London snow: UK weather set to get colder as 'Beast from the East' blows in from Siberia

Cold weather warnings issued as parts of Britain get colder than Greenland

Lizzie Dearden
Tuesday 03 February 2015 09:17
Comments
The Shard can be seen behind a snowy Tower of London on Tuesday. Picture: Simon Cardy
The Shard can be seen behind a snowy Tower of London on Tuesday. Picture: Simon Cardy

Even London woke up to a dusting of snow this morning as temperatures plummeted to -11C in parts of the UK.

Snow warnings have been issued for most of the country as the freezing weather continues and there is no sign of respite as the “Beast from the East” blows in from Siberia.

The 4,000-mile wide plume of cold air is due to arrive tomorrow night, sending the mercury way below freezing to make the south of England and Midlands feel colder than Greenland.

The fountains in Trafalgar Square froze as snow fell in London overnight but the coldest weather was reserved for areas under clear skies.

The village of Dalwhinnie in the Highlands endured -11C - just a few degrees warmer in Katesbridge, County Down, which saw -8C.

Cars make their way slowly through the treacherous conditions in the highlands
Heavy snow on a car in Farncombe, Surrey
A man jogs through light snow in St James' Park, London

Kirk Waite, a forecaster for the Met Office, said today’s snow is unlikely to be heavy but could make driving conditions difficult.

“We are not really expecting much in the way of accumulation as it will be mostly a light snowfall,” he added.

“But the cold weather will create some potentially difficult travel conditions through rush hour with a risk of icy patches.”

Gritters were out in force around the country, on their second run in Hertfordshire by 4.30am to keep traffic moving.

The “Beast from the East” will be bringing more snow as it arrives tomorrow, with flurries on the eastern coasts of England and Scotland being whipped up by a freezing north-easterly wind.

Snow outside the Houses of Parliament in London
The sun breaks through the clouds over a snow covered Bodmin Moor in Cornwall

Higher ground in the North York Moors and Lincolnshire Wolds could see up to 4ins (10cm) of snowfall, according to the Met Office, with a yellow “be aware” warning remaining in place throughout the day.

The death toll of this winter’s cold weather is expected to top 40,000, the highest number for 15 years.

Hospitals are preparing for an influx of people on top of the annual “winter pressures”, especially elderly people and those with illnesses that make them more vulnerable.

People walking in the heavy snow that fell overnight in the Strathclyde region
Snow ploughs have had their work cut out in Northern Ireland

The death toll of this winter’s cold weather is expected to top 40,000, the highest number for 15 years.

Some 28,800 deaths were registered in the fortnight ending January 23, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is 32% higher than the average for that period over the previous five years.

The ONS suggested that the flu virus and the cold snap could be to blame for the increased death rate.

A cold weather alert was issued by the Met Office covering the whole of England yesterday, warning that the conditions will last until Sunday at the earliest.

Dr Angie Bone, head of extreme events at Public Health England, urged people to be careful in the snow and ice and keep warm at home.

“Take some time to think about how the bad weather may affect your friends and family, particularly if they are older or very young or have pre-existing health conditions,” she said. “These groups can be particularly vulnerable.”

Additional reporting by PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in