A super-charged jet stream has opened the gates to the fury of the Atlantic allowing a barrage of churning low-pressure systems to hurtle towards the UK. Temperatures will plummet through the coming days sparking predictions another Beast from the East winter blast could pounce before the end of the year. As the nation reels from Storm Atiyah’s assault earlier this week, forecasters warn another mega-storm is about to smash the country.
It joins a queue of frenzied low-pressure vortexes lined up in the Atlantic about to be steered this way by an unusually powerful jet stream.
Arctic air pulled in by the storms will send temperatures plunging with crippling snowfall forecast in parts of the country.
Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden said: “It is going to remain windy and unsettled in the approach to the festive period with almost persistent stormy conditions.
“Colder conditions encroaching from the north threaten some significant impact in terms of widespread snow, particularly, later this week and in the run up to Christmas Day.
UK weather warning: Britain is facing five Christmas storms, maps show
UK snow storm: Thursday evening will see the first Arctic gales sweep in
“We can expect strong gales at times, particularly in coastal areas, with developing snowfall likely to turn heavier through the next fortnight.
“There is a risk of some hazardous blizzard conditions as rainfall turns to snow.
“The next wintry blast is likely to strike around the festive period, and indications suggest that this will contain an easterly component with the right ingredients for a troublesome cold spell and widespread heavy snowfall.”
Deeply unsettled conditions will persist through the rest of this week and possibly into the festive period, according to government forecasters.
Storm warning: Saturday will see Britain face the next storm from the Atlantic
Frequent bouts of strong wind and heavy rain will be driven by a ‘zonal’ jet stream charging directly over the UK.
When in this ‘zonal’ phase, the jet travels in a relatively unwavering west-to-east direction differing from it’s meandering ‘meridional’ flow.
This straight pattern allows it to channel an almost uninterrupted stream of low-pressure systems in from the Atlantic.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “We are going to stay in a very unsettled set up through the next week at least.
We will get these low-pressure systems heading our way quite fast and deepening quickly as they approach
“Wednesday will see the risk of strong winds and coastal gales with showers which may be heavy at times and wintry over high ground where there may be some accumulations.
“There will be a further risk of gales in the far north, rain and thunder through Thursday with unsettled blustery showers through the end of the week and into the weekend.
“With the jet stream working the way it is, we will get these low-pressure systems heading our way quite fast and deepening quickly as they approach.
“We are likely to see a number of these systems heading towards the UK over the next week or so.”
Arctic storms: Low pressure is pulling cold air in from the Arctic according to maps
Low pressure will encourage a northerly airflow making it feel bitterly cold through the coming days, he warned.
He added: “At the moment we are in a warm sector, there will be a contrast as air comes down from the north so it will start to feel much colder.”
Weather charts reveal at least five powerful low-pressure systems charging in from the Atlantic over the next fortnight.
The next is due to sweep across the nation on Thursday followed by another at the weekend and three more by Christmas Eve.
Frost and ‘freezing fog’ forecast as temperatures PLUMMET to -15 [FORECAST]
UK cold weather MAP: Snow deluge to hit Britain – Met Office alerts [MAPS]
Remove frost and ice with homemade sprays [INSIGHT]
UK frost: Ground temperatures will plummet to up to -14C over the next seven days
Models reveal winds reaching 75mph along western coasts with inland gusts likely to touch gale-force this week.
There will be a risk of snow through the next week and during the days leading up to Christmas with the heaviest downpours most likely over Scotland and northern Britain.
Ground temperature charts show the mercury dropping to -11C (12.2F) in Scotland by the start of next week with lows of between freezing and -3C (26.6F) forecast elsewhere.
Volatile weather conditions will hold out through this week and into mid-December, according to The Weather Company (IBM).
UK snow facts
A spokesman said: “This week will remain unsettled, with wet and windy conditions on many days.
“Gales are possible for south-western and western coastal areas at times.
“Current indications are for the unsettled conditions to continue into mid-December and probably later into December, with more wet and windy weather likely.”