Freezing fog, sleet and snow: Travel disruption expected as bitterly-cold weather continues

UK

Freezing fog, sleet and snow could bring travel disruption to parts of the UK during the coming days, the Met Office has warned.

Southeast England is covered by a yellow weather warning for snow and ice on Sunday and Monday.

The western coast of England, Wales and the north of Northern Ireland have warnings for ice on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday weather warnings
Image:
Saturday weather warnings
Weather warnings Sunday
Image:
Weather warnings Sunday

Scotland, apart from the southwest, has a yellow warning for snow and ice covering Saturday and Sunday.

Gritters have been out across the UK and the RAC said the number of breakdown callouts has been 25% higher than usual.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said: “It is staying cold with daytime temperatures remaining only a few degrees above freezing in many places over the coming days and overnight temperatures dropping to -10C (14F) or lower in isolated spots.

“Although below average, these temperatures are not that unusual for this time of year.

“There is still a risk we could see some freezing fog in places particularly southern England, especially for Sunday and Monday mornings.

Frozen ground and vegetation by the river Avon in Warwick. The Met Office has issued a number of weather warnings for snow and ice for parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the east coast and south-west England over the coming days. Picture date: Thursday December 8, 2022.
Image:
The River Avon in Warwick

“There is also a small risk of a band of sleet or snow moving into the far southeast on Sunday.

“If this happens it could potentially bring some disruption, especially to rush hour on Monday. A warning has been issued.”

Disruption could include power cuts, problems with mobile phone coverage, and some rural communities being cut off.

A light dusting of snow covers the tops of the Brecon Beacons. 7 December. Pic: AP
Image:
Snow on the tops of the Brecon Beacons. Pic: AP

Dr Agostinho Sousa, consultant in public health medicine at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Cold weather can have serious consequences for health, and older people and those with heart or lung conditions can be particularly at risk.

“If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should heat your home to a temperature that is comfortable for you.

“In rooms you mostly use such as the living room or bedroom, try to heat them to at least 18C (66F) if you can.

“Keep your bedroom windows closed at night.

“Wearing several layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thicker layer.”

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Warm banks open as cold hits

Local councils and charities have opened more than 3,200 “warm banks” are open across the UK, to help people keep warm if they cannot afford to heat their homes.

The Warm Welcome Campaign said many of these are a third or half full and offer services including hot tea and a place to work.

Save the Children said 194 of 355 councils in England and Wales are involved in or supporting local groups to open warm spaces this winter.

Councillor Richard Wenham, vice-chairman of the Local Government Association’s resources board, said the emergency schemes “should not become the norm” and are “not a sustainable solution to bridge the gap between income and the current cost of living”.

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