Arctic blast heads for the UK

Ice and snow affecting the UK

14 December 2010 - Forecasters at the Met Office are predicting bitterly cold northerly winds later this week, with the risk of widespread icy conditions and heavy snow bringing the potential for travel disruption.

A band of rain, sleet and snow will push south across the country on Thursday followed by a marked drop in temperatures. As the rain and snow clears, it could leave roads very icy for morning and evening rush hours across the UK.

Met Office Chief Forecaster, Richard Young said: "Following the rain and snow on Thursday, skies are expected to clear rapidly with widespread ice likely to form quickly. This could lead to disruption to travel networks, potentially through the morning rush-hour in Scotland and Northern Ireland. England and Wales could then see widespread ice during the evening rush hour."

Of particular risk will be the speed with which roads will freeze. With little time for agencies to treat surfaces between the rain or snow stopping and temperatures dropping there is the potential for ice to develop across the UK road network.

Snow showers are then likely to spread across many places exposed to the northerly wind, especially northern and western parts of the UK later on Thursday and through Friday.

The public are advised to stay up to date with the very latest weather forecasts and warnings on the Met Office website, radio and TV and should take measures to ensure that they are prepared for the potential of severe weather.

Latest forecasts and warnings

How to interpret Met Office Severe Weather Warnings

For travel advice you can visit:

Highways Agency

Traffic Scotland

Traffic Wales

Trafficwatch Northern Ireland

Contact information

Met Office Press Office: +44 (0)1392 886655

E-mail: Press Office

Met Office Customer Centre: 01392 885680

If you're outside the UK: +44 1392 885680

Last updated: 21 April 2011