Mercury to plunge as bitter weather bites Britain


The UK is set for a wintry weekend with temperatures set to plummet to minus 5C.

The risk of snow showers, which hit Scotland and high ground in northern England and Wales overnight, will lessen throughout the day.

But although southern areas of the UK will see highs of 6C today, parts of Scotland will struggle to rise above freezing, with temperatures across the country lower than normal for this time of year.

Billy Payne, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: "It will be a cold day, especially by recent standards, but even by the November average it will be cold."

The cold snap comes in marked contrast to the recent mild weather which led to it being the second mildest start to November on record, and the Met Office has issued weather warnings for snow, wind or ice for most of the UK.

There will be widespread frosts tonight and into Sunday with 65mph gales due to hit Devon, Cornwall and west Wales.

"The combination of rain, sleet and snow and dropping temperatures will also lead to a risk of ice in places, particularly over high level routes on Saturday morning," said a spokesman from the Met Office.

Frank Saunders, the Met Office's chief operational meteorologist, added: "The Met Office is forecasting strong winds and some snow for this weekend which means there is the likelihood of some difficult driving conditions and possible disruption to transport.

"With this in mind, if you have travel plans over the weekend, we'd advise that you keep an eye on the forecast and warnings for your area."

But the cold spell is not set to last, with warmer weather predicted from Monday and rain spreading eastwards as temperatures rise.