Bristol will be cold as the South Pole tonight - snow forecast for the weekend
BRISTOL is braced for temperatures as low as those being seen at the South Pole today, and possibly snow at the weekend.
Forecasters warned that temperatures will hover around 0°C (32°F) for most of the day, before plunging as low as -6°C (21°F) in some places tonight. This will continue for the next few days, with snow being predicted for the weekend.
The McMurdo research facility in Antarctica is currently recording -6°C (21°F) at night.
The below average temperatures are likely to remain for the rest of the week, and milder weather is not expected until Monday.
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MeteoGroup forecaster Rachel Vince said: "Bristol is facing a largely fine few days, but it will be staying cold.
"It will be well below zero at night making it frosty in the evenings and mornings. It will be getting down to between -4°C and -6°C (25°F and 21°F).
"In the daytime some spots will struggle to get above zero, but in other places it will get up to about 2°C or 3°C (36°F or 37°F).
"At the weekend snow is expected to move down from the north and there will be between 2cm and 5cm in Bristol – you could find by the middle of Sunday there will be enough for a snowball fight or a small snowman.
"Then next week there are hints that it will get a little bit milder, with some rain and wind around."
She said the cold weather was due to an area of high pressure sat over the UK, which is also sat above Sweden and Norway. The cold air that is moving in the high pressure system circulates from those colder countries to the UK, bringing us their cold weather.
Paul Kelson from Bristol Water said that after the last two years of cold winters, the company had been prepared for more of the same.
But so far this winter the weather hasn't caused too many burst pipes.
"We are ready to go if we do get burst mains," he said. "We have a cold weather task force which is ready to spring into action.
"We have also been advising people about how to protect their own homes."
The Department of Health has advised people to check local weather forecasts for the latest information on weather conditions and staying safe when outdoors.