Conditions are set to become more hazardous going into the final week of January as the Met Office gets ready to put in place five new weather warnings for snow and ice.
Further heavy rainfall, which caused severe flooding in the wake of Storm Christoph, is not forecast until next Wednesday – but plummeting temperatures are expected.
The Met Office said a band of snow will move into south-west England and Wales in the early hours of Sunday morning, spreading to the east Midlands and south-east England later in the day. Temperatures across the whole of the UK are expected to drop below freezing overnight, with the coldest temperatures in the Scottish Highlands at an icy -10C.
Elsewhere, London and Manchester are expected to get down to -3C overnight and Bristol, Belfast and Glasgow will drop to -2C. Frosts are expected overnight on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Martin Bowles, meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “The biggest hazard over the next couple of days is going to be ice because we’re getting these snow showers which will all freeze overnight. Obviously roads tend to be quite well gritted, especially main roads, but I would warn people to be careful on pavements, minor roads that don’t get gritted or city roads.”
The Met Office’s first warning for snow and ice is already in place in north-west England, but four more will be in place by tomorrow morning. Areas being placed under warnings are Northern Ireland, south-west England and South Wales, the Midlands, and south-east England.
Bowles said the cold spell would continue until about Wednesday before being replaced with milder temperatures in the final days of the month. “That’s not to say that that’s the end of all cold weather for winter, it isn’t, we’ve just got a mild spell coming up,” he said.
Despite people being urged to heed flood warnings into the weekend, Bowles said they were “gradually reducing” and that more heavy rain was not expected until Wednesday night or Thursday.
“We’re hopeful that the river levels will fall quite significantly before that so we’re not expecting any significant flooding problems over the next few days, apart from in areas where the warnings are already in place,” he said.
The Environment Agency previously warned of “exceptionally high river levels” following days of heavy rainfall in the wake of Storm Christoph, with hundreds of properties across the country flooded.
News – UK weather: Met Office warns of hazardous snow and ice