UK weather forecast: ‘Big change’ as sub-zero Arctic air to send mercury plunging in hours

BBC Weather: Carol Kirkwood warns of torrential rain

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A cold front clearing east brought with it some heavy rain overnight in the south of the country, and this is being followed by further heavy downpours and thunderstorms spreading from the west across southern parts of Britain. But the latest weather forecast from Netweather has warned temperatures are set to plunge suddenly on Thursday as strong northwesterly winds quickly bring freezing air down from the Arctic. Although it will be much drier, this bitterly cold front will see the mercury plummeting towards freezing and even into negative territory in parts of Scotland.

The latest temperature charts from Netweather show minimum temperatures falling to as low as 2C around midday in northern parts of England, and to 6C in London and a couple of degrees lower in surrounding areas.

In parts of Scotland, the mercury could even fall below freezing, with one map showing -1C at lunchtime towards the centre of the country.

Minimum temperatures are forecast to increase slightly as the day progresses, just about nudging into double figures in large parts of the UK, although remaining as low as 6C in many northern regions.

But they will once again plunge heading into the evening, with the latest maps showing between 3C and 7C throughout the UK as the country braces for a freezing Thursday night.

Netweather senior forecaster Nick Finnis wrote: “A big change is on the way over the next 24-36 hours, with Tropical maritime air bringing the unseasonal warmth these last few days replaced by Arctic maritime air tomorrow – bringing a colder feel for everyone.

“During the transition to colder conditions, there will be some rather lively weather.

“A cold front clearing east brought some heavy rain overnight in the south. But following will be further heavy downpours, even some thunderstorms, spreading from the west across southern parts of Britain.

“Winds will switch from the mild southwesterly since the beginning of the week to a colder northwesterly bringing air from the arctic on Thursday, but it will be drier and sunnier for southern areas, coastal showers in north.”

Mr Finnis added: “Feeling much colder on Thursday for all, as a strong northwesterly wind brings air down from the Arctic.

“Most places will remain dry with sunny spells, but there will be showers across northern Scotland and coasts of the north.

“Showers wintry over higher ground of Scotland. Gales down the North Sea coinciding with Spring Tides could bring some coastal flooding along North Sea coasts.”

Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin warned a rapid change in the wind direction is set to send temperatures plunging on Thursday.

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He said in his latest weather forecast: “The changing wind direction will bring a colder feel come Thursday for most parts of the UK.

“Some places struggling to get into double digits on the strength of the wind, and that is quite a shift compared to Tuesday’s values, just 9C or 10C.

“These weather fronts are slipping their way southwards and wind is coming down from the north, introducing much colder air and it will be a chilly night Thursday going into Friday.”

The Met Office also said on its website about its forecast for Thursday: “Much colder across entire UK and feeling cold in the north and east with strong winds and gales in the far northeast.

“Showers feeding into northern and some western parts.”

BBC Weather has also warned of “Arctic air” sweeping in from the north, bringing with it rain and the possibility of “wintry weather in Scottish hills”.

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