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Met Office warnings EXTENDED as amber alert issued for London in four day snow bonanza
February 5, 2021
UK Weather: Amber warning issued for snow
Britain is facing four days of snow and rain warnings as the latest Met Office forecast reveals wintry conditions will tighten their grip on the nation this week. A cold blast of air will sweep in towards the UK this week, bringing plunging temperatures in parts, before a low-pressure system crosses England later this week. Now a swathe of new alerts have been issued as more snow and ice is on the way.
Today, warnings are largely confined to Scotland and parts of northern England and Northern Ireland, with heavy rain and snow forecast.
An amber alert for “persistent and heavy” snow is in place for parts of Scotland, where “snow is expected to become more widespread, persistent and heavy from Thursday afternoon and continue through to Saturday.”
The warning adds: “Fresh snowfall totals of 10-15 cm is possible at low-levels, with 20-30 cm accumulating above about 150 m. Some high ground exposed to strong easterly winds could see as much as 50 cm building up by Saturday morning.
“However some places close to the east coast may see only small amounts of snow settling. The strong easterly winds will likely lead to drifting snow, temporary blizzard conditions, and ice forming on exposed power lines and phone masts. Persistent snow should ease on Saturday, though snow showers will follow.”
But into this weekend and the snow risk extends to much of the UK, with seven warnings for snow, rain and ice in place to start off the weekend.
Met Office Chief Meteorologist,Paul Gundersen, said: “Up to the weekend, the forecast is dominated by snow for Scotland and northern England. The Met Office has issued a number of weather warnings, including an Amber warning for Scotland, where up to 30cm of snowfall could affect higher routes and communities.
“A number of other snow & ice and rain warnings remain in force for the northern half of the UK for Thursday and Friday.”
Saturday’s biggest warning for snow and ice, stretches along the entire east coast of the UK. The Met Office says: “Cold air, along with snow showers to low levels pushing inland from the North Sea, is expected to spread south during the weekend.
“Not all locations will see snow, with the showers likely to miss some places altogether. In addition to the showers, there is a potential that an extended period of more persistent snowfall could impact parts of the East Midlands overnight Saturday and through Sunday.
“This is all likely to bring areas of accumulating snow through the period with some icy stretches developing, with many parts seeing 2 to 5cm of snow, with 10 to 15cm possible, especially above 200 m in northern England and Scotland.”
Conditions further south are forecast to turn increasingly wintry, the Met Office added, as the system extends.
Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Mark Sidaway, added: “Into the weekend snow will continue across much of Scotland, and is likely to increasingly fall to low levels before beginning to move south into northern and eastern England.
“We are likely to see some very large accumulations across higher parts of Scotland especially, with strong winds leading to significant drifting and blizzard conditions at times.”
“Although amounts of snow across England are likely to be less than seen across Scotland, the potential is there for some heavy snow across eastern England later in the weekend, and perhaps elsewhere in southern Britain as we head into next week, with very cold easterly winds.”
Into Sunday and even London is expected to see flurries of snow with a new alert issued today. The amber warning is in place from 4am on Sunday to 11.59pm that evening and covered a swathe of the south-east coast, from Kent to Norfolk.
The alert reads: “An area of widespread, persistent and occasionally heavy snow will affect parts of the southeast and east England throughout Sunday, with the potential for some significant accumulations across eastern parts of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent throughout the day.
“Within the warning area, accumulations widely 5-10 cm are probable, with a potential for 15-20 cm in places. Very strong easterly winds with gusts around 50 mph are possible, which may lead to blizzard conditions for a time and the possibility of drifting of snow.
“Later on Sunday evening, the heavy snow will start to ease, with light snow potentially continuing well into Monday, adding to snowfall accumulation totals.”
A yellow warning is also in place for London and the south east from 11pm on Saturday until 6am on Monday, which could bring some traffic disruption.
The alert reads: “Rain will turn increasingly to snow during Saturday evening, with snow likely to become widespread, occasionally heavy and persistent by Sunday morning.
“There remains some uncertainty with the location of the heaviest snowfall and therefore the greatest disruption, most likely towards the east coast.
“Widespread accumulations of 1-3 cm are likely, with 5-10 cm possible in places. Over higher ground and across eastern areas, e.g. The Kent Downs, 15-20 cm is plausible. A brisk easterly wind, strong along eastern coasts, may add to travel disruption.”
In Scotland, snow depth could have reached 50cm by Sunday evening according to the latest winter weather maps from WXCharts. Between 1cm and 6cm are expected for much of England, with a further 1cm of snow depth in parts of Wales.
Into next week and the chilling conditions are expected to continue thanks to the arrival of some brisk easterly winds.
The rest of February is forecast to see significant wind chill, especially in eastern areas, with some snow showers to continue. Further heavy snow is expected on Tuesday, February 9 for parts of southern England.
The Met Office added: “There remains a greater than normal threat of disruptive winter hazards for all areas most of February, with snowfall possible for all areas, but most likely in the east.”