Schools close and thundersnow hits as four lives claimed in arctic blast sweeping UK

8 December 2022, 11:50 | Updated: 8 December 2022, 21:42

Yellow warnings have been issued across the UK
Yellow warnings have been issued across the UK. Picture: Alamy/Met Office

By Will Taylor

Schools have been forced to close as Britain endures freezing temperatures with thundersnow hitting and four lives claimed in the arctic blast.

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The Met Office warned of the risk of injuries and disruption as ice forms on surfaces, and said some parts will see temperatures as low as -10C as the "Troll of Trondheim" rolls in.

Snow and ice alerts were also extended as far as Sunday as Brits were warned of worsening conditions.

The extreme weather has already claimed four lives on the roads.

The first of which occurred last night, after a pedestrian die following a collision involving three vehicles in East Kilbride, Scotland.

Two men were killed in a crash in Cornwall yesterday too. The victims were in the same car which was involved in a collision with a second car on the A3083.

The death toll reached four earlier today, after a cyclist was killed in a collision with a car in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.

The UK Health Security Agency previously issued a Level 3 cold warning until Monday evening - indicating a 90% probability of severe weather until then.

Meanwhile, the Met Office's yellow warnings are in place for parts of the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber, the East of England, the South West, the West Midlands, Scotland and Wales.

Much of Northern Ireland is also under an ice warning.

Scotland is the only part of the UK which has a snow and ice alert.

"Snow showers and icy surfaces bringing some travel disruption," the Met Office said.

As a result, many schools in Scotland were forced to close or delay their opening times this morning.

Thundersnow was also seen in north east Scotland - a phenomenon in which thunderstorms form and turn into downpours of snow.

The Met Office continued: "Some roads and railways likely to be affected with longer journey times by road, bus and train services.

"Some injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces. Probably some icy patches on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths."

That warning, for much of the north and north-east of Scotland, has been extended into Sunday.

Parts of England have yellow warnings for Friday and Saturday too, with the Met Office warning of a risk of injuries due to icy surfaces.

The coldest minimum temperature in the UK in the last 24 hours was recorded at Shap, in Cumbria, where thermometers dropped to -8.9C.

Read more: Major incident declared as UK temperatures drop to -10C and Brits told 'eat hot food' and wear layers to keep warm

Yellow warnings have been issued throughout the UK
Yellow warnings have been issued throughout the UK. Picture: Met Police

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Steve Willington said: "As an Arctic maritime airmass settles across the UK temperatures will fall with widespread overnight frosts, severe in places, and daytime temperatures only a few degrees above freezing.

"However, the cold air from the Arctic will also bring brighter conditions, with some dry, sunny spells, particularly away from the coast and where winds are light it could feel pleasant in the sunshine. Some patchy freezing fog is also likely. ”

"Yellow National Severe Weather Warnings for ice and snow have been issued for parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the east coast and South West England.

"Showers will turn more wintry with an increasing risk of snow as the week progresses, particularly in coastal areas or over higher ground.

"There will be widespread frosts with temperatures falling to as low as -10°C overnight in isolated spots by the end of the week."