UK weather forecast: Snow and sub-zero temperatures to hit Britain as cold snap sweeps across country

Cold snap predicted to cause huge spike in boiler breakdowns

Tim Wyatt
Friday 18 January 2019 10:00
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UK weather: The latest Met Office forecast

Sub-zero temperatures will freeze the UK as the coldest snap of the winter so far sets in.

In some parts the mercury could dip as low as -10C and forecasters are warning of snow and ice.

In northern Scotland the temperature had already plummeted to -4.7 on Thursday evening.

“Winter’s here now properly. It feels like winter and the weather’s resembling it,” said Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill.

British Gas has predicted a record number of callouts for problem with heating and hot water as the icy conditions wreak havoc. It expected to field about 81,200 callouts over the coming days across Britain.

Mr Burkhill said cloud rolling in could be enough to stop more extreme plunges overnight, but added that lows of -10C and -12C were still possible.

“Generally, across much of England, it’s going to be very cold and frosty,” he said.

The chilliest parts would be sheltered areas in Scotland such as Braemar, he added.

British Gas said it was vital people took practical steps to keep their heating working during the wintry conditions.

“Our research shows that having no heating or hot water during the colder months is people’s worst winter disaster in the home,” said Hannah Hughes, a repair engineer for the company. “There are some really simple steps you can take to help prepare your house for winter and keep everything running like clockwork, but if something does go wrong, we’re always on standby to come to the rescue.”

Bleeding radiators, fitting draught excluders, insulating the hot water system and checking boilers are the key things to be doing to keep on top of the situation, she added.

During the worst of last year’s “Beast from the East” British Gas had 104 calls for help coming in every second, thirteen times more than its normal call volumes.

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More than 1.25m homes saw their boiler break down, stretching energy companies to the limits.

But the coming weather is not expected to be as severe as last January’s severe conditions, with the limited snow not likely to cause any serious disruption.

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