A significant winter storm is spinning over the open Atlantic Ocean to the west of the United Kingdom, and the storm will remain there through Saturday before weakening and moving to the southeast.
This storm, combined with a cold air mass already in place due to high pressure over Scandinavia, will lead to a wintry mess across parts of the United Kingdom into Saturday.
A mix of rain and snow has already fallen across the Belfast area with precipitation expected to fall primarily as snow away from the immediate coastline. Low-lying areas across Northern Ireland can expect 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) of snowfall through Saturday with higher elevations getting 20 cm (8 inches) or more.
Across the English Midlands, Wales, northern England and southern Scotland, snow falls of 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) will be common across the lower elevations while higher terrain could get as much as 30 cm (12 inches).
Across the Southeast, more of a mixture of rain and snow is expected which will limit accumulations to a couple of slushy centimeters with more snowfall to the northwest of London and lower amounts or no accumulation to the southeast. The most likely time for accumulating snowfall in London will be late Friday night into Saturday morning.
Southwest England will not have to deal with the wintry weather above, but outbreaks of rain through Saturday morning could cause some flooding problems.
The weather across the United Kingdom is expected to improve Saturday afternoon with the threat of any heavy snowfall coming to an end.
Unseasonable cold is expected to continue across the United Kingdom through next week with temperatures 5-10 degrees below normal.