A BITTER Arctic plunge triggered by two powerful weather systems set to converge this month threaten to thrust Britain into a near -10C (14F) autumn mega-freeze.
Scotland, northern England, Wales, central England and even London could be hit by show within a fortnight, weather models reveal. A colossal 3,000-mile Greenland anticyclone stretching from the Arctic circle will join forces with a polar storm system opening the floodgates for a swathe of freezing air to flood the UK.
Temperatures will plunge to -8C (17.6F) across parts of northern Britain later this month while the mercury sinks close to freezing elsewhere, forecasts show.
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said: “Odds are currently favourable for some early shots of much colder weather to start developing as we go into the second half of autumn.”
The stormy Atlantic weather pattern which has been responsible for the recent wet and windy weather will die down giving way to a more settled picture, the Met Office said.
Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: “It does look like it’s going to get cooler for the end of October and the beginning of November.
“There are signs that something more settled and drier than we have seen over the past couple of weeks will become more likely.
“There are some hints of temperatures by day dropping below average towards the end of the month.
“There is also the potential that we could see a more northerly flow if a pattern of low pressure develops to the north of the UK which is what one of the weather models is suggesting.
“However there is some uncertainty over this at the moment.”
Independent forecasters warn Britain is about to be plunged into the deep freeze ahead of what could be one of the coldest winters for 60 years.
Numbing winds and snow could cripple the nation from late autumn through to the New Year, according to some outlooks.
Britons should start wrapping up for widespread frosts, snow, and icy weather conditions warned Exacta Weather.
Sub-zero temperatures will bring a wall of dense freezing fog across the UK which could shroud the nation for days, it added.
Mr Madden said: “There will be some early widespread frosts developing through the end of the month and into the start of November.
“We are likely to experience some very cold and icy conditions with some dense mist and fog forming as a result and these may be hard to shift lingering in places for days.
“The formation of low-pressure systems close to the UK will also drive the potential for early winter weather during late October and through November.
“These will bump into cooler air over the country bringing the risk of some significant snow events, particularly across higher ground.
“There will also be the risk of snow falling to much lower levels of the country over the next few weeks.”
The weather will be driven by two regions of atmospheric pressure to the north of the UK which will form a channel for air from the North Pole to gush towards Britain.
A region of high pressure – a so-called anticyclone – stretching from Greenland to the west coast of Portugal which will encourage clockwise winds pulling air down from the Arctic.
The second region, a low-pressure system expected to form to the north of Scandinavia, will trigger an anticlockwise airflow.
A north Europe-bound current of northerly air will establish between the two which weather charts reveal could descend directly over the UK.
Temperatures could plummet around 14C lower than average for the time of year as the nation hunkers down for the first taste of winter.
It will follow what could be a milder period of weather through the start of the second half of October, forecasters say.
Temperatures next week could hit 15C (59F) across southern England, although the “October plunge” will not be far behind.
Eleanor Bell, principal meteorologist for The Weather Company (IBM), said: “It will turn drier, particularly over the west, on Sunday and into early next week.“There will be sunny spells but it will be slightly cooler in a northerly airflow as the pressure builds from the Atlantic.
“Low pressure is expected to return by the middle of next week with unsettled conditions over the northwest and temperatures lifting above normal.
“There is a risk of temperatures dropping slightly below normal through the end of October in a colder plunge from the Arctic and Nordic region, although there remains a lot of uncertainty in this time frame.”