UK braced for blasts of freezing rain and heavy snow

Forecasters have stepped up weather warnings with snow and freezing rain due to blast large parts of the UK this weekend.

Storm Deidre is expected to bring severe conditions right across the country, leading to possible travel delays and disruptions.

Six yellow and amber weather warnings cover almost the entire UK, apart from London and the South East, which are still expected to see heavy rain.

A new amber alert issued on Saturday warns of freezing rain and a “prolonged” period of heavy snow developing in the Scottish Borders in the afternoon.

Another amber warning predicts potential blizzard conditions bringing disruption to transport and infrastructure in central and Northern Scotland between Saturday and Sunday mornings.

A third amber alert anticipates widespread freezing rain hitting the country from the southern Pennines up to central Scotland.

The Met Office warned that the “rare” weather phenomenon poses a “danger to life” and risk of injury as it creates very slippery surfaces.

It said pavements and cycle paths are likely to become instantly impassable because of the sudden formation of black ice.

This will also create dangerous driving conditions and is likely to lead to road traffic collisions, road closures and longer journey times.

Freezing rain is expected to strike from around lunchtime on Saturday and last until early Sunday.

Winter weather Dec 15th 2018
Winter weather Dec 15th 2018

A yellow warning of heavy rain and strong winds up to 70mph is in place for Northern Ireland, south-west England and South Wales until 6pm on Saturday.

Winds of between 40mph and 50mph were beginning to be be recorded in the region early on Saturday morning.

A further yellow warning of snow and ice that covers nearly all of England and Scotland will run for 24 hours from 9am on Saturday.

A yellow warning of severe gales has been issued for Northern Isles and parts of Caithness.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge earlier told the Press Association: “If you’re not under a snow and ice warning you’re probably under a wind and rain warning.

“The good thing is that Deirdre is expected to clear out the cold air and become much milder across the weekend.”