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Snow blankets Britain: Met Office issues snow and ice warnings as temperatures set to plunge to -8C
30 November 2023, 10:13
Snow has hit the south of England as a series of weather warnings were issued amid concerns temperatures could plunge to -8C.
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Overnight temperatures dipped to a frosty -6.1C (21F) in the Oxfordshire village of Benson, and most places saw readings as low as -2C to -5C. The coldest night is forecast on Friday when temperatures could drop to -9C.
A dusting of snow was seen as far south as Portsmouth . London Mayor Sadiq Khan put into action a 'severe weather emergency protocol' which opened accommodation to rough sleepers.
The Met Office has issued two snow and ice warnings for Britain's east coast from the top of Scotland down to Essex. One began at 5pm last night and runs until 11am today, while the second starts at 5pm tonight and ends at 11am tomorrow.
There is a separate snow and ice warning in South West England from 3am until 4pm today, and an ice warning for Northern Ireland from 5pm yesterday until 10am today.
Road users were warned over the icy conditions and the Met Office said people could suffer slips and fall injuries in one of this winter's first icy periods.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued warnings of its own, with yellow and amber cold-health alerts for northern regions of England until next Tuesday.
⚠️A cold & frosty start to Thursday with some icy stretches— Met Office (@metoffice) November 29, 2023
❄️Plenty of sunny spells with showers continuing along North Sea coasts & northern Scotland, turning wintry over higher ground
🌨️Cloudier and windier in southern England with outbreaks of rain & possible hill snow pic.twitter.com/EuhlEVFcoj
Met Office chief meteorologist Neil Armstrong said: "We've already seen snow settling in parts of eastern Scotland and north-eastern England.
"As the cold air continues to spread across the UK, we also expect to see some snow over the high ground of South West England.
"Snow showers will continue along the North Sea coast with a north-easterly air flow, leading to further accumulations over higher ground.
"Where the showers fall as rain, there is a risk of icy patches forming overnight with temperatures widely dipping below freezing."
For the rest of today, southern counties of England can expect cloudy weather with patchy rain at times, falling as snow across the hills in the southwest.
It will be sunny elsewhere, with wintry showers towards coasts in the east. However, most places will remain dry with sunny spells that will develop into a widespread frost overnight.
This evening, wintry showers may develop near the North Sea coasts and in parts of Northern Ireland.
Tomorrow, the weather will remain cold with sunny spells and some wintry showers, mainly towards coastal areas.
It comes after temperatures plunged to a low of -7.2C in England yesterday as snow fell in Scotland, Northumberland and Yorkshire.
However, the Met Office has said it is too early to predict a white Christmas.