Weather forecast today – Brace yourself for SNOW & -11C Arctic Blast as Met Office warns big freeze to hit UK next week

BRITAIN is set to be battered by a “little ice age” and temperatures will plunge to -11C NEXT WEEK.

The rest of the week will be more mild weather before the weather turns far chillier with spells of snow.

The white stuff is expected to hit from November 24, with the sub-zero temperatures starting on November 23.

Freezing Arctic winds will take a grip on the country, with the mercury possibly dropping as low as -7C to -11C with the coldest conditions hitting Scotland.

Read our UK weather live blog below for the latest info & updates…

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    A cold wind blows

    The bitter chill has the potential to bring up to six inches of snow in just 24 hours – and bookies have slashed the odds on this being the coldest November ever.

    Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead said: “We have significantly cut the odds on this month going into the record books as the coldest November that we have ever had, as temperatures begin to plummet and snow looms large on the horizon.”

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    Explained: If schools close, can I still be paid?

    If parents are forced to pick up their kids if their school closes due to extreme weather, they may not be paid for the time they take off.

    Neha said: "If a school was closed at short notice, this would constitute an emergency relating to a dependant, in which case, you would be entitled to take time off as dependency leave.

    "This type of leave does not have to be paid. Your employer can not refuse you dependency leave if you have no other choice and you cannot be disciplined or sacked for taking the time off."

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    Explained: If my office is closed, can I still get paid?

    If an employer closes the office because it is inaccessible, staff should be paid for the day.

    Neha added: "Withholding pay when employees are unable to work through no fault of their own could be considered as an unauthorised deduction from wages.

    "In those circumstances, employees may be able to bring a claim against their employer. However, it should be noted that some employment contracts contain a temporary ‘lay-off’ clause.

    "If this is the case, employers can refuse to give the full amount of pay to employees to a limited time."

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    Ice blast (continued)

    It follows reports that tumbling temperatures will bring up to five-days of snow to the UK.

    While this week will start on the warmer side with temperatures in the mid-teens, things will take a wintry turn by Wednesday.

    Snow is expected to hit Scotland first, before making its way further south.

    Weather maps show the white stuff could well land in north-western Scotland on November 17.

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    Ice blast

    Brits are bracing for an Arctic ice blast set to hit this WEEK – sending the mercury plunging by 8C.

    A chill will swoop in before the weekend, bringing temperatures down from a balmy 15C on Thursday to 7C in the north on Friday, the Met Office has revealed.

    But Brits should enjoy the relatively mild chill while they can, as icy winds from the North Atlantic and Scandinavia will bring some regions down to -12C before the end of the year.

    And this month is also set to be an shiver-inducing occasion, with Scotland seeing temperatures hit -7C, while northern England will see -2C, the Mirror reports.

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    Warming up

    If you fancy a last-minute break somewhere much hotter than the UK, tour operators are offering some super cheap deals to encourage you to book.

    With bargain seven-night holidays for as little as £274pp, you can ditch the dark cold British weather for some sea, sun and sand instead.

    TUI, Thomas Cook and Jet2 are just some of the big names offering cheap deals right now.

    The biggest bargain is with TUI, where seven nights in Lanzarote with return flights costs you just £274pp.

    They also have deals to Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Benidorm for Spain lovers, as well Cyprus, Malta and Egypt.

    Read more here

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    How to stay safe on the roads (continued)

    Check your oil – We Brits are bad at checking our oil. Hardly any of us perform this essential maintenance task once a month, which is how often the experts recommend. 

    Check your battery – Winter is hard on your battery and the electrical system. On a cold day, the engine in a car takes more effort to “turn over”, which puts extra strain on the battery and the starter motor. 

    Keep winter kit in your car – Breaking down in summer is annoying. Breaking down in winter can be dangerous. When temperatures drop, a simple mechanical failure can put the occupants of a vehicle at serious risk if they can’t be rescued quickly.

    Check your wiper blades – You could get fined £100 for having defective windscreen wipers – something guaranteed to make a rainy day worse. 

    Consider buying winter tyres – In some parts of Europe, winter tyres are a mandatory part of driving, either on specific roads prone to ice and snow, or as a seasonal regulation. 

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    How to stay safe on the roads

    WINTER can be a dangerous time on British roads, with slippery conditions and dangerous weather making every car journey a bit more risky.

    But by preparing your car for the colder months, you can help protect yourself and your passengers from some of the hazards.

    Check your tyres – Your tyres are, arguably, the most important safety device on your car. 

