Cold snap to continue after heavy rain hits South West and Scotland

By Jess Glass, PA
·3-min read

Cold conditions will continue over the weekend after parts of the South West and Scotland were hit by heavy rain, forecasters have said.

While Friday brought dramatic “thundersnow” to some parts of Scotland, and other parts of the UK woke up to wintry scenes, Saturday’s forecast featured more rain.

Heavy rain hit parts of the South West and southern Wales on Saturday morning.

A yellow weather warning was in place until the late morning covering Marlborough, Salisbury, Southampton and parts of Winchester.

Steven Keates, an operational meteorologist at the Met Office, said those areas had seen the heaviest rainfall on Saturday morning of about 25 to 30mm.

The yellow warning indicates a risk of flooding to some homes and businesses while public transport services may be disrupted.

Until Saturday afternoon, a yellow weather warning was also in place for rain in parts of north-east Scotland covering Inverness and Aberdeen, where up to 40mm was forecast to fall.

Mr Keates said: “The wettest place in the last 24 hours has been Drumnadrochit on the shores of Loch Ness, that place has seen 48.6mm of rain.”

National Rail reported flooding on some Scottish routes on Saturday morning, including trains through Livingston North, west of Edinburgh.

Trams in Edinburgh were also affected by heavy rain, with services reduced to one route on Saturday morning.

City of Edinburgh Council reported roads had also been flooded throughout the city, leading to some closures.

On Saturday morning, the Environment Agency had 11 flood warnings in place in England including in Swanage, Dorset, after it saw 31mm of rainfall in six hours.

However, this had reduced to one warning by the afternoon with 44 flood alerts.

One flood alert covered high river levels at Alconbury Brook in Cambridgeshire, where the nearby Huntingdon Racecourse announced races would be cancelled on Saturday after areas of the track and facilities flooded.

Forecasters said Saturday will be cold and cloudy, with eastern areas seeing showers later with the chance of light snow on hilltops.

Mr Keates said: “In summary, it’s a bit messy this weekend. It’s staying cold, gradually becoming a bit drier and we’ll switch our attention to some overnight frost, and I think tomorrow morning will see some dense freezing fog patches in places.”

Winter weather Dec 5th 2020
Snow falls on Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales (Ben Birchall/PA)

According to the Met Office, temperatures will stay in single digits on Saturday, reporting figures of 4C (39.2F) in Birmingham and 8C (46.4F) in Plymouth in the morning.

Thursday into Friday was the coldest night of the winter so far, with the mercury dropping to minus 9.6C (14.7F) at Altnaharra, Sutherland, in the Highlands.

Friday’s snowfall was likely “the most widespread snow of the season so far,” Mr Keates said.

Conditions coming into the weekend were warmer, as overnight temperatures remained around freezing with minus 1.6C (29.12F) recorded in East Malling, Kent.

The coldest night of 2020 so far was minus 10.2C (13.6F), recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire on February 13.

The Met Office previously warned icy conditions are likely to persist at least until Tuesday.