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Snow sweeps UK as forecasters predict chilly weekend of frost and fog

Emily Cleary
·3-min read
Dave Baptie works in the snow at the Hill End Christmas Tree Centre near Edinburgh. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
Dave Baptie works in the snow at the Hill End Christmas Tree Centre near Edinburgh. (Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)

Rain, sleet and snow fell across a broad swathe of Britain on Friday with the Met Office issuing a yellow weather warning into the weekend.

Upland areas of Scotland saw as much as 13cm of snowfall by Friday morning, with temperatures falling below -9C (15.8F) in places. Some areas saw thunderstorms and ‘thunder snow’.

Snow (swns)
West Lothian Dipper John Keogh brave the cold snow waters of Harperrig Reservoir in West Lothian, Scotland (swns)
Two women run in snowy conditions alongside Brun Clough Reservoir as snow falls above the village of Delph, near Manchester in northern England on December 4, 2020. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Two women run in snowy conditions alongside Brun Clough Reservoir as snow falls above the village of Delph, near Manchester (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)
A gritter lorry spreads grit on the A62 as snow falls above the village of Delph, near Manchester in northern England on December 4, 2020. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
A gritter lorry spreads grit on the A62 as snow falls above the village of Delph, near Manchester in northern England on December 4, 2020. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Thursday was the coldest night of autumn so far. The coldest night recorded this year was -10.2C (13.64F) recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire on February 13.

A Met Office weather warning for snow and heavy rain on Friday was issued for the east of England plus London and the South East.

It warned of heavy rain and snow that could lead to tricky travel due to surface water and “possible slushy accumulations”.

A train passes through Ashford in Kent following overnight rain and snow. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Rail passengers have been warned of “significant disruption to services on multiple routes” due to heavy snow (Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Snow (swns)
Christmas decorations were dusted with authentic layers of the white stuff on Friday in Saffron Waldon, Essex (swns)
Snow (swns)
The West Yorkshire town of Bradford saw snowstorms overnight and into Friday morning (swns)

It added: “In a few places 1-2cm of snow could accumulate, mainly on grassy surfaces over the North Downs and Chilterns”.

A number of yellow warnings for ice and snow are in place across large areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland and stretch down into North Yorkshire, meaning disruption to travel is likely.

Snow in parts of Scotland left motorists tackling difficult driving conditions while there were also reports of “thundersnow” in some areas.

Thundersnow, also known as a winter thunderstorm or a thundersnowstorm, is an unusual kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain.

Snow (swns)
Walkers wrapped up in Cambridge on Friday and temperatures plummeted (swns)

The Queensferry Crossing was closed to vehicles in both directions due to the weather, including falling ice and snow, while in the North East police warned of dangerous driving conditions on the A93 and the B993.

Rail passengers are also affected, with ScotRail warning of “significant disruption to services on multiple routes” due to heavy snow.

Police Scotland Control Rooms said it had received a number of calls from people who were concerned after they heard explosions and strange noises.

Police Scotland Control Rooms tweeted on Friday at about 5am: “Please do not be alarmed, we are currently experiencing thunder and lightning.”

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern described early Friday as being that “awkward mixture of cold rain, sleet and falling snow” for many areas of Britain.

Snow (swns)
Snow dusted parks in Cambridge (swns)
Snow (swns)
An abandoned street in Saffron Waldon on Friday evening (swns)

The Met Office said the cold spell is expected to last into the weekend and next week, but Saturday could see some sunshine and temperatures lift slightly before they drop again on Sunday.

It added that temperatures next week would be lower than the average annual temperature, which is usually about 7C (44.6F) to 9C (48.2F).

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