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Britain set for up to 10cm of snow and -10C as ‘beast from the east’ arrives

Britain will be buried in up to 10cm of snow as the ‘beast from the east’ will send temperatures plummeting to -10C next week.

The mercury is set to nose-dive below the seasonal average over the coming days, with bone-chilling conditions to continue into the beginning of March.

Values on Saturday could plummet to -4C in parts of southwest England, while temperatures on Sunday will hover around freezing across much of the country.

It will also be an icy start on Monday for the early rush-hour, with temperatures hitting as low as -7C in parts of Scotland.

But it will feel much cooler than this in the brisk easterly airflow with wind chill values sinking as low as -10C in the Scottish Highlands.

Elsewhere, wind chill figures are predicted to fall to -8C in parts of southwest England and Wales and between -2 to -7C across the rest of the nation.

Eleanor Bell, principal meteorologist at The Weather Channel, said it will begin to feel much colder over the next several days with temperatures tumbling as the ‘Beast from the East’ takes charge.

She said: "Temperatures are expected to fall well below normal widely across Europe through this week and continue into the beginning of March.

"High pressure centred over Scandinavia and northeast Europe will dominate the weather pattern, dragging in bitterly cold air from the east.

"It will feel much colder with a wind chill of -1 to -8C for Britain, -8 to -14C for central Europe but -15 to locally -30C for north-east and eastern Europe.

"According to forecasters, the coldest spell is currently expected between February 26 and March 4.

"Winds will generally be gentle or moderate, but they will be coming from a very cold source.

Friday is set to be chilly with plenty of winter sunshine, turning colder by the weekend as the easterly winds strengthen.

By Saturday the UK will be colder than Iceland as high pressure anchored over Scandinavia drags freezing air westwards across Europe.

Meanwhile, night-time temperatures on Saturday and Sunday are predicted drop sharply under clear skies, leading to widespread hard frost and dangerous icy conditions for many.

Heading into next week there is a risk of snow for eastern areas as the biting winds pick up moisture while tracking across the North Sea.

The forecaster added that up to 2-5cm of snow is possible over parts of east and south-east England, with no thaw expected.

But at this stage, snow could fall almost anywhere in Britain.

Most forecasters call wind chill the "feels-like" temperature, which is when biting winds make the air feel much colder than the actual temperature forecast.

These cold conditions mean that although the air temperature on weather maps state thermometers will be, for example, around 5C, it will actually feel more like 2C.

This is because the wind strips away the thin layer of warm air hovering over the skin – the stronger the wind, the more heat is lost from the body, and so the colder it will feel.

The ‘feels-like’; temperature is particularly important on a windy day due to the effect wind has on taking moisture from skin.

On a windy and rainy day where the skin is wet, there will be additional cooling due to the moisture evaporating.

This has the effect of moving heat away from the body and making the surrounding air feel cooler than it actually is.

The stronger the wind, the faster the cooling is. The lower the temperature, the more impact the wind has.

When the winds are light, it will feel closer to the actual air temperature.

Forecaster Hannah Findley said: "Higher wind speeds make humans feel cooler because it moves air away from your skin.

"This leads to faster evaporation of moisture, but also removes the thin film of warmer air next to your skin, which is trapped by hairs.

"How much cooler the wind makes you feel is subjective and dependent on a number of factors, such as the clothing you’re wearing, so there is no universally agreed upon system of calculation."

Besides the wind chill feeling colder than the actual air temperature, it can pose dangerous risks to health and wellbeing.

The colder the wind chill, the higher risk.

Bitterly cold wind chills can increase the risk of developing hypothermia and frostbite.


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