Bitterly cold temperatures of -6C are on the way this week following days of heavy downpours. Some of the areas set to be frosty this weekend include Wales, south-west England and Northern Ireland, with some countryside areas hitting lows of -2C and -4C. But snow charts by Net Weather show the worst is yet to come as snow is forecast to hit the entire country in the coming days.
Maps show snow at its worst at the end of the month, appearing to hit in a southeasterly direction, before engulfing all of the UK by the evening of January 27.
The Met Office forecast for the end of January and start of February reads: “Through the end of January into February, we are likely to have higher pressure across the UK than during previous weeks.
“The northwest will probably see the wettest and windiest weather whilst further south and southeast it should be drier and brighter with an increased risk of frost and fog.
“There is a chance that drier, settled conditions could extend to all parts at times. Snow will be most likely over northern hills, but it could fall to lower levels at times, mainly in the north, during colder interludes.
“Temperatures will tend to be close to or above average but will fluctuate day to day when more changeable weather types are established.
“There could be some cold spells in southern and central areas in particular if more settled weather develops.”
And maps from WX Charts show snow storms sweeping across almost the whole of UK as the weather front makes its way towards France and the rest of Europe.
Snow charts at NetWeather speculate the whole top half of Britain being covered in snow. Later long-range charts, however, show the southern part of the UK escaping major snowfall.
This is so people can be “Alert and Ready” for the cold next week in the West Midlands, East Midlands, the East of England, Southeast England and Southwest England.
The Met Office said: “There is a 70 percent probability of severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy snow between 6pm on Sunday, January 19 and 6pm on Tuesday, January 21 in parts of England.
“This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.
“Please refer to the national Cold Weather Plan and your Trust’s emergency plan for appropriate preventive action.”
Before that, northwest Scotland could see more than two inches of snow fall this weekend.
Over in Keswick, in the Lake District, near Keswick, there less than half an inch of new snow today.
The Met Office’s Aidan McGivern said: “For this time of year, a scattering of snow in the Scottish Highlands isn’t unusual, we might see a few snow showers through the higher grounds on Saturday, but Sunday should be clear.
“Some places might see a slight dusting and some may see nothing at all.”
A cold weather alert was issued by Public Health England (PHE) from 6pm on Sunday to 6pm on Tuesday.
People are being advised to prepare for wintry weather, as well as keep an eye on those who are most at risk.
Dr Owen Landeg, principal environmental public health scientist at PHE, said: “Older people and those with heart and lung problems are at risk of getting sick in cold weather.
“Keep an eye out for those who may need help staying warm, ensure they wear lots of thin layers and have everything they need.
“Below 18 degrees, changes to the body mean that the risk of strokes, heart attacks and chest infections increase so heating homes to this temperature is particularly important to stay well.”