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Met Office Issues Weather Warnings As More Snow Hits UK

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UK ICE
More ice and snow in exceptionally cold March | PA

Another dumping of snow has covered the north of the UK overnight as persistently cold weather keeps an unusual grip on March.

Up to 10cm was predicted to settle in parts of Scotland and north England by this morning, with more expected to fall throughout the day as temperatures hover around a bitter three degrees.

The Met Office has issued a number of amber weather warnings across north-east England and central and eastern Scotland urging people to be prepared for disruption.

But regions south of Cumbria and Yorkshire have escaped the snowy weather, instead set to enjoy a dry day with relatively warmer temperatures, of up to nine degrees in London, with a risk of scattered showers.

Matt Dobson, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It's a real north-south split today.

"Over high ground up to 10cms could have fallen over night, with the potential for the same amount again today.

"Even down to sea level there could be a covering of between one and four cms, very likely in Edinburgh.

"In the north of England there will be up to six cms overnight and a few more falling throughout the day, along with higher parts of north Wales.

"But south of the country there will be few showers but a lot of dry weather and some sunshine breaking through."

He added that the cold weather and snow storms across the north were likely to linger throughout the week and could even lead to blizzard conditions in Scotland.

It continues a cold month across the UK which has brought an unwelcome delay to Springtime weather.

Mr Dobson said that while snow is not uncommon for March, the continued cold weather is.

He said: "Whether you think that Spring officially starts on March 1 or March 21, this is certainly unusually cold for this time of year.

"It's very cold for mid-March when we should expect much higher temperatures.

"It's not unusual for it to snow in March, in fact we are far more likely to see snow at Easter than at Christmas.

"What is unusual for March is how persistent the cold weather and snow is."

He added that it is too early to predict a white Easter.

The cold weather is likely to bring more travel misery today.

Yesterday a number of key commuter routes were disrupted, including some south-east England journeys which were hit by a build-up of ice on the "third rail" from which trains get their power.

Services in Hampshire, Surrey and Kent were particularly affected, with a number of trains being delayed and cancelled, while passengers were left waiting for trains between Rugby, Northampton and London, and signalling problems in Glasgow led to delays.

Police closed the A66 across the Pennines between Bowes, County Durham, and Stainmore, Cumbria, because of heavy snow and Leeds Bradford International Airport was closed.

The bad weather will mean a cargo ship, MV Danio, which ran aground on Saturday on rocks near a lighthouse in the Farne Islands, three miles off the Northumberland coast, will stay put for at least a week.