    Top up your screen wash – Screen wash is a crucial but often overlooked element of car maintenance. And in winter it’s particularly important, as the roads are gritty and covered with mud, which can spray up onto your windscreen and impede your view.

    Clean your windows – While you’re at it, take this opportunity to ensure your windows are clean. You probably haven’t paid much attention to the windscreen, side windows and rear window of your car, and there’ll be a year’s worth of pollen, dust and autumn grime building up on the glass. 

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    Why you need to protect your windscreen

    Cold weather can put a strain on windscreens. 

    Not only are adverse weather conditions and grit impacting your screen, but warm heaters can also have an effect. 

    Both these things can cause chips in a windscreen to crack. 

    If you have a crack in your windscreen you have to be off the road. 

    This is because your windscreen provides up to 30% of your car’s structural strength and is critical in supporting airbag deployment, says Autoglass. 

    Drivers also need to ensure that their windscreen is clean.

    If a police officer deems a windscreen to be too dirty, they could give you a £5,000 fine. 

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    Bet on white

    Bookmaker Coral has slashed the odds on snow falling on Christmas Day this year.

    Coral make Aberdeen the most likely UK city to get snow on December 25, at 6-4 now, followed by Glasgow and Edinburgh at 7-4.

    Newcastle is 2-1 for snow on the big day, the most likely of the English cities according to the odds, with London a 5-1 shot for a White Christmas.

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    Our top 10 gadgets to help you say money on your energy bills?

    Many households are struggling with rising energy costs at the moment.

    Energy regulator Ofgem increased the Energy Price Cap to £1,277 in October, adding £139 to the average household bill.

    A string of energy provider collapses has also not helped the situation.

    If you are worried about your energy bills then making use of alternatives such as these is one way to keep costs down.

    We’ve also looked at 10 energy efficient gadgets that could shave a few pennies off your bill.

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    Come rain, come shine

    Tyson Fury has been taking no days off since beating Deontay Wilder after embarking on a jog along drizzly Morecambe beach.

    The Gypsy King was accompanied by dad John, brother Tommy and pal Joseph Parker as he clocked up the miles on an early morning run.

    Fury looked to be in top spirits as he embraced the unsettled weather in an Instagram story, saying: “Monday morning workout! What are you saying, dad? 

    “Good to be alive! How happy do you feel to be out of a box?”

    To which dad John replied: “A lot of people in a box, but I’ve worked hard to keep myself out the box!”

    Fury then finished the video by saying: “Good, that’s what we like to hear, positivity. Tommy what you saying, Monday morning blues for you? Joe, what you saying?”

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    How Brits plan to fight the cold

    Brits have revealed their top secrets for battling winter illnesses during the cold weather – with almost half pledging to take better care of themselves.

    More than half of UK adults believe their immune system has been weakened by months of isolation because of the pandemic.

    Many believe that wiping down door handles, getting more sleep and eating a lot of spicy foods can keep the cold weather sniffles at bay.

    Other methods being plumped by Brits include staying in well-ventilated areas, eating immune-boosting foods like oranges and spinach as well as drinking plenty of water.

    The study also found that 88 per cent of people think that preventing catching a winter illness is important.

    Of the 2,000 adults, 65 per cent said that the average cold will wipe them out for several days – and provoke at least three complaints per day.

    There are plenty of other ways to stay healthy this winter.

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    Where will the snow fall first?

    Snow is expected to hit Scotland first, before making its way further south.

    Weather maps show the white stuff could well land in north-western Scotland from today.

    But snow could also fall in northern England, parts of Wales and East Anglia towards the end of the month.

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    How to protect your health this winter

    1. Increase your Vitamin D intake. Our bodies produce Vitamin D in the presence of sunlight.
    2. Work out to stay warm.
    3. Take care of your skin.
    4. Boost your Immune System.
    5. Add fruits, vegetables and spices to your diet.
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    How your gaming could be costing you…

    Wanting to make a big dent on your energy bills? It might be an idea to look at more energy-guzzling appliances to save on running costs.

    One of the easiest ways to cut costs is to make sure your appliances are switched off properly.

    Leaving your Xbox and Playstation on standby could be costing you £16.24 a year – the same cost as leaving your telly on standby too.

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    Fighting seasonal sadness

    Winter, the season of frigid temperatures and ice-encrusted everything is now upon us.

    Its normally to feel gloomy as the nights draw – these is believed to be the reason many ancient feasting festivals were held in the dead of winter to cheer people up.

