UK weather: Temperatures could plunge as low as -1C tonight

Winter’s coming! Temperatures could plunge as low as -1C tonight before Arctic air puts an end to warm October by sweeping across Britain next week

  • Jet stream is being pushed far to the north over Greenland – causing high pressure to build in mid-Atlantic 
  • Cold air will sweep across Britain next week after temperatures dip to -1C (30F) in some rural areas tonight 
  • It comes after temperatures hit 71F in London yesterday – and Storm Callum hit Britain over the weekend
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Temperatures could fall below freezing in parts of Britain tonight ahead of Arctic air sweeping across the country.

The jet stream, which has a major impact on the UK’s weather, is being pushed far to the north over Greenland – causing high pressure to build in the mid-Atlantic and cold air across Britain next week.

Forecasters said temperatures could dip to -1C (30F) under clear skies in rural parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland tonight, with fog expected in some areas tomorrow.

It will present a stark contrast to the warmth that has characterised the month so far, after the hottest October day in seven years. The highest temperature in the UK yesterday was 21.4C (70.5F) in London.

Two men near the Houses of Parliament shelter from the rain under Union Flag umbrellas in London this morning

The Met Office said high pressure could return next week because of events in North America, where a rippling jet stream is being ‘amplified’ as cold air from the Arctic heads south over the US and Canada.

This energises the jet stream and pushes it far to the north over Greenland. And this in turn causes high pressure to build in the mid-Atlantic, which will dominate Britain’s weather next week, bringing cold air.

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Met Office meterologist Richard Miles said: ‘Tomorrow, after the fog clears, most places are going to be dry with sunny periods after a cold start. Friday there will be some rain in the North West of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

‘But that will break into showers. Other than that, pretty dry and fine after fog disperses. Temperatures will be fairly normal in the South and warmer than average in the North – particularly in the East of Scotland.

‘Tonight most places will still be fairly mild, but Mid-Wales could get down to 5C (41F). Thursday into Friday will get down to 3C (37F) in the North East. In isolated sheltered areas, you could get down to freezing. 

Temperatures are around average today (left) but the mercury could drop below freezing in some rural areas tonight (right)

Temperatures are also expected to be around average for many parts of Britain over the next few days

‘So you could be looking at a frost. (After 21C yesterday), it’s not looking like getting that warm for a while now. The coldest night does look to be Thursday into Friday.

‘As high pressure establishes itself next week, Monday will be slightly below average. There will be a rural frost in central areas, but it might warm up a bit of Tuesday, so back to average temperatures by Tuesday. 

‘Later in the week is when the trend of more cold is likely to establish itself. The clear skies you tend to get with high pressure will be leading to cold nights and a bit of frost.’

It comes after a man was killed in a freak landslide as Storm Callum tore across Britain over the weekend, causing the worst floods in Wales in 30 years.

‘Are aliens landing in Tewkesbury?!’ Extraordinary cloud formation looks like something out of a sci-fi film

This extraordinary cloud formation left some people jokingly speculating that aliens were invading Britain last night.

The striking formation looked like something out of a science-fiction film. Andrew Cheesbrough, from Gloucestershire, took to Facebook to share the photo of the clouds above his town, writing: ‘Are the aliens landing in Tewkesbury?’

Debs McDermott, also from Tewkesbury, commented: ‘Looks like something from Doctor Who.’ And Mary Tomkins, from Cheltenham, wrote: ‘Something falling through the clouds, it’s a bit eerie, isn’t it?’

This was the amazing cloud formation seen in the sky above Gloucestershire – which got people talking and taking pictures

The strange formation could also look like a giant hand is coming up, which has created a hole in the clouds. But Mandy Falshaw got to the bottom of the mystery, stating that it is a ‘fallstreak hole’, also known as a ‘holepunch cloud’. 

A fallstreak hole is a circular patch of sky surrounded by wispy clouds.It is created when part of the cloud layer forms ice crystals which are large enough to drop as a ‘fallstreak’. 

They form in clouds of supercooled water droplets – water below 0C (32F) but not yet frozen. These water droplets need a tiny particle to freeze or to be cooled below -40C (-40F).

Aircraft punching through this cloud layer can cause air to expand and cool as it passes over the wings or propeller. This temperature change can encourage the supercooled droplets to freeze and fall from the cloud layer in this pattern.

The holes in fallstreak formations can expand up to 30 miles (50 km) across within an hour of appearing. Rainbows are sometimes seen with fallstreak clouds, because of light refracting off the water droplets.

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