This week winter will arrive in earnest in the UK, driven by a large area of high pressure over Iceland that will drag Arctic air southwards.
As this cold air descends over the UK on Tuesday, northern Scotland will experience the first signs of this wintry weather, with daytime temperatures forecast to be barely above freezing, alongside some possible sleet and snow showers throughout the day. The cold front will make its way further south over the course of Wednesday, pulling temperatures to well below the seasonal norm.
On Thursday and Friday, temperatures are expected to be more than 5C below average in many places, leading to widespread frost and possibly snow. The cold snap is expected to last through the weekend, though a low-pressure system will move across by the following week, which could initially bring sleet and snow to many parts of the UK, after which temperatures are expected to gradually increase closer to average.
Most of western Europe will also experience wintry weather. In Norway, Sweden and Ireland temperatures will drop during the first half of the week, by up to 10C below the seasonal norm in some places. By the latter part of the week, this icy blast will have travelled south-west to parts of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany.
Over the weekend, this cold air mass, in conjunction with an area of low pressure moving eastwards over Europe, may bring some significant snowfall for many places in western Europe.
In contrast, central parts of South America are braced for a heatwave affecting northern Argentina, Paraguay, and south-eastern Bolivia. High temperatures are expected to arrive on Tuesday, climbing to 10C above the seasonal norm. By Wednesday afternoon, this anomaly will be more widespread, with some places reaching 47C on Thursday – 15C above average for the time of year. The heatwave will start to subside on Saturday, though temperatures will remain well above average.