Sheffield could be set for its first heavy snow of the winter as an anticapated spell of very cold weather sweeps across the country.
Forecasters predict a recent Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) event over the North Pole will lead to a strong chance of severe winter weather in the coming weeks.
The Met Office’s latest long-range forecast covers the period up to February 4 and predicts that a major wintry blast could soon be on the way.
The forecast, which was updated earlier today, states that for the period of Friday January 11 to Sunday January 20: “Friday will be cloudy for many, with the best of the brightness in the north.
“It will probably turn more unsettled from the northwest into Saturday, with heavy rain and strong winds followed by showers, and some snow is likely over higher ground in the north.
“Gales will be possible in the north and west, and it will turn colder from the northwest. The weather is set to become generally more changeable, with gales at times and bands of rain crossing from the west.
“Some snow is expected in the north, especially in brighter, showery, colder interludes between weather systems.
“The south and southeast can expect the best of any drier and brighter periods. Meanwhile, some overnight frost is still likely in clearer spells.”
For the period Monday January 21 to Monday February 4 the forecast states: “This period is likely to start with predominantly wet and windy weather, and a chance of heavy rain and gales at times, especially in the north.
“Hill snow is also possible, as well as snow to lower levels at times in the north. In the south though, there could be some drier and brighter periods too, especially in the southeast.
“Temperatures will vary between mild and rather cold at times, with overnight frosts during settled spells.
“However, as the period progresses there is an increased likelihood of a change to colder weather becoming established generally, bringing an enhanced risk of frost, fog and snow.
“These notably colder conditions are by no means certain though, and in any case, some milder, wet and windy interludes are still possible.”
The recent SSW event is the second in two years. A similar event early last year led to the so called Beast from the East which saw Sheffield blanketed with deep snow.