Snow expected – even for southern UK
The next 24 hours will see some wintry weather across the UK, with snow possible over southern parts of the UK too.
Cold air has swept southwards behind a band of rain that cleared southern England early on Tuesday morning, leaving a distinct chill in the air and heavy, wintry showers in its wake.
While not unusual for this time of year, some places – especially over hills above 100m – will see some significant snowfall, which will be enough to cause travel disruption.
Snow is notoriously difficult to forecast here in the UK, largely because the conditions are often marginal, with temperature and altitude being the two most influential factors.
Nevertheless, during the rest of Tuesday into Wednesday some places will be affected by snow and ice.
Weather warnings issued
The Met Office has issued a number of weather warnings for snow and ice, covering many northern and western parts of the UK.
10-15cm of snow could fall above 100m, with as much as 20cm above 200m, meaning that modest hills on the outskirts of Edinburgh and Glasgow could see notable snowfall. A few centimetres are possible in the city centres too.
Another factor is that the snow could coincide with the rush hours, making conditions even more treacherous with a lot of vehicles on the move.
The rest of Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern England, Wales, parts of the Midlands, south west and central southern England are covered by a yellow “be aware” warning for snow and ice through Tuesday until midday on Wednesday.
In these areas, snow will mainly be confined to hills above 100m, with 3-6cm possible. But in the heavier snow showers, there could be a light covering at sea level – even across southern parts of England into Wednesday morning.
As well as the snow, ice will be a concern – particularly on minor routes where the roads are not gritted.
Snow already falling
Already on Twitter, there have been a number of pictures of snow falling across parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, giving a flavour of what is to come.
— sujatin (@Sujatin) January 13, 2015
— Hugh Blaney (@hueyby) January 13, 2015
Severe gales later on Wednesday
A yellow warning for wind has been issued for much of the UK, with gusts widely reaching 50-65mph, with 75mph possible around the coasts and over the hills.
This strength of wind will have the potential to cause travel disruption and possibly power supplies in the places that experience the strongest gusts.
Heavy rain falling on saturated ground could also cause some localised flooding – something highlighted by the Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.