Arctic blast brings 10 inches of snow as weather maps turn purple
The UK is set to be hit by a spell of snowfall, with up to 10 inches of snow in some places.
An Arctic blast is set to freeze the country and disrupt travel as amber weather warnings are put in place.
Up to 10 inches of snow could fall on higher ground in the Peak District and South Pennines, which is under a yellow warning from noon until 6pm on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Newcastle, the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, the Central Belt, Fife and Grampian are set to be covered in a snow and ice bomb.
Snow is expected to hit large parts of the UK today
Jason Kelly, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “The cold in most areas away from the south of the UK will be offset by moisture-laden air spreading from the south.
“When moderate air encounters cold air, rain, sleet and snow will fall, creating a risk of 2-5cm of snow in some places, while other areas will see little or no snow.
“Up to 5-10cm of snow is likely over higher ground, while locations above 200m within Amber Warning areas could see up to 25cm of snowfall. Snow here with strong easterly winds may drift into a gale .
“As mild air from the south gradually moves northwards, the focus on winter risks is also shifting northwards with warnings issued for Scotland.”
The freezing conditions are the result of a collision of an Arctic air mass pressing down on the UK with a rain front moving north-east across England and Wales.
The latest developments
Large parts of the UK are set to see snowfall
A single yellow rain warning covers much of southern England and south-east Wales. The warning began at 2 a.m. earlier today and runs until 6 a.m. Friday.
Other yellow snow and ice warnings cover southern and central Scotland from 6pm on Thursday until 3pm on Friday.
In Northern Ireland, the warning runs from 10am on Thursday until 6pm on Friday. Up to 3-4 inches of snow could fall in both Scotland and Northern Ireland
According to the Meteorological Office, temperatures dropped below zero in several places last night. The Lairg area in northern Scotland fell to -7°C.
Weather alerts have been issued across the UK
There were also warnings that travel could be disrupted throughout the day.
National Highways Network Manager Amy Shaw said: “Freezing conditions bring hazards such as snow and ice, so take every step possible to understand your trip in advance and allow plenty of extra time when traveling to prepare for the unexpected.
“So it is always important to plan ahead for your trip, check the weather forecast, and if weather conditions become difficult, adjust your driving behavior and exercise extra caution.”