Cold snap set to hit UK with sleet and snow just as price of heating surges

28 March 2022, 14:53 | Updated: 28 March 2022, 15:32

Wintry weather is set to return to the UK just as central heating becomes unaffordable for some
Wintry weather is set to return to the UK just as central heating becomes unaffordable for some. Picture: Alamy/Met Office

By Daisy Stephens

After a week of sunshine and temperatures as high as 20C, the UK is set to see the return of wintry weather - just as the price of central heating soars.

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In its weather forecast, the Met Office said Monday would see highs of 16C and would feel a "pleasant" temperature, especially in the sun.

"High pressure will bring largely settled weather on Monday with fairly mild air," it said.

But temperatures are set to fall from Tuesday, with sleet and even snow expected in some places on Wednesday and Thursday.

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"Turning much colder through Wednesday as a band of rain and hill snow moves across the north," said the Met Office.

Thursday will then be "rather windy and cold", with sleet expected in many places including London, and with highs of 9C.

On Friday the winds are expected to be lighter but the forecaster said it would still feel cold, with highs of 10C - but even lower in most parts of the UK.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Neil Armstrong said: "We’re going to be seeing a marked shift in the weather for the UK in the coming week as the warm weather is displaced south.

"Temperatures will drop as cold air sweeps south with single figure maxima for most places from mid-week, and bringing with it the unsettled weather that we’ll see for much of the week."

The turn in weather comes just as gas prices are set to rise.

From Friday, the energy price cap increase comes into effect and the cost of heating homes will surge.

Prices will go up by 54 per cent from that day - meaning energy prices are rising at least 14 times faster than wages.

It means more people will be forced to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table.

Further price hikes are expected, with the conflict in Ukraine one of the contributing factors.

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Last week Rishi Sunak announced his plans to help the economy in his Spring Statement.

It was hoped the Chancellor would offer support to struggling families as energy prices, inflation and the cost of petrol push up the cost of living.

He outlined a number of measures including a slash on fuel duty and an increase in the national insurance threshold.

But Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis told LBC what he offered was "peanuts" in comparison to the scale of the crisis.

When asked what he would say if he was speaking directly to the Chancellor, Mr Lewis said: "We are still standing on a precipice of personal finance and you're the only person with the tools to address that."

Read more: Martin Lewis: Rishi's Spring Statement 'peanuts compared to cost of living crisis'

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He went on to crunch the numbers on how the worst effects of the cost of living crisis can be alleviated, saying: "The measures that you have put in place do not come close to covering that amount."

He said more people would soon have to "make a choice between starving and freezing", and said: "I somehow worry the Chancellor is more interested in obeying his golden rules than he in in trying to rescue the people who are struggling the most."