UK & World News
Weather Warning: Blizzards To Blanket Britain
Heavy snowfall and icy storms are set to leave much of the country shivering during the next few days.
Snow has already started to fall in parts of Wales, and is expected to hit the South West before pushing across the rest of the UK.
But forecasters are predicting the heaviest snowfall of the winter will come on Friday
Up to 10 inches of snow is expected to fall on higher ground, and between three and five inches on lower ground.
Train services are expected to be cancelled, and airports and schools to close.
Temperatures are expected to remain below zero in most parts, making it bitterly cold, while blizzards and strong winds are set to make conditions treacherous on the roads.
Motorists are being warned that heavy snow will arrive before the morning rush-hour.
The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for the East Midlands, North West and South West England, Wales, the West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber.
It comes after a bitterly cold night for much of the UK on Wednesday, with temperatures over East Anglia dropping to -11C.
Further snow showers are expected on Saturday, particularly along eastern coastal areas, with lighter snow showers on Sunday in the Midlands and northwards.
Sky News weather presenter, Jo Wheeler, said: "Temperatures will drop, fog will thicken in the east and there'll be a widespread frost.
"As the rain spreads across Wales and the South West, it will give significant snowfall, potentially up to 9ins (25cm) over exposed uplands.
"There'll also be strong winds, with gusts of between 50mph and 60mph which will give blizzard conditions for a while.
"All in all, the travel situation will be quite atrocious for tomorrow's commute or school run.
"The snow will push eastwards during the day, and is expected to reach London around the middle of the day, and eastern coasts by evening.
"Behind the snow however, it will become milder, with rain showers following onto western coasts."
The Highways Agency has warned motorists to check forecasts, allow extra time for their journeys and avoid any unnecessary travel.
Steve Crosthwaite, head of the agency's national traffic operations centre, said: "During periods of severe weather we also suggest people consider whether their journey is essential. They may want to delay their travel until conditions improve."
Those who decided to travel have been urged to travel prepared with a fully charged mobile phone, warm waterproof clothes, boots and a blanket, some food and drink, and have a torch, ice scraper, de-icer and a shovel.
The freezing weather has already caused havoc on the roads, with the AA reporting about 1,000 breakdowns an hour, while the RAC said call-outs were up 35% to 10,000.
Rail passengers have been advised to check services before travelling.
South West Trains said it would be operating a revised timetable on a number of routes on Friday - including London to Bournemouth and Weymouth, London to Salisbury and Portsmouth, and London to Reading.
East Coast Trains is lifting ticket restrictions for all journeys on its trains which arrive in, or depart from, King's Cross station in London after 10am on Friday.
A spokesman for Southeastern Trains warned "there may be disruption on some routes through the day".
London Fire Brigade has also urged caution during the "Arctic blast".
It follows the rescue of an elderly man from a serious blaze in Wembley, north London, which is believed to have been caused by a halogen heater being placed too close to flammable items.
Firefighters were also called to a fire in Fulham, west London, after an electric blanket was left on for the weekend.
British Gas said it was expecting a "huge spike of activity" for its home service engineers this weekend, predicting they would attend around 20,000 call-outs.
In Norfolk, 93 schools have been closed due to the weather.
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what do you think?
Cue the "Whatever next, snow in winter" idiots.
It's gonna snow. It's winter. The real idiots are the ones who can't drive/walk according to the conditions, then blame it on the authorities.
Lorgar, I do not blame the authorities. I am certainly not a idiot.
So I take it some of you think I am.ha ha
Never said you were Diane. But many are. My own missus in that snow we had 3 or so years ago broke her ankle. She was wearing Ugg boots. Like i say, act according to the conditions.
Oh glad did not mean to snap,Even when I wear my boots I wear to climb Snowdon it's a bit dodgy
Whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot, whatever the weather I'll weather the weather whether I like it or not
Nice one :-)
Great ive got to go to Birmingham from Bournemouth Tomorrow the Gritters better be out and the snow plows' Yeah like thats going to happen.
get winter tyres on at least drive wheels ie front or rear. they do that in poland to save money, rather than all four corners, about 140 quid.
my trip has been canceld thank goodness
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why does the uk panic? i have got to work ok the roads are iced a bit but gritted drive slower. media hype and inaccurate forecasts are to blame for the standstills. plus when media hypes it then ppl just stay at home as an excuse. the roads have been fine this year.
action needed. land rover and 4x4 can actally have plows fitted, allow 4x4 owners road tax exemption if they plow. dust carts can plow as they do rounds as can certain royal mail lorries. law all public goods vehicles need winter tyres fitted from sept to march so that public services run. this is done in latvia, russia, canada, germany, austria, sweden, poland, usa etc. we have too many lobby goups, unions for bus drivers that oppose common sense in parliament and corrupt and bribe the system. dust cart drivers get overtime so dont want the above changes i made enacted a copper i know said so.
Still not had one flake here in north devon.oh.so havent managed to build a snowman, snowlady and new addittion snowdog.be careful on the roads everybody, oh and the pavements .leave earlier and take it steady.
Had some here overnight.thanks for remembering pavements got to town and back in one piece this morning. then it went but has been snowing since about 2-30 not sticking to much yet
Actually i was thinking of you by mentioning pavements.
Why thank you kind sir.I did stay upright this time.Did not bruise my !!!!
Glad to hear it diane, theres already a lot of pot holes in the roads and pavements.lol
Exactly if I fell it would be like a earthquake. The whole coutry would feel it. ha ha
Apparently even we can expect a fair bit of snow overnight. I hope so - I am supposed to walk to a local primary school to help out if unable to get to work and if they are short of staff but have pupils in. Sounds like fun!
What county are you in movvi.
I believe she's Welsh?
They are expecting snow tonight in wales so movvi should get her wish.
Well i'm on a night-shift tonight so will keep an eye on the weather, North-West meant to get hit hard but we'll see! Makes a nice change from rain anyway!
Sure the energy providers are rubbing their hands with glee. Home many people will have to chose between food and heat. Our government need to listen to the people and stop this. Heating is a necessity during this weather, almost like drinkinng water or breathing air.
Well round my way they treat the roads, as well they should, but don't seem to give a second thought to the people who use pavements. Pedestrians and cyclists are left to take their chances on a sheet of ice and hope for the best until the temperatures rise enough for it to melt away.
Anyone ever seen that ice truckers program? Now THAT is treacherous!
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