Snow forecast for Tayside and Fife following coldest night of the year warning

© DC Thomson

The UK has been warned to prepare for what could be the coldest night of the year, with Tayside and Fife forecast to be hit by snow on Friday.

Arctic air hovering across the UK will cause the mercury to plummet on Thursday night, with temperatures below -13C expected in parts of Scotland.

A Met Office yellow warning of snow has been issued for Tayside and Fife, effective from 3am until 3pm on Friday.

The forecaster said: “A spell of snow is expected across parts of Scotland and the northern half of England on Friday.

“A separate amber warning is in force for parts of northern England. Some roads and railways will be affected leading to longer journey times by road, bus and train services. Some delays to air travel are also expected.”

© Met Office
The snow warning for Tayside and Fife.

Northern England is expected to be hit by the worst of the snowfall, with almost 6in possible on high ground.

The Met Office’s chief forecaster said: “A weather system is expected to bring a spell of snow to parts of the UK on Friday.

“The heaviest snowfall is expected across parts of northern England where accumulations of 5-10 cm are likely, with up to 15 cm possible over higher ground.”

A yellow warning of snow has been issued for the East Midlands and the north of England for Friday morning, but the Met Office has since warned this could be extended.

Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said there could also be an area within this warning that may be upgraded to amber, and said up to 10cm of snow could fall.

She said it is “probably central areas of England” that will be affected by the heaviest snowfall as the working week comes to a close.

But Ms Maxey warned the country could see the “coldest night of the year so far” before the snow blankets parts of the country.

“The coldest temperature we have seen this year is minus 13C in Scotland, and we are likely to see temperatures slightly below that,” she added.

“But we are not talking about those extremes in the town and city centres, it is out in rural areas, more exposed areas, particularly over lying snow where you see temperatures drop the most.”

The Met Office said temperatures fell to as low as minus 4.5C (24F) in Katesbridge, Co Down, in the early hours of Thursday while most parts of the UK hovered around 0C (32F).

Two yellow warnings for ice covering parts of the country remained in place until 11am, with road users being warned of treacherous conditions on untreated surfaces.

The RAC said the ice resulted in an “incredibly busy” morning, and as a result of the conditions dealt with a number of battery failures, minor bumps and shunts, and skidding.

Greater Manchester Police said the Mancunian Way was closed between London Road and Fairfield Street for more than an hour because of ice and after a collision involving four cars at around 6.15am.

Across the motorways and major roads, a spokesman for Highways England said there were “no problems” and in anticipation of overnight ice, the gritters had been out.

He advised motorists to drive to the conditions, to make sure they have enough fuel and screen wash, and that their tyre treads are in good shape.

On Wednesday there were stories of disruption, cancellations and delays at the country’s travel terminals due to the weather, with Stansted temporarily closing its runway twice due to ice.

As a result, 27 inbound and 27 outbound flights were cancelled at Stansted, while around 50 flights were cancelled at Luton.

Some 300 passengers were left in the terminal at Stansted waiting to rebook flights on Wednesday evening after dozens of Ryanair services were cancelled, along with a number of easyJet flights.

On Thursday, Stansted said all flights were anticipated to operate as scheduled, although passengers were reminded to check their flight’s status before travelling to the airport.

And at Luton Airport, a spokesman said the travel hub was busy because there were a few more passengers left over from the disruption caused by the weather on Wednesday.

“It does look like there are a few delays to some flights, but we are open, operational – nothing out of the ordinary,” he said, adding that passengers should still check with their airlines.

On Wednesday snowfall caused widespread disruption with a lorry crash on the M1, resulting in the closure of the southbound carriageway, a jackknifed HGV on the M5 in Gloucestershire, and severe conditions on the A14 near Kettering.

Homes were left without power, and in Scotland three climbers had to be rescued from the Cairngorms mountain range after getting lost in blizzard conditions.

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