A yellow weather warning has been issued for snow and ice in parts of Scotland and northern England as temperatures will drop to -8C.
Up to four inches of snow will cover some parts of the country today and the start of the spring season will be noticeably colder than usual.
The weather warning, which began at 6pm on Sunday, will last until just before midnight on Tuesday and covers the northern part of Scotland, including Aberdeen and Inverness.
Temperatures will also drop to -8°C in some parts of Scotland, with freezing temperatures expected to last until March 11, at least amid sudden stratospheric warming (SSW).
Snow and ice will also descend on Northern England, the east coast of England and Northern Ireland, caused by Arctic air freezing following a spate of calmer conditions.
The recent favorable conditions are due to an area of high pressure, which is now moving west, allowing a northerly air current to blow over the UK.
After Tuesday, the chance of snow is greatest in the south.
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Snow will blanket parts of the country today, including Scotland and northern England, in what will be a noticeably cooler-than-usual start to the spring season
A yellow weather alert is issued when there is a remote possibility of travel delays, minor injuries from ice, power cuts, and cutting off rural areas
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice for parts of Scotland from 6pm tonight (Sunday weather warnings)
The Met Office said the start of next week will be the coldest day of the year so far, with temperatures dropping to near freezing in the northern parts of the UK. Pictured: Today’s weather alerts (left) and Tuesday’s weather alerts (right)
The UK Health Security Agency has also issued a cold weather warning between the early hours of this morning and midnight on Thursday.
A yellow weather alert is issued when there is a remote possibility of travel delays, minor injuries from ice, power cuts and rural areas being cut off.
The UK Health Security Agency reminded people to look after the vulnerable. The cold weather alert goes into effect early today and lasts until midnight Thursday.
The North East of England, the North West of England and Yorkshire are all under level three alert, with the rest of the country remaining on level two.
A level three alert means there is a 90 per cent chance of severe cold weather, icy conditions or heavy snow, which could increase the health risk for vulnerable patients, the NHS said.
The agency said if a person is over 65 or has a pre-existing medical condition, they should try to heat their home to at least 18C during the cold snap.
Dr. Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, said: ‘During periods like this it is important to check in with family, friends and relatives who may be more vulnerable to the cold weather as it can have serious consequences. influence on health.
A family enjoys the snow today in Tomintoul. Kate and Fraser Gormley were out in the cold with their four-year-old twins
A car in the snow at Tomintoul, a village in Scotland, on Sunday. A yellow warning for snow from the Met Office comes into effect at 6pm
Parts of England could also experience cold and snowy weather this week (pictured Stoke-on-Trent during the cold snap in January this year)
What is Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW)?
A sudden warming of the stratosphere (SSW) is a term used to describe a phenomenon in which the temperature in the stratosphere, a layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, increases rapidly.
Due to the warming, air circulation at the poles can reduce speed or even reverse the orbit.
This, in turn, can have a major impact on weather patterns, pushing cold air down from the poles and causing a storm of freezing weather and blizzards.
“If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it’s important to try to heat your home to at least 18C if possible.”
Temperatures are likely to remain well below March averages for the next week, according to the Met Office.
Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Chris Almond, said: ‘Very cold air will spread across the UK from late Sunday to early next week.
“This will bring snow even to low levels in the north and east through Monday and Tuesday, and more than 4 inches may accumulate, most likely on high ground in the north, but also for a while at lower levels.”
“With freezing overnight temperatures and the risk of ice, there is a risk of some travel disruption and winter hazards are likely to continue for much of next week, even for a while further south.”
James Coles from Scottish Mountain Rescue and team leader at Moffat Mountain Rescue added: ‘The UK is entering a period of increasingly challenging weather conditions with snow, ice and gusts all featuring prominently in the forecast for the week ahead.
‘In high-altitude areas, especially in the mountains, conditions can change very quickly and can differ significantly from surrounding lowland areas.
“With Office warnings going into effect Monday, conditions ahead may deteriorate more quickly at higher altitudes.”
The cold spell could also extend Britain’s food shortages, with crops set to suffer from freezing temperatures.
Experts have warned that the harvest of cucumbers and tomatoes will be delayed as salads are rationed in supermarkets across the country due to persistent shortages.
It’s because drought and freezing weather over the Christmas period stunted the growth of carrots, cauliflower, leeks and cabbage, with warnings that supplies of these vegetables will also dwindle.
The severe weather, resulting from an Artic Maritime Airmass sweeping over the UK, comes after a drier than usual February.
The UK received just 45 per cent of the month’s average rainfall, with 43.4mm of rain in February making it the driest in 30 years.
Despite unusually cold conditions for this time of year, it won’t be the last time the UK has experienced a cold snap.
Last year, Londoners shivered under one of the coldest April nights on record when temperatures dropped to -3C and the capital was blanketed in snow.