Risk of snow as Britain braced for Arctic blast


Snow could be on the way for parts of Britain.

Wintry conditions including the "risk of snow" and freezing temperatures could reach the Midlands, north east England and north of London by Wednesday thanks to a blast of cold air from the Arctic, the Met Office said.

Forecaster Mark Wilson said Britons facing a cold crisp winter's day on Tuesday with some sunny spells may find there is "definitely some risk of snow" on Wednesday.

He said: "People should wrap up warm. There is a potential that central parts of the UK could see some snow at lower levels. We do not expect to see significant accumulation."

This may be no more than 0.8in (2cm).

Some sleety wet snow could hit East Anglia, the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber with temperatures of around 2C-4C (35.6F-39.2F) generally and 6C-7C (42.8F-44.6F) in parts of Scotland.

Mr Wilson warned there could be freezing temperatures if it snows and "there is obviously a risk of ice as well".

Mr Wilson said the cold, wet and windy conditions will become much milder by Saturday, reaching around 10C-12C (50F-53.6F).

A yellow warning for heavy rain has been issued for western parts of Scotland, suggesting there could be 1in-1.6in (25mm-40mm) or as much as 2.4in (60mm)  on higher ground.

The warning runs from 10am on Tuesday through to midday on Wednesday.

The coldest temperature last night was minus 7.8C (18F) in Redesdale, Northumberland, just shy of the coldest night of the winter so far in England and Wales which was minus 8.8C (16F) in Benson, Oxfordshire, on January 20.

It was a cold start to the day with temperatures of around minus 3C (26.6F) to minus 6C (21.2F). 

Tuesday night will be warmer but there could still be frost with expected temperatures of minus 3C (26.6F) to minus 4C (24.8F) in East Anglia and the South East.

The RAC's Rod Dennis urged motorists not to be caught out, saying that its patrols "often end up dealing with up to 25% more breakdowns than on an average winter's day, and if there's snow involved it can be even higher than that".

Checking the vehicle battery-charging system, tyre treads and screenwash levels are among the useful preparations, he said.