Britons are waking up to blankets of snow this morning after the arrival of an Arctic blast sent temperatures plunging overnight, kicking off a five-day sub-zero freeze that could bring lows of up to -10C.
The Met Office warned of rush hour chaos from today due to treacherous conditions on roads, while the majority of the country remains under a yellow weather warning for snow and ice.
The northern parts of Wales and Scotland and the south-east and north of England are expected to see the most snowfall, with sheets of the white stuff already seen in the likes of Kent, Northumberland, Carlisle and Falkirk.
Elsewhere, heavy rainfall has caused flooding in York, where pictures taken overnight show homes, pubs and businesses along the River Ouse pumping out water after becoming partially submerged.
The heavens also opened above London overnight and this morning, but the capital has so far missed out on snow.
In the south of England the Met Office predicted snow could fall between 2am and 8am, while northern Scotland could see snow fall from Monday into Wednesday.
Meteorologists are warning that most of the country will see temperatures drop below zero, with some parts of the Scottish Highlands seeing lows of -10C.
A yellow alert of ice is in place for Northern Ireland, southern Scotland, northern England, northern Wales and the Midlands.
The Met Office is warning conditions in these areas could prove ‘difficult’ for people travelling to work, with snow falling in some parts.
The service added that in Kent and Sussex, the rush hour is set to prove particularly tricky, with some parts seeing up to 5cm of snow accumulating above 100m in a ‘fairly short period’.
Temperatures in the south could reach as low as -5C overnight.
Expected ‘frequent wintry’ snow showers have also seen the Met Office issue a lengthy warning for snow and ice for northern Scotland from Sunday through to Wednesday.
A second winter freeze is set to bring a six-day shiver to the UK with an 800-mile ‘Nightmare from the North’ as parts of the country could see their first snow.
The Met Office said: ‘A few centimetres of snow are likely at low levels over a given 24-hour period, with the potential for 10-15cm above 200 metres, especially across parts of the Highlands. Ice will be additional hazard, especially Tuesday night.’
Residents are urged to take care as there may be some icy patches on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths and some roads and railways are likely to be affected with longer journey times by road, bus and train services.
The forecaster said: ‘By Sunday most of the UK will be in the northerly airflow, with lower temperatures spreading further south overnight.
‘Showers will fall increasingly as sleet and snow in the north, even to lower levels. Some showers further South and West, and perhaps a more persistent spell of rain overnight into Monday, could also turn to sleet and snow mainly over high ground such as the Brecon Beacons, Exmoor and Dartmoor.
‘Overnight frost will become more widespread by Monday night, with overnight temperatures below 0C across much of the UK.
‘Temperatures could get down to -10C in sheltered glens, or across high ground areas of Scotland where there is lying snow.’
Last week, flood defences, including boarding, were deployed in York city centre.
City of York Council said it had taken the measure to keep the area ‘safe and open’ as it urged visitors to plan their journeys in advance.
Source: Daily Mail