The winter cold is now strong on Britain with the first heavy snowfall of winter and temperatures below freezing which are expected to disturb this weekend across the country.
Amber weather warnings for ice and snow have been issued for large parts of Scotland and Northern England on Saturday and Sunday – with cold weather, strong winds and heavy rain forecast in the rest of the country.
Freezing winds from Russia collide with a weather front that flies in from the Atlantic Ocean from noon, while the night temperatures drop to -8C (18F), while daytime highs are not expected to exceed 2C (36F).
A boat is moored today at the Forth and Clyde canal while the temperature is dropping at night, creating a thin layer of ice
People jogging on the banks of the Cam River in Cambridge while rowers train at the first light in the cold weather this morning
Winter sun today on the Falkirk Wheel, a rotating boat lift that connects the Union with the Forth and Clyde Canals
Runners today enjoy the sunrise in Coventry while the city wakes up from a cold and frosty morning
Sheep in the sun when the dawn breaks over frozen fields near Walterstone in Herefordshire today
Dover Castle in Kent is pictured today at sunrise, as the first heavy snowfall of the season seems to appear to cause travel disruptions
Motorists can expect to scrape ice from their windscreen early in the night, and the Met Office warns of the rare phenomenon of freezing rain in its orange warnings that run almost 24 hours from 9 o'clock tomorrow.
What is ice-cold rain?
Freezing rain, which is a rare phenomenon in Great Britain, can make roads and sidewalks very smooth and smooth.
The form of liquid precipitation occurs when the rain freezes when it touches the ground, and immediately forms clear ice.
It happens when the air temperature is lower than 0C (32F), causing the droplets to become supercooled as they fall.
As a result, the water droplets are a few degrees below 0C and remain in liquid form without a core – which is needed to freeze.
Conditions are common in parts of the US and are known as ice storms – which can cause trees to collapse.
Heavy rainfall is also expected in most parts of the country and can occasionally snow or snow in the north and east, usually over hills. By the weekend, the snow could fall as far south as the Midlands this weekend.
Predictors predict up to 5 cm (2in) of snow over the Cheviots, Lake District, Pennines, Welsh Mountains and North York Moors on Saturday. In the Scottish Highlands this weekend can fall to 20 cm (8in), with 40 cm (1ft 4 in) on the highest peaks.
If the temperatures are lower than predicted, snow may also be further south.
However, the cold does not linger long, with temperatures expected to rise again to 8C (46F) or 9C (48F) early next week.
Steve Willington, chief repairer at Met Office, said: "This weekend's weather brings with it a series of winter hazards, with the possibility of heavy snow and snowstorms in parts of Scotland and freezing weather in the north of the United Kingdom.
Temperatures decreased this morning (left) to -6.7C in Farnborough – although today it will be sunny in most places (right)
& # 39; As such, there is potential for disruption of road driving and possible delays or cancellations of public transport services. That's why we encourage people to keep an eye on the latest warnings for weather forecasting and to adjust when traveling.
The Met Office issued morning warnings for most parts of Britain – with the exception of South East England
& # 39; At present the heaviest snow is expected on higher ground in Scotland with the risk of snow drift due to strong winds. Snow is also expected to settle at lower levels in Scotland and in parts of northern England, with the risk of ice and ice on Saturday evening. & # 39;
Probably roads will see the worst disruption, while flights in Scotland can also be affected. Wind speeds can reach up to 70 km / h in some areas. The stark prediction forced ferry company CalMac to cancel sailing between Oban and Castlebay on Barra.
It said that it would be Sunday before the resumption of the route. Cancellations were also made at the border crossings between Fionnphort and Iona, Oban to Coll and Tiree, Tarbert to Lochranza and Berneray to Leverburgh.
Stein Connelly of Transport Scotland said: "This weather has potential to disrupt the journey, especially on higher routes. As always, we encourage motorists to plan their routes in advance, take sufficient time for your trip, follow the travel advice from Police Scotland and drive to the conditions.
