Britain prepares for widespread snowfall over the weekend with temperatures set to plunge to -11C as Christmas fun runs among raft of events axed due to cold snap – with forecasters predicting ‘widespread disruption’ on Monday
- Events such as Christmas lights switch-ons and sporting events cancelled
Britain is bracing itself for widespread snowfall over the weekend, with temperatures set to plunge to -11C in parts of the country.
Forecasters are also predicting several centimetres of snow to fall in parts of central and southern England and south Wales on Monday which is likely to bring ‘widespread disruption’ and risks bringing the UK to a halt.
The Met Office has predicted that temperatures could plummet to ‘perhaps as low as -10C in parts of Scotland’ overnight, with sub-zero conditions widespread elsewhere.
This morning could see -11C across parts of Aberdeenshire and -8C in rural Wales. The lowest temperature recorded on Friday was -9.4C in Shap in Cumbria, which was the coldest on record in the UK since March.
It comes after the first day of meteorological winter brought a cold snap across the UK yesterday, sparking panic among event organisers who have cancelled a raft of events including a Christmas fun run.
Britain is bracing itself for widespread snowfall over the weekend, with temperatures set to plunge to -11C in parts of the country. Pictured: Snow falls in Tynemouth, North Shields, yesterday
Swimmers Jaime Ormshaw (left) and Ceri Shaw brave the water at Warleigh Weir on the River Avon near Bath yesterday as freezing temperatures continue across the United Kingdom
The Met Office has yellow weather warnings across large parts of the UK as the risk of snow and ice continues
Sunday’s RNLI Cleethorpes Reindeer Run in Lincolnshire has been cancelled due to the cold snap. Pictured: The fun run taking place for the first time last year
Events such as Christmas lights switch-ons, firework displays, dozens of official parkruns and sporting fixtures have also been called off across the UK.
The areas that saw most snow on Friday were Aviemore, Invernesshire, 5cm; Albemarle, Northumberland, 2cm; Bingley, West Yorkshire, 2cm and Loftus, Cleveland, 1cm.
The Met Office has a yellow warning in place which started at 5pm last night and ends at 10am today. It covers northern Scotland, Cumbria to southwestern Scotland, the east coast of England down to London and Kent, and the south west.
Forecasters have warned of snow and ice which could result in ‘injuries from slips and falls’. Temperatures plunged to their lowest since March yesterday, causing 30 schools to close or open late in Cornwall.
Several crashes were also reported on the roads in County Durham roads as a result of the snow.
Tom Morgan, a meteorologist at the Met Office, told The Telegraph: ‘There’s some threat of significant snow on Monday. We could see several centimetres in south Wales and parts of central and southern England. Monday is the most likely day for widespread disruption.’
Met Office meteorologist Annie Shuttleworth added on Friday evening: ‘It’s going to be a very cold night tonight, in fact it’s likely to be the coldest night of the week so far.
‘That’s because much of the country is under clear starry skies. There will be some cloud around in western areas as the showers in the Irish Sea start to push further inland, they could bring some snow to south-western areas of Scotland as well as parts of Cumbria.
A firework display due to take place at Stonham Barns Park tomorrow has also been cancelled
A very frosty start to December at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire on Friday morning
Frosty and snowy fields surround the Penshaw Monument near Sunderland on Friday morning
The Angel of the North statue in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, is dusted with snow on Friday
FIRST SNOW OF THE LONDON SEASON ❄️❄️ #londonsnow #londonwinter #weather
It is officially snowing in London #snow #london #christmas #vegemite #christmas #foryoupage #london
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‘Further east we’ve got this area of mist and fog developing quite widely once again and that fog will be freezing fog, that’s because temperatures are widely dropping below zero.’
She said it will be -3C or -4C for many towns and cities today.
‘So as a result there are some ice warnings in force for the night and through tomorrow morning across parts of Scotland, north-west England as well as many eastern areas of England as well, that’s where we’ve seen showers through the day that may have caused wet surfaces that could freeze overnight,’ she added.
‘There’ll also be some snow showers continuing across southwestern Scotland throughout Saturday morning, mainly falling over the high ground above one or 200 metres but there could be some sleetiness (sic) to lower levels across parts of the Lake District, for example, by lunch time.
‘Elsewhere though we’ll see the mist and fog slowly clear but it could remain quite murky for a lot of the morning across central and eastern areas.
‘The best of the sunshine will be across northern areas of Scotland but further south and west you can see things starting to change a little bit (by Saturday afternoon) with a greater risk of some showers.’
She said as winds shifted to more of a south-westerly it would mean temperatures will slowly rise through Saturday, feeling a little it less cold in the southwest.
