Arctic blast is set to hit UK again with heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures over Christmas – Daily Mail

By Alastair Lockhart For Mailonline


Britain could be heading for a new Arctic blast of cold weather just after Christmas as sub-zero temperatures threaten ice and snow across the country until the middle of January.
In the run-up to Christmas, much of the UK was hit with snowstorms and frosty weather which gave way to more mild temperatures this week.
But forecasters are now warning that the country could see a major winter blast blow in from the Arctic, with winds as cold as -11C.
Weather systems blowing into the UK from across the globe could follow a similar pattern as 2018’s Beast From the East, which caused disruption and travel chaos for weeks as gusts reached speeds of 70mph.
January could see the return of snow storms with winds as cold as -11C. Pictured: Edinburgh earlier this month
Forecasters have said the UK could be hit by freezing weather for an entire month as storms sweep in from the Arctic
Extreme cold in the US and pressure patterns from Iceland could see Britain swept with far colder temperatures over the next few weeks.
The latest cold snap could see heavy snow return to the UK, adding to the travel chaos already being caused by strikes.
This month has already seen temperatures plunge as low as -17C, with snowstorms across Scotland cutting off power to thousands of homes on the Shetland Islands.
The Met Office has said colder weather could return from Boxing Day until early January, with rain and snow arriving alongside brighter spells. 
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, told GB News: ‘The rest of December and January are showing signs of frequent spells of cold wintry weather with below-average temperatures and numerous wintry blasts.
‘We could now be looking at a lengthy cold period setting in for a number of weeks and the potential for some of the coldest and snowiest weather since December 2010.’
The mild weather is expected to continue until Christmas day, but ice-cold weather could still hit parts of the country this week. 
Thousands of households in the South East could even face Christmas without running water after freezing temperatures caused pipes to burst.
Water companies are working to ensure tens of thousands of homes in large parts of Sussex, Kent and Hampshire are reconnected by the weekend.
Firms said the rapid thaw of frozen pipes had increased the number of bursts and leaks on the underground network of pipes, causing storage reservoir levels to drop after temperatures plunged below zero.
South East Water said it was ‘committed to getting its customers who are currently without water back in supply by Christmas Day, if not sooner’.
The firm said there was a 300 per cent increase in the number of bursts, and chief executive David Hinton told BBC South East Today about 5,000 properties were still affected on Wednesday.
The freezing weather seen last week could return to the UK, with temperatures predicted to plunge after Christmas 
Another cold spell could see yet more traffic disruption over the next month as temperatures plunge once again  
Southern Water said in a statement: ‘We are currently facing significant pressure on our water supply in parts of Hampshire caused by a combination of factors including leaks resulting from the recent ‘freeze/thaw’ event.
‘This has meant demand for water is outstripping the ability of our water treatment sites to keep taps running.
‘We are working as hard as we can to solve this issue, tackling leaks and stabilising supply, but we must also make difficult decisions to reduce demand – in order to protect critical Hampshire infrastructure like hospitals.
‘This is why we unfortunately have to restrict water supplies to some customers in parts of Hampshire for a period of at least 48 hours.’
Cars are seen snaking up Winnats Pass in the Peak District last week amid the wintry weather
Drivers negotiate Winnats Pass in the Peak District following the first heavy snowfall of the year 
A snow covered field near Castleton in the Peak District. Snow and ice swept across parts of the UK this month 
Both water companies apologised for the disruption.
Emergency supplies of bottled water have been delivered to towns and villages.
Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North, tweeted: ‘I’ve asked Southern Water to set up a bottled water station in Southampton – not acceptable that the closest one is the park and ride at Winchester.
‘Appreciate the network is under extreme pressure, but residents reliant on public transport cannot get to Winchester tonight.’
Mr Hinton said in a statement: ‘Our teams are working flat out to find, fix and repair the leaks on our pipes, but we’re asking customers to help too by checking their homes, businesses, empty properties, outside taps and troughs in any fields for leaks and get them repaired as soon as possible.
‘Leaks within properties can cause extensive damage which can be costly to repair.’
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Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group


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