There are currently 11 weather warnings in place this week as heavy rain, snow and ice are all expected to descend upon the country. Up to 20cm of snow could settle on higher ground as a band of cold air pushed north on Thursday.
A yellow weather warning for snow warning was issued for East Midlands, East of England, North East England, North West England, Wales, West Midlands, and Yorkshire & Humber on Thursday.
Yellow warnings will continue across most of the UK on Friday and Scotland on Saturday with the Met Office urging people to be cautious.
A snow and ice warning is in place across northern Scotland from 3pm today until 6pm tomorrow with expected travel disruption and a likelihood that communities could become cut off due to snowfall.
A snow warning remains in place across southern Scotland until 3pm today after snowfall swept across the country yesterday, 10cm of snow was measured by the Met Office in Kirkwall, Orkney, on Thursday, while 9cm was recorded in Bingley, West Yorkshire.The forecaster said a whole day of snow could lead to some disruption, with power cuts and travel delays possible.
“A band of rain, sleet, and increasingly snow, will push north on Thursday bringing up to 2cm snow at lower-levels, 2-5cm on ground above 200m, and perhaps as much as 10-20cm above 400m,” the Met Office said.
The Met Office issued amber weather warnings for snow for parts of northern England and North Wales on Thursday.
Up to 25cm of snow is forecast across the Peak District and the southern Pennines, with a warning in force from noon until 6pm.
A separate warning for snow and ice is in place between 8am and 3pm across North Wales and Shropshire.
Flintshire council announced that all schools would be closed within the county, while another six schools in neighbouring Gwynedd were also closed.
The Met Office said an amber warning means travel delays on roads were likely; public transport vehicles and cars could be stranded; power cuts were possible; rail and air travel delays were likely and rural communities stood a “good chance” of being cut off temporarily.
In the area covered by the snow and ice warning, the Met Office said untreated pavements and cycle paths could be impassable.
Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Chris Almond said: “While the early part of this week will see some rain, at times heavy, gradually sinking southwards, there’s an increased signal for wintry hazards as we move through the week as cold air from the north moves over the UK.
“It’s from Thursday that the snow risk becomes more potentially impactful, as mild air attempts to move back in from the south, bumping into the cold air and increasing the chance of snow developing on the leading edge.”
Thursday’s weather warnings extend into Friday morning as disruption from snow is expected to continue until 6am.
On Monday, a yellow weather warning remains in parts of Scotland until 9pm with a potential for 120-170 mm in the wettest areas.
The Met Office said there is a “small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded”, which may result in damage to buildings.
UK five day forecast
Wintry showers continuing in the far north, with a band of rain and mainly hill snow across central areas moving northwards through the day. Cloudier in the south with some showers, these locally heavy. Mild in the south, colder elsewhere
Rain and hill snow persisting across north and east Scotland. Elsewhere, patchy cloudy with some showers or longer spells of rain. Fog patches may develop underneath the clearest spells.
Rain and some snow persisting in the far north, mostly over higher ground. Occasional brighter interludes in the south once any fog clears, with showers, these mostly in the west.
Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday:
Often cloudy through the period with showers or longer spells of rain. Some bright or sunny intervals developing, most likely on Tuesday. Breezy along the coasts with temperatures around average.