UK COLD weather forecast: Britain set for FREEZING SLEET this weekend as Arctic blast hits

Hopes of a sizzler on par with the Easter bank holiday have been dashed amid warnings the UK is about to get a late blast of Arctic cold.

Thermometers will widely sink below freezing overnight through the last part of April with sleet and snow forecast to hit parts of the country.

The jet stream, which is largely responsible for sharp changes in the weather at this time of year, will dive southwards opening the floodgates to bitter winds from the North Pole, experts say.

Meteorological charts reveal a frigid pool of numbing air sinking southwards across the nation towards the end of the week.

Met Office meteorologist Sophie Yeomans said: “We are expecting things to turn colder this weekend as a northerly flow reaches the country.

“On the whole it will be dry and settled but there will be some overnight frosts and these could be quite widespread.

“It is entirely possible there will be some snow over high ground in Scotland and perhaps places like Snowdonia, there could even be some sleet or flakes of snow even to lower levels.

“We are not expecting to see anything disruptive but we are going to see colder temperatures from about Friday.

“At this time of year movements in the jet stream can affect the weather in this way and when we are on its north side this allows colder air in from the Arctic.”

Daytime temperatures will reach the mid to upper teens over the next couple of days before nosediving ahead of the weekend.

Wintry weather will keep the nation on ice through the three-day May holiday before temperatures start to recover next week, Miss Yeomans added.

She said: “The wind direction changes from Friday and then we are into much cooler conditions through the weekend with temperatures probably below average for the time of year.

“Winds will come off the North Sea so as well as being much cooler it will feel windy at times, I would advise not going to the coasts over the weekend if you don’t like the cold.

“Into the following week we should start to see temperatures start to return to something more average for the time of year.”

Weather models reveal cold northerly air arriving to the northern part of the UK on Friday before sinking across the country over the weekend.

Temperatures will sink widely to freezing over night with parts of Scotland, northern and central England falling to -3C (26.6F).

Thermometers will dip to between -2C (28.4F) and -3C (26.6F) across the rest of the country with only the east coasts likely to hover in single figures.

Snow forecasting charts also reveal a risk of wintery showers across much of the Highlands of Scotland and the very north of England.

John Hammond, forecaster for digital weather service Weathertrending, said: “As we reach May it looks as if things are going to go in the wrong direction.

“By the end of the week we will be reaching for the central heating again.

“It looks like we are heading for another plunge of chilly air, just how cold and how long lasting is still open to question.

“Through the middle of the week we are going to see outbreaks of showery rain from the west.

“Temperatures in any brightness still not bad, it is later on in the week when computer models are increasingly signalling quite a plunge of Arctic air from the north.

“This air does look remarkably colder early May, frost will be the main issue, there are some particularly chilly nights in that cold northerly wind.”

Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin added: “Its getting colder, we are looking at the isobars pointing all the way up to the Arctic and that’s where the air is coming from through Friday and into the weekend. 

“With colder air spreading our way those chilly winds will be pretty noticeable on Friday as colder air floods its way southwards. 

“As we see some sunshine by day temperatures will jump up but nighttime frosts are likely come the end of the week."

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