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Weather alert: Snow and ice warnings as UK faces plunging temperatures

First snows of winter due in Northern Ireland and Scotland

Parts of the United Kingdom can expect snow over the weekend as an icy polar blast sweeps through Britain with temperatures in the north expected to drop well below freezing.

The Met Office has issued a yellow snow warning for much of north-western Scotland, telling residents to expect snow and dangerous driving conditions today and Sunday.

“Icy stretches are likely to form on surfaces, as well as strong winds leading to reduced visibilities and poor driving conditions,” a Met Office statement warned.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said that although there was a colder front moving in across the country today, it was likely only northern parts of Scotland, Ireland and Wales may see showers turning to sleet with a danger of ice.

He continued: "Another weather front is moving south east with some showers behind it on Sunday. Across Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, north-western England and parts of Wales, the difference is that air is colder than today so we think that any snow will be across the hills or highlands. Above about 200m we could see around 20cm of snow.

"Further south there is also a chance of snow but the accumulation will be less, probably around 5-10cm, with lower regions possibly expecting just a light dusting of snow," he added.

Rachel Vince, senior forecaster at MeteoGroup, said: "Scotland and Northern Ireland will see a mixture of sunshine and showers.

"These showers do look like becoming hail and sleet showers in places, with snow in the mountains."

Snow flurries are expected as far south as Wales and Derbyshire as the temperate drops into the minus across parts of the country.

Forecasters are predicting that parts of these regions could enjoy 2cm of snow in areas above 600m with lighter amounts of snow expected lower down.

Rachel Vince, senior forecaster at MeteoGroup, said: "Scotland and Northern Ireland will see a mixture of sunshine and showers.

"These showers do look like becoming hail and sleet showers in places, with snow in the mountains."

A cold front moving south today will turn showers into ice Met Office spokesperson Nicky Maxey told the Daily Express.

"On Sunday morning we are expecting gales from the north thanks to a Polar Maritime air mass with several inches of snow possible over high ground and up to 5cm [2 ins] in northern England, we could see wintry showers in central parts of the country.

"By next week it is looking unsettled with another band of cold air coming in," she added.

The Polar wind will also contribute to a chilling effect, as forecasters warn next week we could face temperatures closer to -7C.

Continued Met Office warnings follow from forecasts earlier this week that predicated temperature as low as -5C.

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