Sunshine and snow showers to follow ‘extreme freeze’ overnight – Met Office

Mike Bedigan and Laura Parnaby, PA

Scattered snow showers and some sunshine is forecast for large swathes of the UK on Thursday, following an “extreme freeze” overnight.

Yellow weather warnings for areas where wintry weather could cause travel disruption have been issued for the morning, covering the eastern half of Scotland and England, Devon, and south-west Wales.

As the snow clears towards the east through the morning, it could become “quite pleasant outside with the sunshine, although still bitterly cold” in western areas, according to Met Office meteorologist Clare Nasir.

Weather warnings February 11-12 2021.
(PA Graphics)

Ms Nasir said this would follow “what could be the coldest night since winter 2010”, as Wednesday night temperatures could plunge even further than Tuesday night, when minus 17.1C was recorded in the Scottish Highlands.

This marked the coldest temperature recorded in the UK since January 2010, when the mercury dropped to minus 22.3C.

Cities such as Manchester and Carlisle may drop to minus 4C, and York is expected to have lows of minus 6C.

Nine flood warnings, where flooding is likely, and 88 flood alerts, indicating that flooding is possible, have also been issued for locations across England by the Environment Agency, but none were in place for the other UK nations on Wednesday night.

The forecast prompted responses from local councils in England, with residents warned to take “extra care” while the cold snap lasts.

Coldest UK February temperatures
(PA Graphics)

Ms Nasir said that on Friday and over the weekend the weather is expected to turn “quite hazardous” as “an area of cloud and rain” coupled with extremely cold air brings further risk of snow, and “perhaps even of freezing rain”.

The Centrepoint charity for homeless youth has urged people to contact them or Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 if they see people living out in the cold.

Charities have also advised offering anyone sleeping rough a hot drink, meal, blankets or clothing.

The NHS said that despite tough conditions many vaccination centres had remained open, and any missed appointments would be rescheduled.

Several councils in England, including Rugby Borough Council and Southwark Council, in London, were forced to briefly suspend waste collection services due to the weather conditions.

Thurrock Council, in Essex, said more than 100 workers, mostly from street cleaning and waste collection teams, were diverted from regular duties to help clear snow from footpaths and routes to medical centres.

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