A band of snow will push into the west into Friday morning with parts of Wales, the west of England and later Northern Ireland particularly at risk of heavy falls of snow and blizzard conditions in strong winds.
Met Office severe weather warnings have been issued for the heavy snow. A red warning has been issued for upland parts of southern Wales where accumulations of 10 to 15 cm are expected. Up to 30 cm is possible over the hills and blizzard conditions are likely.
An amber warning is in place for other parts of Wales, western England, the Midlands and central and southern England, as well as Northern Ireland where accumulations of 10 to 15 cm are expected and 20 cm or more over the hills.
Met Office weather warnings help us all plan, prepare and protect ourselves and others from the impacts of severe weather. A red warning from the Met Office means that we need to take action to keep ourselves and others safe from the impacts of the weather. Widespread disruption to travel and other services is likely. All of us should consider changing our plans and avoiding dangerous areas.
Whilst snow will fall over most areas, the far west, including Cornwall and extreme western parts of Wales are expected to see the snow turning to rain, with the rain replacing snow across other parts of southwest England during the day.
Andy Page, Met Office Chief Forecaster, said: “The snow is expected to be heaviest during Friday morning across Wales and the southern half of England.
“Clearly there is the potential for significant disruption to peoples plans. We should follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities to help keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe in light of the forecast.”
Darron Burness, head of the AA’s severe weather team, said: “With the outlook remaining cold, drivers need to be prepared for possible disruption.
“Before heading out, check the Met Office weather alerts and traffic reports and allow a bit more time for your journey, as you don’t want to rush on potentially icy roads. Do the basic checks on your car and, in case of any problems, carry plenty of warm clothing, blankets, de-icer and scraper, some food, hot flask and a fully-charged mobile.”
Steve Crosthwaite, head of the Highways Agency’s National Traffic Operations Centre said: “We advise drivers to check road conditions and the Met Office weather forecast before they set off and during severe weather to consider whether their journey is essential. They may want to delay their travel until conditions improve and to allow our winter fleet the chance to treat the roads.
“Our traffic officers are working round the clock to monitor the network, deal with any incidents and keep traffic moving.”
Over the weekend we will see less severe conditions but further outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow are possible in places. The snow that has fallen will be slow to melt and ice will continue to be a risk, especially at night.
By thinking ahead we can all be better prepared for severe weather. Throughout the winter, the Met Office works with agencies across the UK to help keep the country safe, well and on the move.