Britain braces for snow and ice chaos amid new weather warnings

Britain braces for snow and ice chaos: Forecasters issue weather warnings for most of the UK threatening rail and road closures with London expecting to be hit by wintry showers from 7pm TONIGHT

  • Drivers are urged to stay off roads with treacherous conditions predicted by AA if thawing snow turns to ice 
  • Britons in some areas are facing freezing fog with further heavy snow expected up until Thursday morning 
  • Frustrated shoppers see orders cancelled only to find slots for re-delivery are not available for several weeks
  • Age UK are concerned about elderly being cut off and urged public to check on any vulnerable neighbours
  • Major flooding risk also remains with 104 alerts and 60 warnings issued by Environment Agency for England
  • ** Have you taken any photographs of the snow in Britain today? Please email: [email protected] ** 
  • ** Got a story about the snow or flooding affecting you? Please email: [email protected] ** 

Forecasters have issued weather warnings for most of the UK, threatening rail and road closures, while so far unaffected London is expected to be hit by wintry showers from 7pm tonight.

After days of weather-related disruption in the UK, fresh warnings have been issued for snow today, with the potential to cause rail and road closures, power cuts, and injuries. 

England’s south-west is the only place expected to escape the cold that will chill the UK on Wednesday as hazardous conditions hit much of the country. 

Wintry showers are expected to hit Northern Ireland and northern Scotland on Wednesday, with north-west England and North Wales covered by a weather warning for ice from 6pm, the Met Office said. 

What is the weather forecast looking like for today?

From 10am on Wednesday until 6am on Thursday, much of southern England and London is covered by a snow and ice warning; while from 6pm a warning for snow kicks in for much of the Midlands and north-east England and eastern Scotland, lasting until 2pm on Thursday.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said any lying snow for southern counties could be ‘disruptive and impactful’, adding: ‘We could still see a few centimetres building up. These areas don’t usually see that much snow.’

The Met Office forecasts between 2-5cm of snow could lie, with up to 15cm possible in higher areas but the extent is ‘very uncertain’.

Coastal areas in northern parts will see the worst of the showers, and may also get hail and thunder, he added.

 

From 10am on Wednesday until 6am on Thursday, much of southern England and London is covered by a snow and ice warning; while from 6pm a warning for snow kicks in for much of the Midlands and north-east England and eastern Scotland, lasting until 2pm on Thursday.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said any lying snow for southern counties could be ‘disruptive and impactful’, adding: ‘We could still see a few centimetres building up. These areas don’t usually see that much snow.’

The Met Office forecasts between 2-5cm of snow could lie, with up to 15cm possible in higher areas but the extent is ‘very uncertain’.

Coastal areas in northern parts will see the worst of the showers, and may also get hail and thunder, he added.

Met Office chief meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: ‘An Atlantic frontal system looks likely to bring a mixture of rain, sleet and snow to parts of southern England and South Wales on Wednesday, but the extent of any snow is very uncertain.

‘There is then a risk of further snow moving south across Scotland, northern England and the Midlands on Thursday.’  

Supermarkets have already been forced to cancel online food deliveries after heavy snow and ice brought travel chaos to areas of Britain and temperatures fell to nearly -8C (18F).

Drivers were urged to stay off the roads with treacherous conditions reported by the AA as thawing snow turns to ice, with Britons in some areas also facing freezing fog patches which were slow to clear.

More than six inches of snow could fall before New Year’s Day, with the severe conditions affecting shopping deliveries and raising fears vulnerable and self-isolating families could be left without supplies. 

A major flooding risk also remains for 170 areas of the country, with 104 alerts and 60 warnings issued by the Environment Agency for England, as well as four alerts and two warnings by Natural Resources Wales. 

There was concern for public health in the Cotswolds where raw sewage mixed with floodwater and carers were having to wade through the contaminated water to provide care to elderly and vulnerable residents. 

Temperatures plunged as low as -7.7C (18F) near Inverness overnight into Tuesday, while nearby Aviemore saw 3.5in (9cm) of snow. Flurries will sweep across the South over the next 24 hours, with London set for snow from 7pm today.

Highways England warned of severe disruption earlier this week on the A419 near Cirencester in Gloucestershire due to flooding, the A49 near Hereford due to a crash and the A1 near Biggleswade in Bedfordshire amid congestion. 

