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Big freeze fails to materialise

Predictions of plummeting temperatures and arctic conditions gripping the nation have proven wrong.

Forecasters said wintry showers and hail were expected to blast parts of Britain with the country bracing itself for cold weather and snow in some regions.

The forecasts came after weeks of unseasonably mild weather and as the Met Office issued a severe weather warning for ice to motorists travelling on untreated roads in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and northern England.

But there were no massive blanketings of snow - but mainly rain showers and even strong sun in the South East.

However, the chill factor is starting to creep in with meteorologists saying temperatures will fall into the weekend, getting as low as minus 5C.

Chris Burton, forecaster with Meteogroup, the Press Association's weather division, said: "It is cold enough for sleet and snow in the higher ground such as the Pennines and the Lake District.

"It's looking like it will get increasingly cold through the weekend and into next week."

Experts said high pressure coming from eastern Europe and Scandinavia could clash with rain from the Atlantic to create snow on higher ground. "It is nothing unusual," said Mr Burton.

Across Scotland the mercury could fall to minus 5C and down to minus 1C across England and Wales. Next week temperatures in London are expected to peak at between 3C and 5C - two or three degrees colder than the average for this time of year.

Snow fell over high ground in Wales, northern parts of England and Scotland on Thursday, reaching depths of between 1cm and 4cm, MeteoGroup said.


From Belfast Telegraph