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Britain braced for further storms

Snow showers that brought picture-postcard scenes to upland areas of Scotland and northern England may have cleared but forecasters have warned that wintry storms are on their way.

Many of Britain's high level routes were hit by snow overnight and but these showers have given way to clear skies and predictions of widespread frost tonight before wintry gales move-in from tomorrow afternoon.

The upland snowfalls in Scotland and down the Pennines brought no reports of any major transport routes being blocked but police dealt with a number of crashes as drivers were warned of treacherous conditions.

A woman died after the car she was driving collided with an ambulance about five miles south of Mennock, near Sanquhar, at about 8.40am.

Police Scotland said it was too early to say whether freezing conditions had contributed to the accident but advised drivers to avoid the area.

Now forecasters are warning Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of northern England and Wales to brace themselves for icy gales starting tomorrow evening and peaking on Wednesday.

And more southerly areas of the country are likely to be hit by a second storm due to roll in from the Atlantic Ocean on Friday.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for wind from tomorrow night. The warning runs through Wednesday and into Thursday morning.

Spokesman Dan Williams said the gales, which will be strongest in northern parts of the UK, could reach 80mph in exposed parts of north-west Scotland and bring new snowfalls on higher ground.

Mr Williams said the winds will start to pick-up tomorrow afternoon and the warning comes into force tomorrow night.

He said tonight should be calm but the clear skies will mean plummeting temperatures with many areas seeing a frost and parts of the Scottish highlands reaching minus five degrees.

Another warning is in place for a second storm which will roll-in from Thursday evening and bring winds up to 70mph and heavy rain to most of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Southern Scotland.

MeteoGroup forecaster Laura Caldwell said the overnight snow and rain showers cleared during today and tonight will be cold and clear leading to a widespread frost.

She said the really bad weather will begin on Tuesday night, especially in the north of the country.

"It's going to be really nasty weather in Scotland on Wednesday," Ms Caldwell said.

"Really strong winds and snow showers on higher ground. The showers will be piling in from the west."

She said Northern Ireland will also get the brunt of the wintry weather with northern England and north Wales also in the path of the stormy showers.

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