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Time to wrap up! Strong easterly winds to bring chill to UK

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November has been mild but it will be all change next week as an easterly flow draws in much colder air.

Over the last few weeks, daytime highs have been widely in the low to mid-teens, reaching 18C on the 3rd, 5th and 17th of this month.

That is well above average, but by no means historic, with the UK’s November record standing at 22.4C.

There has been a cooling trend for most this weekend, but sheltered parts of northwest Scotland and northwest Wales have been mild.

14C is possible there again on Sunday due to the Foehn effect – warming of air to the so-called “lee”, or downwind side, of high ground.

Next week, a strong easterly wind will draw in much colder air, with a significant wind-chill.

It’s not uncommon to see brief cold spells during November from northerly blasts of arctic air.

It’s a little more unusual to see the cold delivered from the east at this time of the year.

The last time we had a particularly cold easterly flow in November was back in 2010, which was followed by the coldest December in 100 years.

At the end of November 2010, a cold northerly wind brought freezing conditions and significant snow, before the wind veered round to the east.

It was also the coldest November for the UK since 1993, which was also down to easterly winds.

1985 was another year where the cold snap was brought from the east rather than the north.

Looking ahead, the first half of next week will be cold, especially in the south.

Daytime highs will be around 5 to 8C, perhaps lower in some spots by Wednesday.

The strong easterly wind will make it feel even colder, almost bitter in some coastal parts of the south and east.

After a largely sunny and dry weekend, showers will move in from the east on Monday, becoming widespread and heavy from Tuesday.

They will bring a wintry mix of hail, sleet and hill snow, even in the south.

The strong winds will limit frosts overnight, but there will be an increasing risk of frost and ice from the middle of the week as the wind eases.

There are signs that this cold snap will be brief, with daytime temperatures slowly rising from Thursday, perhaps returning to near average by next weekend.

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