& # 39; Our operating companies have their winter services in use and will closely monitor the main road network to provide appropriate treatments where necessary. If you plan to travel by train, plane or ferry, please contact your operator before you depart to see if your service has been compromised. & # 39;
The Scottish government said that she is ready to activate her control room for resilience tomorrow, if necessary. A spokesperson said: & # 39; We are aware of the weather warnings that are present at the moment and receive regular updates from the Met Office. & # 39;
In his prediction for the longer term, the Met Office said: "When we go through the rest of the week and the Christmas week, it will probably remain restless, with further periods of wind and rain, alternating with a brighter and softer weather. Temperatures generally appear to be slightly milder than average.
The Met Office has issued snow, ice and wind yellow warnings (left) and amber warnings for snow and ice this weekend (right)
However, in the post-Christmas period, chances are that milder spells will become short-lived and a colder and more shower-like northern or northwestern regime can settle throughout the UK. & # 39;
Four-day weather forecast in the UK tells about snow, strong winds and rain
TodayIt will be dry but cold with sunny periods for central, northern and eastern areas. It will be mostly cloudy along the east coast in the course of the morning. Nowhere more cloudy in the west and the far south, with some places with rain for Northern Ireland and the west side of Scotland, Wales and the southwest of England.
Tonight: It will be a predominantly cloudy start with bright periods for central and eastern parts. Rain for Northern Ireland and the west edge of Wales and the southwest of England. Light snow showers for parts of North West England and West Scotland. It remains mostly cloudy but predominantly dry in the east. Windy in the west.
TomorrowIt will be cloudy and wet for many. Snow is expected for parts of Scotland and Northern England, especially over hills. Eastern parts will be drier and cloudy for most of the day. Very windy in the west with storms in the west.
SundayThere will be sunny periods and showers, mostly in the west with some of these maybe heavy and thunderstorms. There will be rain in the north of Scotland, probably winters above the hills. Moderate southwestern winds.
Monday: It will start brightly for most, but will later become cloudy with rain in the north and west. Windy.
Despite the fact that bookmakers shorten their chances of white Christmas, the Met Office says it is too early to tell as they predict seven days in advance.
The last widespread white Christmas was in 2010 when 83 percent of the measurement stations registered snow on the ground – the highest ever measured.
A white Christmas is defined as a snowflake that is seen in the 24 hours of December 25 somewhere in the UK. The Met Office uses sites in the UK, including Buckingham Palace, Aberdeen FC and Coronation Street in Manchester, to monitor snowfall.
2015 was also a white Christmas, with 10 percent of snow-covered stations, although there was no snow on the ground.
Snow is more pronounced in January and March than in December, with snow or wet snow averaging 3.9 days in December, compared to 5.3 days in January, 5.6 days in February and 4.2 days in March.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes offers opportunities for 2/7 for snowfall anywhere in the UK on Christmas Day.
Alex Apati, of Ladbrokes, said: "It seems increasingly likely that we will see snow on Christmas Day in the United Kingdom, with the chances of falling as fast as the temperatures."
William Hill said that Aberdeen is the most likely city with a white Christmas in 2018.
Spokesman Rupert Adams said: "The last 24 hours were very busy because the first real chill of winter struck. The odds now suggest a real chance of a white Christmas, with the Scottish cities as the favorites. & # 39;
It is unlikely that the snow will be as bad this weekend as the Beast from the East and Storm Emma in March, stopping the UK when cars were abandoned in what the Met Office a & # 39 ; cocktail of weather events & # 39; called.
What do the weekend nights of the weekend say with Met Office?
AMBER WARNING – ICE (sat 10 am – Sunday 6 am)
North England and South Scotland
It is expected that the freeze will lead to the rapid development of widespread ice, with very dangerous travel conditions probably.
