UK weather: Severe ice and snow warnings issued over 72 hours as temperatures to hit -8C this week

Parts of the Scottish Highlands are to be plunged into a deep freeze with temperatures as low as -8C

Lamiat Sabin
Tuesday 04 January 2022 11:43
<p>Snow covers the B9007 between Carrbridge and Forres in the Cairngorms National Park</p>

Snow covers the B9007 between Carrbridge and Forres in the Cairngorms National Park

Parts of the UK are being warned of dangerously icy conditions and snow on the way as the mercury drops following a spell of unseasonably warm weather.

Temperatures are expected to plummet to near, or well below, 0C in parts of northern England and Scotland over the course of the next 72 hours.

Pictures on Tuesday morning show areas across the UK covered in blankets of snow in stark contrast to the warmest New Year’s Day on record last week, which saw people ring in 2022 amid balmy temperatures as high as 16.5C.

Now the Met Office has issued a yellow warning for the majority of northern England due to the “icy stretches” on the ground from Tuesday morning – and urged caution when travelling on “untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths.”

The warning applies to the region as north as Newcastle and Carlisle, throughout Yorkshire and the Humber, down to parts of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, and Hull.

Shap, in Cumbria, is expected to see temperatures as low as -5C on Wednesday night, according to the forecaster’s predictions.

The Met Office said in its warning: “Following overnight rainfall, surface temperatures are now dropping with icy stretches expected to form.”

The snow and ice will “likely” cause “difficult driving conditions at times on higher routes”, increase risk of injuries, and disrupt transport services, it also said.

A yellow weather warning has been issued for the west coast of England, Scotland, and parts of Northern Ireland – including Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria, Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Hebrides, and Derry.

It is expected that these areas will be affected by snow and ice on Friday morning from after midnight to about 10am, the Met Office said.

In northern Scotland, where up to 15cm of snow is expected to fall today, two other separate yellow warnings have been put in place. One warning for snow and ice applies to most of the north of the country, including Aberdeen and Inverness, until Wednesday morning.

Braemar in the Highlands – confirmed to be the coldest place in Scotland – is forecast to see temperatures drop to -8C in the early hours of Thursday morning, after they have been hovering around 0C.

Another yellow warning for windy conditions applies to Scotland’s north-east coast, which includes Aberdeen.

The Met Office is warning that windy conditions that could cause blizzards when coupled with the snow, “treacherous walking conditions”, loss of power to a number of homes and businesses, and disrupted road, air and ferry transport.

It tweeted: “Strong winds are expected across northern Scotland through the rest of today. 60-70 mph gusts, possibly stronger for a time for Orkney and Caithness.

“The strong winds combined with heavy #snow showers will lead to some very tricky travelling conditions.”

Coastal regions are warned that there is a risk of large waves hitting communities with an increased risk of flooding.

London, where temperatures as high as 16.2C were reported on New Year’s Day, and parts of the south-east are expected to see temperatures drop to between -1C and -3C in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The Welsh town of Bala broke a New Year’s Eve record for the UK with a high of 16.5C.

The warm weather was widespread across the UK on 31 December, as Keswick in England reached 15.9C, Kinlochewe in Scotland reached 16.1C, and Magilligan reached 15C in Northern Ireland.

The extremely mild spell of weather was driven by a flow of warm, moist air pushing from the Canary Islands and further south in the Atlantic – the Met Office said.

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