Temperatures to drop below -10C, army are on standby

Arctic conditions could bring temperatures as low as -11C as the big breeze hits the UK.

This week temperatures are likely to plummet well below freezing, with many parts of the country seeing weather colder than Iceland. Four inches of snow and ice are likely to cover parts of the country over the next week.

A high-pressure system hanging over Scandinavia pushing freezing winds across to the UK.

The weather warning has been upgraded by the Met Office to level three. Explaining that England is 100 per cent likely to experience ‘severe’ conditions over the next seven days.

The army are already on standby incase level four ‘a major cold weather incident’ sets in.

According to the Met Office temperatures will drop to as low as -6C (21.2F) tomorrow and on Thursday, when daytime maximums will be no more than 3C (37.4F).

This is likely to be the longest spell of cold weather this winter, experts say.

Clare Allen, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: ‘We’ve got an easterly wind across the country bringing snow showers off the North Sea.

‘Most areas of the UK will see daytime maximum temperatures of 2C (35.6F) and 3C.

‘London will be a maximum of 4C (39.2F), so it’s going to be pretty cold.’

BBC Radio 5 Live reported that temperatures could fall as low as -11C.

Paul Mott, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: ‘The nights will be really cold throughout the week and there will be the occasional snow shower over the eastern counties of England, eastern Scotland and even London.’

Police in the south have warned drivers in some parts of the country not to travel unless it is vital after snowfall over the higher areas of Exmoor and Dartmoor.

Mr Mott said: ‘There has been a sprinkling of snow overnight over parts of Wales, Devon, Somerset and Hampshire.

‘It has mainly been over hills – with accumulations of up to 5cm in some areas – but there have also been some falls on lower ground locally.

‘There will be some fairly wet snow falling over the hills of Gloucestershire, Somerset and south Wales this morning but it will struggle to settle so shouldn’t cause too many transport problems,’ Mott said.


Motorists warned to be cautious of rain showers after hot weather

With showers sweeping the country after the recent hot weather, drivers are being warned to be extra cautious on the roads.

Although driving in the rain can be hazardous, Swinton is warning that driving after the first downpour of showers following hot or dry weather is particularly bad as it can bring oil and lubricant to the surface of the road. This slick can interfere with a motorists ability to drive and can markedly increase the risk of skidding or spinning.

Swinton, the UK’s leading high street retailer of car insurance, advises that motorists take extra caution on the road directly after a substantial downpour, especially if it hasn’t rained in a considerable amount of time. Motorists should drive at a safe and steady speed. Travelling at high speeds or breaking suddenly will increase drivers’ risk of skidding.

Swinton is also advising motorists to make sure they have the safe and legal tread depth standard on their tyres, which is no less 1.6mm. Tyre pressure is equally as important as brakes and steering will be adversely affected by under-inflated or over-inflated tyres. Keeping the tyre pressure and tread depth standards will ensure optimum performance in wet weather conditions.

It is also important that motorists check the fluid levels in their vehicles as low brake fluid may result in brake failure. The stopping distance for a vehicle increases in the rain by four times more than a dry surface so brake failure is even more likely to result in a crash. Drivers should make sure they recognise the low fluid warning lights on their vehicle.

Steve Chelton, Insurer development manager at Swinton, said: “When motorists drive along the roads when it’s dry, they may leave residue and drip oil on the roads that will accumulate until it rains. The first downpour of rain often brings this oil and residue to the surface and can seriously reduce tyre traction.”

“Drivers should ensure they have the correct tyre tread and travel at a safe and steady speed. Skids and spins are a common cause of car accidents and damage, which could result in higher car insurance premiums.”