Snow and ice bring treacherous conditions as cold snap forecast into new year


Snow and ice brought treacherous conditions to many parts of the country overnight, with the cold snap forecast to bite into the new year.

Bands of rain, sleet and snow were moving across the UK on Tuesday morning, bringing dangerous driving conditions, particularly around Manchester, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Berkshire, the Met Office said.

In East Lancashire, there were "lots of collisions coming in as the snow falls heavily", according to Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods, while Highways England also warned motorists over snow-hit roads.

The AA has said regional restrictions, imposed due to Covid-19, mean that roads are quieter than normal.

A yellow warning for snow and ice for much of England, Wales and Scotland remains in force until 10am after heavy snowfall in some regions, with more wintry weather expected on Wednesday and Thursday.

The warning area was extended at around 2am to cover more of southern and central Scotland, as well as further south-east to include parts of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

Freezing fog patches are likely to be slow to clear in parts of England and western Scotland, the Met Office added.

Temperatures were recorded close to freezing on Tuesday morning in central Scotland and parts of the Midlands, a Met Office graph shows, and were between 2C (35.6F) and 4C (39.2F) elsewhere, rising to 7C (44.6C) in Plymouth.

The Met Office said: "Wintry showers will start to fade inland in the afternoon, but they will continue to stream into coastal areas, northern Scotland and Northern Ireland."

Temperatures in the afternoon are forecast to be around 4-7C across the UK, turning cold quickly in the evening with a widespread frost, it added.

Large parts of London, the South, South West plus the east of England and Wales and parts of the Midlands have also been warned there is a chance snow and ice could hit on Wednesday and Thursday.

A low pressure system will see rain meet cold air, turning to snow over hills and lower areas.

The Met Office said more fresh warnings are likely to be issued this week as the cold snap continues into the new year.