Warnings are in effect as snow falls in the north and heavy rain affects the south
Today brings a real taste of winter for some, as rain, already heavy in places across all but Scotland and the north-east, turns to snow as it makes its way steadily north. As a result, several Met Office yellow warnings are currently in force, with yellow warnings for snow and ice in parts of Shropshire, North Wales, the Peak District and the Pennines.
In the central and southern regions, precipitation will primarily be rain, some heavy, before becoming somewhat drier than the south and a bit cooler. But later in the day, southern parts will see more heavy rain. The Peak and Pennines are the worst affected, with 20 to 25cm of snow likely to drift in strong north-easterly winds. This will cause travel problems, especially on the upper parts of the M62 motorway, with possible road closures and potential power outages in these areas.
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Further north, the weather is drier but cooler and frostier, except for a few snow showers in the far north. Temperatures were as low as -13C in the Kimbers in the Highlands, and most of the day was dry and bright over Scotland before the snow moved into southern Scotland and the north-east of the country, where rain was likely towards the coast. With renewed winds, it will be particularly cold in the northern half of the country, where temperatures will struggle to reach 2 to 4 degrees Celsius. But further south, the weather will be milder, with temperatures reaching double figures, 10 to 12°C across southern England and the southwest.
After heavy rain falls in the dark, it slowly makes its way north through the southern and central parts later, and the rain becomes heavier as it falls. But the weather will be milder with a southerly or southeasterly breeze here as temperatures rise slowly across the central parts. In most parts of northern England, there will be rain, sleet and snow, and any snow over Northern Ireland will turn to rain. But more snow looks likely over the Pennines and Cumbrian mountains, with further drifting in strong north-easterly winds.
Drought should persist mainly in the far north of Scotland, but eastern Scotland is becoming increasingly unstable. There will be snow at times, covering even the lower levels, with some heavy falls on the hills, especially the southern highlands. The Highlands are expected to see drier weather with another frost, while the rest of western and southern Scotland will see snowfall overnight, causing particular problems on the hills. In much of the north, temperatures will be near or just above freezing, but in the south, temperatures will be milder, with 7 to 10 degrees Celsius near the ‘mark’ here.
Through Friday, Scotland will see the bulk of winter weather, with heavy snow and blizzards for a while, before cooler air leads to a thaw in the south. The mild air also brings thaw to Northern Ireland and northern England, where it is sometimes foggy and wet. Elsewhere, expect rain, some heavy, but with double-digit temperatures again in the south.