UK weather: ‘Danger to life’ warning as forecasters predict rare freezing rain and snow | UK News

Fresh severe weather warnings have been issued for much of the UK as forecasters said freezing rain and snow could pose a threat to life.

Icy conditions have already caused disruption across the country this weekend, with football matches canceled and horse races cancelled.

Yellow warnings for ice was in place on Saturday for northern England, northern Scotland and large parts of Wales.

Further yellow warnings for snow, ice and rain have been issued across the UK for Sunday – with a more severe yellow warning for ice covering northern England.

A frozen Bridgewater Canal in Lymm, Cheshire

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The Met Office said freezing rain and snow will cause disruption, warning that “injuries from slips and falls and danger to life on icy surfaces are possible”.

“Hazardous driving conditions may occur which could lead to road traffic collisions, road closures and longer journey times, while pavements and cycleways may become impassable,” it added in its yellow warning.

“Bus, trains and flights can be affected by delays and cancellations.

“There is a good chance that power outages could occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile coverage”.

Freezing rain is rare and the phenomenon is not often seen in the UK, according to the Met Office.

The rain hits a cold surface and freezes almost instantly, producing striking effects as the raindrop spreads out momentarily over the surface before freezing, encasing the surface in a layer of clear ice.

Icicles form a frozen waterfall in the Brecon Beacons National Park
The frozen waterfall in the Brecon Beacons National Park

Football matches and racing events were suspended

Freezing temperatures have wreaked havoc on the weekend’s sporting schedule, with the League One football match between Cheltenham and Lincoln postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Most League Two games were also ruled out following inspections, with only two of 11 games – at Leyton Orient and Barrow – unaffected.

Cold water swimmers on the beach at Cullercoats Bay
Cold water swimmers on the beach at Cullercoats Bay in North East England

In Scotland, the Premier League match between Livingstone and Dundee United was cancelled, along with a number of games in the Championship, League One and League Two.

Racing at Lingfield and Chelmsford was abandoned early on Saturday, leaving an empty day of racing in Great Britain and Ireland.

It follows previous postponements, including high-profile jumps meetings at Ascot and Haydock.

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Snow storms predicted

A level three cold weather warning has been issued by the UK Health Safety Agency, covering the whole of England until midnight on Sunday.

It warns that the weather could “increase health risks for vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services”.

Forecasters say temperatures may temporarily rise on Sunday, but this will bring strong winds that bring snow, blizzards and ice and freezing rain, creating dangerous conditions on the roads.

The Met Office’s deputy forecaster Helen Caughey said: “As the mild air meets the cold air currently in place over the UK, there will be a passing period of snow, potentially at low levels, particularly in the north.

“Add in the risk of rain falling on frozen surfaces, and strong winds over high ground in northern Britain bringing snow and this could be a day to avoid traveling in some areas, even if the snow turns to rain later.

“There is also a short risk of a period of freezing rain which is most likely to affect areas from the Pennines northwards, which could result in some power outages.”

A weather forecast has been issued for Sunday.  Image: Met Office
A weather forecast has been issued for Sunday. Image: Met Office

Caughey said cold temperatures were likely to return next week, but it was still too early to tell if it would be a white Christmas.

Danger of bursting water pipes – when the street in London floods

Water UK, which represents water companies, advised that the rise in temperature could lead to pipes bursting.

The warning came as homes in the London borough of Camden, north London, were evacuated after a burst water main flooded a street.

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Home flooded by burst pipe in North London

London Fire Brigade said around 60 firefighters were called to Belsize Road, near Swiss Cottage, at 2.50am on Saturday morning after a 42-inch water main burst.

The brigade said several homes have been flooded and firefighters had to carry around 20 residents to safety.

Cody Dolcy-Grant, who lives in the area, said she woke up to scenes “like the Thames” outside her home.

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