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Snow and freezing temperatures expected to reach UK this week

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Best dig out the gloves your mum bought you this Christmas for a snowy apocalypse is imminent.

And not in the good, ‘let’s build a big fuck off Snowman and drink some eggnog’ sense, we mean a ‘potentially hazardous snowstorm as Arctic winds move south across Europe ‘sense.

Yep, having enjoyed a relatively mild January compared to the deadly chill felt across mainland Europe, it’s now the UK’s turn to get walloped by freezing temperatures as snow and heavy ice hit on Thursday and Friday, when forecasters also predict the plummeting temperatures will even drop to minus double figures by the weekend.

A Met office spokesman said of the forthcoming icy blast: "Most places are at risk. By Thursday and/or Friday, I think most places will stand risk of seeing something a bit wintry - sleet or snow”.

Temperatures are predicted to drop to as low as minus 12C in Scotland at 6pm on Thursday. A change in the wind by the start of Friday will then see snow showers hit Northern Ireland, the North York Moors, where regions may suffer from a fall in temperature to between minus 3C and minus 5C.

Over the weekend the South East of England will eventually start to feel the cold snap. In London, which will enjoy clear blue skies, temperatures will stay at around four or five degrees, but an icy blast of wind will make it feel colder.

Though there’s better news for people London, where temperatures are predicted to stay at around four or five degrees, the capital will enjoy clear blue skies over the weekend over the weekend but a wind chill will make it feel colder. The Met Office warned Londoners that it “will not be pleasant to be out in”.  

So far at least 20 people have died as a result of the continuing cold snap in Europe. In Italy, at least half a dozen homeless deaths have been blamed on freezing conditions, while in Poland, as many as 10 lives have been claimed. 

As well as the human cost, the cold snap has caused havoc with travel, with hundreds of ferries, trains and flights cancelled, particularly in southern Europe.

Now consider the frailty of the UK’s railway system, a network where even leaves on the line, strong sunlight and the flu are enough to render a service useless, and you don’t have to be Michael Fish to see how these forthcoming wintry showers could make our commutes even more hellish as gale-force winds of up to 40mph hit.

Stay safe out there, people.

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