UK weather: Sleet, hail and snow on the way as parts of Britain could see -15C overnight

Age UK has warned people to look out for elderly friends, relatives and neighbours in the freezing weather

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The Independent Online

The bright sunshine may herald a dramatic fall in temperatures to -15C in some parts of the UK amid forecasts for snow, ice and hail across the country.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings, “be aware”, for Scotland, Wales, southwest and central England, with some areas expecting as much as 10-15cm of snow.

Temperatures are believed to drop to their coldest levels in two years over the coming weekend. Public Health England has urged people to look after elderly friends, relatives and neighbours as Age UK warned that one older person could die every seven minutes from the cold this winter.

A Met Office spokesperson told The Independent that the UK could expect the coldest weather overnight Sunday to Monday, but cautioned that forecasts of -15C would only be felt in Scottish glens and isolated northern pockets.

“For the most part, there will be widespread frost and further south we could see some areas dip below -3C. Areas in the south-east will probably hover around 0C,” he said.

“This coming night it will not be as cold in the south-east because there will be some showers across the south-east, which may turn to a dusting of snow."

He added: “Clear skies and light winds mean the land is losing its heat really quite quickly, which is not that unusual for this time of year but is different from last year when temperatures did not fall below -8C at their coldest.”

A weakened jet stream – previously supplying us with milder, windy conditions – has deepened and moved further south, turning weather conditions across the UK much colder.

“A cold and unstable northwesterly airflow will bring frequent showers to many northwestern parts of the UK, these turning to sleet and snow quite widely,” the Met Office’s chief forecaster said.

The coldest spell in England for two years, with Newcastle possibly feeling even colder.

A Met Office spokesperson continued: “An organised band of sleet and snow showers will reach Northern Scotland on Saturday evening, this spreading south to reach Southeast Scotland in the early hours of Sunday.”

Northern and western Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England will experience some heavy showers this morning, with many a mixture of hail, snow or sleet. Forecasters warned motorists to beware ice on many of the roads.

The Highways Agency has warned drivers to expect “difficult” driving conditions.

At the end of the weekend the cold snap may give way to blustery showers across central and southern England, but with the possibility of more snow overnight if the temperature remains low.

As the cold weather continues Public Health England urged people to look after elderly friends, relatives and neighbours.