UK snow: Met Office issues rare cold weather alert hours before chaos hits the nation

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The Met Office has urged much of England to be “prepared and ready” for snow and cold temperatures with many places likely to see snowfall in hours. The mercury has somewhat dropped today (January 15), with wintry showers expected to hit various parts of the nation tonight. The new week’s morning rush hour is likely to be chaotic as sub-zero conditions contribute to public transport delays and difficult driving conditions. 

The alert, which is in place for much of this week, says: “There is a 70 percent probability of severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy snow between 6pm on Sunday and 9am on Thursday, January 19 in parts of England.

“This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services. Northerly winds will develop through Sunday and into Monday, bringing colder air across much of the country.

“This will affect northern areas initially on Sunday, before moving south to affect most areas during Monday. Showers will be more frequent in western areas and fewer in eastern areas, but becoming increasingly wintry for all areas through Monday.”

Tomorrow, Monday, January 16, is also known as Blue Monday – a term used to describe the most “depressing day of the year” – mainly due to the time passed from Christmas, and poor weather conditions.

The alert added: “Occasionally strong winds will exacerbate the cold feel. These alerts may be updated on Monday, once confidence has improved in the timing of the cold weather and areas to be included.”

The Level 2 warning, which is two below a national emergency, is triggered when there’s a 60 percent or more chance of cold weather hitting, which could disrupt social and healthcare services. 

It is also in place to give officials in these industries to prepare. The Met Office adds: ” This is an important stage for social and healthcare services who will be working to ensure readiness and swift action to reduce harm from a potential period of cold weather.”

The weather warnings for the UK begin tonight, with snow and ice warnings blanketing much of Scotland – and a large ice warning covering a large swathe of the Midlands. 

READ MORE: New weather maps show wall of snow to blanket UK in days



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