Britain is to be plunged into a deep freeze from today and the cold snap is expected to be made worse by strong winds and inches-thick layers of snow blanketing most parts of the country.
Flurries have already started to fall over Northern Ireland and Scotland and the snow is set to get heavier during rush hour this evening and also tomorrow morning. Police Scotland have urged drivers to take extra caution.
UK winter weather
UK winter weather
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Cars make their way through the snow in the Loxley area of Sheffield
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A cyclist makes his way through a blizzard in Durham
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Heavy snow falls on the A690 into Durham
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Picture of snow taken through a window of a plane stuck at Manchester Airport
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A woman walks in heavy snow in the Loxley area of Sheffield
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Heavy snow in the Loxley area of Sheffield
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A snow covered Durham Cathedral
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Snow covered graves at St Joseph's Church in west Belfast, as an orange weather alert is announced in Northern Ireland
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Sheep in snow, in the Glens of Antrim, as an orange weather alert is announced in Northern Ireland
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Snow Blizzards on the A9 road near Blackford, Perthshire as snow blizzards sweep across the country
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A cyclist on Dumbarton Road in Stirling during a snow blizzard
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A dog walker walks through the Kings Knot area below Stirling Castle during a snow blizzard
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Vehicles driving down Dumbarton Road in Stirling during a snow blizzard
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Scotrail train travels through snow covered country side near Lenzie, Scotland
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A man digs his car out of the snow near Shaw, northern England
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A dog walker in the snow on the Pennine hilltops near Reeth in the Yorkshire Dales, as many parts of the UK were on snow alert with wintry showers threatening to disrupt travel
John Giles/PA Wire
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A snow plough on the A93 near Guildtown, as snow brings fresh disruption to parts of the UK
Danny Lawson/PA Wire
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Andrew Millington (left) and Stephen Peacock walk near the Spittal of Glenshee as snow brings fresh disruption to parts of the UK
Danny Lawson/PA Wire
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Snow covers the A68 near Corbridge in Northumberland, as many parts of the UK were on snow alert with wintry showers threatening to disrupt travel
Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
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A car makes its way through snowfall in Gortin near Omagh, as many parts of the UK were on snow alert with wintry showers threatening to disrupt travel
Niall Carson/PA Wire
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Sleaford Lincolnshire in the snow Boxing Day 2014
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Snow at Liverpool's John Lennon Airport, which closed temporarily on Friday night
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Maisy Byrne, aged nine, (left) and sister Lulu Byrne, aged seven, have fun as snow falls on Boxing Day in Gateacre, Liverpool
Peter Byrne/PA Wire
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A decorative snowman surrounded by real snow outside a house in Eccleston Park, near Prescot, Merseyside
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Maisy Byrne, 9, left, and sister Lulu Byrne, 7, have fun as snow falls in Gateacre, Liverpool
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Snowfall in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire on Boxing Day
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A man pushing a motorcycle through snow in Newtown Linford, Leicestershire on Boxing Day
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On the M6 near Sandbach
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Snow swirling around the grounds of Lichfield Cathedral on Boxing Day
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Referee Mark Clattenburg during the Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns in the Midlands
A severe cold front making its way down from the Arctic will bring an “90 per cent probability of icy conditions and heavy snow” with 5-10cm to fall over the next few days, said the Met Office.
Temperatures will drop significantly tonight to 0C or even lows of around -5C. This comes after the beginning of the week started off with much milder weather of around 10C in the North and 8C in southern parts.
The forecaster has issued a cold weather alert that applies to the whole of England, particularly central and northern areas such as Yorkshire and Humber, the North East and the North West.
There is a 70 per cent chance of extreme cold weather in the West Midlands, the East Midlands and the East of England.
Scotland and Northern Ireland will see the heaviest snow in rural parts and on high grounds where temperatures are expected to reach lows of around -13C.
Strong high winds will make snowy conditions worse and will bring on “blizzard-like” weather that would cause treacherous and difficult driving conditions for commuters and road-users.
The south has a 40 per cent chance of experiencing cold weather conditions such as snow and ice, according to the Met Office.
A Met Office forecaster said: “A cold front is expected to cross the UK during Wednesday, introducing much colder conditions to central and northern England in particular.
“Very strong winds will accentuate the cold. Snow showers are likely in most areas, but especially the north west where significant accumulations are likely to build up, especially in hilly areas.”
Drivers should be aware of low visibility and slippery roads caused by snow showers and frost covering the ground, particularly early in the morning. Commuters are also urged to check for disruptions before travelling.
Wearing shoes with good grip to prevent falls and looking out for frail neighbours and family members is also advised, Public Health England said.Reuse content