What to expect:
- Injuries caused by slipping and falling and life-threatening on icy surfaces are likely
- Black ice can quickly affect bus, train and air travel
- Dangerous driving conditions are likely to result in collisions with traffic, road closures and longer travel times
- Pavements and cycle paths are probably immediately impassable due to the sudden formation of black ice
- Power supply and other services, such as telephone and cell phone coverage, are likely to be interrupted or interrupted
It is expected that heavy freezing rain will develop on Saturday. This will result in the rapid formation of widespread ice on roads, sidewalks, trees and other constructions. Freezing rain is rare in the UK, but when it happens, the consequences can be very serious. This is due to the fact that it can form very quickly, it can be difficult to see and is incredibly smooth. Some hail and snow are possible over the very highest ground and the ice can also be followed by a tidal wave of snow and sleet while precipitation precipitates from the west. The sleet and snow and snow will be accompanied by strong south-easterly winds that pose an additional danger to the voyage, especially on high ground.
AMBER WARNING – SNOW (sat 9 am – Sunday 8 am)
Heavy snow and snow storms disrupt travel and infrastructure.
What to expect:
- Delays in the journey on the road are likely, causing some vehicles and passengers to strand
- Some delays and cancellations of train journeys are likely
- There is a good chance that some rural communities will be closed
- Power outage is likely and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected
It is expected that the period of long and heavy snow will develop until Saturday morning, before it turns west on Sunday morning. 5-10 cm of snow is probably everywhere in the area, while some areas can see 20 cm, maybe 40 cm above a higher ground. Strong south-westerly winds lead to temporary blizzards and the drifting of lies snow.
YELLOW WARNING – RAIN & WIND (Sat 6:00 – Sat 18:00)
Northern Ireland and South West England
Heavy rain and strong winds in parts of Northern Ireland, South West England and South Wales.
What to expect:
- Spraying and flooding on roads, which probably increases the travel time
- Flooding of a few houses and businesses is possible
- Delays for high-end vehicles on exposed routes and bridges are likely
- Any loss of power and other services in the short term is possible
- Some festive events can be affected by bad conditions.
Heavy rain and storms will affect Saturday in parts of Northern Ireland and the southwest of Great Britain. The wettest areas could see 30 to 50 mm of rain within 6 to 12 hours, while wind gusts could rise between 50 and 60 mph, especially in exposed coastal areas. The combination of these factors during a busy shopping weekend can contribute to possible disruption.
YELLOW WARNING – SNOW & ICE (Sat 9 am – 9 am)
Scotland and most of England (to Bedfordshire)
Periods of freezing rain, with snow in Scotland later, leading to a number of dangerous travel conditions.
What to expect:
- Possible travel delays on roads that allow some vehicles and passengers to strand
- Possible delays or cancellations of train and air travel
- Some rural communities can be closed
- Power outages can occur and other services, such as the coverage of mobile phones, can be affected
- A chance of injury from slipping and falling on icy surfaces
- Bus and train services can be delayed or canceled, with some road closures and longer travel times
- Untreated sidewalks and cycle paths are potentially impassable due to black ice
It is expected that the showers will develop on Saturday, until the early hours of Sunday. This can result in the formation of ice on roads, sidewalks, trees and other constructions. Freezing rain is rare in the UK, but if it happens, the consequences can be serious. This is due to the fact that it can form very quickly, is difficult to see and is incredibly smooth. The icy rain will probably turn into snow before it turns out in parts of Scotland, causing some accumulations of 2-5 cm. The freezing rain and snow will be accompanied by strong south-easterly winds that pose an additional danger to the voyage, especially on high ground.
YELLOW WIND WARNING (Sat 12:00 – Sunday 6 AM)
Scottish northern islands
Heavy storms are expected across the Northern Isles and parts of Caithness.
What to expect:
- Some delays for road, rail, air and ferry transport are expected
- Any loss of power and other services in the short term
- Coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities affected by spraying and / or large waves
A prediction of very windy weather is expected on the northern islands and parts of Caithness on Saturday afternoon and tonight to Sunday. Southeast winds will be around 50 mph with gusts wide 60mph perhaps 70mph at times.