Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Snow showers predicted across UK

Walkers in the Scottish Borders as heavy snow hits areas around Scotland
A Highways Agency worker loads gritting salt as snow hits parts of the country

Snow swept across Scotland as winter roared back to Britain, wiping out memories of the recent mild weather.

The falls began in the north west of Scotland on Saturday evening and moved on to other areas, also affecting higher ground in northern England.

Paul Mott, a senior forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "There have been two centimetres of snow in places in Scotland, and, on the hills of south east Scotland, three to four centimetres. It's been wet and slushy where it has settled. There's also been some snow over the Cumbrian fells and on hills in Wales. It's been a cold day, with temperatures in parts of Scotland and Cumbria failing to rise above zero."

Mr Mott continued: "We can expect the snow to keep moving south east, with a centimetre or two in parts of northern England and the Midlands. By the time it reaches south east England, about 6am, it will be very light. We could see a dusting in London and the south east tomorrow morning, and there is a risk of icy patches on untreated roads.

"Later tomorrow, there will be another band of snow and rain heading south east across the UK, which is likely to give a covering over parts of the north east and East Anglia, and maybe up to 10cm in parts of Yorkshire. There may be some light snow over London then, but failing to settle. The snow will clear most areas tomorrow night, but we will see quite an icy night on Monday, and it will remain cold through the rest of the week, with some snow showers."

The Met Office has a level two weather warning in place until Tuesday - covering the whole of England - alerting residents to ice, snow and bitter temperatures. It said: "This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services."

The AA has warned that 75% of drivers are not prepared for conditions on the roads, and urged drivers to carry an essential winter kit and check their cars before getting behind the wheel.

The RAC is expecting up to 56,000 breakdowns and widespread disruption. It has placed extra patrols on stand-by to help stranded motorists and said call-outs are expected to rise by 20% or more.

The Highways Agency has said it is "well prepared" for winter conditions. A spokeswoman said: "We have a fleet of 500 state-of-the-art winter vehicles on standby, supported by tried-and-tested winter resilience plans. We have reviewed salt stock levels and taken action where needed to enhance our resilience and we have again established a reserve salt stock to help ensure that there is enough salt to deal with severe winter.

"Our roads will be treated whenever there is a risk of ice or snow. However, even when roads have been treated, drivers should still take care, especially on stretches where the local road layout or landscape means there could be a greater risk of ice forming."

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