Big freeze coming as snow and ice to hit UK over next 24hours

Belts of snow and ice are set to continue to grip parts of the UK today as winter weather bites back.

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Northern England through Tuesday.

Snow flurries are also set to hit parts of Wales and the south west of England as winter continues to bite.

The Met Office's chief meteorologist Frank Saunders said: “Later on Tuesday and early Wednesday, don’t be surprised to see some snow falling even in Wales and the south, although again most of any lying snow will be over hills.”

Showers in the south will also be accompanied by strong winds, while there is a risk of overnight ice across the north and west especially.

Yellow weather warnings are in place for Northern Ireland, Scotland and the central part of northern England, warning of ice and potentially hazardous travel. The Met Office has warned drivers of blustery showers, with the possibility of ice, sleet and snow.

Two severe "danger to life" flood warnings have also been issued by the Environment Agency for the Shropshire towns of Shrewsbury and Ironbridge, along the River Severn.

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A further 110 flood warnings – where flooding is expected – and 201 flood alerts – where flooding is possible – were in place across England on Tuesday night.

It could turn more generally wet again later in the week.

Caroline Douglass, at the Environment Agency, said: “Further spells of rain expected across England this week could cause further flooding, particularly in Yorkshire and the Midlands. River levels remain high and ongoing river flooding remains probable for the River Severn this week as it responds to continued rainfall.

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“We have seen our third weekend of exceptional river levels and stormy weather, continuing into this week; with the effects of climate change, we need to prepare for more frequent periods of extreme weather like this. People need to be aware of their flood risk, sign up to flood warnings, make a flood plan and not to drive or walk through flood water.”

You can check your flood risk and stay up to date with flood warnings in your area with Natural Resources Wales, SEPA, NI Direct and the Environment Agency.”

It comes as temperatures plummeted overnight across Britain as forecasters warned of more ice and snow over the next 24 hours.

The mercury dropped to minus 4.5C at the Cairnwell in the Scottish Highlands, the Met Office said.

Forecaster John Griffiths said: "A couple of places could be a bit colder in the next few hours, but only by a degree or so."

Significant snowfalls were also recorded overnight, with Aviemore in Scotland recording 7cm and Northern Ireland's Lough Fea getting 3cm.

Higher areas in both countries and in northern England were expected to continue to receive snow throughout the day, Mr Griffiths said.

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He warned snow and wintry showers would make it "a bit difficult for people" on their morning commute.

The temperature in London was predicted to hover around 6C most of the day, while the South East experiences slightly warmer temperatures.

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Higher regions will be colder, Mr Griffiths said, adding that the temperature would "obviously feel a lot colder with the strength of the wind later on".

Showers are expected for much of the UK throughout Tuesday, along with gusts of 40mph to 50mph on the South West coast.

Further inland, wind speeds are forecast to drop to 30mph to 40mph.

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