Storm Jake batters UK as Met Office issues snow and ice warnings


Storm Jake has hit parts of the UK bringing with it 77mph winds, snowfall and difficult driving conditions.

The Met Office has issued yellow "be aware" warnings for snow and ice for much of northern England and northern Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with up to 5cm of snow expected in many places, rising to 10cm on higher ground.

The Needles in the Isle of Wight was battered by gusts of 77mph at around 11am on Wednesday, while the Isle of Portland, Dorset, experienced winds of up to 75mph.

Temperatures plummeted to below freezing in parts of the north east of England, with some places in Scotland seeing the mercury dip to minus 2C (28.4F).

As Storm Jake passes over the UK, a new weather system is expected to move in from the west, bringing snow to southern parts of the country.

Met Office forecaster Alex Burkill said: "We have seen some gusts that have most likely blown over some trees and caused some difficult driving conditions.

"Thursday is likely to start quite chilly, particularly in the east where some frost is likely.

"There could be some ice around when people wake up, and there is still a yellow warning for it across the north and eastern parts of the UK for ice tonight."

He added that there is a snow warning in place for between 9pm on Thursday and 3pm on Friday across the northern half of Wales, north west England and the far east of England.

Forecasters say that up to 5cm of snow could fall during this time.

Mr Burkill continued: "There is also another warning and ice warning from 3pm on Friday to 9am on Saturday that covers everything south of the previous warning, apart from Cornwall."

Before Storm Jake hit, Highways England told motorists to plan for disruption in Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and across to the Humber.

Meanwhile drivers of high-sided vehicles and motorcycles in the south-west were warned of "tricky" conditions as Storm Jake blows in with strong winds.

On Wednesday morning ferry services from Dover were experiencing disruption due to adverse conditions, although the storm is not expected to pass through until later.

On Tuesday the Met Office announced that the winter of 2015/16 had been the warmest in England and Wales for more than a century, according to provisional figures.

It was the third warmest winter for the whole of the UK since the record series began in 1910.

The Central England Temperature record series, which dates to 1659, showed it had been the second-warmest on record at 6.7C (44.06F), just below the 1869 record of 6.8C (44.24F).

Extreme rainfall during the last winter brought widespread flooding across Britain and the Met Office said it had been the wettest on record for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, while it was the second wettest for the whole of the UK, just behind 2013/14.