Colder weather is expected across the UK this week accompanied by frosts, hail and sleet, particularly from mid-week onwards.  Snow is expected to settle over higher ground in the northern half of the UK - the Met Office has issued snow and ice warnings for parts of Scotland with travel difficulties for some.  At lower levels and further south, any snow is expected to be more transient in nature.

Steve Ramsdale, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Although we’re going to see a few days with colder conditions, we shouldn’t be surprised that the start of winter brings a brief spell of wintry weather. Some parts of the UK, especially northern hills, may see snow, but for many this will only be short lived.  We’ll be monitoring the forecast and we will issue further warnings accordingly.”

 

Traffic Scotland operator manager Douglas Cairns said: “The first severe weather warning of the winter for snow and ice is always a timely reminder for people to check they are winter ready and have made appropriate preparations.

“The safest and best advice is to check Traffic Scotland twitter, radio and the website before you travel and to always drive to the conditions.

“A record number of gritters are available to keep the trunk road network moving this winter and we are grateful to our frontline teams, operators and operating companies for the comprehensive planning and preparations that have been made this week.”

From Wednesday showers over north-west Scotland will turn increasingly wintry as the rather cold conditions continue to become established. Colder, unsettled conditions are expected to spread to the entire UK on Thursday with frequent showers, areas of heavy rain and some hill snow. There is also the chance of some snow to lower levels in places later in the week though away from hills it is currently uncertain exactly where snow will fall.  In the clear periods between bands of wintry showers, frosts are likely and these could be sharp or even severe in prolonged clear conditions in north-western parts of the UK.

These unsettled conditions are likely to persist into the weekend with further periods of strong winds, heavy rain and wintry showers. How long the rather cold conditions persists is currently uncertain, but looks likely to continue into early next week.  

Chris Bulmer, Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist added: “Although winter has started rather abruptly, this colder spell is expected to be part of typical seasonal fluctuations and doesn’t set the mould for the rest of winter. “

You can check the latest weather warnings on our severe weather warnings pages and you can get the most accurate and up to date forecast for your area using our forecast pages and by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store. Whatever the weather we are all being urged to remember the Government Coronavirus guidelines.