Winter is set to arrive in sheffield with a vengeance later this week with the UK facing a prolonged spell of bitterly cold weather.
After a chilly start to the new week today things will turn milder on Tuesday and Wednesday before temperatures plummet dramatically at the end of the week.
On Wednesday temperatures in Sheffield will be a reasonable 10C but on Thursday the mercury will drop to 5C and this will herald the start of a lengthy cold snap as freezing air from the Arctic and Siberia sweeps across the country.
According to the Met Office’s latest long-range forecast the big freeze is set to last until well into the start of February – bringing an increased risk of snow and ice.
The UK forecast for the period between Friday January 18 and Sunday January 27 states: “It will be mostly settled for a time on Friday, especially in the east, before thickening cloud and outbreaks of rain, perhaps with some hill snow, try to move eastwards later, with strong winds.
“The rain and hill snow will make further eastward progress on Saturday, perhaps with northeastern areas staying dry.
“Thereafter, it looks set to remain mainly cold, unsettled and sometimes windy, with gales possible in the north.
“Any milder spells will tend to be brief, and associated with longer spells of rain.
“The rain could turn to snow almost anywhere, but particularly across northern and central areas, especially later in this period.
“Some drier, brighter spells are likely, perhaps with snow showers, especially in the east.
“During such spells, frost could become widespread and severe.”
Things then look set to turn even colder.
The forecast for the period January 28 and February 11 states: “For the end of January and into early February, there is an increased likelihood of cold weather being established across all of the UK, with temperatures continuing a downward trend to become cold or very cold.
“This would bring a greater risk of snow, ice and widespread frost, particularly across northern parts of the country.
“However, there remains uncertainty over the extent of the cold weather and how long it will last, and it is still possible that some milder and wetter interludes will intersperse this generally cold period, especially in the south.”
The forthcoming cold snap is the result of a recent Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) event over the North Pole.
A similar SSW last winter led to the so-called Beast from the East which blanketed Sheffield under snow at the end of February and the beginning of March.