Motorists are being warned of ‘difficult driving conditions’ this morning as a thick fog descends upon much of the country – ahead of a drop in temperature later in the week and potential snow by Christmas.
A yellow warning is in place for mist in Bath, Birmingham, Nottingham, parts of Manchester and the whole of Northern Ireland, where it is expected to ‘linger all day’ today, according to the Met Office.
Areas like London and the South West will avoid the fog and enjoy a sunnier, albeit frosty, start to Tuesday.
Meteorologist Clare Nasir warned commuters to ‘wrap up warm’ today, particularly in foggy areas, with the likes of Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham to see highs of 6C, 7C and 8C respectively.
Things will be warmer in London and the south west, although still nippy, as the mercury hits highs of 10C and 11C respectively.
‘It’s going to be a dull day, a cold one, with temperatures lower than average for this time of year,’ Ms Nasir warned, adding that it ‘will be colder’ through the middle and latter part of the week.
It comes as high pressure which has caused temperatures as low as -45°C in Russia is expected to reach the UK in the coming days, with an easterly wind sweeping cold air westwards across Europe.
The Met Office played down those suggestions on Monday, however, insisting temperatures are likely to fall to around 7C in the coming days, rather than ‘something unusually cold’.
Motorists are being warned of ‘difficult driving conditions’ this morning as a thick fog descends upon much of the country
A yellow warning is in place for the mist in Bath, Birmingham, Nottingham, parts of Manchester and the whole of Northern Ireland, where it is expected to ‘linger all day’, according to the Met Office
Fog rolling in to the port of Dover in the early hours of Tuesday morning
However, families facing up to difficulties in heating their homes this winter are likely to feel the effects of the cold nonetheless having enjoyed a comparatively warm last few weeks.
Met Office spokesperson Nicola Maxey told MailOnline: ‘Temperatures are trending down, and the unsettled weather is now being replacing by something more settled.
‘After experiencing an unusually mild autumn, there’s going to be a bit of a contrast that people will notice.
‘But it will be more of a return to temperatures we are used to seeing at this time of year rather than something unusually cold.’
Some other meteorologists are claiming snow is looking increasingly likely, while bookmakers have slashed odds on this December being the coldest on record.
Jim Dale from British Weather Services told the Mirror that the imminent Russian winds mark a ‘transition zone’ into a long period of cold weather, which could last until the festive season.
He said: ‘Pressure will start to rise towards the end of the month and into the start of December, holding back the Atlantic and marking the transition zone.
The Beast from the East wreaked havoc on Britain in 2018, causing temperatures to plunge to 12°F (-11°C) in some areas, along with up to 20 inches (50cm) of snow
‘Then high pressure comes in for the start of December, and this is when we are expecting it to start building over the UK, with the first freezing plunge going into Europe and then, if it comes off, bringing easterlies into the UK.
‘The Beast has opened its eyes, and the signals are still there for a possible easterly Beast from the East early blast of winter during the first half of December.’
The Beast from the East wreaked havoc on Britain in 2018, causing temperatures to plunge to 12°F (-11°C) in some areas, along with up to 20 inches (50cm) of snow.
Scientists recently revealed that the storm was fuelled by Arctic sea-ice loss from the Barents Sea.
The Met Office, however, makes no mention of snow in its long-range forecast for mid to late December, but warns of a cold snap, with frost and fog likely.
It reads: ‘Confidence remains low for this period. Conditions are expected to be more settled than of late, with the potential for high pressure to be located close to the UK, at least at first.
Met Office spokesperson Nicola Maxey told MailOnline: ‘Temperatures are trending down, and the unsettled weather is now being replacing by something more settled. Pictured: Snow in 2018
‘With time, however, we may see a return to frontal systems moving in from the west, with drier interludes between.
‘Whilst temperatures may average out close to normal overall, colder conditions are possible at times, with a risk of overnight frost and fog higher than normal.’
Having been an 8/1 shot last week, the bookies now make it just 4/1 for next month to play host to the coldest December ever, as temperatures begin to slide.
Elsewhere, it remains a 6/4 shot for snow to fall anywhere in the UK on Christmas Day.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: ‘The imminent Beast from the East has seen our odds plummet with the temperatures as we strap in for a potentially record-breaking December.’