‘Elsewhere though still feeling bitterly cold, not much above freezing,’ she added.
A motorist clears their car windscreen as snow falls in Cullercoats in North Tyneside on Friday
Frosty conditions and a dusting of snow on the rooftops of homes at Detling in Kent yesterday
Sheep graze in a field amid the freezing temperatures at Grantown-on-Spey in Scotland today
‘Those showers in the southwest then do push further inland throughout Saturday night and as they bump into the colder air they could bring some snow to parts of Wales and central areas such as the Peak District. for example.
‘There is a little of of uncertainty with that one but it’s only likely to bring a little dusting of snow by Sunday morning.’
Several events which were lined up for the weekend have been postponed or cancelled amid the cold snap.
Sunday’s RNLI Cleethorpes Reindeer Run in North East Lincolnshire has been called off due to the icy conditions.
The run, which first launched last year, sees competitors dress up in Christmas outfits before running across a number of different courses.
The RNLI posted on Facebook: ‘Unfortunately, due to the forecast for snowy, icy, slippery conditions on Sunday morning, we’ve had to take the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Reindeer Run.
‘All the volunteers who have put so much time and effort into organising the event are disappointed, but we have to consider safety first, and can’t have families running on slippery paths, the last thing we would want is for someone to hurt themselves.’
Runners voiced their disappointment at the news but understood why the precautions had been taken.
Katie Jones said: ‘Yes difficult decision to make but sure it’s the right one. Looking forward to 2024.’
Lynne Ringrose added: ‘Safety first, will be sure to pop a donation in the box on the way passed.’
A firework display due to take place at Stonham Barns Park tomorrow has also been cancelled. Organisers said: ‘Unfortunately due to the weather and the condition of our field we have decided to cancel our firework night this weekend.’
It comes after several firework displays across Suffolk were postponed or cancelled due to poor weather in November.
The official parkrun has has to cancel dozens of events this weekend due to ‘weather’ and ‘frost and ice on the course’.
Organisers of the cancelled Albert Parkrun in Middlesborough quipped that ‘the pavement allows for ice skating rather than run’.
Portsmouth City Council said its Christmas lights switch-on party on Cosham High Street had been cancelled due to ‘rain, wind and low temperatures’ which were ‘enough to make the stage unsafe for children and professionals to perform’.
A winter vaccination bus at Prestonpans in East Lothian was cancelled ‘due to weather conditions’, while a community health bus in Newcastle and a rural advice bus at Stokesley in North Yorkshire were also both axed because of the conditions.
Snow on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside yesterday as wintry weather hits Britain
A man walks his dog along a snowy path in the North Tyneside village of Cullercoats
Snow falls over the village of Princetown at Dartmoor National Park in Devon yesterday morning
A woman pushes her pram through snowfall in Queen’s Park, North West London, yesterday
The frosty weather has also wreaked havoc on sport this weekend.
Crewe’s match with Bristol Rovers in the second round of the FA Cup today has been called off and rearranged for December 12, with the playing surface deemed unsafe.
A number of Scottish Professional Football League matches were likewise postponed ahead of the weekend, with Dundee United’s trip to face Morton at Cappielow called off, and the game between Ayr and Arbroath at Somerset Park.
Today’s high-profile racing fixture at Newcastle, which was due to stage the return of the Constitution Hill, has been abandoned due to snow on the track.
Met Office chief meteorologist Andy Page added: ‘A low pressure system will bring less cold, but more unsettled weather for southern parts of the UK on Sunday.
‘It will be a cloudier day with some rain, but also a chance of snow at first over the Midlands.
‘It will be brighter in the north, but still with a risk of showers in coastal areas.
‘Still feeling cold away from the southwest with temperatures once again in low-single figures.’
The Met Office has posted clips showing just how low temperatures could plunge to going into Saturday morning
The UK Health Security Agency and the Met Office have issued amber cold health alerts in five regions: the East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber until December 5, meaning ‘cold weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service for an extended period of time’.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan activated a ‘severe weather emergency protocol’ to open accommodation to rough sleepers amid sub-zero temperatures in the capital. And Cornwall Council also enacted its own severe weather protocol for the homeless.
National Highways has warned motorists to plan their journeys, stay up to date with forecasts and take extra care on the roads.
Dale Hipkiss, the national network manager, said: ‘Freezing conditions bring so many hazards such as snow and ice.
‘Please take every possible step to understand your journey in advance and allow extra time when travelling.
‘Keeping a kit of essential items like a torch and warm clothes in your vehicle can be vital.’
The London Fire Brigade said: ‘If you’re at home, be careful about how you choose to keep yourself and those around you warm. If you’re out and about, take extra care as conditions could be icy and keep well away from water.’
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