SNOW and ice have forced schools to shut for a THIRD day as temperatures drop to -3C and the UK continues to shiver in the grip of a cold snap.
This weekend is set to get even colder, leaving Moscow feeling positively balmy by comparison at 4C.
Brits are in for yet more bad weather as Christmas draws nearer, as a “rollercoaster” of temperatures are expected on Saturday.
After seeing the coldest night of the year on Monday at -13C, temperatures have risen slightly today and could hit double figures in some parts.
But the chill is expected to return, bringing sleet, snow and ice back with it.
The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for ice, which covers nearly the entire country – with the exception of London, the South East and South West – and is in force until 11am today.
Dozens of schools closed on Monday and Tuesday over concerns for untreated roads and problems with staff making their way into work.
Today 26 will be closed in Herefordshire, 14 in Shropshire, 10 in Worcestershire and at least 24 across Wales.
Craig Snell, a forecaster at the Met Office, said: “It’s still a cold start in places, especially in the Midlands and into Wales.
“On the ground, temperatures have reached near-freezing, so there is scope for ice patches, with the exception across the far south of England, where temperatures are hovering around 8C or 9C.
“Wednesday is going to be a mixed bag. There will be some bright spells around the country, and we will be seeing bands of showers move across the country, and it will be quite windy, especially across the South West of the UK.”
— Met Office (@metoffice) December 13, 2017
Mr Snell added that wintry showers were possible across the North West of England and further afield in the afternoon, with a cooler night expected going into Thursday.
“We could start to see some sleet and snow, even on lower levels in Northern Ireland and western Scotland for the evening rush hour.
“All in all, today it will be a blustery, showery day across the country, with showers turning increasingly wintry the further north and west you are in the country.”
The cold weather is expected to return over the weekend, with northerly winds blowing in throughout the day on Friday.
Some coastal areas will see a downpour with these winds.
It will remain fairly dry on Saturday, but forecasters predict widespread frost during a chilly day.
Sunday should see rain coming in from the northwest to continue the gloomy winter weather, but temperatures should start to rise slightly, with it feeling milder in the run-up to Christmas.
Mr Snell added: “It’s a bit of a rollercoaster on the temperatures over the next four or five days.
“We’re not likely to see the -13C of the other night, but we could see temperatures potentially at -7C in a few spots, but generally remaining cold but not as cold as we started the week.”
Air and rail services, which were disrupted earlier this week by the weather, appear to be returning back to normal, with the Eurotunnel running on time and flights operating as normal out of Heathrow.
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