Brits brace for the big freeze and 80mph winds

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A collision between cold and mild air over the North Atlantic will herald a ­prolonged spell of wintery shivers as it causes the jet stream to drag low-­pressure systems towards the UK. Tuesday will be relatively calm but the forecast for the rest of the week looks unsettled as the mercury falls.

There was flooding and travel disruption as more than 30mm of rain lashed the country on Monday, including the southwest and south Wales, with fallen trees and damaged ­buildings. Homes were flooded in Newquay with coastal areas recording winds of 80mph, while inland the gusts mustered a hefty 60mph.

Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: “There is quite a bit going on with the weather over the next few days. There will be a brief respite on Tuesday, but the next area of low ­pressure moves in during the middle of the week.”

Met Office colleague Alex Deakin explained the unsettled weather is being driven by a strong polar vortex – a body of air circling the Arctic region which has started to sink south towards the UK.

He added: “The polar vortex looks like staying strong as we go through the last week of November. That will lead to more spells of wet and windy weather.”

Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: “Very cold weather is currently affecting Canada and North America and Russia and Ukraine. We are in the middle and, when we get that, we see an unsettled pattern of weather in between. We are between two big freezes – in the mixer.

“So for the next week at least we are going to get a bit of everything.”

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