Whole of Britain to be blanketed with snow as forecasters warn tonight will be even colder

  • Siberian winds to send temperatures to -12C

  • Two inches of snow in London and more forecast tonight

  • Drivers warned of dangerous road conditions tomorrow

The coldest November for 25 years is set to end on a chilly note as experts predicted a further drop in temperatures this evening.

With winds from Siberia sending the mercury plunging across the UK, forecasters said conditions are likely to get worse tonight, with heavier snowfall and temperatures reaching -4C. 

London travel was largely unaffected for much of today but with tonight likely to be much colder and more snow set to fall onto freezing surfaces, drivers were warned tomorrow could be treacherous.

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Blizzard: A lone walker is covered in snow in a picturesque scene on London's Highbury Fields this morning

Blizzard: A lone walker is covered in snow in a picturesque scene on London's Highbury Fields this morning

Driving blind: Lorries face difficult conditions on the M20 near Ashford, Kent

Driving blind: Lorries face difficult conditions on the M20 near Ashford, Kent

cars
buried

Buried: Drivers in Alnwick, Northumberland (left) and Carronbridge, Scotland (right) were forced to dig their way through the snow to their vehicles

Snow showers swept across almost all of Britain today as bitter easterly winds continued to bring Arctic conditions to the country and risked chaos for road, rail and air passengers.

Almost every corner of the UK woke up to between 0.8in (2cm) and 4in (10cm) of snow this morning, with the east coast worst hit by flurries and sub-zero temperatures.

The AA responded to more than 20,000 breakdowns yesterday, but warned today could rival it, while air and rail travellers also face disruption to their journeys.

Though Edinburgh Airport reopened after an overnight closure, London City Airport was reporting cancellations and severe delays.

Britain's railways were also affected by the severe weather conditions, with some services not operating and others facing long delays.

Kent commuters were badly hit, as buses replaced rail service between Ramsgate and Dover via Deal, as well as on the Tonbrige-Tunbridge Wells route.

Freezing: Snow settled around the Buttercross in the Market Square in Bingham, Nottinghamshire

Freezing: Snow settled around the Buttercross in the Market Square in Bingham, Nottinghamshire

Early hours snow: A north-west London street at 1:30am this morning

Early hours snow: A north-west London street at 1:30am this morning

Speeding through the snow: A train battles the weather at Tring station

Speeding through the snow: A train battles the weather at Tring station

Trudge: The first snows land on London's Primrose Hill

Trudge: The first snows land on London's Primrose Hill

With most of Britain waking up to a chilly morning, the cold blast from the North Sea was expected to continue to batter eastern areas throughout the day, even bringing snow to London and the South East.

Severe weather warnings were issued by the Met Office for almost all regions with London, the South East, the East of England, the East Midlands, the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, the North East, North West and Wales all on alert for heavy snow well into the morning.

Grampian, Strathclyde, Tayside and Fife, south-west Scotland, Lothian and Northern Ireland were all warned to expect widespread icy roads.

A Met Office weather map warns of this afternoon's expected conditions

A Met Office weather map warns of this afternoon's expected conditions

The north-east looks set for further poor weather judging by predictions for this evening

The north-east looks set for further poor weather judging by predictions for this evening


Not umbrella weather: A lady braves the elements in Ashford, Kent

Not umbrella weather: A lady braves the elements in Ashford, Kent

Temperatures in the north-west Highlands dropped to minus 15C (5F) last night, with the Met Office warning the mercury will barely rise above 0C (32F) for the rest of the day.

Met Office forecaster Tom Morgan said: 'Overnight, we’ve had some outbreaks of snow and a lot of the country has seen some snow showers with accumulations of 2.5cm (1in) in the South East and East of England.

'Temperatures today are going to be very cold and we’re looking at 1C (33.8F) to 2C (35.6F) with a very strong north-easterly wind.

Feeling the chill: The village of Edlington near Alnwick, Northumberland

Feeling the chill: The village of Edlington near Alnwick, Northumberland

Snow ploughs try to clear part of the runway at Edinburgh airport yesterday. Britain's big chill is set to intensify and spread this week with stronger winds, severe frosts and more heavy snow, forecasters said

Snow ploughs try to clear part of the runway at Edinburgh airport yesterday. Britain's big chill is set to intensify and spread this week with stronger winds, severe frosts and more heavy snow, forecasters said

Enlarge   Slowly does it: Cars drive on snow-covered roads in Newcastle

Slowly does it: Cars drive on snow-covered roads in Newcastle

'In towns or cities, we’re looking at minus 2C (28.4F) to minus 4C (24.8F) tonight, dropping to minus 6C (21.2F) or minus 8C (17.6F) in less sheltered parts.'

