The Met Office has issued 125 parts of England, Scotland and Wales with snow and ice weather warnings ahead of what many retail experts say is traditionally the busiest Christmas shopping weekend each year. The latest warnings were issued by the Met Office on Thursday afternoon.
Vast parts of the country, including all of the main cities have been issued with either a warning of snow and ice or, in the case of London and parts of the southern England, a warning for ice. The snow and ice warning affects virtually all of Scotland, northern England, Wales and some parts of the Midlands where as the ice weather alert concerns Greater London, the Midlands, Essex, Sussex and eastern England.
Snow and ice warning - 3.00am to 9.00pm - Sunday December 18
“A band of snow is expected to move northeast across the UK on Sunday, in most places lasting two to four hours before turning to rain. Places in the southwest of the warning area will be affected first,” said the Met Office.
“Temporary accumulations of 1-3cm to low levels, and perhaps locally 5-8cm across the Welsh mountains, with any snow starting to melt readily from late morning. While parts of the northeast of England and Scotland will probably stay dry until late morning, the feature becomes slower moving here allowing for larger accumulations.
“Temporary accumulations of 1-3 cm are likely at low levels, with 5-10 cm more typical across upland areas and isolated 10-15 cm on high ground north of the Central Belt. Once rain becomes established, all lying snow will melt rapidly.
“In addition to the snow and ice, strong winds are expected across all parts, with gales or severe gales mainly across high ground. This will lead to blizzard conditions in some areas for a time.
“A brief period of freezing rain is also possible, most likely to impact areas from the Pennines northwards, with a consequent risk of ice accretion on structures and power lines,” the Met Office said.
Central, Tayside & Fife; East Midlands; Grampian; Highlands & Eilean Siar; North East England; North West England; SW Scotland, Lothian Borders; Strathclyde; Wales; West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber
Ice warning - 3.00am to 11.0am - Sunday December 18
“Widespread frozen surfaces ahead of a band of rain, sleet and snow, pushing northeast across the UK though Sunday, leads to a risk of icy conditions through the morning, before conditions turning much milder from the west.
“Any sleet or snow in the south or southeast will likely only last an hour or two, before turning readily to rain, but this still onto frozen surfaces for a time. Any slight accumulations, likely no more than 1-2cm, and mostly over higher ground, will melt rapidly, which may briefly add to the ice risk. In addition to the ice and snow risk, strong winds are expected, mainly over higher ground.”
East Midlands; East of England; London & South East England; South West England; Wales; West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber.