of the weekend.
Temperatures will plummet as bitter winds originating from Arctic Canada plough into Britain bringing the risk of widespread snow.
Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said: “We are about to enter a very unsettled period of weather which will bring a mixture of everything – hail, thunder, sleet and snow.
“After Storm Ciara has left late on Sunday she will leave a legacy of strong winds which will continue through Monday and Tuesday across most of the country.
“Behind the low is cold air coming from Arctic Canada and this will bring a risk of snow across northern regions but hail and sleet are possible more widely.”
Britain’s weather will calm down briefly on Thursday before the next barrage of storms will charge in from the Atlantic, he said.
However further bouts of very strong winds and rain will blight the UK next weekend and through the middle of February, he warned.
He said: “Low-pressure systems will continue to bring very unsettled conditions towards the end of next week after a brief respite on Wednesday.
“It is looking very unsettled again across the whole of the UK.”
The Met Office has issued a level-2 amber alert across parts of southern England on Sunday with further alerts in place through the week.
Chief meteorologist Frank Saunders said: “Storm Ciara will bring very strong winds and potentially some disruption to travel throughout Sunday.
“Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible, injuries and danger to life could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.
“Heavy snow and strong winds will combine to lead to disruption to travel , especially over higher routes [from Monday].”
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Bitter winds will make it feel close to -12C in northern Britain next week with windchill charts revealing lows of freezing or below widely.
Asthma UK has warned people with the condition to be on alert for very cold weather to trigger breathing difficulties.
Clinical lead Dr Andy Whittamore said: “Cold weather forecast could put 3.2 million people with asthma at risk of a life-threatening attack.
“As temperatures plunge, people with asthma may find their symptoms flaring up, such as wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.
“It can be impossible to avoid cold weather in the UK so you should make sure you take your preventer inhaler as prescribed to reduce the inflammation in the airways.”
John Hammond, forecaster for weathertrending.com, warned freezing winds from Canada will drive the cold snap.
He said: “By Monday morning, the UK will already have been battered by stormy winds, heavy rain and, for the Highlands of Scotland, blizzard conditions.
“As the fierce jet stream sinks to the south of us, we’ll all be in cold air.
“Such will be the strength of the winds, they simply won’t have time to warm up much between leaving the Canadian coast and arriving at our shores.
“The hills of the northwest will get a battering by snow.
“There’ll be metres of the stuff on the higher mountains.”