'Beast from the east' to bring coldest winter spell to West Midlands
Commuters woke to frozen cars and icy roads this morning - but it's set to get even colder.
A blast of cold weather dubbed the “Beast from the East” is approaching and is expected to bring the coldest spell of the winter from Monday.
The icy conditions are believed to be caused by a weather phenomenon called a “sudden stratospheric warming” above the North Pole, which will drag very cold air from Siberia to the UK as early as next week.
Temperatures could plummet as low as -5C overnight for most of the next week, with daytime highs only about 2C.
Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, Brent Walker, said: "After a mostly dry and settled second half to the week across the country, it will gradually become colder in the south with bitterly cold, but still dry weather, expected to develop across the south east during the weekend.
"As high pressure, currently centred over northern Britain, gradually migrates further north-eastwards, to become centred over Scandinavia, very cold air will spread from western Russia towards the UK.
"By Monday it will turn very cold more widely and this will probably be the start of the coldest spell of the winter.
"Many places will remain dry into the start of next week, but snow showers are expected to develop in some places, particularly across eastern and southern England.
"The cold easterly wind will persist bringing a significant wind chill which will make it feel several degrees colder than thermometers indicate.
"There is potential for some disruptive snowfall next week, although the likelihood of heavy snow in any given location is very difficult to gauge; some places could see some significant amounts of snow, while nearby locations may receive very little.
"At this stage, we consider the region’s most likely to have disruptive snowfall are parts of east and southeast England. Here, disruption to travel is possible for the start of the working week.
Mr Walker said, however, that widespread snow is not expected.
"Whilst a major widespread snow event is currently not expected, some parts of Southeast England could have the first significant spell of snow so far this winter during next week," he said.
"Indeed, there is potential for this cold spell to be the coldest for several years in the south.
"March 1 is the start of meteorological Spring, but this year the first week of march is likely to feel distinctly wintry."