Cold weather for the UK with snow and ice warnings

With hospitals under strain already and huge hikes in energy prices, falling UK temperatures with warnings of Snow and Ice will add an extra stress for early January.

Cold weather for the UK with snow and ice warnings
Blog by Jo Farrow
Issued: 5th January 2022 16:12
Updated: 5th January 2022 16:23

Earlier this week the Met Office moved their Cold Weather alert up to level 3 - Severe Weather Action for northern England. These health watches assist the NHS and Public Health England when severe cold (or hot) weather is likely to significantly affect people’s health. It includes snow and ice as well as low temperatures. It relates to health care staffing and planning as ice can mean more people needed health services, particularly A&E along with the seasonal issues of cold winter weather. This year, once more, there is the added issue of the COVID pandemic.

As cold air pulled down from the north on Tuesday there was a frost for Scotland and that cold air along with clear skies for Wednesday night will bring a widespread frost midweek. After a scattering of showers today there will again be ice in places and the Met Office has two warnings in place. One for Thursday for snow over high-level routes of northern Britain and another for Thursday evening into Friday morning for snow and ice.

UK snow

As the frontal bands move over Northern Ireland before dawn there could be snow on the Sperrins or Antrim Hills just for a time. As the frontal rain reaches the NW Highlands it will turn to snow for Thursday morning. Through the morning as the rain continues over Ireland there will be snow for Snowdonia, Cumbrian Fells, the Pennines and more of inland Scotland. The A9, A82, M74 and higher parts of the M8 all likely to see snow during the morning. Also the M6. By lunchtime into early afternoon also wintry for the Yorkshire Dales, Peak District and the Scottish Borders.

UK weather

The frontal bands will clear eastwards across Britain during the afternoon with further snow for the Highlands and snow showers following for NW Scotland into the evening. The next snow warning starts which includes the risk of ice. Clusters of decent snow showers will be blown in from the west with cold air. Across Northern Ireland, NW England to the Peak District and western Scotland but with some managing to reach far inland. Pressure rises during the day, subduing the shower activity but there will be snow showers for the Cambrian mountains and a few other spots could wake up to a slight covering or see flurries through Friday morning. Eastern Britain looks more sheltered this time.

There has been plenty of mild air in recent months. October 2021 was warmer than average across the UK, November milder in the north and December (away from northern Scotland) was mild, particularly for SW Britain and Northern Ireland. New Year was very mild, beating records set nearly 100 years ago.

Mild weather UK

This shift back to more seasonal winter weather brings the reality of rising fuel prices back to the fore.

Cold Weather payments. There has been one payment issued for Grampian, Scotland in mid-December. These occur automatically if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days. £25 for each 7-day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

This is different to the Winter Fuel payment which is linked to old age to help you pay heating bills. There are also the Warm Home discount payments but some of these are at the energy providers discretion with many applications closed now.

Cold weather Advice: Look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold, and ensure they have access to warm food and drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately. Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if you are not mobile, have a long-term illness or are 65 or over. Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold-related illness or falls and stay up to date with the latest weather forecasts.

Cold winter weather part1 

Winter Sunshine and Vitamin D


Tags: UK Weather  Severe Weather

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