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Snow to fall for days as extreme windchill plunges Britain into -16C freeze

The Met Office and other weather forecasts warn of snow, sleet and rain across the UK this week as temperatures plunge in the aftermath of deadly Storm Arwen

A man walks through the snow in Gunnerside, North Yorkshire

Britain is set for at least four days of snow as temperatures plunge below the freezing mark across much of the country, say forecasters.

Snow showers are expected over higher ground in Scotland on Wednesday, and they are expected to be more widespread on Thursday, extending as far south as Devon.

Snow is likely to fall over hills on Friday, the Met Office said, and it could become heavy in places such as the Cairngorms in Scotland on Saturday.

It comes just days after Storm Arwen wreaked havoc across the UK, leaving at least three people dead, damaging an estimated one million buildings, and plunging tens of thousands of homes into the dark.

The weather is set to turn cold from Wednesday
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Image:

Wxcharts.com)

Temperatures are expected to plunge to as low as -9C in northern parts of Scotland in the early hours of Thursday morning, according to a Netweather forecast.

In the Cairngorms, the windchill could be a brutal -16C late on Wednesday and into Thursday morning, according to snow-forecast.com.

The Met Office ’s Stephen Dixon said the weather will be “turning colder” from Wednesday due to a northerly wind, adding: “Winds will be especially high in exposed coastal areas in the north and north east, with gusts in excess of 40mph expected.

“The cool conditions will see some snow fall in the high ground of the far north, and generally as sleet or rain in low ground.

“That theme continues into Thursday, with a band of rain moving in from the west later in the day.”

Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Glaze told the Express: “Thursday is expected to be cold and there could be wintry showers in the east for a time.

“Nonetheless, most of the UK has a good deal of dry and bright weather. Later on it turns wet in Northern Ireland and over high ground sleet or snow is possible.

“During Friday outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow push eastwards.

This map shows where snow could fall on Friday
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Image:

Wxcharts.com)

“Most of the snow is likely to be over high ground in the northern half of the UK and it generally turns back to rain before clearing away.

“All regions should be mostly dry by the afternoon. Rather cold.”

Netweather Senior forecaster Jo Farrow said there will be “blasts of cold Arctic air, milder interludes, frost and blustery winds and still the chance of more snow but it’s mainly over the hills”.

Ms Farrow added: “It will be a cold day on Thursday with sleet and snow showers for the far north of Scotland, a few clipping north Norfolk, northern counties of Northern Ireland, down through the North Channel to the Isle of Man and over Wales, maybe reaching north Devon.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks crews work to restore power after Storm Arwen
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Image:

PA)

“The winds do ease through the day and again it turns very cold at night, more frost for Britain.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said about one million homes had lost power during Storm Arwen last week.

About 45,000 were still without power as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) said that thousands of engineers were on the ground in northern England and Scotland fixing faults, but those still affected should “make alternative arrangements for accommodation”.

Forestry England urged people to stay away from woods in much of northern England after Storm Arwen.

Met Office five-day weather forecast

Wednesday

Overnight rain soon clearing, then most parts seeing occasional sunshine but also areas of cloud and blustery showers, some of these heavy.

Colder than Tuesday, showers turning wintry in the north.

Windy, with gales mainly in some coastal fringes.

Wednesday night

Many inland areas clearer and frosty for a time.

Northern parts of Scotland seeing some snowfall and ice.

Patchy rain and snow may affect some western and then southern areas.

Thursday

Many areas seeing plenty of chilly sunshine.

Snow and hail showers in northern Scotland easing, but wintry showers fringing eastern coastal counties.

North-west UK seeing rain and hill snow later.

Friday to Sunday

Unsettled with showers or longer spells of rain.

Some snow at times in the north, mainly over hills.

Often windy, particularly in the southwest on Saturday.

Rather cold.

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