On the trains, flooding on the railway between Westbury and Bath Spa as well as Taunton and Exeter St Davids caused problems for passengers using Great Western Railway and CrossCountry services in the South West. 

Bands of rain, sleet and snow moved across the UK yesterday, bringing dangerous driving conditions, particularly around Manchester, Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Berkshire. 

Shoppers venting their frustration online reported having orders cancelled only to find slots for redelivery were not available for several weeks amid huge national demand due to people staying at home during the pandemic.

In Congleton, Cheshire, one Tesco customer told how she received a text saying her delivery was cancelled due to ‘severe weather conditions’ at the very moment one of the supermarket’s vans drove past her house.

Cars become stuck on the hills of Sheffield yesterday after heavy snow fell on the South Yorkshire city and wider region

A car is followed by a lorry along the snow-hit roads of Cheshire yesterday with plenty more wintry weather on the way

A car is crushed by a fallen tree on Bostall Hill in Abbey Wood, South East London, following stormy weather in parts of the UK

Flooding in Mepal, Cambridgeshire, yesterday morning after the New Bedford River burst its banks following the recent heavy rain

A man runs through the snow in the graveyard of the Parish Church of St John the Baptist in Keele, Staffordshire

People walk their dogs yesterday around Silverdale Country Park in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire

People enjoy the wintry weather at Darley Park in Derby yesterday as children go down a hill on sledges

The spa town of Buxton turned into a winter wonderland after overnight snowfall in the Derbyshire Peak District

A postal worker does the rounds in Queensville, Staffordshire, this morning as heavy snow falls on the area

Ruby Millington (right) and Molly Chamberlain (right) play in the snow at Tatton Park in Knutsford, Cheshire

Cars drive along a snowy road at Bishop Auckland in County Durham this morning as wintry weather hits the UK

A woman carefully walks along a road under an umbrella this morning after heavy snowfall across the Sheffield area

A car drives along a flooded road near Apperley in Gloucestershire in the aftermath of Storm Bella

Snow covers the hills of the Peak District near Holmfirth amid the festive flurries in recent days

Snowboarders and skiers make the most of the snow on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire

A boy enjoys playing in the snow in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire

Alice Harrison, 37, has since struggled to find another slot for her shielding parents, saying: ‘I thought it was quite premature, it was due at 2pm, and the roads were just slushy when I got the text, they’re completely melted now.’

One Sainsbury’s customer wrote on social media that he and his wife, who are in their 70s and are unable to drive due to health reasons, had their delivery cancelled due to a ‘light scattering of snow’.

Age UK expressed concern about elderly people being cut off by the severe weather and urged the public to check on any vulnerable neighbours.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, said: ‘We tend to take easy access to food and other essentials for granted, but this Christmas a number of factors are getting in the way. 

‘Bad weather, the pandemic and disruption to supply lines from Europe are creating a perfect storm, whereby even the most organised among us can find we’re unexpectedly cut off from things we need.’ 

Tesco said less than 1 per cent of Monday’s orders were affected, mainly around Stoke and the West Midlands. A spokesman added: ‘Our colleagues are working hard to deliver more online orders than ever before.

Huge numbers of cars out and about at the Campsie Fells near Glasgow as they enjoy the snow

People make the most of the snowy condtions at Campsie Fells near Glasgow

A family prepare to sledge down a hill as people enjoy the snow at Cheetham Park in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester

Planes are pictured at East Midlands Airport in the snow. EMA is the UK’s busiest pure cargo airport

A woman walks through the heavy snow with her shopping in Keele, Staffordshire

Cars and lorries drive along a snowy road in Cheshire as the Met Office issued further weather warnings

A man walks in the snow in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire, after heavy snow covered the West Midlands

People make the most of a snowy Stamford Park at Tameside in Greater Manchester

Horses on the gallops in the Worcestershire snow at Sam Drinkwater’s Granary Stables in Upper Strensham

Dog walkers go out in the snow on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire with more of the white stuff on the way

A snowplough clears a street in Keele, Staffordshire, following heavy snowfall overnight in the Midlands and North

Snowploughs work to clear the runway of East Midlands Airport, the UK’s busiest pure cargo airport, of snow

A snow-covered road in West Yorkshire this morning as flurries fall across the Peak District

