Parts of Britain are facing snow and wintry showers to welcome in the new year after temperatures plummeted to -8C overnight.
Weather warnings for snow and ice have been issued for large parts of northern England and Scotland until 2pm, amid fears cold temperatures and snow could cause travel disruption and power cuts on New Year’s Eve.
An ice warning covering the southern tip of England remains in force until 11am, with the possibility of rapidly freezing surfaces after downpours.
Snow was initially forecast to hit London today, but now only ice is predicted.
A spokesman for Met Office said the final day of 2020 will also bring bitterly cold winds and widespread frost for most people across the UK.
Parts of northern England could see up to 8mm an hour of rainfall, as forecasters predicted between 0.8 inches (2cm) and 2 inches (5cm) of snow. Up to 6 inches (15cm) could fall in higher areas.
Temperatures could plunge below -5C in the glens of Scotland overnight, with rain, sleet and snow flurries making their way south throughout the day.
Met Office forecaster Clare Nasir said: ‘It’s going to be a bitterly cold night as temperatures plummet. It does lead into a very cold start to the last day of the year tomorrow, New Year’s Eve will bear with it again the risk of rain, sleet and snow, another feature sliding down the country from northern Scotland.
‘Particularly inland and over the hills we will see some snow.
‘Many of us will see some brighter weather, with still a keen breeze keeping things very cold indeed, and again the risk of ice as we head into New Year’s Day, with again a wintry mix coming and going, and a fairly widespread frost.’
Forecaster Alex Burkill told Mail Online that any lying snow in the south could be ‘disruptive and impactful’. He said: ‘We could still see a few centimetres building up. These areas don’t usually see that much snow.’
Temperatures are forecast to be between 2C and 6C during the day.
Although the AA said regional restrictions imposed due to Covid-19 meant roads were quieter than normal, bitterly cold conditions are forecast to continue throughout Thursday and into the new year.
It warned motorists that stopping distances can be ten times greater on icy roads.
The AA’s Ben Sheridan said: ‘Before setting off, it’s important to fully de-ice the car, remove snow from the roof and ensure all the lights are working so you can see and be seen.
‘Check the conditions along your route before you go and make sure you have plenty of fuel in case of delays.
‘It’s also worth carrying winter essentials such as warm, waterproof layers, a shovel, a torch, fully charged mobile phone and a flask of hot drink.’
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