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

Cold air emanating from Russia and Eastern Europe will move across the UK over the coming days, bringing significant snow accumulations to parts of Eastern England and Scotland.

Snow will continue to fall over higher ground in parts of central and eastern Scotland through Saturday and an Amber warning for snow is in force. However, rain at lower levels in eastern Scotland is also causing some flooding.

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 through to Wednesday. Within this an Amber warning has been issued for snow brought to eastern parts of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Kent by Storm Darcy throughout Sunday

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

“Showers will see snow accumulating across eastern areas. Within the Amber warning area, more widespread snow is expected and we could see 5-10 cm of snow quite widely, 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.”

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

“Showers will see snow accumulating across eastern areas. Within the Amber warning area, more widespread snow is expected and we could see 5-10 cm of snow quite widely, 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 and blowing and drifting of lying snow at times. Daytime temperatures will stay in low single figures for much of the country over coming days, with some places staying below freezing and the bitter winds will make it feel even colder.

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.

“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, to remind them of some simple but important health tips such as heating their home to at least 18 C (64.4 F) and to keep 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 remain in place through next week, bringing the continued risk of snow showers, particularly in the east.

RAC spokesman Ben Aldous said: "For anyone who has to drive, we’d strongly advise making sure their vehicle is ready for the cold. This means checking oil, coolant and screenwash levels, as well ensuring the tyres have plenty of tread and are inflated properly.

 “Large amounts of snow on vehicles should be cleared before setting off to avoid it falling on to other road users. And never attempt to use the windscreen wipers to clear an icy or snowy windscreen – you risk damaging not only the wipers but the linkages too, which could be a more costly repair."

Why is it so cold?

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

With temperatures across the UK falling as the cold air moves in, widespread overnight frosts and wind chill making daytime temperatures feel freezing, Cold Weather Alerts are in place across England.

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

Last year KNMI - the national weather forecasting service in the Netherlands – joined the Met Office and Met Éireann in the west Europe storm naming group.  Other European countries to name impactful storms include France, Spain and Portugal in south-west Europe and Sweden, Norway and Denmark in northern Europe. To find out more about Name our Storms you can visit the Met Office Storm Centre website

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