    Here are five habits for fending off winter blues – the science-backed way:

    • Practice positive thinking
    • Avoid isolation –  improve the balance of those happiness chemicals in the brain.
    • Eat right – committing to a healthy eating pattern will make a difference
    • Get real sunshine – even if it is chilling on your balcony or walking the dog
    • Break a sweat – Exercise causes the release of feel-good endorphins in the brain 

    How to protect your pooch on winter walkies

    Aside from the obvious dangers of slipping and falling, snow presents a number of other risks.

    Snow can often be treated with chemicals, which can be dangerous for your pup’s paws.

    Slush and ice in particular is sometimes treated with antifreeze which is dangerous for dogs – so steer clear if you spot that.

    In addition, salt grit contains chemicals which can result in burns on pets’ paws if they have prolonged contact with the grit.

    Try to avoid walking on gritted surfaces with your pooch and rinse their feet when you get home.

    Ice balls are also a danger – particularly for dogs with hairy feet.

    They can form between your dog’s toes and pads of their paws and cause pain.

    Checking their feet when you finish your walk can help this issue.

    Beast from the East

    AccuWeather’s senior meteorologist, Tyler Ros, told the Express: “We do have to watch a cold snap that appears to move into eastern Europe early next week.

    “If this bleeds westward towards the UK (with the core of the cold remaining in eastern Europe), then the temperatures will be near to slightly below normal during this stretch.

    “This then would fire up some North Sea Sea Effect showers coming in from the east,” the expert European forecaster warned.

    Beware the secret costs of electric heaters

    According to Uswitch, a plug-in electric heater uses around 3 kilowatt hours of energy (kWh).

    The average cost of electricity, according to energy regulator Ofgem, is now 18.9p per kWh.

    So, to get the hourly cost of running an electric heater, we multiply 18.9p by 3, because that’s the number of kWh it uses.

    That puts the running cost at 56.7p per hour.

    If you leave it on for an evening while you’re watching TV for, say, four hours, it will cost you £2.26.

    And if you do that every day for a week, that’s £15.82.

    That adds up to a hefty £70 a month.

    Weather outlook for today to Friday

    Changeable in the north with spells of rain or showers and often windy.

    Largely dry in the south with variable cloud.

    A chilly start on Wednesday before turning milder.

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      Who is eligible for a cold weather payment?

      Those eligible to apply are:

      • Pension credit
      • Income support
      • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
      • Income-related employment and support allowance
      • Universal Credit
      • Support for mortgage interest

      Can I get a free winter car check?

      The majority of garages, car manufacturers and car retailers do winter safety checks for cars. 

      Kwik Fit offers a free winter safety check – you can book via its website by entering your car registration number and finding your local centre. 

      You can get a free five point winter car check at Halfords – it includes battery check, headlights and brak lights, wiper blades, windscreen and MOT due date. 

      If you have a MINI BMW, you can check a full car check for £29.99 at your local dealer. 

      Prepare for a deep freeze

      BRITAIN is braced for a polar plunge as temperatures get set to tumble as low as -11C next week.

      The mercury is predicted to plummet in the next nine days as an icy snap blows in from Europe.

      Forecasters at WXCharts predict temperatures could fall to between -7C and -11C during the week of November 23.

      And according to their outlook Scotland is likely to see snowfall from November 21.

      There is a three per cent chance of snow in Aberdeenshire on November 19, with the likelihood set to rise to 58 per cent on November 21, The Weather Outlook reports.

      There’s also a three per cent chance of snow in London on Nov 21 and a 24 per cent chance of the white stuff on November 26.

      Save money with a log burner

      Log burners are not only a trendy item to have in the house, they’re great at keeping it warm.

      Around a million households across the UK like cosying up in front of a log burner. 

      The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) estimates that a wood burning stove costs about a third of the price of electric heating and approximately 13% less than gas central heating for the average household under the current price cap. 

      This saving will further increase as fuel prices continue to rise, it adds. 

      Of course, it’s worth pointing out that a log burner won’t heat your entire home so it can’t be considered a direct comparison. 

      A log burner will, however, soon heat up the room it sits in and residual heat will spread to other rooms too. 

      According to the SIA, it costs on average between £120 and £140 to buy 1 cubic metre of kiln dried wood logs. 

      The average modern wood burning stove will use around 3.5 cubic metres (m3) of logs in a typical heating season if you have the burner on at evenings and weekends. 

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