UK Weather: Met Office issue yellow warning
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Government forecasters have issued a raft of weather warnings through the week for snow, ice and freezing fog as swathes of Britain wake under an Arctic blanket. A Met Office snow and ice alert remains in force in Scotland until Thursday with southern Britain in the firing line on Monday.
Northern regions are braced for another eight inches of snow sparking warnings of dangerous roads, slippery pavements and travel chaos.
Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: “British Weather Services is advising people not to make lengthy road journeys over the next few days if they can be avoided.
“Freezing fog, widespread ice and snow will make conditions on the roads perilous, so non-essential journeys should be avoided.
“If you do need to travel, then plan carefully and pack emergency items, and make sure you know the weather forecasts along the route.
“Take extra care on the roads as hazardous weather like this can kill.”
Freezing conditions from the Arctic will grip the UK through the rest of the week with temperatures in parts forecast to hit -12C.
A low-pressure bubble skirting around the British coast threatens to crash into cold air unleashing a torrent of snow.
Meteorologists say the certainty and timings of this are uncertain, but Britain will be spending the next week in the freezer.
Mr Dale, author of Weather Or Not? said: “There is a mini low-pressure system or runner, which is secondary to a larger system, hovering around the south of the UK.
“If this moves further into the country through the week, it will bring snow to southern counties, but there is also the chance it will veer southwards into France and Belgium.
“However, we can say with certainty that extreme cold conditions over the next week will bring very low temperatures and icy conditions.”
Met Office warnings for up to eight inches of snow this week are in place across northern Scotland.
A Level-three ‘Cold Weather Action’ alert issued by the Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency is in force throughout the week.
It warns of plunging night-time temperatures and the potential for disruptive snow driven by bitter winds sweeping in from the Atlantic.
It states: “Very cold nights are expected with widespread moderate, locally severe, frosts, and some freezing fog patches in places.
“Daytime temperatures will remain low, with some places struggling to rise above freezing, more especially where any fog patches linger.
“Atlantic weather systems may try to push north or northeast into the south or southwest of the UK, which could bring some stronger winds and a risk of snow. “However, this is currently low confidence as there is a good deal of uncertainty regarding the proximity to the UK of any such weather systems.”
Those hoping to work off the festive pounds are warned to take precautions when exercising in cold weather.
Health and wellness coach Ryan French, founder of Military Outdoor Fitness (MOFit), based in London, Greenwich, said: “As with extreme heat, there are risks involved when exercising in very cold weather, particularly for people with health conditions such as asthma.
“The key is to prepare, use the right kit, and make sure you have inhalers and medication to hand.”
Long-range experts are still scratching their heads over the festive forecasts as the chance of a White Christmas continues to fluctuate.
Exacta Weather’s James Madden said: “We are now seeing a pattern which is likely to stay around for quite some time, and the dominant theme will be the snow and much colder conditions, and this could last through the rest of the year.
“However, there will be some inevitable breaks to less cold conditions here and there, but these will now be very few and far between.”
Meanwhile, Traffic Scotland raised a chuckle this week hitting the highways with a fleet of colourfully named gritting vehicles.
Roads across the region are being treated by, among others, salting trucks called ‘Hansel and Grit-al’, ‘Skid Vicious’, ‘Spread Sheeran’, and ‘Gangsta Granny Gritter’.
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