Winter chill on the way for first weekend of February

Catherine Wylie, PA

Temperatures are set to drop over the first February weekend, with much of the UK braced for a wintry chill.

The mercury could plunge to freezing in some areas, while heavy snowfall may cause significant disruption to transport and power.

Weather warnings are in place over the next few days, with a warning for snow and ice covering the length of Britain from midday on Saturday to midnight on Sunday.

By next week, temperatures will be struggling to get much above 0C in quite a few places, with some areas such as the Pennines and high parts of Scotland seeing several degrees below that.

Birmingham faces lows of minus 2C by Tuesday morning, while a strong easterly wind will make it feel many degrees below freezing in some parts, according to Met Office forecaster Steven Keates.

He said it will be “really unpleasant” to be outdoors, adding: “If you do have to go outside there are lots of layers required I think.”

Mr Keates said the south will see a “marked” drop in temperatures across Saturday and Sunday, with some parts possibly seeing as much as 5-10cm of snow.

“Enough snow is on the cards I think to cause potentially quite a bit of disruption in the south east of England through Sunday, and potentially very early next week as well,” he said.

It comes as the first snowdrops of the season have begun to emerge, often seen as the start of spring.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency has almost 40 of its second-most-severe flood warnings in place, while it has issued more than 130 less-severe flood alerts.

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