City streets flooded as UK heads for cold spell that could see temperatures dip to -10C

Swans swimming on flood water in Worcester City Centre as River Severn burst its banks following  heavy rain. 15/01/2023
Swans swim through Worcester city centre after the River Severn burst its banks. (SWNS)

Dramatic pictures show a city's streets underwater as heavy rain continued to force Britain’s longest river to overflow.

Flood warnings have been in place across much of the country this weekend, with the Met Office issuing yellow weather alerts across Wales, the south coast, West Midlands and North West.

Worcester city centre was one of the worst hit areas, with car parks and roads in the centre forced to close due to flooding, and the racecourse turned into a lake.

Swans were pictured swimming through the city centre after the River Severn burst its banks, with the Environment Agency warning levels are due to peak this evening – reaching between 5.4 metres and 5.7 metres.

After a weekend of torrential downpours, forecasters are warning of a sudden cold snap, with the high possibility of heavy rain turning into snow and icy showers.

Temperatures are set to fall to at least 0C overnight across most of the country, dropping as low as -10C in higher-lying Scottish areas.

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Houses in Ironbridge surrounded by flood waters as River Severn levels started to rise following  heavy rain. 14/01/2023
Houses in Ironbridge, Shropshire, surrounded by floodwater as the country was battered by heavy rain. (SWNS)

Snow has been forecast for London, the South East, and Scotland, while a yellow weather warning for ice covers Northern Ireland, southern Scotland, northern England, northern Wales and the Midlands.

The alert, which warns that "wintry showers" will lead to "difficult driving conditions" due to slippery surfaces, is in place from 6pm on Sunday until 10am on Monday.

A lengthier yellow warning for snow and ice is in place in northern Scotland from 2pm on Sunday through to 10am on Wednesday.

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Watch: Flood warnings as parts of UK face heavy showers and blustery winds

Flood defences along River Severn at Ironbridge after River Severn levels started to rise following  heavy rain. 14/01/2023
Flood defences in Ironbridge, Shropshire, before a weekend of heavy rain turns into a snowy and icy cold snap. (SWNS)

The warning says: "A few centimetres of snow are likely at low levels over a given 24-hour period, with the potential for 10-15cm above 200 metres, especially across parts of the Highlands.

"Ice will be an additional hazard, especially Tuesday night."

Another warning for snow across parts of south-east England has been issued by the forecaster for Monday, lasting from 2am until 8am.

Residents are urged to take care as there may be some icy patches on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths.

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Flooding in Shrewsbury as River Severn burst its banks due to heavy rain. 14/01/2023
Shrewsbury was badly affected by this weekend's downpours. (SWNS)

Some roads and railways are likely to be affected, with commuters warned to expect longer journey times and delays.

In a warning to those driving to work on Monday, Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell said: "We are starting to see the cold weather coming in from the Arctic, so we have now started to issue warnings for snow and ice across the UK.”

"We have got a couple of areas we are keeping a very close eye on – we could well see some wintry showers develop tonight across the middle band of the UK, with a risk of snow on high ground and slippery surfaces on lower areas.

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Ironbridge surrounded by flood waters as River Severn levels started to rise following  heavy rain. 14/01/2023
Flood alerts were put in place for large swathes of the country this weekend, with warnings over and snow and ice set for the week ahead. (SWNS)

"This could be a problem during rush hour, it could cause a few problems on the roads. The risk of flooding is still there."

Snell added that while "cold and wintry weather" is set to "dominate the UK" through the week, the weekend looks milder.

"Compared to the cold spell in December, it doesn’t look like it’s going to last as long," he said.