Tuesday, July 16

Snow to affect southern England



Snow could fall as far south as London later this week as parts of Britain face a further three inches tonight.

Areas of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland have already been blanketed in the white stuff over the past two days, with more falling today after temperatures fell to -5C (23F) overnight.

The Met Office has predicted that up to 3in (8cm) could fall over the higher ground in North West England, Wales and western Scotland between 8pm tonight and 10am tomorrow as it also imposed an ice warning.

Most showers will tend to ease by tomorrow evening, while Thursday will be dry with sunny spells for most areas along with some wintry showers – while Friday will be grey with patchy rain for many, especially in the South.

Significant snowfalls were recorded overnight, with Aviemore in Scotland recording 2.8in (7cm) and Northern Ireland’s Lough Fea getting 1.2in (3cm), after blizzard conditions saw more than 300 schools close yesterday.

But the wintry showers are expected to move further south by Thursday, with the Met Office saying that a band of low pressure sweeping in from the Atlantic Ocean could even bring snowfall to London.

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern told how ‘a mild bump in the air across the Atlantic’ will cause an area of low pressure to develop, but it is ‘very uncertain’ how this will interact with the jet stream by Thursday.

He told Sky News: ‘The European computer model sends that low into France.

‘But the Met Office computer model and the American model have it further north and more developed across southern parts of the country.

‘At the moment we think it is most likely to run across southern counties of the UK, and bump into the cold air further north.

‘And that means that as we start off Thursday, we think it’s most likely that southern counties of England and South Wales will see a spell of rain.

‘But north of the M4, there is the possibility of some temporary snowfall – not a great deal – it doesn’t at the moment look to be widespread, significant disruption.

‘But there is the possibility of some snow in North London.’

The Met Office warning for snow and ice tonight includes an alert for ‘injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces’ and that ‘some roads and railways may be affected with longer journey times by road, bus and train services’.

The warning said: ‘Wintry showers are expected to continue through Tuesday night and Wednesday morning leaving surfaces wet and leading to icy stretches developing on untreated surfaces.

‘These showers will fall as a mixture of rain, hail and snow at times, the snow mostly over higher ground.

‘Some places are likely to see 1cm (0.4in) to 3cm (1.2in) of snow, mainly above 200m (650ft), with 4cm (1.6in) to 8cm (3.1in) possible over the higher ground in North West England, Wales and west Scotland.’

Snow caused chaos across northern England during the morning rush hour yesterday. Many roads were closed or made treacherous from falling snow.

Some low-lying areas of Yorkshire and the North-East saw about two inches of snow before it turned to rain. Elsewhere the snow remained on higher ground to cause problems for much of the day.

And as heavy rain took over many roads were hit by localised flooding. Yesterday morning conditions were particularly bad in North Yorkshire and County Durham, with major problems on the A1M and A19 roads.

The A66 trans-Pennine route was closed for much of the day, while the A68 near West Auckland, County Durham, was closed following a crash between a car and lorry in snow.