Will there be snow in East Anglia? What to expect this week as cold snap hits the region

Snow on the A14 in February 2021. 
Credit: PA Images
Could East Anglia be in for more scenes like these from February 2021? Credit: PA images

It might be the start of meteorological spring, but winter is definitely fighting back this week!

On Monday night, cold Arctic air pushed southwards across the UK leading to some snow flurries in parts of Suffolk.

This cold Arctic air will remain in place until the weekend as it battles against the mild moist Atlantic air trying to make headway from the southwest.

Where these two airmasses meet, we're likely to see a tricky mixture of rain, sleet and snow.

The weather airmass battle ground: cold Arctic air in the north and mild tropical Atlantic air from the south-west. Credit: ITV Weather

Forecasting snow is one of the hardest things to do in this set-up, as it depends on a number of factors:

  • The extent of the system and if this changes between computer models. This means firming up the location can be a challenge;

  • The persistence of the snowfall. Nearly all precipitation in the UK leaves the cloud as snow, before often melting as it gets closer to the ground. Over time, heavy snow cools the atmosphere all the way to the surface, allowing snow to fall to ground level;

  • The intensity of the snowfall determines how quickly the air cools to sustain the snow;

  • And if any will accumulate on the ground, which is linked to ground surface temperature and the variables above.

So as you can see, it really is difficult to forecast rain, sleet and snow when the conditions are marginal. (We're not just hedging our bets.)

Will it snow in East Anglia?

Tuesday night

Through much of Tuesday night there will be a small front which will push across the southern counties of England. This will graze parts of south Essex and possibly Hertfordshire, bringing some possible wet snow here. There is the chance the system could push further northwards slightly, although this is looking less likely.

Elsewhere across the region will be clear skies, so temperatures will fall, giving a widespread harsh frost and the risk of ice. Some wintry showers will feed in across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire from the north sea but these will only be fleeting.


This is the calm before the next system. As Tuesday night's low pulls away and the next system arrives, most will stay dry with bright skies developing, before cloud increasing from the southwest once again.

Wednesday night

As the next system moves in, it advances further north. More moisture is set to bump into the cold air and this could bring something more to the region.

The onset is likely to arrive after 4pm from the southwest, pushing into Hertfordshire, south Bedfordshire, south Cambridge, Essex and south Suffolk. Clearing to the east around midnight.

Again, there are uncertainties regarding the exact tract, its northern extent, the intensity and how much snow will actually accumulate.

The Met Office has a yellow weather warning for snow and ice, in force from midnight into Wednesday to 9am Thursday for the south of the country. This says accumulations are expected to be 1-3 cm. As snow clears on Wednesday night temperatures will fall, resulting in ice developing on untreated surfaces with impacts lingering into Thursday morning.

Weather warning valid Wednesday 12am to Thursday 9am Credit: Met Office


The final bout of potential snowfall looks to be Thursday. A deep low-pressure system which has been developing in the Atlantic will swiftly plough into the cold air through much of Thursday. Strong winds will accompany this with more disruption likely across the northern half of the country.

On its leading edge, rainfall will readily turn to snow across northern England, north Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. For the East of England, there could be some snow flurries for a time but it's more likely the milder air will push in, preventing snow from falling.

In summary

At the moment, snowfall is a possibility for sure - but it's not going to be widespread nor clear cut.

There is still a large degree of uncertainty, but current thoughts suggest it will be a tricky mixture of rain, sleet and snow.

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