up to 40cm of SNOW & Freezing rain to hit the UK within 48 hours!

The warnings keep on coming as the first significant wintry spell sets it sights on the UK.

Before we get into the detail its worth baring in mind that whilst there is a severe spell of weather expected the duration is expected to be quite short with the main timeframe for severe conditions from Saturday afternoon through till 06:00 Sunday with a return to average temperatures on Monday.

Snow, Sleet, Freezing rain and heavy rain expected!

As you can there is alot to contend with over the 18 hour period from midday on Saturday. Even before this period begins areas outside of the areas shaded red may well see some wet snow falling for a short period of time however accumulations are unlikely. 

As the bulk of the precipitation bumps into the cold air anywhere from the North Midlands Northwards need to be prepared for snow or freezing rain. Initially snow is expected but as the weather fronts move across the UK it is likely a warm layer will melt the snow as it falls however temperatures at ground level may still be at or below freezing turning this super cooled rain immediately to ice upon impact.

This phenomenon is quite rare in the UK however it can be lethal for those who are braving the elements. Black ice will form readily and trees and powerlines can be brought down under the weight of the ice. The latter may not take place due to the relatively short period of time freezing rain is expected, However slippery surfaces are almost assured so it may be worth getting out and about early if you are still looking for those Christmas presents.

Another hazard will be for any of the high travel routes, The heavy snow in these areas will be accompanied by strong winds gusting up to 60MPH with a risk of Blizzard conditions so expect some road closures. 

As for those outside of the areas shaded in red Saturday will be a blustery and wet day from around 3pm onwards before the rain clears away during the evening. This will then be followed up by a much calmer, drier day Sunday.