Met Office warns snow could return in February despite temperatures warming up

A spell of mild weather through the end of January is set to give way to an "unsettled" and snowy February.

Meteorologists from the Met Office warn in their long-range forecast that a transition into a more unpredictable month is on the way, with a temperature drop being combined with "drier than average" weather in some areas and "colder interludes" in others.

The full long-range forecast from the government weather agency reads: "This period is likely to see a gradual transition to more unsettled conditions.

"Heaviest precipitation is likely to occur across the northwest, particularly later in the period, whilst drier than average conditions are more likely to affect the southeast, particularly earlier in the period.

"Spells of strong wind are likely, particularly in the north. Temperatures likely to be slightly above average overall. Some colder interludes are still expected though, bringing a risk of occasional snow, most likely over northern hills."

Paul Michaelwaite from independent forecaster Netweather meanwhile predicts that a period of high pressure is to stay "for a while", leading to possible dense fog and overnight frosts.

He writes in his weather blog: "When high pressure is in charge, changes can be slow, so the weather you have today is highly likely to be very similar to the weather you have tomorrow, and so on.

"As it stands, that means England and Wales are best placed for sunshine, for the time being, particularly southern and central parts. It's also these regions most likely to see widespread overnight frosts and the threat of some dense fog patches."

Slow clearing fog patches are also likely to be an issue on Thursday morning (13 January), according to the Met Office.

A frosty start will clear for sunnier conditions in much of the country, while some rain is likely in the far north.

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