UK weather latest: Storm Deirdre lashes Britain with freezing rain, gales and heavy snow as motorists warned of icy conditions on roads

Sophie Williams

Motorists heading out on Sunday morning have been warned of icy conditions on roads after Storm Deirdre swept through the UK bringing freezing rain, gales and heavy snow.

A yellow weather warning remains in place on Sunday morning for snow and ice in Scotland and the north of England.

Wind speeds reached up to 73mph, the maximum recorded in the Scottish Highlands.

While between 40 to 50cm of snow fell in the central highlands, the Met Office said.

Snow falls in the Scottish Borders as Storm Deirdre hit the British Isles (PA)

More than 1,000 homes in Scotland and Wales lost power.

The conditions also resulted in a number of road closures. A number of police forces in Devon, Cheshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, South Yorkshire and Merseyside responded to traffic collisions and incidents of fallen trees, according to the BBC.

Ground frost near the Tan Hill Inn in the Yorkshire Dales (PA)

Multiple crashes were reported between junctions 15 and 17 of the M74 in southern Scotland.

While Traffic Scotland warned drivers of heavy snow causing delays on the A9 between Perth and Aviemore.

A man photographs waves cause by storm Deirdre in Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, Ireland (PA)

Leeds Bradford Airport reported freezing rain.

A rare weather phenomenon, freezing rain can lead to the rapid build up of very slippery ice glazes that pose a risk to drivers and pedestrians.

At Manchester Airport, planes were forced to abort landing due to strong wind.

The A66 near Brough in Cumbria closed due to

The weather should be much drier and less windy on Sunday, according to Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge.

Snow falls in the Scottish Borders as Storm Deirdre hit the British Isles bringing plunging temperatures and treacherous traffic conditions (PA)

He said: "Just be wary if you are heading out early, there could be some icy stretches in the north-east of England and Scotland.

"Other than that, just be aware if you are in England and Wales, there could be spells of rain and wind in the afternoon.

Freezing rain leaves a layer of ice on a branch near Settle in North Yorkshire. (PA)

"If you didn't head out to the shops yesterday, you could get most of it done today."

The cold weather is being triggered by an active low-pressure system coming in from the Atlantic.

Storm Deirdre's arrival was also a blow to retailers on what should been a major pre-Christmas shopping day.

Saturday footfall across UK high streets was down by 9.1% by 3pm, retail intelligence firm Springboard reported.

Additional reporting by PA.