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A MINI Beast from the East has buried parts of the UK in snow and sent temperatures plummeting, wreaking havoc on roads for drivers this morning.
Freezing easterly winds blowing in from Europe via Scandinavia brought a wintry cocktail of snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures to Britain overnight.Heavy snow has fallen in southern England, including Kent, Dorset and Exmoor in Devon, and the Brecon Beacons and Pennines in northern England, causing hazardous conditions on the roads.Areas of the Midlands, Wales and Scotland have also been affected by snow over higher ground after powerful icy winds buffeted the UK from the east.The Met Office has warned drivers to take care on the roads and factor in extra time for journeys during their morning commute.The forecaster said: “A combination of showers and road temperatures below freezing in places on Wednesday morning brings a risk of ice especially to southern counties of England. Take it steady on the roads first thing.”
Snow will spread to other parts of the UK, including lower areas, this morning before easing off later today, according to the forecaster.”Its mainly over the higher grounds where weve seen anything long lasting,” Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said. “But I couldnt rule out it going to the lower grounds, even parts of the south east.”Elsewhere there will be some pretty heavy showers.”Through the next 24 hours, most likely to see any wintry showers.”
By Wednesday afternoon the snow, rain and sleet is forecast to abate as winds shift southwards.Temperatures plunged into the single figures widely overnight, with lows of -2C recorded in parts of the south-west, but milder conditions are on the way.Met Office meteorologist Helen Roberts said: “I very much doubt it will stick, so we wont see an accumulation.”For this week, we have probably seen the very peak of the snow this morning. We may see a bit more, but the showers will ease and get less heavy.”Also, we are starting to see the temperatures increase going into the weekend.”
The Met Office said easterly continental winds and snow risks are “most likely” to continue after midweek for the rest of November, with December 1-15 also mainly colder than normal.Some forecasters believe a “much colder period” will bring “more significant and widespread snowfall” at the end of November.
Forecasters are drawing parallels with the weather in 2010, when a spell of freezing conditions started at the end of November and lasted until New Year.
Bookmaker Coral make it evens for the coldest ever winter with forecasters predicting the cold plume of polar air will signal the start of a freezing few months.Coral spokesman Harry Aitkenhead said: “We were spoilt over the summer and even this month has brought unseasonably high temperatures.“However those warm days are about to become a distant memory and we make it odds on for snow to fall this week.”