Mr Morgan added: 'The worst-affected areas will be eastern parts of the country and perhaps Kent and Essex and the North East.

'In terms of this week, the cold spell is going to continue but will be less widespread as we go through the week.'

Southern snow: People walk through a wintry Croydon park

Southern snow: People walk through a wintry Croydon park

Dig deep: A man shovels snow off his car in Newcastle

Dig deep: A man shovels snow off his car in Newcastle


Bracing: A morning swim in the Serpentine Lido at Hyde Park

Bracing: A morning swim in the Serpentine Lido at Hyde Park

Yesterday, thousands of motorists were hit by one of the worst days on Britain’s roads, flights were cancelled and hundreds of schools were forced to close.

TRAVEL CHAOS

  • Man killed in three-vehicle collision in Yorkshire

  • Delays for cross-Pennine trains

  • Cancellations at Luton Airport

  • Vehicles stranded on Lincolnshire roads

  • Roads closed in Derbyshire and Yorkshire

  • Drivers warned to take care

An AA spokesman warned motorists to prepare for the worst on the roads today due to the increased likelihood of breakdowns or disruptions.

‘I think there is that mindset where people think, “It is not going to happen to me, I am not going to get stuck”,' he said.

‘They forget that if there is a breakdown or an accident they have to get to a place of safety.

‘We have had call-outs to a lot of shunts where people slide into the car in front of them. It is really vitally important that people wrap up warm,’ he added.

Edinburgh Airport reopened this morning after closing at 6.15pm last night but a number of flights arriving and departing from the snow-stricken transport hub faced disruption.

With snow spreading to the London suburbs for the first time during this cold spell, services on London Overground between London and Watford Junction in Hertfordshire were delayed

three day forecast
The A1 in Newcastle this morning, which was temporarily closed between Berwick and Edinburgh as heavy snowfall continued to cause travel chaos

The A1 in Newcastle this morning, which was temporarily closed between Berwick and Edinburgh as heavy snowfall continued to cause travel chaos

The bad conditions also led to disruption to all East Coast Main Line services, particularly in Scotland and the North of England.

The East Coast train company had to introduce a revised timetable which included an hourly service between Edinburgh and London and reduced London-Leeds and reduced London to Newcastle-upon-Tyne services.

A number of ScotRail services were unable to run including Dalmuir to Springburn, Dalmuir to Larkhall, Motherwell to Cumbernauld and Edinburgh to Dunbar.

On the roads, a series of accidents on main roads led to road closures.

Part of the A66 in Cumbria was shut as was a section of the A57 in Greater Manchester and part of the A49 in Shropshire.

The cold snap is expected to last until at least the end of the week, with overnight temperatures in parts of Scotland likely to plunge to minus 20c before Saturday.

The coldest overnight temperature in the UK was minus 16c, recorded in Altnaharra in northern Scotland.

The UK’s lowest recorded temperature in November was minus 23.3C at Braemar, in the Highlands, on November 14, 1919.

Winter wonderland: Snow falls on fir trees and an empty road near Stirling

Winter wonderland: Snow falls on fir trees and an empty road near Stirling


Drivers rush to snap up antifreeze and de-icer for frosty cars

Britain's motorists are snapping up antifreeze and de-icer following the icy start to winter and forecasters' warnings of more to come.

Car accessories retailer Halfords reports huge increases in sales of antifreeze, screen wash, ice-scrapers and de-icer compared to this time last year, as drivers heed predictions of the big chill.

Parents are also stripped stores of sledges. Halfords winter driving expert Mark Dolphin said: 'Motorists have taken notice of the recent forecasts of another harsh winter and don't want to get caught out.'

Sales of de-icer have risen sharply on this time last year, and antifreeze sales are up, along with screenwash and scraper sales. 

Last winter was the UK's coldest in 30 years and motorists struggled to cope with unexpected snowfalls, ice-coated highways, potholes and shortages of road salt and grit.

This year the cold weather has started earlier. Northern England and Scotland have the earliest snowfall in two decades. Forecasters predict this winter could be even colder than 2009.

Last year, Halfords sold enough screenwash to fill 3.6 Olympic swimming pools and in the first week of January, customers purchased the equivalent of 44 trucks of screenwash.  

The retailer has worked through the summer to ensure it can cope with 2.5 times the demand of last winter.   'We have plenty of stock ready,' says Mark. 'We are ready to keep motorists moving whatever the weather.'



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