UK weather: Snow, ice and rain hit the UK before temperatures soar

A warning is posted on a matrix next to the A9 near Pitlochry, Scotland, Britain December 17, 2022. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Things are about to heat up in the UK ahead of Christmas (Picture: Reuters)

The UK has to endure one more bitterly cold day, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, with temperatures soaring by 15°C in 24 hours.

Don’t go out unless you have to today, with yellow warnings for snow, ice and rain issued across much of the UK.

The Met Office has also put in place an amber ice warning which covers the North East and North West of England, East Midlands, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A level three cold weather alert has been issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) for the whole of England until midnight on Sunday, which it says could ‘increase health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services”.

Drivers have been warned of hazardous travel conditions and road closures, with 2-3mm of ice buildup.

But, in a strange turn of events, the cold spell will immediately be replaced by warmer weather.

Daytime highs on Monday will range from 11C to 14C – in stark contrast to the cool temperatures recorded last week.

The big jump is due to milder air coming in from the Atlantic, rather than coming in from the Arctic.

A Royal Mail postman makes a delivery in Pitlochry, Scotland, Britain December 17, 2022. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

A Royal Mail postman makes a delivery in Pitlochry, Scotland, Britain on December 17, 2022 (Picture: Reuters)

Cold water swimmers on the beach at Cullercoats Bay on the North East Coast.  Snow and ice have swept across parts of the UK, with cold winter conditions expected to continue for days.  Picture date: Saturday December 17, 2022. PA Photo.  Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Swimmers in cold water on the beach at Cullercoats Bay on the north east coast (Picture: PA)

Orange warning issued with 'good chance' of travel disruption and power cutsCredit: Met Office

Yellow and orange warnings have been issued by the Met Office (Picture: Met Office)

Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: ‘At the moment daytime temperatures are low, and in places still below freezing under the snow cover, so some areas are just a bit below from zero.

“But daytime temperatures by Monday we’re looking at across the UK highs of 11°C to 14°C, so around 15 degrees certainly higher than they’ve been.”

Mr Petagna added that it is not uncommon to have low temperatures at this time of year, but said the contrast between the change from very cold to very mild in a day or two is quite unusual .

Parts of the country have recorded lows of minus 10°C to minus 15°C over the past week.

On Tuesday, the mercury plunged to minus 17.3°C at Braemar in Scotland – the coldest temperature since February 11, 2021.

Rising temperatures could cause pipes to burst, warned Peter Jenkins, campaigns director at Water UK.

He said: “The recent freezing weather has been very disruptive for many people.

“The last thing we want is for people to experience further disruption as temperatures rise this weekend, putting many homes at risk of burst pipes due to freeze-thaw.

“That’s why we’re urging everyone to check their water pipes are properly insulated now and follow our simple tips for weatherproofing homes.”

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