16 January 2009
In a marked change to the quiet and frosty weather of the winter so far, Met Office forecasters are expecting a mix of windy, wintry weather this weekend and next week.
Atlantic weather systems will bring gales to many parts, with spells of heavy rain and a mix of hail, sleet and snow showers.
Saturday evening and night is expected to be particularly stormy as winds reach 70-80 m.p.h. in western areas of Britain, peaking at up to 100 m.p.h. in the worst-affected areas of north-west Scotland. Disruption to transport and power supplies is likely. Heavy rain will accompany the severe gales and parts of northern Britain may wake to a covering of snow on Sunday morning.
The colder weather is expected to continue next week with forecast models showing the risk of snow extending to many parts of Britain on Monday night and into Tuesday.
Bob Wilderspin, Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, advises: "It is important during severe weather to check the latest forecast. The detail is clearly very important and this can change at short notice. Keep up to date with the latest Met Office forecast on the radio, TV and internet."
During severe weather the Met Office team of regionally based Public Weather Service Advisors works with regional emergency planning groups to prepare for possible disruption, to ensure everyone is aware of and prepared for high-impact weather.
The Met Office provides detailed forecasts to airport, road and rail operators. It has a team of dedicated forecasters working side by side with the Highways Agency, and works with Transport Scotland and other highways authorities to help keep the travelling public safe and to warn of weather hazards.