HEAVY snow and freezing temperatures have blanketed Britain today with more of the white stuff expected overnight.
Forecasters expect up to 10 inches of snowfall and temperatures plummeting to -12C in the worst-hit places of central England and north Wales.
Snow warnings have been put out by the Met Office for today and tomorrow, including the more severe amber warnings in the southern Pennines.
Hundreds of homes in the West Midlands are still without electricity and have had to cope with temperatures remaining below freezing.
Areas from Cornwall to Scotland are covered by the warnings and widespread disruption is expected on the country’s roads.
Councils fear some rural communities could be cut off by the inclement weather which the Met Office explained was caused by a freezing air mass from the Arctic hanging over much of the UK.
It will continue to turn an eastward-moving band of rain into wintry showers for most of today.
Strong winds also pose the risk of blizzard conditions across northern Scotland where thousands of homes were left without power on Friday.
Some 18,000 homes were reconnected yesterday, according to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.
A yellow warning of snow and ice covering western parts stretching from Devon and Cornwall in the south to the far north of Scotland is in place until 6pm this evening, with temperatures struggling to get above 0C (32F) “across the board” throughout the day.
Southern areas are expected to be marginally milder, meaning they will see rain rather than snow, however strong winds are forecast in the wake of Storm Caroline.
Elsewhere freezing temperatures are expected overnight and into Sunday morning, down to as low as -12C (10F), meaning that fallen snow will fail to clear before the arrival of further heavy showers.
An amber warning of heavy snow, beginning at 4am on Sunday, has been issued for most of north Wales and north-west England, while parts of the West and East Midlands, the East of England, Yorkshire and the Humber and London and the South East could be affected.
The Met Office said: “Road, rail and air travel delays are likely, as well as stranding of vehicles and public transport cancellations. There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off.”
The alert is accompanied by a yellow warning of wind for parts of eastern England, London and the South East, the South West and Wales that could bring “short-term loss of power and other services” as well as transport disruption.
Accumulations of 10cm (4in) of snow are expected widely in the warning areas, while 15-20cm (6in-8in) is possible in the worst-hit areas.
Forecaster Steven Keates said: “This has the potential to cause quite widespread disruption to transport, power outages and isolation for some rural areas. It will not be a pleasant day.
“South of that there will be some rain coming through and it will be quite windy, with 50-60mph gusts, so we are talking about gale-force wind and severe gales in some parts.
“Farther north, for the bulk of Scotland, it will be a cold but fine day with some snow for the far north.”
Highways England has advised road users intending to travel through the West Midlands and the north-west of England to check the forecast and road conditions before they travel.
Meanwhile, council gritting teams are on standby to cover roads across the country as temperatures plummet for a second night.
On Friday night lows of 5.3C (42F) were recorded at Spadeadam in Cumbria, while widespread frost was forecast on Saturday night with lows of -12C (10F) expected in sheltered Scottish glens under clear skies.
A total of 14cm (6in) of snow was recorded in Inverness-shire, while 12cm (4.7in) was recorded in Aviemore.
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