A man enjoys the wintry weather on a sledge at Darley Park in Derby after snow fell across parts of the country

A car is pushed up a hill after getting stuck in Sheffield following heavy snow which fell in the city

A woman walks in the snow past Silverdale Church in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire

People enjoy the snow on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire as the sun shines through the cloudy skies

Snow covered hills above Hope Valley in the Peak District after flurries fell on parts of northern and central England overnight

A snowboarder makes the most of the conditions yesterday morning on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire

Ruby Millington (right), Molly Chamberlain and Florence Chamberlain (centre) play in the snow in Knutsford, Cheshire

Snow has hit parts of Cheshire, causing travel disruption and bringing dangerous driving conditions for motorists

A cat shelters under a car from the snow in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester

Flooding in the Mepal area of Cambridgeshire after the New Bedford River burst its banks amid the heavy rain

A snowboarder sits on the snow on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire as people make the most of the white stuff

A woman pushes a pram across a snowy road in Sheffield while another takes care walking

A cyclist goes out on a journey across the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire following heavy snowfall overnight

‘However, difficult weather conditions in some parts of the country mean that we’ve had to cancel a very small number of deliveries [yesterday]. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused and would like to apologise to any customers affected.’

And a Sainsbury’s spokesman said: ‘We continue to give prioritised access to our vulnerable customers for home delivery and a very small proportion of orders have been cancelled due to dangerous road conditions for our drivers. 

‘We understand the inconvenience this is causing and are in contact with the customers affected so that we can arrange to deliver their groceries as soon as possible.’

In the south Cotswolds, river levels started to recede after rain caused homes and roads to flood. Cotswold district council leader Joe Harris called on Thames Water to provide more support and clear raw sewage which had mixed with floodwater.

He said in a statement: ‘There needs to be a clear plan to prevent river water infiltrating sewage systems on this scale again – it is simply not fair that residents have had to deal with this.

‘We have witnessed carers arriving to provide essential personal care to elderly and vulnerable residents and being forced to wade through sewage contaminated floodwater.

In East Lancashire, there were ‘lots of collisions coming in as the snow falls heavily’, according to Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods, while Highways England also warned motorists over snow-hit roads. 

There is a risk of rain turning to ice in North Wales and North West England, particularly around Cheshire, overnight into Wednesday as temperatures plunge below freezing. Coastal areas could also see hail and thunder. 

An aerial view of some of the flooding in gardens at Mepal in Cambridgeshire after a river burst its banks

Snow covered hills above Hope Valley in the Peak District yesterday after the white stuff fell on parts of the Midlands and North

Fields remain flooded near Apperley in Gloucestershire with scores of flood warnings still in place for England

People enjoy the snow on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire as the country experiences wintry weather

Flooded fields are seen near Apperley in Gloucestershire after heavy rain fell across England and Wales

A snowboarder makes the most of the conditions on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire

Snow at Cofton Park in Birmingham after flurries fell across the Midlands and North of England

Cars travel along snow-hit roads in parts of Cheshire as the county faces travel disruption

Fields remain flooded near Apperley in Gloucestershire this morning with scores of flood warnings and alerts in place yesterday 

An aerial view of flooding in gardens at Mepal in Cambridgeshire  after the New Bedford River burst its banks

A jogger goes for a run in the snow and chilly temperatures at Cofton Park in Birmingham

The M5 motorway is surrounded by water near Bredon in Worcestershire 

A young boy enjoys the snow on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire as the Christmas holidays continue

Flooding has caused chaos near Apperley in Gloucestershire today after heavy rain fell over the weekend

A man walks over the snow on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire as the sun peeks through the clouds

A walker heads down a snow-covered lane in West Yorkshire after overnight flurries

People enjoy the snow on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire which has become a wintry landscape

Damage caused after the River Avon burst its banks near Bredon in Worcestershire

Sheep graze on a snow covered field in West Yorkshire as the Peak District is hit by the white stuff

People enjoying the wintry weather at Darley Park in Derby as they go sledging down a hill

A snow covered lane in West Yorkshire is pictured following overnight flurries in the Peak District

The cold snap continued to spread across Britain yesterday and temperatures could plunge as low as -10C (14F) in parts of the country. 

