UK weather: Parts of Britain could see snow by end of next week

Ajay Nair, news reporter

There is an "enhanced risk of snow" in parts of the UK from late next week, according to a Met Office forecast.

It is predicting cold spells and an increased chance of the white stuff falling in the North and the East, and snow is "likely" on northern hills in Scotland.

The forecast comes as early European Commission weather predictions suggest Britain might be facing a cold snap by the end of January.

"Snow is likely on northern hills, and perhaps to lower levels in the far north," the Met Office wrote on its website. "The best of any drier and brighter interludes will be towards the South.

"Temperatures overall will be close to the seasonal average, but from late next week onwards there is a greater chance of cold spells giving more widespread frosts and an enhanced risk of snow, especially in the North and East."

Forecasters predict there will be more chance for colder conditions across the UK bringing "an enhanced risk of snow and widespread frost, especially in the North".

However, they add: "These notably colder conditions are by no means certain though, and even if they do occur, they will probably still be interspersed with some milder, wetter and windier interludes, especially for the South."

A Met Office spokesman told Sky News there was not yet a "strong signal in the forecast for widespread snow".

He added: "There's some cooler weather at the end of next week slightly below the average, but nothing dramatic in the long-term forecast yet."

However, any cold front will come after unseasonably warm weather, with some parts of the country experiencing double figure temperatures this weekend.

Forecasters in Europe have said the same weather pattern which sparked last year's "Beast from the East", bringing freezing temperatures and heavy snow, could return.

A sudden stratospheric warming appeared around Christmas, when there was a sharp increase in temperature over a couple of days.

When this happens in the Arctic, it can lead to a rush of cold air blowing eastwards across Europe a few weeks later. This brings much cooler temperatures across the continent.