UK weather: Met Office ice warnings as bitterly cold -10C weekend follows ‘thundersnow’

UK weather: Met Office ice warnings as bitterly cold -10C weekend follows ‘thundersnow’

Brits are being warned to wrap up warm this weekend as bitterly cold temperatures hit with the Met Office warning of icy conditions.

Temperatures in Scotland could drop to -10C on Saturday night, beating the lows of -9.6C recorded on Thursday.

And London and the South East will face treacherous conditions on Saturday morning as freezing weather turns rain showers into ice.

It comes after the Scotland experienced “thundersnow” in the early hours of Friday, with snow also falling across large swathes of northern England.

The Met Office has warned icy conditions are likely to persist at least until Tuesday.

Some Scottish residents got an unusual wake-up call overnight into Friday with the arrival of explosive “thundersnow”.

This rare phenomenon is a combination of heavy downpours of snow along with the usual thunder and lightning, making it sound like a distant explosion rather than a normal thunder strike.

Thursday into Friday was the coldest night of the winter so far, with the mercury dropping to -9.6C (14.7F) at Altnaharra, Sutherland, in the Highlands.

Elsewhere rain, sleet and snow fell across a broad swathe of Scotland and northern England.

The coldest night of 2020 so far was -10.2C (13.6F), which was recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire on February 13.

There is a yellow weather warning in place for rain across north-east Scotland, with a risk of flooding to some homes and businesses, while public transport services may be disrupted.

The warning covers Inverness, Aberdeen, Perth and Edinburgh, with up to 40mm forecast to fall.

Freezing temperatures could take hold overnight in south-east England where a warning for ice was issued lasting from Friday evening through to Saturday morning.

Residents in Kent, the far east of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk may face a few showers which could lead to more widespread ice in these areas, the Met Office said.

Matthew Box, a meteorologist with the Met Office, said: “By and large the most widespread snow is over, so through Friday night we could see some snow over high ground including the Peak District, Pennines, and through Saturday morning the Welsh mountains.

“We are going to continue to see showers moving in from Scotland over the North Sea and they are going to give some flurries over the Grampians and the Highland areas too.”

Early rain is forecast across parts of Scotland and south-west England as well as parts of Wales, which is expected to ease as the day goes on.

“It will be a cold-feeling day but there will be some bright sunny spells through Saturday, but showers will continue to affect many coastal areas where the wind is coming in off the sea”, he said.

But Saturday night into Sunday is likely to be very cold, with temperatures potentially dipping to minus 10C (14F) in northern Scotland.

Mr Box said: “Saturday night into Sunday is going to see a relatively widespread frost where we have clearer skies, particularly across parts of England and Wales, as well as further north in Scotland.

“We might see temperatures in some of the glens of Scotland approach minus 9C (15.8F) or minus 10C (14F) on Saturday night so it could be a rather sharp frost across local spots of Scotland.”

This Evening and Tonight:
Further rain at times for many areas, sleet or wet snow still possible, though becoming increasingly confined to hills. A few clearer slots with patchy frost and some icy patches in southeast.

Saturday:
Still a lot of cloud bringing most areas some rain at times, perhaps a little wet snow for some, mainly on hills. A few brighter, drier exceptions but cold everywhere.

Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday:
Cold, with some coastal showers and risk of more organised rain across north-east UK early next week. Light winds at first, with areas of freezing fog, locally slow to clear.

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