Weather: Met Office issues yellow warnings for snow and ice

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A snow deluge has hit parts of Britain, with more areas set for wintry showers overnight. A cold Arctic weather front has knocked out a milder stream from the Atlantic, which is why the country’s thermometers are struggling to remain above freezing. The Met Office has issued an array of yellow snow and ice warnings for nearly every region – but Scotland is under a rare amber alert. Forecasters are warning drivers could become stranded as up to 15cm of snow could lash the north east – causing power cuts and even disruption to phone signal. 

Jo Farrow, a senior forecaster for NetWeather, said in her blog: “Recently there has been a barrage of low pressures zooming in from the Atlantic which has led to high river levels and threats of flooding after so much rain.

“This week is different. Low pressures will swing around the UK as we sit in a cold northerly flow which will bring a chill to all. There will be a lot more sunshine with blue skies.”

But, its the clearer days which may lull people into a false sense of security, as temperatures will remain rather cold. She added: “Those skies stay clear overnight and then we see temperatures fall away once more leading to widespread frosts.

“There will be the risk of ice and more snow. The lows may throw snow our way but mainly it is snow showers moving southwards in the Arctic flow which are giving the wintry picture.”

In a specific UK-wide forecast for tonight, the Met Office said: “Wintry showers are continuing across northern and western parts with some snow accumulations inland. Heavy snow for northeast Scotland for a time with strong winds and blizzards on high ground. Clear elsewhere with a widespread frost, severe in places.”

Interactive weather model WXCHARTS shows a blanket of snow already hitting parts of Northern Ireland, specifically the western coasts. People living in the vicinity of Newcastle and Manchester are predicted to already be under 2cm of snow before 7pm. 

In the south west, Cornwall was one of the first snow victims this morning, with not much more expected in the early evening, maps claim. But at around midnight this barage of snow will come hurtling across the country – with places like Cork in southern Ireland getting a dusting at first.

Then it’ll progress eastwards towards parts of Wales – with more wintry showers hitting Birmingham and the Midlands overnight. 

This morning in Somerset a bus filled with 70 people on-board overturned in icy conditions, with dozens injured. With more sub-zero temperatures expected tonight, along with snow, some schools across the nation may decide to close.

Nick Miller, a forecaster from the BBC said: “Widespread cold has returned to the UK with lows of -7 to -10C across the four home nations last night.

“Temperatures across much of the UK will only rise a degree or so above freezing today with another widespread frost tonight.”

According to the BBC, a total of nine vehicles overturned in Wales today as a result of slippery conditions.

But conditions are set to improve by the end of the week, the Met Office predicts. Between Thursday tob Saturday, its predictions say: “Further wintry showers Thursday, mainly for northern Scotland; mostly sunny elsewhere. Staying cold but mainly dry across central and eastern areas thereafter with widespread frosts. Turning milder in the west.” With the milder weather comes the return of drizzle, it said.

Looking at the rest of the month, the Met Office adds: “On Sunday, cloud is likely to be widespread with outbreaks of rain and occasional drizzle, however the far southeast could remain dry and bright. In the northwest, winds are likely to be strongest with a risk of coastal gales, while the south is expected to see lighter winds.

“Temperatures mild in the northwest but likely around average in the southeast. Later in the period, changeable conditions are likely to persist. Cloud is expected to remain in the northwest with outbreaks of rain continuing under unsettled conditions.

“The southeast is likely to be mostly dry, but showers and rain remain possible. Winds expected to be strongest in the west and northwest. Temperatures near average, although locally mild in the northwest. Occasional colder spells possible in the southeast under clear skies.”

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