Up to 15cm of snow forecast to hit parts of Britain

Freezing temperatures overnight brought snowfall to Knightswood in Glasgow
Freezing temperatures overnight brought snowfall to Knightswood in Glasgow - Gerard Ferry/Alamy

The Met Office has issued a snow and ice weather warning for large parts of the UK, with up to 15cm of snow forecast in some areas.

Forecasters said the latest alert covered much of the Midlands, Yorkshire, the Pennines and north and central Wales, although the South could also experience some sleet and snow in towns and cities, with more next week.

An amber alert has been issued for snow in Cumbria for the rest of Saturday, as the Met Office said there could be 10cm to 15cm of snow falling in some areas, followed by showers overnight.

Roads and railways are likely to be affected by the conditions, with longer journey times by road, bus and train, said the Met Office. There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off and be affected by power cuts, it warned.

Separately, an amber cold-health alert issued by the UK Health Security Agency remains in place for five regions in England. Cold weather is likely to affect the whole health service, with the potential for the entire population to be at risk, the agency’s alert says.

The alert is in place for the East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber until Dec 5.

Glasgow was hit by heavier than forecast snow overnight
Glasgow was hit by heavier than forecast snow overnight - Gerard Ferry/Alamy Live News
Brodie Hamilton, aged five, with a giant snowball in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow
Brodie Hamilton, aged five, with a giant snowball in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow - Wattie Cheung

Temperatures of between -3C (27F) and -6C (21F) were widely experienced across the UK on Friday, even in major towns and cities.

It was -5C in Manchester and Edinburgh and -3C in south-west London and Birmingham. The lowest temperature recorded on Friday was -9.4C in Shap in Cumbria, the Met Office said.

It comes as heavy overnight snow forced Glasgow Airport to ground all flights for several hours on Saturday morning.

Despite crews working through the night, airport bosses had to suspend arrivals and departures because of “heavier than forecast snow”. Two flights bound for Glasgow had to be diverted to Prestwick and Edinburgh airports.

Glasgow Airport said flights resumed at just after 10am, but disruption is still expected and passengers are urged to check with their airlines.

Flights at Manchester Airport were also hit, with two cancelled on Saturday and 38 delayed by half an hour or more. Two Lufthansa flights to Munich were cancelled following heavy snowfall in Germany.

Manchester United’s jet to Newcastle ahead of the club’s match there was also grounded, with the team thought to be heading north by road instead.

Elsewhere, the freeze is set to continue over the weekend, with several sporting events across the UK cancelled due to snow and icy conditions.

Eleven football matches in Scotland have been postponed because of snow and freezing temperatures, while the FA Cup tie between Alfreton Town and Walsall, due to be screened by the BBC, was called off just minutes before kick-off after checks were made on the frozen pitch.

Crewe Alexandra’s FA Cup tie against Bristol Rovers was also called off, while Saturday’s high-profile racing fixture at Newcastle was abandoned because of snow on the track.

Andy Page, the Met Office chief neteorologist, said: “A low pressure system will bring less cold, but more unsettled weather for southern parts of the UK on Sunday. It will be a cloudier day with some rain, but also a chance of snow at first over the Midlands.

“It will be brighter in the North, but still with a risk of showers in coastal areas. Still feeling cold away from the South West, with temperatures once again in low single figures.

“There continues to be some uncertainty over the exact conditions for the start of next week. While milder air, with some rain and possibly snow, is likely for the southern half of the UK on Monday, the weather models do not agree on how far north this mild air might go.”