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Met Office upgrades warnings as cold snap arrives

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The Met Office has issued a fresh weekend weather warning of freezing wind and rain which will produce dangerous travelling conditions.

Much of central England will be affected by what the Met Office says will be a “rapid development of widespread ice, with very dangerous travelling conditions likely”.

The Met Office also says there is a chance of injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces, and bus and train services may be delayed or cancelled, with some road closures and longer journey times possible.

It also warned about untreated pavements and cycle paths being hazardous because of black ice.

An amber warning of freezing rain and ice has been issued for central England, while a yellow warning of heavy rain and strong winds is in place for Northern Ireland, South West England and south Wales.

The warnings cover Saturday from 10am until 6am on Sunday.

The Met office has warned of black ice
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The yellow and amber warnings are in place from 10am on Saturday to 6am on Sunday

Some sleet and snow is possible over very high ground and freezing rain may also be followed by a spell of sleet and snow, say forecasters.

Temperatures on Friday night will plunge as low as -3C across much of the country.

Daytime temperatures are not expected to rise much above 2C.

The Met Office’s chief meteorologist Steve Willington said: “This weekend’s weather brings a range of winter hazards, with the possibility of heavy snow and blizzards in parts of Scotland and freezing rain for northern parts of the UK.

“As such, there is the potential for disruption to travel on the roads and possible delays or cancellations to public transport services, so we encourage people to keep an eye on the latest weather forecast warnings and to take care when travelling.

“At the moment, the heaviest snow is expected over higher ground in Scotland with the chance of drifting snow due to strong winds.

“Snow is also expected to settle at lower levels in Scotland and parts of northern England, with the risk of freezing rain and ice on Saturday night.”

On higher ground there could be between 10cm and 20cm of snow, with 40cm falling on the highest peaks in Scotland.

At lower levels there will be up to 5cm of snow in parts of Scotland and northern England.

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The cold weather is being triggered by an active low-pressure system moving in from the Atlantic

Snow in the rest of the country is “not out of the question”, according to meteorologist Sophie Yeomans, and if temperatures plunge lower than forecast there could also be snow further south.

The cold weather is being triggered by an active low-pressure system moving in from the Atlantic on Friday night.

The good news is the cold weather is not expected to last long, with temperatures expected to creep back up to 8C or 9C at the start of next week.

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