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Mapped: Amber snow weather warning issued as power cuts likely

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning today as flurries of snow and ice are set to blitz Britain this week.

It comes after the UK saw the coldest night this winter on Tuesday night, falling just short of being the coldest night in 14 years as temperatures plummeted to -13C in Glen Ogle, central Scotland.

The bitterly cold snap will continue over the coming days as a “cold plunge of Arctic air” moves south across the whole country, making it 5C to 6C lower than usual for this time of year, the Met Office said.

Freezing temperatures continue this week as snow blankets parts of the UK (Getty Images)
Freezing temperatures continue this week as snow blankets parts of the UK (Getty Images)

Today, amber warnings for snow have been issued for North-west Scotland and the Northern Isles between 3pm on Wednesday and 6pm on Thursday. The amber alert affects Highland, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands.

The forecaster said some areas could see an extra 15 to 20cm of snow, meaning power cuts are likely and more remote communities are at risk of being cut off. Strong northerly and northwesterly winds will also cause lying snow to drift throughout the day.

Amber and yellow warnings in place for 17/01 (Met Office)
Amber and yellow warnings in place for 17/01 (Met Office)
More snow is expected to bring travel disruption today (PA Wire)
More snow is expected to bring travel disruption today (PA Wire)

By the end of Friday, more than 40cm of snow may fall on high ground in north-west Scotland.

Yellow weather warnings for snow and ice remain in place across Scotland, much of northern England and parts of North Wales until Thursday, then more mild temperatures are forecast along with wind and rain.

Amber and yellow warnings in place for 18/01 (Met Office)
Amber and yellow warnings in place for 18/01 (Met Office)

The heavy snow in Scotland led to more than 100 schools being forced to close on Tuesday and more will remain shut on Wednesday.

National Highways has put in place a severe weather alert for snow affecting the North West, with road users advised to plan ahead.

A Met Office spokeswoman said the low temperatures are also due to how long the cold snap has lasted.

“A build up of snow, as well, just allows for the temperatures to get colder and colder and we don’t often see a cold spell last three to five days,” she said, adding, “the air is coming directly from the Arctic, so it is exceptionally cold air.

“It’s staying cold until Friday, and then looking further ahead into the weekend we’ve got some deep areas of low pressure pushing in, so a big change in weather type, and we could see some stormy conditions by the end of the week.”