Met Office gives fresh verdict on when bone-chilling freeze will end

Homes in Northern California buried under mounds of snow

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Brits facing cold and wintry weather shouldn’t expect much in the way of improvement as the week goes on, with the majority set for heavy rain and winds, according to the Met Office. Despite hints in some parts that spring was on its way, any ideas about glorious sunshine have been put to bed for most.

The Met Office has put in place yellow weather warnings for all four corners of the British Isles this week, with snow and ice replaced with downpours and chilling gusts.

Meteorologists believe that more weather warnings may need to be issued as the week goes on.

Met Office Chief Forecaster Dan Suri said: “An Arctic maritime air mass has reasserted itself from the north, bringing with it another dose of snow and frosty nights for some.  

“As we head through the second half of the week conditions turn milder, wetter and windier from the west. This change to milder conditions will be preceded by some snow over parts of northern England and Scotland later on Wednesday, mainly over higher ground. The far north of Scotland is most likely to hold on to the cold air the longest, possibly lingering until later in the weekend.”

Stein Connelly from Transport Scotland said: “Large parts of Scotland will continue to see challenging weather over the next few days, so it’s important that travellers keep up to date on road conditions and plan their journeys.

“You should look at your route in advance, drive to the conditions and follow any Police Scotland travel advice that’s in place. There may be disruption on other modes of transport, so you should check with your operators before setting off if you’re planning to travel by rail, ferry or air.

“Motorists can check with Traffic Scotland to make sure that their route is available. The new Traffic Scotland website gives people access to the latest travel information and the Traffic Scotland twitter page is also updated regularly.”

For vast swathes of the country, temperatures will start to climb from Thursday. However higher mercury readings may not equate to more pleasant conditions.

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Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Helen Caughey said: “The transition to milder air in the second half of the week might be welcome for some, but it brings with it wet and windy conditions, as low-pressure moves in from the west, which will bring some heavy and persistent rain to some western and northern areas, as well as some gusty winds, especially for exposed coastal areas.”

Warnings have been issued for Thursday, in areas as southerly as South Wales, with 100mm of rainfall expected in the wettest areas.

The AA advises drivers caught in the snow to be “gentle on the throttle, avoiding any harsh acceleration which is likely to cause wheel spin.”

Motorists are also advised to “pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel spin.

“To slow down, use engine braking through the gears – just touch the brake pedal lightly to show brake lights to others behind.

“If you’re approaching a hill, drop well back or wait until it’s clear of traffic so you won’t have to stop part way up. Keep a constant speed and try to avoid changing gear on the hill.

Use a low gear and try to avoid braking. Leave as much room as you can to the car in front.”

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