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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

UK weather: Snow and ice causes travel chaos and shuts schools

A woman and a child walk through snow in Eglinton, Northern IrelandPA Media

Parts of the UK have been hit be snow and ice, with warnings from police in some areas to only travel if “absolutely essential”.

Yellow alerts for snow and ice are in place across large areas of all four nations and an amber alert for snow has been issued for northern Scotland.

A major incident has been declared after a double-decker bus overturned in Somerset.

Overnight temperatures dropped as low as -9.8C and some schools have shut.

  • LIVE Snow and ice warnings after coldest night of the year

BBC forecaster Nick Miller said: “Widespread cold has returned to the UK with lows of -7 to -10C across the four home nations last night.”

Northern Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of north-west England and Wales are likely to see further snow, he said.

Conditions in the Highlands were expected to “deteriorate”, he said, and travel disruption was likely.

“Temperatures across much of the UK will only rise a degree or so above freezing today with another widespread frost tonight”, he added.

An amber alert for snow is in place for parts of north and north-east Scotland until midnight and a yellow alert has been issued for snow and ice across parts of the UK until midday on Wednesday.

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Temperatures dropped to -9.8C in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire overnight and to -8C across Scotland and Northern Ireland on what was the coldest night of the year so far.

It will remain cold for the rest of the week, but BBC forecasters say it will turn milder by the weekend.

Avon and Somerset Police warned drivers to “only travel if absolutely necessary” after the force said it received more than 100 reports in five hours due to “treacherous conditions”.

The A39 near Cannington is closed after a crash involving a motorcyclist resulted in a bus overturning.

Avon and Somerset Police said conditions were “extremely icy and dangerous” as a result of freezing overnight temperatures and residual water on the road from last week’s wet weather.

Snow in Perranporth, Cornwall

BBC weather watchers Kernow Jo

In Cornwall, more than 80 schools have been shut and some roads are blocked after heavy snow fell in parts of the county.

Devon and Cornwall Police tweeted, urging drivers to “travel with caution as heavy snow showers sweep through the region”.

Schools in Shetland have been closed for a second day and more than 200 have been shut in the Highlands.

The Met Office said a further 10 to 15cm of snow could fall in a short space of time across northern parts of Scotland.

There have been 19 road crashes across Londonderry and Strabane as snow and icy conditions came in overnight in Northern Ireland.

In Wales, police have warned of “treacherous” road conditions and some schools have been shut.

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The Met Office has issued the following weather alerts:

  • An amber warning for snow in northern Scotland, covering Inverness and Aberdeen, in place from 15:00 until midnight
  • A yellow alert for snow and ice for parts of north Scotland until 09:00 on Wednesday
  • A yellow warning for ice and snow across western England, Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of west Scotland until midday on Wednesday
  • A yellow alert for snow and ice across Cornwall, Devon and southern Wales from 18:00 until midday on Wednesday
  • A separate yellow warning for ice across southern England from 18:00 until 10:00 on Wednesday

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Snow in Pentrefoelas, Conwy

BBC Weather Watchers North Wales Ruth

A level three cold alert was issued on Monday by the UK Health Security Agency and is in place until 09:00 on Friday.

The government health agency warned the severe cold weather could cause health risks to vulnerable people and disrupt services.

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan activated the city’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) on Monday to provide emergency accommodation for rough sleepers as temperatures.

The cold spell comes after widespread flooding left parts of the UK submerged over the weekend and more than 80 flood warnings and 130 flood alerts still active across the UK.

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