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Heavy snow and freezing rain batters UK forcing Covid vaccine rescheduling
14 January 2021, 12:42 | Updated: 14 January 2021, 21:31
Heavy snow and freezing rain have battered parts of the UK, with some older patients urged to rebook their coronavirus vaccination appointments to avoid the bad weather.
The Met Office had issued an amber snow warning for parts of Scotland and northern England overnight into Thursday, with up to 11cm falling in the Perth and Kinross area and 5cm in Cumbria by 9am, and large accumulations elsewhere.
There are also yellow weather warnings for ice covering the whole of Scotland, and the whole of the east of England. The only parts of the UK that have not been issued the warning are Northern Ireland, Wales, and the south-west of England.
Hospital bosses have advised older people not to visit Newcastle's Centre for Life mass vaccination hub due to the conditions, urging them to rebook their appointment.
The Newcastle NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust tweeted: "It's easy to do by calling 119. No need to risk travelling in the bad weather."
A yellow warning for snow and ice was in place until 9pm on Thursday, stretching from the northern Highlands to South Yorkshire.
Snow will keep falling across parts of Scotland and northern England this afternoon ❄️— Met Office (@metoffice) January 14, 2021
Rain will continue elsewhere, but this may start to fall as snow in parts of the Midlands and East Anglia 🌨️
Sunny spells in Northern Ireland and windy in the southwest pic.twitter.com/9f54GG9aUQ
The rest of England saw heavy rain, particularly in London and the South East, while Wales and Northern Ireland stayed mostly dry.
The temperature fell as low as minus 5.5C (21F) in North Yorkshire on Thursday morning, and minus 6.4C (20F) in Dalwhinnie in the Highlands.
Nicky Maxey, a Met Office spokeswoman, said on Thursday that unsettled conditions are set to last into next week, and she urged people to be alert for new warnings from the forecaster.
She said: "We've seen snow leave the M62 Yorkshire area and journeying now into the Vales or Yorkshire.
"It will push further south as we go through the day, likely to go down to the Midlands but becoming less intense.
"It becomes more patchy and the chances of it sticking reduce.
"When we go into tomorrow there may well be an ice warning issued, we are certainly looking at some potential for frost.
"With the temperatures warming up through the day there's potential the snow starts melting.
"If it freezes overnight there's a chance of frost and ice tomorrow morning."
Police Scotland's road policing unit warned against travelling in the wintry weather.
Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock said: "Government restrictions on travelling remain in place across Scotland because of the ongoing pandemic.
"People should not leave their homes unless for essential purposes and work from home where possible. The best way to stay safe is to stay at home.
"In the current wintry weather please consider if your journey is exempt under the regulations and also if it really is essential and whether you can delay it until the weather improves."