UK weather CHAOS: Britain faces 0C and SNOW before Storm Rina hits THIS WEEKEND



A TORRID cocktail of stormy conditions, sub zero temperatures and snow is forecast to batter Britain throughout this week.

A tropical storm building strength in the Atlantic Ocean is on course to brush past the UK by the weekend.

The Met Office has warned the storm will bring strong gusts of 50mph and heavy rainfall to northern parts of Britain.

Weather models from the US National Hurricane Center show the tempest – named Rina – will churn past northern UK by around 6am on Friday.

Although the “depression” is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm, the effects won’t be as severe as Hurricane Ophelia, which devastated the UK last month.

In the meantime, forecasters have said freezing Polar winds from the north will send temperatures plummeting overnight.

Thermometers are expected to dip below freezing across large swathes of the country in the coming days.

In Scotland flurries of snow are expected to fall on higher ground at the weekend with wintry showers possible elsewhere.

Oli Claydon, forecaster for the Met Office, said: “A cold front is moving across the country and that will really be the story for the next few days.

“This will bring outbreaks of rain as it moves south eastwards and then on Wednesday Polar air will start to come in from the north.

“By the end of the week we will really start to notice this and we will have some low daytime temperatures.

“It will start to feel raw and cold during the day and by the end of next weekend we could start to see wintry showers to lower levels.

“There will be a risk of gales or severe gales in northern Scotland.”

Looking further ahead, snow could fall as far afield as the Midlands and southern England in the next few weeks, forecasters have warned.

A three month forecast from the Met Office has warned of colder than normal temperatures this month and in December.

The Cabinet Office, councils and transport chiefs are being briefed by the Met Office about potential snow, ice and travel impacts.

Forecasters said a significant reason for the winter freeze ahead is La Nina – the cooling of the eastern Pacific Ocean – which reduces Britain’s mild westerly winds and allows bitter northerlies to hit instead.

Britain risks a repeat of the chills La Nina helped create in November and December 2010, when the famous Big Freeze whiteout hit.

That November saw -13C lows, 15 inches’ snow in north and snow seven inches deep in the south.