UK weather: Met Office warns ‘blizzard conditions’ could hit parts of country over weekend

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Yellow weather warnings are in place over the next 48 hours

Blizzard conditions could hit part of the UK this weekend, the Met Office has warned.

Snow and ice are expected in northern parts of England and Scotland on Sunday (18 December) as the cold spell continues to bite. Accumilations of up to 15cm could be seen in parts of the country.

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A yellow warning is in place for ice for the north west, including Manchester, and Glasgow, on Saturday (17 December). It will be followed by further snowfall 24 hours later.

The current cold spell looks set to end next week, with milder temperatures forecast. But before that there will be more wintry weather.

Here is all you need to know:

What does the Met Office warning say?

For the snow and ice warning in place on Sunday, the Met Office explains: “A period of snow will lead to some disruption to travel and other activities, before turning to rain later. Possible travel delays on roads stranding some vehicles and passengers, along with delayed or cancelled rail and air travel.

“Some rural communities could become cut off. Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage. A chance of injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces.”

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In a further update, the Met Office added: “A band of snow is expected to move northeast across the UK on Sunday, in most places lasting two to four hours before turning to rain. Places in the south of the warning area will be affected first.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: A man jogs along a snow-covered road on December 12, 2022 in London, England. Snow and ice disrupted rail travel and closed schools in parts of southeast England on Monday. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: A man jogs along a snow-covered road on December 12, 2022 in London, England. Snow and ice disrupted rail travel and closed schools in parts of southeast England on Monday. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: A man jogs along a snow-covered road on December 12, 2022 in London, England. Snow and ice disrupted rail travel and closed schools in parts of southeast England on Monday. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“Temporary accumulations of 1-3 cm are likely at low levels, with 5-10 cm more typical across upland areas and isolated 10-15 cm on high ground north of the Central Belt. Once rain becomes established, all lying snow will melt rapidly.

“In addition to the snow and ice, strong winds are expected across all parts, with gales or severe gales mainly across high ground. This will lead to blizzard conditions in some areas for a time.

“A brief period of freezing rain is also possible, most likely to impact the Pennines northwards, with a consequent risk of ice accretion on structures and power lines.”

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A second warning is in place for southern England and Wales for ice on Sunday. The Met Office explains: “A period of rain and snow mixed falling on frozen surfaces will lead to icy conditions causing some travel disruption.

“Some injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces. Probably some icy patches on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths. There is a chance that road, air and rail services could be disrupted or delayed.

“Widespread frozen surfaces ahead of a band of rain, sleet and snow, pushing northeast across the UK though Sunday, leads to a risk of icy conditions through the morning and early afternoon, before conditions turning much milder from the west. Any sleet or snow, at least to low levels, will likely only last an hour or two, before turning readily to rain, but this still onto frozen surfaces for a time.

“Temporary accumulations of 1-2cm to lower levels, and perhaps locally 3-5cm across the Welsh mountains, with any snow starting to melt readily from late morning. As this will melt rapidly, snowmelt may briefly add to the ice risk. In addition to the ice and snow risk, strong winds are expected, mainly over higher ground.”

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