UK weather: Temperatures set to plunge across Britain as colder-than-average December looms

‘This is probably going to be the most widespread cold spell of the year so far, with many people across the country seeing temperatures below freezing,’ says Met Office spokesperson

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The Independent Online

The UK is set to see the most widespread cold snap for this year so far as sub-zero temperatures are expected to sweep across the country, leading Britain into a colder-than-average December.

Temperatures are going to drop to below freezing across the UK on Monday night, according to the Met Office, prompting bookmaker Ladbrokes to offer odds of 2/1 that a new record is set for the coldest night of 2016 before next Sunday.

Nicola Maxey, a Met Office spokesperson, told The Independent: “We’re going to see temperatures tonight drop below freezing for most of the country, with some widespread cold temperatures coming in.

“We’re likely to see even in London temperatures below freezing, and temperatures getting a little colder as you go further north.”

While this won’t be the first time this year that UK temperatures have dipped below freezing, previous instances have been isolated, meaning the imminent cold snap is expected to be the most widespread cold spell of the year so far. 

“The temperature has dipped below freezing already this year – we saw it hit 12 degrees in Scotland earlier this month – but this is probably going to be the most widespread cold spell of the year so far, with many people across the country seeing temperatures below freezing,” Ms Maxey added.

December is forecast to be colder than average, indicating the possibility of snow, but there is no indication yet of when this could be – or of whether parts of the UK could see a white Christmas.

Ms Maxey said: “December looks slightly colder than average. There is certainly some indication that we could see some unsettled weather, which could bring snow. But it’s too early to start trying to predict when this could happen.”

The Met Office website states that there is a “small chance of snow” at the start of December, but adds that this may be limited to areas “on higher ground”.

Meanwhile temperatures on the whole are expected continue to be on the cold side in the first two weeks of December, but “as the more unsettled weather spreads across the country there will be some slightly less cold interludes,” the Met Office adds.

Thursday marks the beginning of meteorological winter, which lasts for three months until 1 February.

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