Storm Darcy to bring widespread travel disruption with up to 30cm of snow and gale-force winds

Cold easterly winds not as severe as during 2018 Beast from the East, says Met Office

Peter Stubley
Sunday 07 February 2021 01:57
<p>Snow covers Moulin Moor near Pitlochry in Scotland</p>

Snow covers Moulin Moor near Pitlochry in Scotland

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Storm Darcy is set to bring heavy snowfall and gale force winds as cold air from eastern Europe sweeps over the UK.

Up to 30cm of snow could fall in eastern parts of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent, causing widespread travel disruption, according to the Met Office.

An amber weather warning is in force in those areas from 4am on Sunday until 9am on Monday, with "a good chance that roads may become blocked, with many stranded vehicles and passengers".

Meanwhile much of the rest of Britain will remain under a yellow warning for snow and ice until midday on Wednesday.

Glasgow City Council said it had sent its gritters on Saturday night to outlying priority routes and areas around vaccine centres in light of the "chilly" time ahead.

It comes as many parts of Scotland and north-east England could see 2cm to 5cm of snow, with 10cm to 15cm possible in regions above 200m.

The Met Office said that while the cold and snowy weather would be similar to that seen during the Beast from the East in 2018, it will not be as chilly or as widespread.

Meteorologist Sarah Kent added: "The easterly winds originate from Ukraine and the Black Sea so the air will be cold but it will not be as bitingly cold as it was back in 2018."

Temperatures of between 1C and 4C are expected on Sunday but the strong wind will make it feel well below freezing across the whole of the UK, the Met Office said.

The forecast prompted Public Health England to urge people to check in on the elderly and vulnerable.

PHE's Dr Owen Lande said: "Cold weather isn't just uncomfortable, it can have a serious impact on health.

"For older people and those with heart and lung problems, it can increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.

"So it's really crucial at this time, especially ahead of a potentially very cold snap, to remember to check on frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses."

Dozens of flood warnings are also in force across England due to recent heavy rain, including several locations along the Thames, Severn and Ouse rivers.

Humberside Police urged people to avoid flooded areas in the Isle of Axholme area of North Lincolnshire and the Runnymede National Trust site in Surrey said it would be "closed for the foreseeable future" due to flooding. A paddleboarder was spotted on a flooded park in Fife after the River Eden burst its banks near Cupar.

In North Ayshire, Scotland, the railway line between Ardrossan and Largs was closed after two landslips at Fairlie and West Kilbridge saw debris spill over large sections of the track.

Storm Darcy has been named by the Dutch, who are also expecting gale force winds and snow - with the hashtag snowmageddon trending on Twitter.

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