Amber Severe Weather Warnings for snow and ice, highlighting the risk of freezing rain, for parts of central and northern England, as well as much of Scotland on Saturday. People are being urged to take extra care when travelling on one of the busiest weekends in the lead up to Christmas.
There are also several Yellow Weather Warnings for medium impacts in place for parts of Northern Ireland and southwestern areas of the UK, with strong winds and heavy rain bringing potential disruption to these areas on Saturday. Severe gales are forecast for the far north of Scotland, as well as Orkney and Shetland late Sunday.
Heavy snowfall is expected for parts of Scotland, whilst further south in Scotland, as well as parts of central and northern England, freezing rain is forecast.
Chief Meteorologist Will Lang said: “Saturday’s weather brings a range of winter hazards with very dangerous travelling conditions likely in some places. In addition to snow, freezing rain will bring widespread ice to northern England and Scotland on Saturday afternoon.
“Freezing rain forms when rain freezes on impact as it hits a cold surface – it is quite rare in the UK and when it does occur, the impacts can be severe. Many will know it as black ice and the danger is it forms quickly, is difficult to see and is incredibly slippery. Where it does occur, this will make walking, cycling and driving challenging, so we are urging people to check the latest weather forecast and warnings and to take extra care when walking and driving.”
Lucy Davies at Green Flag, urged drivers to do all they can to stay safe over the weekend: “With forecasted severe weather conditions, we can expect possible delays on the roads, transport delays or cancellations, and road closures, meaning drivers heading out for festive events and Christmas shopping should take extra care in these challenging conditions. This could also impact commuters heading to work on Monday morning.
“It’s important for drivers to check their vehicles before leaving home, approach the roads with caution when driving, and ensure they leave a safe distance between other vehicles to decrease the risk of encountering a problem on the roads.”
What to expect
- Injuries from slips and falls and danger to life on icy surfaces are likely
- Black ice may form quickly affecting bus, train and air travel
- Dangerous driving conditions are likely leading to road traffic collisions, road closures and longer journey times
- Pavements and cycle paths likely to become instantly impassable because of the sudden formation of black ice
- Power and other services, such as telephone and mobile phone coverage, likely to be interrupted or cut