Weather warning issued ahead of UK cold snap with 10cm of snow forecast

4 January 2022, 14:55

The Met Office has issued three weather warnings for snow, ice and 70mph wind
The Met Office has issued three weather warnings for snow, ice and 70mph wind. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Temperatures are set to dip below freezing this week as weather experts issue warnings for snow, ice and 70mph winds.

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A yellow weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for Friday, when sleet and snow showers across western Scotland and northwest England could lead to travel disruption.

Forecasters have warned that roads and railways are likely to be affected, with longer journey times and icy patches making driving conditions difficult.

The Met Office warned: "Frequent wintry showers arriving from the west overnight Thursday into Friday are likely to lead to a fresh covering of snow for areas above 200m (mainly around 2-5 cm, possibly as much as 10 cm over highest ground where showers are most frequent).

"Falling snow below this level may cause some temporary slushy accumulations which then may freeze and cause dangerous, icy patches where skies remain clear for long enough.

"These showers will turn increasingly to rain and sleet at lower levels through Friday morning, before steadily easing from the west through the afternoon ahead of an area of rain and milder conditions."

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The Met Office also warns that brief power outages are possible due to a risk of isolated lightning strikes during the cold snap.

Whilst the snow may only affect northern areas of the UK, the cold snap will be felt across the nation with London forecast to see temperatures as low as -1C on Wednesday with other areas also feeling "rather cold".

Another two weather warnings have also been issued in Scotland for Tuesday and Wednesday where snow has already fallen.

Strong winds, coupled with the snow, have led to treacherous travelling conditions in northern Scotland, with the Met Office warning of 60mph-70mph gusts, possibly stronger for a time, in Orkney and Caithness.

Looking towards the weekend, temperatures are expected to rise slightly, but the picture remains unsettled with wintry showers expected for some.

The cold snap comes after Britain enjoyed the warmest new year on record as temperatures rose above 16C.

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Temperatures increased overnight to reach 16.5C in Bala, Gwynedd, north Wales and 16.2C in St James's Park, provisionally beating the record for the warmest New Year's Day, the Met Office said.

The Met Office Tweeted: "Whilst we await confirmation of any new highest minimum temperature records, St James's Park has now provisionally beaten the record for the warmest New Years Day."

A spokesperson said: "This makes New Year's Eve 2021 provisionally the warmest on record.

"Despite this value occurring overnight, we use the 0900-0900 time period for historical records.

"The warm start to the new year follows a mild December and record-breaking temperatures during the day on New Year's Eve.