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UK Weather: Snowfall Sweeps Across UK, More Freezing Temperatures Forecast (PICTURES)

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Snow has fallen across parts of the country, with more predicted over the weekend.

In contrast to the wet and windy weather which played havoc at the start of the week, freezing temperatures, snow and ice has now swept the UK.

uk weather

A dog plays in the Scottish Borders, after snow fell across parts of the country

Around 1cm of snow has settled in parts of northern England and Scotland, including Cumbria, Teesside and County Durham, while an inch has covered the Pennines and the Southern Uplands.

In the midlands, southern England and Wales temperatures are below freezing, and as low as -5C in some areas.

The frosty weather is expected to last for the next few days, with more snow predicted in the north and Scotland tomorrow night.

The freezing temperatures have brought with them a risk of ice, following the recent heavy rainfall.

The Met Office issued a low-level warning of severe weather, affecting much of the UK for the morning.

It said: "Due to the recent wet weather there is an increased risk of icy patches, even on roads that have been treated with salt, where water run off/seepage may wash off any earlier salt treatment.

"The public should be aware of the risk of ice on roads and pavements."

Brendan Jones, a spokesman for the MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It will be a very cold and frosty start to the day for some southern England, the Midlands and Wales.

"In northern England and Scotland it is quite unsettled with rain and snow.

"There is a northerly wind blowing across which is why it is so cold, close to -5C in some areas.

"It will stay cold for most of next week with a chance of more frost, ice and snow in some areas."

Much of the UK was blighted by heavy rainfall and strong winds last month, as flood water caused devastation to land, property and roads.

Some communities reported being cut off as emergency services were forced to close dangerously saturated roads, while many weary homeowners are still drying out their properties after water surged through streets and into homes.

The south-west of England and north Wales were among the worst-affected regions, with some people forced to evacuate their homes as the Environment Agency issued hundreds of alerts.

At its peak last weekend, four severe flood warnings were put in place, indicating an immediate risk to life due to serious flooding.

Around 150 alerts were in place this morning, with nearly 20 flood warnings - where the risk of flooding is expected - in the south-east of England and the Midlands.

But an agency spokeswoman said there was no immediate risk of further flooding as a direct result of the overnight snowfall.

She added: "The Met Office is forecasting further rain across parts of Cornwall late on Sunday and this will spread to parts of England and Wales during Monday."

In Gloucestershire, the county council's gritting teams are expected to be out throughout the weekend as the weather remains cold.

Forecasters are predicting temperatures to fall to around minus 2C on Saturday and Sunday nights.

The council's 33-strong team of gritters will be going out treating key routes around the county in the evening and again in the early hours of the morning.

A council spokeswoman said: "People are advised to drive carefully and to the road conditions."

Three roads remain closed because of the recent flooding. They are the A417 at Maisemore, the B4080 Bredon Road and the B4213 at Hawbridge.

Gloucestershire's councils have been working together to tackle flooding and help protect residents from the rising waters.

For the past 10 days, Gloucestershire County Council and the six district councils have been pooling their efforts to limit the damage caused by the severe weather.

snowfall

More snow is predicted over the weekend

In all, the councils attended more than 600 calls for support from all around the county.

More than 8,000 sandbags were distributed and around 500 homes were visited and offered support by the council teams.

Around 80 homes across Gloucestershire flooded over the past week but without the £20 million investment in flood protection since the 2007 floods, more than 500 homes would have been affected this time around.

The areas hardest hit from the River Severn bursting its banks include parts of Tewkesbury and the nearby villages of Deerhurst, Apperley, Tirley, Corse Lawn, Ashleworth, Sandhurst and Maisemore.

At the start of the month, Gloucestershire County Council committed a further £1 million into new flood alleviation projects and the six district councils are matching this money with another £1.25 million for new schemes to be carried out.

Councillor Will Windsor Clive, Gloucestershire County Council's cabinet member for communities, said: "Gloucestershire's seven councils have worked together to do our best to protect people from the rising flood waters and to minimise the disruption it caused.

"Although any property flooding is traumatic for residents, it is reassuring that our investment in flood alleviation has protected so many more properties from flooding."

The AA reported record flood-related call-outs at the height of the travel disruption last month, as landslides and debris brought parts of Britain's transport network to its knees, prompting motorists to take a chance on the roads.

Patroller Andy Smith warned today: "This weekend will be winter's first serious test for drivers and their cars.

"Ice is the real concern, as it's been so wet recently, and it's very hard to distinguish between a puddle on the road and treacherous black ice."

He warned motorists to keep their speed down, leave adequate travel time for journeys, and to conduct basic checks to ensure the vehicle is in proper working order.

Mr Smith added: "Take particular care if you're out early in the morning or on rural roads but all roads are susceptible as surface water can wash away the road salt.

"Take some time this weekend to check your car over rather than be left stranded when winter really bites. The battery, particularly, is placed under great strain in cold conditions, so if your car's been struggling to start, get it checked out before the battery completely fails.

"Do the other basic checks on your car including oil and coolant level, windscreen wash, lights and tyres. If your tyre tread depth is less than 3mm, consider getting them replaced as the extra tread makes a difference in winter.

"As well as your car, make sure you are adequately prepared and carry the winter essentials in your boot - warm and waterproof clothing, rug or blanket, torch and spare batteries, ice scraper and de-icer, hot flask and snacks, fully-charged mobile phone and in-car charger."

The light covering of snow in pockets of the UK has already prompted a flurry of bets on a white Christmas.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes said more money had been staked by today on the festive forecast than any December 1 previously.

The seasonal gamble usually peaks in mid-December, but Ladbrokes has already seen a spike in Christmas Day bets.

Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: "Punters don't usually start thinking about a bet until all the decorations are up.

"This year we've only opened one flap on the advent calendar and we're already inundated with money for a UK-wide white Christmas."

Latest odds show Edinburgh is 5/2 for a white Christmas, ahead of London and Manchester (both 3/1), followed by Belfast (7/2) and Cardiff (4/1).

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