Impactful snow for many
Author: Press Office
14:02 (UTC) on Tue 7 Mar 2023
A cold and increasingly unsettled weather pattern is now becoming established across the UK with cold air from the north having pushed south across the whole of the country, bringing snow, ice and low temperatures for many.
A number of National Severe Warnings for snow and ice have been issued, further warnings are likely to be issued throughout the week. The initial focus of the most impactful snow is in north-eastern areas of the UK, as well as some Northern Ireland and southern and central areas of England and Wales.
❄️ A battle between cold Arctic air and milder Atlantic air will result in disruptive #snow in some areas this week— Met Office (@metoffice) March 7, 2023
Here's a look at what's going on and how much snow we are expecting 🧵 1/3 pic.twitter.com/uF5jPEdnyf
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Matthew Lehnert said: “Snow, ice and low temperatures are the main themes of this week’s forecast, with the UK under an arctic maritime air mass.
“Snow could lead to some travel disruption, with a chance some rural communities in the north could be cut off.
“The focus for the snow moves to southern England and South Wales tomorrow and some may wake up to a few centimetres of snow, with the south coast and far southwest likely to see a mix of rain and sleet. Further snow and hail showers are also expected along northern coasts, especially in northern Scotland.
“During the afternoon, a further spell of sleet and snow is likely to develop across southern England and South Wales which could cause travel disruption into the evening. The impact of lying snow and ice on untreated surfaces may have an impact on Thursday morning travel.”
⚠️ The focus of the #snow then shifts further north on Thursday and Friday. Significant disruption is likely in places and strengthening winds may lead to blizzard conditions and drifting of lying snow 🧵 3/3 pic.twitter.com/4ASYNpo4Fb— Met Office (@metoffice) March 7, 2023
Cold weather alert
Ice will be an additional hazard for many through the week, with sub-zero temperatures creating some hazardous travel conditions. Temperatures could drop as low as -15°C overnight on Tuesday in some sheltered Scottish Glens, especially where there’s fresh snow cover.
The UK Health Security Agency has issued a Level 3 Cold Weather Alert for the whole of England which is likely to be reviewed in the coming days.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “During periods like this, it is important to check in on family, friends and relatives who may be more vulnerable to the cold weather, as it can have a serious impact on health.
“If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat your home to at least 18°C if you can.’’
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 in winter. Freezing conditions bring so many hazards such as snow and ice and take every possible step to understand your journey in advance and allow lots of extra time when travelling to prepare for the unexpected.
“It is therefore always important to plan ahead for your journey, listen to the weather forecasts, and if weather conditions become challenging, adjust your driving behaviour and take extra care.”
James Coles of Scottish Mountain Rescue and Team Leader at Moffat Mountain Rescue said: “The UK is entering a period of increasingly challenging weather conditions with snow, ice and gusty winds all featuring prominently in the forecast for the coming week. Upland areas, especially in the mountains, can see conditions change very rapidly and they may be markedly different from surrounding lowland areas.”
Stay up to date with the Met Office forecast on social media, through our weather warnings and by checking our mountain area forecasts, which are written by trained meteorologists and are available under specialist forecasts on the Met Office website.
Second half of the week
From late on Wednesday, into the early hours of Thursday, the snow risk is initially across the south, as mild air gradually moves in from the southwest bringing with it snow, as it meets the cold air. This risk of snow gradually spreads further north through Thursday and Friday. Further warnings have been issued.
Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Helen Caughey said: “The impactful weather will continue through the latter part of the week as mild air pushing in from the southwest meets colder air in situ with further snow and ice for many areas.
“Through Thursday and Friday the snow risk spreads, to central and northern areas of the UK, with the potential of some significant accumulations even to low levels, which have the potential to cause impacts. Parts of Northern Ireland, Wales and northern England are expected to see the worst of the conditions develop from early on Thursday, with parts of Scotland and northern England then seeing snow arrive through Thursday afternoon. Snow across the northern half of the UK will persist through much of Friday, while further south, any snow will turn back to rain through Thursday afternoon and evening. Strong winds are also expected to develop through Thursday and Friday which may create drifting snow and blizzard conditions in places.”
Further snow showers are also likely to continue to affect the far north of Scotland, where temperatures will stay well below average through much of the period, leading to an ice risk. Later in the weekend there is a risk of further rain, sleet and snow arriving from the southwest, pushing northeast through the weekend, however there is still a lot of uncertainty around this development. With a developing situation, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest forecast as further warnings, or updates to the current warnings, are very likely.