UK braced for 40 hours of snow as as Met Office warns of rain and gale force winds
Heavy snow into Thursday night could leave communities cut off (Image: PA)
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A snow warning lasting almost two days could see communities cut off, while heavy rain and gale force winds are also due to bombard stormy Britain.
The Met Office's snow warning covers much of the North from Wednesday morning lasting over 40 hours until 9pm on Thursday.
There is a "slight chance" some rural communities "could become cut off" amid the blizzard, while power cuts are also a possibility, the warning adds.
Weather charts also show wind gusts getting up to 40mph in parts of the country, while a rain warning is also in place across much of Northern Ireland from 3am tomorrow until 9am on Thursday.
A weather front mixing with freezing air means a contrast in temperatures and conditions
UK weather: Met Office issues snow and 20-hour ice warnings ahead of Beast from the East
UK weather forecast: Snow, ice and rain warnings as sub zero freeze continues
It comes as forecasters continue to monitor developing conditions which could see another Beast from the East strike by February.
Freezing cold air moved in overnight causing temperatures in the north to plummet to negative double figures, while down south a separate weather front kept things much milder with highs of 9C.
Ice warnings issued yesterday afternoon run until 11am today across northern England and all of Scotland, with travel likely to be disrupted.
The Met Office has issued a snow warning lasting over 40 hours
(Image: Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)
"A big contrast in temperatures and a big contrast in weather through Tuesday – rain and damp across much of England and Wales, certainly to start with," said Met Office forecaster Alex Deakin.
"Across northern Britain plenty of sunshine but there is that ice risk in the morning – still some wintry showers moving in across the far north."
He went on to say a fresh band of rain will begin to move in from tonight, becoming "quite a big player in our weather in the middle part of this week".
"Pushing back eastwards during Tuesday evening, bringing some heavy rain to Northern Ireland on Wednesday and as it hits the polar air, we could start to see some heavy snowfall."
Mr Deakin said the snow will initially fall over hills through Wednesday across northern England and southern Scotland, "but that band of wet weather persisting into Thursday when we could start to see snowfall totals building up".
An ice warning remains in place until 11am today
The weather front pushing east means by Thursday there will be a west to east temperature split, allowing for rain and milder temperatures in the likes of Belfast, Birmingham and the south west.
But it will be hovering just above zero in Norwich, Hull and Newcastle where the snow will strike hardest.
UK 5 day weather forecast Today:
Cloud, rain and milder air across southern half of the UK becoming confined to the southwest of England and west Wales. Cold and sunny elsewhere with a few wintry showers near coasts in far north and east.
Cloud and rain in southwest returning eastwards and becoming heavy across Northern Ireland, western Scotland and northwest England with a risk of sleet, snow and ice. Cold and clear elsewhere.
Cold with rain, sleet and snow across northern UK, lasting most of the day in western areas. Further south, rain band moving east followed by milder but rather cloudy weather.
Outlook for Thursday to Saturday:
Remaining unsettled with areas of rain and snow pushing east, snow will mostly be confined to the hills. Rather cold in east areas, but generally milder in the west.