Temperatures could plummet across the UK next week amid a sudden stratospheric warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, forecasters have warned.
The warming, which happens between six and 30 miles into the atmosphere, can cause a sharp spike in temperatures that can reach up to 50C and disrupt the jet stream.
Previous occurrences of the rare weather event have been followed by a cold snap, but a spokesperson for the Met Office said they were not yet sure how the atmosphere would react.
“It could mean we get clearer, colder conditions but we’re still waiting to see how the atmosphere will respond,” a spokesperson told The Independent. “In previous years, it has led to a disruption of the jet stream, so we are urging people to follow the forecast.”
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The Met Office advised pedestrians to take care on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths to avoid injuries from slips and falls.
“There will be some wintry showers on Sunday but they will be increasingly in the mountains of Scotland, we still have a snow and ice warning in Scotland until overnight but with the milder air coming in over the weekend that will push any snow uphill,” a spokesperson said.
Elsewhere in the UK, conditions will be clear and bright, with sunshine and light cloud forecast for the south and parts of the north-east into the weekend.
Conditions will remain cold overnight however, with frost and potentially fog in some parts.