UK weather LIVE: Snow closes schools as Met Office gives amber warnings across country
Related: Waves crash over runway at Shetland’s Sumburgh airport as 85mph winds batter UK
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The Met Office has issued further weather warnings for Thursday with widespread snow and rain forecast across large parts of the country.
All schools in Flintshire have closed as locals prepare for the blast of cold weather, while commuters have been warned of risky driving conditions as temperatures plummet.
Amber warnings for snow have been issued for parts of northern England and north Wales, while a mixture of yellow rain and snow warnings will be in force across the four nations.
Up to 25cm of snow are forecast across high ground in the Peak District and the southern Pennines, with a warning in force from noon until 6pm on Thursday.
A separate warning for snow and ice will be in place between 8am and 3pm across north Wales and Shropshire, with 10-15cm widely expected in both areas.
Met Office chief meteorologist Kathryn Chalk said: “Make sure you’re staying tuned to the forecast and the Met Office warning page for any updates that we may issue. Before that, make sure that for your journey times you plan longer, especially in the snow.”
Drivers warned to reduce speeds and use main roads
Chris Wood, from the AA, said: “If you need to travel, reduce your speed to account for the conditions and leave plenty of space behind other vehicles, and try to use main roads where possible as these are more likely to have been gritted.
“Allow extra time as it’s likely your journey will take longer than usual, and ensure you have plenty of fuel or electrical charge if driving an electric vehicle.
“The cold snap is likely to affect vehicle breakdown levels, with faults such as flat batteries and wiper faults.”
Snow mapped: Where will wintry showers hit UK this week
There are currently 11 weather warnings in place this week as heavy rain, snow and ice are all expected to descend upon the country. Up to 20cm of snow could settle on higher ground as a band of cold air pushes north on Thursday.
Take a look here to see where snow is set to hit in the coming days:
Met Office warns snow could lead to poor driving conditions
Met Office meteorologist Amy Bokota said an easterly wind meant that places “inland and higher up” were likely to see the most snow.
She said it was “unlikely” that significant levels of snow would be on the ground for days, but added it could lead to difficult driving conditions on Thursday.
Ms Bokota said: “The snow could cause some pretty poor driving conditions for parts of the Pennines and Wales, particularly through the afternoon and early evening.”
The forecaster added that most places would see a return to milder conditions by the end of Thursday.
She said: “It will be quite a short-lived cold snap for much of the UK, but continuing on a little bit longer through parts of northern England and Scotland into the early hours of Friday and the start of the weekend.”
Arctic blast to bring 10 inches of snow as Met Office issues amber weather warning
The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning, the second most serious alert, for parts of England and Wales. Some yellow weather warnings for rain and snow will also be in effect across almost the entire country.
Up to 10 inches of snow could fall in these regions: