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UK weather and snow – live updates: Met Office warns freezing temperatures and travel chaos to intensify as four-inch deluge forecast


UK weather – live updates: Met Office issues snow warning for South West as freezing temperatures forecast to intensify | The Independent


Thursday 31 January 2019 12:44

The UK has had its coldest night of the winter so far as the cold snap continues to cause icy conditions across the country.

Loch Glascarnoch in Scotland was the coldest spot in Britain as temperatures dipped to a staggering -13.6C.

The freezing temperatures have led to weather warnings being issued by the Met Office for snow, ice and fog on Thursday and into Friday and further travel disruption is expected, which you can follow on our sister blog.

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Cornwall Council is reassuring local residents it is ready and prepared to tackle whatever the weather has to throw at it this evening.

Pembrokeshire County Council has said four schools would be closing early due to the “forecast for snow and icy road conditions”.

Ysgol y Preseli will close at 12pm, Ysgol Caer Elen and Tavernspite at 1pm and Portfield Special School in Haverfordwest at 12.30pm.


School transport has been arranged for those closures and mobilised for a further 11 schools in the area.

A few more choice pictures from Twitter this morning.

Some timely advise from The Indy‘s Sabrina Barr on how to de-ice your car in a hurry.


What do the Met Office’s weather warnings actually mean?
There are currently yellow warnings for ice, snow and fog in place across the UK, with an amber warning active from 2pm until 9pm across western England today.
Here’s what the Met Office says:
Yellow Warning

Yellow warnings can be issued for a range of weather situations. Many are issued when it is likely that the weather will cause some low level impacts, including some disruption to travel in a few places. Many people may be able to continue with their daily routine, but there will be some that will be directly impacted and so it is important to assess if you could be affected. Other yellow warnings are issued when the weather could bring much more severe impacts to the majority of people but the certainty of those impacts occurring is much lower. It is important to read the content of yellow warnings to determine which weather situation is being covered by the yellow warning.


Amber Warning

There is an increased likelihood of impacts from severe weather, which could potentially disrupt your plans. This means there is the possibility of travel delays, road and rail closures, power cuts and the potential risk to life and property. You should think about changing your plans and taking action to protect yourself and your property. You may want to consider the impact of the weather on your family and your community and whether there is anything you need to do ahead of the severe weather to minimise the impact.


Red Warning

Dangerous weather is expected and, if you haven’t already done so, you should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the severe weather. It is very likely that there will be a risk to life, with substantial disruption to travel, energy supplies and possibly widespread damage to property and infrastructure. You should avoid travelling, where possible, and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.”

This graphic better illustrates the coming storm.


The Met Office is issuing an amber severe weather warning for parts of the West Country and South Wales for 2pm this afternoon, saying “heavy snow” will be moving eastwards.

Excellent work underway at Manchester Airport here – a neglected highlight from yesterday.

An update this morning from Southeastern Rail, which will be running a winter weather timetable on Friday due to the inclement conditions.

The severe weather is meanwhile also causing disruption to Northern Rail services between Meadowhall and Rotherham Central and Ellesmere Port and Helsby this morning. 

“Where services are affected, and where possible, we will arrange road transport for customers on affected routes, but conditions make this difficult in some locations,” says Northern on its website.

“All customers are advised to check before they travel as the wintry conditions are forecast to remain throughout the next few days.”

A couple of choice winter scenes from this morning.


These PA shots were taken at Basingstoke Common in Hampshire, Mudchute Farm on the Isle of Dogs and Oakham in the East Midlands respectively.


Here’s Samuel Osborne with the latest round-up.


Luke the Labrador is clearly loving it.

Some news outlets are suggesting this morning that a band of sleet sweeping into south western England from the Atlantic during this evening’s rush hour will lead to central areas suffering a “TEN-HOUR” hammering with snow, requiring the Army to be on standby.


The Met Office are, naturally, taking a more measured stance.

As the day develops, the frost and freezing fog seen this morning is set to give way to warmer sunshine, bringing some timely relief from the oppressive chill.


Here’s the Met Office on those overnight lows.

Mr Wilson said central England and Wales could bear the brunt of the snow on Thursday afternoon and into the evening as wet weather coming through the south-west England turns wintry, with some places seeing up to 4 inches of snow.

Yellow weather warnings for ice are in place in north western Scotland and the Northern and Western Isles, alerting travellers to be wary of slippery roads.

A similar warning is in place for north west England, south west England, Wales, Yorkshire and The Humber.

The Midlands, east of England, Greater London and the south of England should also beware of fog making driving on icy roads even more complicated on Thursday morning.

A yellow warning for snow is also in place across large swathes of England and is due to remain in place until late on Friday night.
Most of Scotland should also be prepared for snowfall, the Met Office warned.

Yesterday’s travel disruption is set to continue.


Southeastern Trains said 21 services were being cancelled or altered on Thursday morning to minimise the impact of ice forming on the rails and ensure lines were clear and that it would run its “winter weather timetable” on Friday due to the forecast.


Manchester and Liverpool airports were brought to a standstill on Wednesday morning and several schools closed across the UK due to the harsh conditions.

All four countries in the United Kingdom set new records for the 2018/2019 winter overnight.


Loch Glascarnoch in Scotland was coldest at -13.6C; Sennybridge in Powys, Wales, dropped to -9.3C; Katesbridge in Northern Ireland fell to -8.2C while Redesdale Camp, Northumberland, recorded temperatures of -10.4C. Brrr!


Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson said the cold temperatures were due to stick around.


“It’s been a very, very cold night. On Thursday night we could see similar temperatures in Scotland, but Northern Ireland, England and Wales probably won’t be quite as cold.


“Saturday night into Sunday could also be very cold.”

Hello and welcome to The Independent​’s coverage of day three of the big freeze.

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