THE first snow of the winter could fall tomorrow night as a band of cold weather pushes across Portsmouth – from Russia.
Light snow is predicted as the cold front from the east meets the mild Atlantic weather that has seen most of us enjoy frost-free mornings this winter.
After an initial risk of snow tomorrow night, the Arctic weather is set to continue for around 10 days, with temperatures plunging below zero during the night and crisp, sunny days with temperatures hovering around 5C.
Helen Chivers, a forecaster for Met Office, said: ‘As we go through the day tomorrow, the cloud will build up and that brings the possibility of some light snow.
‘It’s by no means certain, though. It could stay to the west of the Portsmouth area. There’s a risk of snow on Sunday night and into Monday morning.
‘Then the weather recedes again. As we go through Monday and Tuesday, it looks as though it’s going to be dry weather. Next week will be dry, with cold nights and sunshine during the day.’
She said gloves and de-icer will have to be at the ready for the next fortnight.
She said: ‘We expect it to last around 10 days – it could last longer.
‘It depends on milder weather in the Atlantic. It’s never far away.
‘It looks like it’s going to hang on in other parts of the UK while you get the cold.’
Forecasters said plunging temperatures is no surprise in February.
It is often the coldest month of the year due to the cumulative effect of short days and long nights over the last few months.
Mrs Chivers added: ‘If you look back over the averages, February is traditionally the coldest month.
‘We should not be surprised to see colder weather coming in.’
Should any heavy snow fall and conditions turn particularly icy, Portsmouth and surrounding areas are in their strongest position in decades to cope.
As reported in The News, Portsmouth City Council has built a dedicated salt barn at Farlington, with the capacity to store 950 tons of salt, double the amount it normally has. Hampshire County Council has stockpiled 18,000 tons of salt.