UK weather: Brits warned of flooding as heavy rain and melting snow combine with fears homes could be hit in delugeJanuary 16, 2021
BRITS have been warned of flooding as heavy rain and melting snow combine – amid fears homes could be hit.
Forecasters had earlier said towns in Essex, Hertfordshire and East Anglia could be "cut off" as three inches of snow fell. Now, three days of heavy rain are predicted – with a slew of flood warnings issued.
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Snow even hit London today as drivers were faced with "horrendous" conditions during snowstorms in the Home Counties.
Areas around the M25 were blasted with up to 3.2 inches of the white stuff today, forecasters said.
But the weather is set to get milder – and much wetter.
The Met Office has now issued a series of warnings for deluges on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Wales is set to see the worst of the rain, although millions of people in the north-west and South Yorkshire will also take a hit.
This afternoon, 22 flood warnings – meaning flooding is expected and immediate action is needed – are in place, largely across Leicestershire and Lincolnshire.
A further 111 flood alerts have also been issued.
Experts say low pressure systems will move in from the Atlantic – bring with them "heavy and prolonged rainfall".
That, combined with melting snow, is "likely to lead to flooding", forecasters say.
It follows days of yellow and amber weather warnings for snow and ice across the UK, with up to 10cm – or almost four inches – expected in some areas in the north.
Parts of Essex and East Angelia were particularly badly affected in the south, with people living in Chelmsford and Norwich among those warned to expect heavy snow.
But millions of people across the country, from the Highlands of Scotland in the north to Ashford in Kent in the south, have been hit today.
Forecasters said it was likely people in some areas of the east could be completely cut off by snowfall.
The Met Office said yesterday: "There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off.
"Power cuts are likely and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected."
Warnings are in place until 8pm tonight for most of the country.
The cold weather will make a return soon, it's believed – and forecasters say the UK will be hit by a Scandinavian blast next week.
Luke Miall of the Met Office said: "We've seen rain and snow through the night.
"We have also seen snow across eastern counties, as well as further north – including Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and up towards Scotland, although this has turned into rain.
"Snow in south-east England – particularly West London into western parts of East Anglia – cleared between late morning and early afternoon.
"However, there's still potential for more snow in a few places – we could see 10cm in some areas."
Mr Miall said freezing winds will sweep in towards the end of next week – amid fears Brits could see a second Beast from the East.
"There are currently no signs of strong easterly winds, like we had in the previous Beast," he said.
"We'll see a slightly milder blip for few days – but then there are some signs we could see a more northerly wind in latter stages of next week.
"That'll come in from Scandinavia and the north."
The blast will being a change to the forecast – with much colder weather predicted in late January and early February.
"It might not be a typical Beast, but we could still see an increased threat of wintry weather, like snow, ice and frost," he said.
Leading bookmaker Coral is as short as 4-9 for this winter to end as the coldest on record – and the firm go 1-2 for this month to be the coldest January since records began.
Drivers on the roads in the early hours warned of treacherous conditions on the M40 towards London.
One Twitter user said they'd faced a "horrendous journey into London".
"Crashed car across carriageway north of Cherwell Services on M40," they said.
"Further south, carriageway surface dangerous with falling snow."
Yesterday, temperatures plummeted to lows of -11.8C at Ravensworth, North Yorkshire.
It was the coldest temperature recorded in England since January 31, 2019, when -13.2C was recorded in County Durham.
Chief Meteorologist Steven Ramsdale, said: “While the high ground in the north is likely to see the largest accumulations, some snow is likely to fall to low levels at times.
"In fact, parts of east England and East Anglia look most at risk of seeing 1-3cm with 5-10cm possible in places.
“The milder air will eventually win out with the initial snow gradually turning to rain.
"This may also bring some flooding issues following recent wet weather and with snow then melting – though the snow looks to be the greater hazard.”
Earlier this week, a major incident was declared by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service after heavy snow and a surge in patient demand hit hard.
Meanwhile, early risers were seen scooping snow from their driveways in County Durham, as drivers battled to steer through the white stuff in Northumberland and Yorkshire.
In Leicester and Essex, cars faced a different struggle, making their way through floodwater after heavy rain fell in parts of the country overnight.
One driver suffered the worst of the treacherous conditions, their car pictured smashed up against a tree in Leeds.
And terrifying footage showed a bus spinning down a hill in Halifax, West Yorks.
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