UK weather: Snow to hit north of England and Scotland
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The Met Office has issued weather warnings for snow, lightning and ice, while forecasters have noted thunderstorms could accompany the unsettled conditions. Maps and charts indicate the remainder of Thursday will see snow strike much of the country.
Maps from WXCharts show that, from 3pm, a front of snow falls over the west coast of England and Wales, as well as a majority of Scotland and Ireland.
In Scotland, 13cm of snow falls in Fort William, as well as 3cm an hour over Inverness, and 1cm over Glasgow, while Ireland sees 2cm an hour.
Meanwhile, the west coast of Britain sees a mild 1cm an hour of snowfall, with small amounts pushing west into Norwich and Leeds.
Moving into the evening, snowfall eases in much of the south and over Ireland, but it strengthens over the northwest of England and west coast of Scotland.
Greater Manchester is expected to see 3cm an hour by 9pm, with temperatures dropping to 1C in the area while Scotland plunges to -2C.
Overnight, snowfall continues to ease over the rest of the UK, clearing by 6am on Friday.
However, temperatures plummet to -7C along the west of Scotland, and hit 0C in the north of England.
Snow depth charts show Scotland’s mountainous areas with 15cm on the ground, or close to six inches.
On Thursday, the UK has been hit by three weather warnings, two of which are for snow.
A yellow warning for snow and lightning was issued on Wednesday, and ends at 8pm, where up to “three to seven centimetres of snow is likely to build up even at low levels”.
The warning added: “There is a small chance that some of the showers could be accompanied by frequent lightning, which could impact power supplies, including some places outside of the warning area.”
After it expires, there are two weather warnings, one for snow and ice in England and Scotland, and one for ice in Northern Ireland
The yellow snow and ice warning affects England and Scotland, and is in effect from 8pm on Thursday to 9:30am on Friday.
It says: “Further areas of rain, sleet and hail, with snow mainly at elevations above around 200-300 metres, are likely to affect many areas this evening.
“These will be heavy in places, perhaps bringing 2-5 cm of snow to some of the higher routes across the Pennines and Scotland.
“Beyond midnight, showers will become less widespread and will fall increasingly as rain or sleet away from some higher routes and parts of northern Scotland.
“However as temperatures fall, icy stretches are possible more widely, especially on untreated surfaces.”
Meanwhile, the yellow ice warning is in effect over the entirety of Northern Ireland, from 8pm to 9am.
It said: “Overnight showers will mostly turn to rain, but still with some sleet or snow showers on higher ground, mainly limited to the highest routes by late evening.
“However clear spells between showers will allow temperatures to drop towards freezing in places, with some icy stretches possible on untreated surfaces.
“Showers will die out towards the end of the night with more cloud spilling into the west allowing temperatures to recover a little.”
Nick Finnis, Netweather.tv senior forecaster, wrote for the agency’s website “wintry showers” will feature throughout the day.
He said: “Frequent snow showers are piling in across Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England for the morning commute and will continue throughout the day here, settling even at lower levels.
“Some significant accumulations possible over the Highlands, drifting in the strong wind. Hail and thunder may also accompany the heavier showers, particularly in the west…
“(Further south) will be brighter but showery conditions, already across Wales and SW England, spreading east across all parts by late morning.
“Showers will be wintry in nature, with a mixture of sleet, hail and hill snow and perhaps the odd rumble of thunder in the heavier showers. Showers tending to ease from the west by evening.
“Temperatures reaching 4-6C at best in the north, 6-8C in the south. A band of more organised sleet and snow showers along an occluded front looks to sweep southeast across Northern Ireland and northern England later this evening, giving a covering in places, wintry showers continuing across northern and western Scotland and towards the north of Northern Ireland this evening and overnight.
“Elsewhere, any wintry showers fading to leave a dry but cold night with clear spells, allowing a frost locally in rural areas, with some icy patches possible where showers have fallen.”
Netweather.tv has also issued a thunderstorm watch, in effect until 6pm.
They said: “A pronounced and deep upper trough of cold polar air (500 hPa temps of -40C) moving east over the far North Atlantic Wednesday will move across the UK over the next 24 hours, creating very steep lapse rates which will generate convection and a showery polar westerly flow spreading across the UK later today and through Thursday.
“Following a cold front / band of rain clearing SE over the UK overnight, scattered wintry showers, locally heavy with hail and/or snow, will spread in across Scotland, Northern Ireland and eventually NW England later on Wednesday evening and overnight, before becoming widespread across the UK on Thursday – as upper trough axis moves east across the UK.
“Showers most frequent towards western coasts but also moving inland – where they will peak during the middle of the day, as weak surface heating generates more CAPE, before easing back to coasts.
“Given rather steep lapse rates, convection will likely be strong enough to produce lightning and hail in the heavier showers, lightning most frequent towards the northwest, especially western Scotland, N. Ireland and NW England. Isolated lightning possible in showers elsewhere.”
Friday brings settled conditions across much of the country, after the previous week brought storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin.
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