** Have you taken any photographs of the snow in Britain today? Please email: [email protected] **

** Got a story about the snow or flooding affecting you? Please email: [email protected] ** 

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: ‘The amount of snow would be disruptive and impactful. We could still see a few centimetres building up. These areas don’t usually see that much snow.’ 

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of snow and ice for much of England and Wales and parts of Scotland after a day of heavy snowfall in some regions, with more wintry weather expected today and tomorrow. 

It said that overnight temperatures ‘will tumble towards freezing, perhaps getting as low as -10C in western Scotland where there is a covering of snow’.

Wintry showers could see up to 4in (10cm) of snow fall over the Pennines and North York Moors, according to the weather warning which runs until 10am today.

The Met Office said that most places will see little or no snow, but ‘a slight covering of a centimetre or so is possible in a few places’.

Ben Sheridan, of the AA, said: ‘Thawing snow, rainfalls and freezing temperatures overnight lead to challenging driving conditions, with roads likely to be icy in the morning.’

Fields remain flooded near Apperley in Gloucestershire after rivers burst their banks amid heavy rain

A snowboarder makes the most of the wintry conditions on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire

Fields flooded after the River Avon burst its banks near Bredon in Worcestershire

Snow covered hills above Hope Valley in the Peak District , which has turned into a winter wonderland scene

Another view of the car crushed by a fallen tree on Bostall Hill in Abbey Wood, South East London

Police have taped off the road in Abbey Wood, South East London, following stormy weather in parts of the UK

People enjoy the snow on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire with more flurries on the way later this week

An aerial view of the spa town of Buxton following heavy overnight snowfall in the Derbyshire Peak District

Horses on the gallops in the snow at Sam Drinkwater’s Granary Stables in Upper Strensham, Worcestershire

Flooding has hit Mepal in Cambridgeshire which is pictured amid fears over river levels still rising

A snowboarder enjoys the wintry conditions on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire

A dog walker goes for a stroll in the snow through Graves Park in Sheffield as South Yorkshire is hit by flurries

Gardens have been flooded in Mepal, Cambridgeshire, pictured as fears continue over rising river levels

Snow falls at Graves Park in Sheffield as parts of Yorkshire are hit by festive flurries today

People enjoy the snow on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire as dogs go for a run

Fields remain flooded near Apperley in Gloucestershire amid fears of further flooding in other areas

Flooded fields are pictured near Apperley in Gloucestershire as flood alerts and warnings remain in place

Horses on the gallops in the snow at Sam Drinkwater’s Granary Stables in Upper Strensham, Worcestershire

But the AA added regional restrictions, which have been imposed due to Covid-19, mean that roads are quieter than normal. 

Large swathes of London, the Midlands, the South, South West plus the east of England and Wales have also been warned that snow and ice could hit today and tomorrow.

The Met Office yellow warning suggests that up to 2in (5cm) of snow could fall across parts of southern Wales, central and southern England, and there is a small chance of 4in (10cm) to 6in (15cm) settling in a few places, most likely on high ground above 650ft (200m).

It comes after much of England and Wales endured a cold and frosty Bank Holiday Monday.  Large parts of the country woke up to a fairytale sight yesterday after an icy blast brought snow showers.

But despite the pretty snow scenes, the freezing temperatures brought chaos to roads and railways – with forecasters warning of another dumping.

Meanwhile the bad weather has continued to hit power supplies with 273 homes blacked out near Penzance and 300 at Launceston in Cornwall, and another 300 families shivered with no heating or lights near Worcester.

The weather also led to the closure of Dudley Zoo while a football match between Kidderminster Harriers and AFC Telford United was called off. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. 

Swan Pool park in Stourbridge was busy with sledgers all day yesterday while skiers in Scotland enjoyed the slopes at the Lecht ski centre which was open to locals living in Moray and Aberdeenshire.

Elsewhere, hardy swimmers braved freezing conditions to take a dip in Derwent Water at Keswick in the Lake District.

Gales meant that for the first time more than half of Britain’s electricity was generated by wind power on Saturday. Energy firm Drax said 50.67 per cent of the country’s power was produced by wind turbines on Boxing Day. 

** Have you taken any photographs of the snow in Britain today? Please email: [email protected] ** 

** Got a story about the snow or flooding affecting you? Please email: [email protected] ** 

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