There are a number of National Severe Weather Warnings in place this weekend as the country continues to be in the grip of cold air from the north, bringing freezing temperatures, widespread frosts, patchy freezing fog and snow at times.  Warnings may well be updated over the coming days so keep up to date with the forecast in your area.

As snow showers continue to move in from the Irish Sea today an Amber warning for snow has been issued covering Cumbria. Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Jason Kelly, said: “Snow could be heavy at times across Cumbria with the odd rumble of thunder. 10-15 cm of snow is possible before showers begin to ease overnight.

“A low pressure system will bring less cold, but more unsettled weather for southern parts of the UK from tonight onwards, although northern areas will continue cold with wintry showers and sharp overnight frosts.

“Many areas of England and Wales areas can then expect spells of rain for the start of next week, which could be heavy at times with a risk of flooding. Some higher hills across parts of north Wales and northern England could see further snow”

The UKHSA has issued yellow and amber cold-health alerts for the health sector covering all regions of England through until the 5th December.  

Snowfall in late autumn or early winter doesn’t generally linger because ground temperatures broadly remain relatively high, especially compared with values in late winter, after the ground loses more of its warmth.

Prepare for the cold

Dale Hipkiss, National Network Manager at National Highways, said: “Keeping a kit of essential items like a torch and warm clothes, in your vehicle, can be vital in case you and your passengers become stranded. Freezing conditions bring so many hazards such as snow and ice, please take every possible step to understand your journey in advance and allow extra time when travelling. Keeping a kit of essential items like a torch and warm clothes, in your vehicle, can be vital.

“Plan ahead for your journey, check weather forecasts, and if weather conditions do become challenging whilst travelling, adjust your driving behaviour and take extra care. If you do unfortunately find yourself in an unsafe or vulnerable situation and need assistance please contact the emergency services. 

“We have a guide to travelling in severe weather on our website. It’s also a good idea for people to check their vehicle’s tyres, coolant and oil levels before heading out to reduce the risk of a breakdown.”

British Veterinary Association Senior Vice President Justine Shotton, said: “Extreme cold weather calls for extra precautions to keep our furry friends warm and safe. Even simple things like leaving your dog outside a shop in this weather can cause problems. Cats too should not be left outside all night. Domestic rabbits and guinea pigs are vulnerable to hypothermia despite their warm coats, which is why owners need to be vigilant and take steps to ensure their hutches are protected from the snow, cold draughts and winter rain. If pet owners have any concerns, they should speak to their local vet.”

You can keep up to date with the latest forecast on our website, by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store.