Three dead as -9 cold blast dubbed Troll of Trondheim hits UK

Met Office in-depth look at this week's colder weather

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Two men and a woman have died in two separate crashes overnight and this morning as temperatures began to plunge to sub-zero levels overnight. A cyclist died at the scene of a crash with a car today at 7am in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.  A Surrey Police spokesman said: “We’re appealing for witnesses after a fatal collision between a car and a cyclist in Walton-on-Thames this morning. The collision happened on Molesey Road, close to the junction with Lyon Road. Sadly, despite best efforts of paramedics, the cyclist died at the scene. Her next of kin have been informed and are being supported by officers.”

And last night, two men in the same car died after a crash on the A3083, Cornwall, on Wednesday night at 9.10pm. Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Medical treatment was given by a number of people at the scene, including members of the public and the emergency services.Two men, who were travelling in one of the cars, were pronounced deceased at the scene.”

Today, schools have shut – with some reportedly starting to send children home in areas where snow has begun falling this afternoon. 

While the exact circumstances surrounding the crashes are not yet established, much of the UK awoke to frosty conditions this morning making paths and roads slippery.

The Met Office has yellow weather warnings in place for snow and ice in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales as widespread ice and snow is expected over the next 24 hours. All of northern Scotland is under a snow and ice warning which is in place until midday tomorrow. An ice warning for parts of Northern Ireland, Wales, and the south west takes over at 4pm.

The warning for snow, which covers just Scotland, said: “Showers will fall as snow to low levels at times. Accumulations of 2-5 cm are possible at lower levels, with 10-15 cm above 200 metres. Some drifting and blizzard conditions are likely in the strong northerly winds. In addition, ice is likely to form on untreated surfaces, mainly where some of the showers fall as rain or sleet on some coasts.”

And for ice, it adds: “Frequent wintry showers are likely to fall on frozen surfaces in places, leading to the formation of icy patches. These showers are likely to fall as snow on high ground, with the potential for several centimetres to accumulate over parts of southern Scotland, Northeast England, N Wales, the North York Moors and Northern Ireland.”

The current weather front, dubbed Troll of Trondheim was a phrase coined by Jim Dale from British Weather Services. It has been used to explain the low pressure zone which has moved southwards to the UK from Norway. With it, Arctic conditions have been projected onto Scotland first, with potential for longer lasting ice and snow hitting more of England next week.

Mr Dale had told “It’s going to be the start of scraping the ice off the car – it will go from fridge to freezer which will be turned up a notch putting us in a very strong position for Christmas.”

But, despite warnings for transport and Britain’s roads, people at home have also been impacted by the freezing mercury. In the West Country a widespread powercut has been caused due to frozen cables, with just under 1,000 properties affected from Plymouth, Bridport and Bideford. More outages were also reported in the West Midlands. 

In Sheffield, up to 2,000 homes have been without electricity for days after a burst water main flooded the gas mains. Engineers had said the problem would take days to fix, but with temperatures straddling 0C, many will be sat at home trying to layer up as the weather shows no sign of relent. 

The Red Cross has now reportedly been draughted in to help with this issue in Sheffield, which, as temperatures fall to -10C in some isolated places, could cause health risks for those unable to heat their homes.

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Jason Kelly, said: “Through the weekend and into next week cold weather will continue, with an ongoing chance of wintry showers, mainly for coasts, and freezing fog patches inland.An area of low pressure may then threaten southern and southwestern parts of the UK through mid-week.

“Confidence in the exact track of this system is low, but should it push precipitation into the UK, then this would readily turn to snow, with a lower chance of freezing rain. How far north the milder air gets is also open to a lot of uncertainty, but for now, many central and northern areas are likely to remain in the Arctic airmass.”

It is understood up to 60 schools across Aberdeenshire and Moray in Scotland have been forced to close today, with bus services halted due to an influx of snow. In preparation for more disruption over the coming days, the RAC has issued some advice.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “With temperatures plummeting this week, many drivers might be taken aback by the cold after an exceptionally mild autumn. Our advice is to be winter ready – check tyres are properly inflated and with good tread, while topping up oil, coolant and screen wash levels if needed.

“Drivers with older batteries in their cars might also wish to give their vehicle a 20-minute drive before colder conditions arrive to ensure the battery can cope with sub-zero temperatures. It’s also worth having a fully-charged mobile phone and carrying a blanket in case of a breakdown to keep warm.”

And advice for those susceptible to illness as a result of the cold weather are also urged to keep their homes at 18C minimum. Dr Agostinho Sousa, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at UKHSA, said: “Cold weather can have serious consequences for health, and older people and those with heart or lung conditions can be particularly at risk.

“If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should heat your home to a temperature that is comfortable for you. In rooms you mostly use such as the living room or bedroom, try to heat them to at least 18°C if you can. Keep your bedroom windows closed at night. Wearing several layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thicker layer.”

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