Heavy snow alerts upgraded as Met Office warns vehicles could be stranded

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The Met Office has upgraded its severe weather warning for heavy snow as it warns vehicles could become stranded and rural communities become ‘cut off’ from the early hours of tomorrow.

The amber alert – more severe than the more frequently issued yellow warnings – states “a band of heavy snow is likely to bring disruption as it moves eastwards on Saturday.”

The amber alert – one of three severe weather warnings for snow and snow and ice across the UK tomorrow – covers the East of England, including Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk.

The more severe amber alert for snow
From 5am to 2pm tomorrow (Saturday) residents in these areas should expect –

Travel delays on roads are likely, stranding some vehicles and passengers
Some delays and cancellations to rail and air travel are likely
There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off
Power cuts are likely and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected.

The Met Office warning states: An area of rain will move eastwards through Saturday and is likely to turn to snow as this runs into cold air over eastern England.

“Snow is likely to fall to low levels on the leading edge of the rain area before turning back to rain later from the west. East Anglia looks most at risk of seeing snow for longest.

“1-3 cm of snow is expected fairly widely with 5-10 cm in places.”

Yellow severe weather warning 1
Meanwhile a yellow severe weather warning for snow and ice covers vast swathes of Scotland and England from midnight tonight to 6pm tomorrow.

This warning covers the regions of Central, Tayside & Fife; East Midlands; Grampian; Highlands & Eilean Siar; North East England; North West England; SW Scotland, Lothian Borders; Strathclyde; West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber.

It warns “a band of rain and heavy snow may lead to travel disruption.”

From midnight tonight to 6pm tomorrow residents in these regions should expect –

There is a small chance of travel delays on roads with some stranded vehicles and passengers, along with delayed or cancelled rail and air travel
There is a small chance that power cuts will occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected
A small chance of injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces
A small chance that untreated pavements and cycle paths become dangerous, posing a greater risk of injury.

The Met Office warning states: “The warning has been updated to extend the warning southwards and to start and finish earlier.

“Parts of Lincolnshire have also been removed from this warning but are now covered by a different snow warning.”

“An area of rain pushing eastwards is expected to turn to snow in places. Snow is likely to fall to low levels over east Scotland and northern England for a time on the leading edge of the rain before the snow level rises to above 300-400 m by mid morning.

“1-3 cm is possible at low levels here but is more likely at higher elevations where 5-10 cm of snow may accumulate above 200 m and possibly 20 cm on highest routes.

“Icy stretches are also likely with rain and wet snow falling onto sub zero surfaces at times.

“Further south the most likely scenario is for rain though there is a small chance of snow falling down to 150 m or so leading to 2-5 cm in places.”

Yellow severe weather warning 2
While a final third yellow weather warning for snow, over South East England, runs from 3am tomorrow to 8pm tomorrow.

The regions affected are East Midlands – including Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland; the East of England – including Bedford, Cambridgeshire, Central Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Luton, Norfolk, Peterborough, Southend-on-Sea, Suffolk and Thurrock.

It also coveres London & South East England, including Bracknell Forest; Buckinghamshire; East Sussex; Greater London; Hampshire; Kent; Medway; Milton Keynes; Oxfordshire; Reading; Slough; Surrey; West Berkshire; West Sussex; Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham.

The Met Office states: “A band of heavy snow may bring disruption as it moves eastwards on Saturday.”

From 3am tomorrow (Saturday) to 8pm tomorrow, residents in these regions should expect –

Possible delays or cancellations to rail and air travel
Possible travel delays on roads stranding some vehicles and passengers
Some rural communities could become cut off
Power cuts may occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected.

The Met Office warning adds: “An area of rain will move eastwards through Saturday and is likely to turn to snow as this runs into cold air over east and southeast England.

“Snow is likely to fall to low levels on the leading edge of the rain area before snow levels gradually rise for many from the west.

“East Anglia and parts of Kent and Sussex look most at risk of seeing snow for longest.

“1-3 cm of snow may fall fairly widely over these areas with 5-10 cm possible in places, mostly over parts of East Anglia and any higher ground.

“Given recent wet weather and high river levels with rain and snow falling, then melting some flooding impacts are also possible.”