Britain is bracing itself for another big freeze today with severe weather warnings for ice issued across parts of northern England and Scotland as temperatures drop below zero for the coming week.
A cold and dry day with strong winds is expected across most of the UK today, with gusts of 30 to 45 mph expected from the east bringing a chill to already freezing temperatures.
Conditions are forecast to remain frosty through to tomorrow, with a weather warning for ice in place across the east of Scotland and Northern Ireland and parts of England from 4pm today until 11am tomorrow, and treacherous conditions expected on the roads.
Some snow can be expected over the hills of the South east, although for most the day will remain dry with temperatures set to plummet overnight. Showers may be seen in eastern and some central parts.
The Met Office predicts the cold spell affecting much of the UK will continue into next week, with temperatures expected to remain slightly below average, the Met Office has said.
Temperatures will stay in single digits across the UK in the coming days, with rain, sleet and snow expected in parts. Colder weather is also expected at the end of the month, as sudden warming in the stratosphere moves down into our atmosphere.
Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said: ‘This cold spell will last certainly this week and into next week, although we should see a little bit of recovering temperatures as we start next week.
‘By the time we get to Friday, we’re starting to see the chance that things might warm up a bit, but we’re still looking at 3C (37.4F) or 4C (39.2F) for London with isolated areas perhaps seeing 6C (42.8F).’
Leeds will see temperatures of around 4C (39.2F), while parts of Scotland will hover around freezing in the daytime.
Ms Maxey continued: ‘Temperatures are a little bit below average for January. I think by the time we get to mid-month we’re probably going to see those temperatures move closer to the average for this kind of year.’
A car sits in a snowy field after leaving the road near Great Broughton on The North Yorkshire Moors this morning
Rhys Williams, eight, looks up at a snowman while sledging in snow and freezing temperatures in the Llangynidr Mountains in the Brecon Beacons, Mid Wales, this morning
A commuter train crosses Ribblehead viaduct this morning in the shadow of the snow covered Ingleborough mountain as work continues on a £2.1M restoration project to re-point eroded joints & replace stones on all 24 arches of the famous rail crossing, North Yorkshire
A weather warning for ice in place across the east of Scotland and Northern Ireland and parts of England from 4pm today until 11am tomorrow
Persistent rain is expected in the South East, with between 0.2in (5mm) and 0.6in (15mm) set to fall over two days.
Some parts of the UK may also see sleet and snow, though it will largely stay on higher ground.
Ms Maxey said: ‘We may see the odd flurry down to lower levels, particularly in the North East, maybe the North West depending on what day you’re looking at, but certainly any snow to lower levels will be quite transient really and not last very long.
She added that the South East could also see some snow on Thursday and Friday, but ‘if it happens, it won’t stay around for long’.
‘A half a degree difference in temperature can make the difference between snow and rain, so snow is one of those things that’s difficult to be prescriptive about too far out.’
Met Office meteorologists are tracking two weather events that may affect the conditions the UK faces over the coming weeks – a La Nina, which would likely bring wet and stormy weather, and sudden stratospheric warming, associated with very cold weather.
Ms Maxey continued: ‘You’ve got the two events happening at the same time so they vie against each other in a sense.
‘They’re sort of fighting for influence over the UK, we’re a very small dot in the middle of the ocean.’
Sudden stratospheric warming in 2018 brought the heavy snow termed the Beast from the East; however, Ms Maxey said the event is more likely to bring more cold weather without heavy snow, though it is difficult to predict.
‘The feeling at the moment is that we may see some colder weather towards the end of January into February, but probably the sort of weather that we’re seeing at the moment, as opposed to what is popularly perceived as a Beast from the East,’ she said.
Scenic views in Chop Gate, on the North Yorkshire Moors, this morning as even more snow fell in the region over night
The village of Chop Gate in North Yorkshire sees a blanket of snow covering the fields this morning
Yesterday ice skaters took to a frozen pond in Queen’s Park in Glasgow to show their skills
A person ice skates on a frozen pond in Queen’s Park in Glasgow as spectators watch
Several areas, including parts of Northumberland, awoke to another blanket of the white stuff this morning as snow ploughs were seen clearing the roads.
As a result of a sudden snow storm overnight, police officers and volunteers were forced to rescue drivers in the Peak District who became stranded in their cars.
WXCHARTS, a weather company that predicts long-term weather trends, has warned of heavy snow with as much as 30 inches dropping in one day up to January 17, reported the Mirror.
The conditions are similar to those seen during the Beast from the East and while John Griffiths, a Met Office forecaster, told MailOnline the country should expect rain, sleet and snow over the next week he said it was too soon to tell if ‘sudden stratosphere warming’ (SSW) would result in a repeat of February 2018’s weather.
Serving as a warning to those considering driving in the snowy conditions, Derbyshire Police and volunteers had to rescue dozens of people who became trapped in a snow storm in the Peak District last night.
Officers were called to some of the highest-lying areas of Derbyshire after sudden and heavy snow rolled in and people in the Goyt Valley were left trapped in their vehicles.
Earlier in the day, police say up to 200 vehicles were parked on Snake Pass summit, a figure the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team claimed was busier than a summer bank holiday.
In a post on Facebook, an officer from the team slammed people for their lack of ‘common sense in going out and not being prepared for the weather to turn as was forecast.
The post reads: ‘Presumably, the occupants of these vehicles were out on the moors. It seems like many didn’t have the common sense to check the forecast, dress themselves suitably, check they had a capable vehicle and/or driving skills, never mind the fact that they perhaps shouldn’t have been stretching the advice given by the government so as not to overburden our NHS.’
It went on to say there were similar situations across other parts of the Peak District.
It wrote: ‘Never mind, though. Just ring the police and expect them to come along with their magical snowmobiles. Of course, with our superpowers we can simultaneously deal with similar situations in the Goyt Valley, Mam Nick, Curbar Gap and others. And we’re covid-proof, didn’t you know?
‘Joking aside, please don’t be stupid. It shouldn’t need a greater explanation than that. Hopefully the evening won’t deteriorate into a mass of emergencies.
‘We’ll deal with what we can, but our underpants aren’t on the outside and we can only knock so much common sense back into society.’