Arctic blast arrives across Lancashire

Reader photo Ron Foster
Reader photo Ron Foster
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There’s snow in them there hills...

And the weathermen say Lancashire could be set for more over Saturday night/Sunday morning as temperatures plunge to around freezing.

Reader Ron Foster captured the white-topped hills near Preston early on Saturday as parts of the county woke up to a back drop of the first snow of the winter.

Police and motoring organisations were warning drivers to take extra care with slippery conditions on some roads, especially in the east of the county.

The thermometer, which dropped to near zero over Friday night, was expected to so the same again on Saturday night - possibly even dipping below freezing point.

The wintry weather comes on coat tails of Storms Abigail and Barney which have brought torrential rain to the North West over the past two weeks.

With snow falling in northern parts of the UK, temperatures set to plummet below freezing and gales of 70mph, weather forecasters have issued a stark warning that winter is coming.

High ground in Snowdonia, the Peak District, the Pennines and Scotland were coated in snow pon Saturday as icy Arctic winds brought cold weather to northern Britain.

Up to four inches (10cm) is expected to fall overnight, and temperatures could fall to minus 3C tomorrow night.

The cold snap is a marked contrast to the recent mild weather which led to it being the second mildest start to November on record.

The Met Office has issued weather warnings for snow or wind for most of the UK until tomorrow evening.

Sean Penston, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: “It is the first significant cold spell in the south this year.”

A band of rain, sleet and snow moved south across northern and eastern Scotland this afternoon, as well as north-east England, the Met Office said, and snow could settle in more low-lying parts.

“Other areas of the UK could see some snow as the band of rain, sleet and snow transfers southwards, with perhaps some small amounts of settling snow over high ground,” a spokesman said.

“The combination of rain, sleet and snow and dropping temperatures will also lead to a risk of ice in places, particularly over high level routes on Saturday morning.”

Central and southern parts of England could also see hail and the possibility of some sleet during the night.

Temperatures tonight could fall to freezing in the south, with the possibility of minus 3C in the north, but the freezing winds will make it feel much colder, Mr Penston warned.

Tomorrow, Sunday, much of the UK will see plenty of sunshine, with temperatures between 3C and 7C, but icy winds will make it feel much colder and freezing overnight temperatures will lead to frosts and icy patches.

Mr Penston added: “Winds will ease over the course of tomorrow morning and into the afternoon, and the risk of showers will be confined to eastern and western coasts, with central areas seeing drier conditions.

“But it will be very cold again tomorrow night, with a risk of icy stretches on the roads. Minimum temperatures across much of Britain will be minus 2C or minus 3C.”

Frank Saunders, the Met Office’s chief operational meteorologist, added: “The Met Office is forecasting strong winds and some snow for this weekend which means there is the likelihood of some difficult driving conditions and possible disruption to transport.

“With this in mind, if you have travel plans over the weekend, we’d advise that you keep an eye on the forecast and warnings for your area.”

The cold snap is expected to be short-lived, with warmer weather returning next week, though it is expected to be unsettled.