Storm Darcy

The Dutch weather service have named a low-pressure system that will bring gale force winds and widespread snow to the Netherlands. Storm Darcy will also bring strong winds and snow to southeast England on Sunday.

Cold air emanating from Russia and eastern Europe is moving across the UK, bringing the risk of significant snow accumulations to parts of eastern England and Scotland.

National Severe Weather Warning

Rain will increasingly turn to snow on Sunday as the cold air spills across the whole of the UK. Yellow National Severe Weather Warnings for snow and ice have been issued covering the eastern half of the UK from Saturday to Wednesday. As part of this, an Amber warning for snow has been issued for  eastern parts of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Kent throughout Sunday and Monday morning. 

Upcoming forecast

Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Paul Gundersen, said: “The UK is in for a notably cold and snowy period, with very cold air in place for the UK over the next week.

“Showers will see snow accumulating across eastern areas on Sunday. Within the Amber warning area, more widespread snow is expected and we could see 5-10 cm of snow, with a chance that a few places could see 20 cm or more. With such severe weather around it’s important to keep up to date with the latest forecast.” 

There will be strong easterly winds during this period which may lead to blizzard conditions, blowing and drifting of lying snow at times. Daytime temperatures will stay in low single figures for much of the country, with some places staying below freezing. Bitter winds will make it feel even colder.

Why is it so cold?

Our latest blog explores the drivers behind this spell of cold and snowy weather. It couldn’t be further from the mild and record-breaking wet we saw last February with numerous named storms rolling in from the Atlantic.

As the cold air moves in across the UK, widespread overnight frosts and wind chill makes daytime temperatures feel freezing. For this reason, cold Weather Alerts are in place across England.

Impacts of cold weather

Dr Owen Landeg, Group Leader, Extreme Events and Health Protection at PHE, said: “Cold weather isn’t just uncomfortable it can have a serious impact on health. For older people and those with heart and lung problems, it can increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.

Be vigilant

“So, it’s really crucial at this time to remember to check on frail or older neighbours or relatives. Especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses.

“Make a call, or socially-distanced doorstep visit if they live close by. Remind them of some simple but important health tips, such as heating their home to at least 18°C (64.4 F) and keeping up to date with the forecast. It’s also helpful to check they have enough food and drinks and any medicines they need. This will help them to stay warm and stay well.”

The cold air is likely to stay through to next week, bringing the continued risk of snow showers, particularly in the east.

Weather Observations Website

Keen amateur meteorologists can enter snow depth readings on our Weather Observations Website (WOW). Alongside our network of professional observers and automated weather stations, amateur observations can help give additional situational awareness to our forecasters.

Storm naming

KNMI is the national weather forecasting service in the Netherlands. Last year, KNMI joined the Met Office and Met Éireann in the west Europe storm naming group. The countries in southwest Europe involved in naming impactful storms are France, Spain and Portugal. In northern Europe, these countries include Sweden, Norway and Denmark. To learn more about Name our Storms you can visit the Met Office Storm Centre website.

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