March means spring has sprung meteorologically speaking but warmer weather may be a while off as forecasters warn a cold spell could be coming.

The new month raises hopes of longer days and higher temperatures but the outlook remains decidedly frosty, according to the Met Office, with the possibility of snow and sleet.

We take a look at what is in store weather-wise and if Arctic conditions are on their way.

Will the ‘Beast from the East’ be back?

There have been predictions of a similar storm to the “Beast from the East”, the 2018 storm that brought freezing temperatures, heavy snow strong winds to the UK along with power cuts and travel disruption.

A combination of a sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) and polar vortex brought the 2018 “Beast from the East” and there has been speculation the same thing is about to occur again.

Last week bookmakers Ladbrokes were reported to have slashed the odds on this month as the coldest March on record from 4/1 to just 2/1.

However, the Met Office has said although it is going to get colder the beast will not be making a comeback.

Senior meteorologist Marco Petagna told i: “We’re not expecting a ‘Beast from the East’, although colder air will feed down across the UK from the north or from the Arctic this weekend and during next week.

“Widespread frosts are likely with some wintry showers… northern and eastern parts of the UK currently look most likely to see these.

“Some icy patches are also possible overnight following showers.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 12: A van is stuck in the snow in north London, United Kingdom on December 12, 2022, following heavy overnight snowfall. The Met Office have issued a weather warning for snow and frosty conditions across parts of London over the next few days. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A cold snap and heavy snow fall in December last year brought parts of London to a standstill (Photo by Dinendra Haria/Getty)

What is the latest weather forecast for the UK?

The latest forecast from the Met Office says Wednesday night will see the odd shower in mainly central and eastern areas and a few clear spells allowing patchy frost in northern Scotland and southern England.

More showers on Thursday are likely in north east England, south east Scotland and Northern Ireland while the rest of the UK will be largely dry with some sunshine.

From Friday through to Sunday, it will remain relatively dry but cold with a few light showers in the north east and probably turning colder for north east Scotland with wintry showers.

The long-range weather forecast is predicting colder conditions from Sunday 5 March through to Tuesday 14 March.

Forecasters have said Sunday will see “a mixture of sunny spells with scattered showers likely in the north and east, turning particularly wintry over northern hills and in the far northeast at times and perhaps becoming more frequent in the north later”.

The rest of the country can expect drier conditions with sunny spells, the odd isolated showers and light winds except in the east where they will be moderate or fresh.

Looking further ahead, the Met Office has said “there is an increasing chance of it turning more unsettled later with spells of rain or snow becoming more likely and temperatures overall will be below average.

And then from 15 March to the end of the month, it has warned “late seasonal wintry showers are expected across the country as milder air becomes less likely to affect the UK”.

Rain and strong winds are forecast for the south, while colder and drier conditions are expected in the north, with wintry showers and a risk of heavy snow at times.

Temperatures overall “are likely to be below normal”.

But there is some good news, the Met Office said there is the possibility it may become milder in the south through the middle of March and beyond.

By admin