Snow blankets the UK with -12C Arctic blast set to last for TEN DAYS

PEOPLE across the UK made the most of a snow day after heavy snowfall and temperatures plummeted overnight – with up to 8 inches of snow expected to fall.

Forecasters have warned of a chilly blast taking temperatures down to -12C in some places over the weekend as an Arctic air flow follows on from Storm Caroline, set to last for TEN DAYS.

The storm battered the country with 90mph gales yesterday, as snow and ice led to dangerous driving conditions and train cancellations.

Three inches of snow had already fallen in Aviemore, in the Scottish Highlands, by dawn today, while parts of Northern Ireland, Wales and areas to the west of the Pennines had also seen a covering.

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for today, with meteorologist John West saying: “We saw a fairly consistent stream of snow showers overnight, and there will be a constant feed throughout the day and into Friday.

“We could see some fairly significant accumulations. Broadly speaking we’re looking at 2cm to 5cm, but in more exposed areas we could see 10cm to 20cm.

Parts of Britain woke up covered in snow this morning

“It will also be bitterly cold, with highs of 2C or 3C outside those snow showers. But the wind chill is going to make it feel sub-zero.”

The Manchester United and Manchester City game could also be called off as by game-time the snow may have well and truly settled, with temperatures set to plummet to -1 degrees.
And while the Old Trafford pitch does have undersoil heating, should the precipitation be too heavy – or the stands be too icy to be deemed safe – the game could well be postponed.
There are also health and safety issues outside of the ground that could prevent the game from going ahead, with fans unable to get in the ground.

Today a rescue helicopter was sent to a remote Orcadian island which is home to about 80 people to help restore power.

The all weather HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Sumburgh has been called into action to take two engineers to the remote Island of North Ronaldsay to help regain the island’s power after they were hit with bad weather.

“The remote island is home to approximately 80 people – many of whom are elderly. It is not known when the island lost power, but the poor weather conditions have made the island impossible to reach – except by the Coastguard helicopter,” said a spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Flood barriers have also been put up on Newcastle’s Quayside as the North East braces itself for high tides, large waves carrying debris and possible coastal flooding.

The storm has already caused chaos and disruption across the country after forecasters warned of a “danger to life” from flying debris.

Trains, flights and ferries were cancelled and more than 30 children were rescued when their school bus was engulfed by huge waves yesterday.

It comes as a canoeist tragically drowned in Devon after being trapped by a fallen tree that blew into a swollen river.

The canoeist was with six friends on the Dart Gorge on Dartmoor, Devon, when he got trapped.

The scene in Austwick, North Yorkshire, as parts of Britain woke up to a blanket of snow

Temperatures have continued to drop this week

Horses graze in a frozen field near Bolton, Greater Manchester on Friday

Houses in Horwich, Bolton, were covered in snow this morning

Brits were excited to see snow on the ground as they woke on Friday

National Park ranger Rob Steemson said: “The river rises and falls quite quickly.

“This morning it was roaring.

“With the heavy winds as well, quite a few trees have come down overnight and unfortunately that’s what’s trapped this person.”

Pupils were saved when waves surged over a sea wall on Orkney.

A local with a 4×4 ferried the kids and the driver away as their school bus was smashed by giant waves.

Witness Geoff Gardens, 65, said: “In all my years this is the worst weather I have seen.

“The children were all fine, but the bus was rocking.

“The waves were breaking over the wall.

“It took quite a few runs to get all the kids off.”

The forecast for the next three days as temperatures reach freezing

Rail services were disrupted near Glasgow when a trampoline blew on to tracks, and trains between Aberdeen and Inverness cancelled.

Heavy snowfall is expected to move south into Wales and England at the weekend as temperatures drop to -3C, which will feel like -16C in the wind.

A Met Office spokesman warned: “Flying debris is likely and could lead to injuries or danger to life.

“Some damage to buildings is possible, such as tiles blowing off roofs.”

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