Last day of mild weather before Arctic blast pelts the North West with sleet, ice and frost

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After a mild winter, the North West needs to ready itself for a serious drop in temperature.

Conditions will remain moderate today (15 Jan), with highs of around 9C and a minimum temperature of 7C. Things will cool slightly tomorrow before a blast of Arctic air brings freezing temperatures and wintry conditions to the North West on Thursday.

According to the Met Office forecast for the North West, “the wind will strengthen tonight, perhaps with gales over the Pennines. It will continue to be cloudy and damp overnight, but mild. Minimum temperature 7C.”

On Wednesday, “more persistent and heavier rain will arrive from the west, clearing eastwards in the morning.

“Then colder with bright spells and showers, these perhaps wintry over northern hills.

“Frost and icy patches Thursday morning, perhaps with wintry showers, and staying cold but sunny. Dry but cold into the weekend. A cloudier day Saturday, with patchy rain and sleet.”

Long-term forecast

Looking ahead to this weekend and the remainder of the month, the Met Office UK outlook for Saturday 19 Jan to Monday 28 Jan explains that “outbreaks of rain, sleet and some snow are likely to move slowly south and eastwards on Saturday, but tending to become lighter and more patchy as they do so.

“Sunday looks generally quiet, with a good deal of dry and bright weather. Thereafter, it looks set to remain mainly on the cold side, but also unsettled and sometimes windy, with gales possible in the north.

“Any milder spells will tend to be brief, and associated with longer spells of rain. The rain could turn to snow at times, particularly across northern, central and eastern areas, especially later in this period.

“Some drier, brighter spells are likely, perhaps with snow showers, during such spells, frost could become widespread and severe.”