The Met Office has issued six yellow warnings for wind and snow affecting Scotland and Northern Ireland, which will be in place for more than 24 hours from 1pm on Wednesday until 3pm on Thursday. Strathclyde; Dumfries, Galloway, Lothian & Borders; Central, Tayside & Fife; Highlands & Eilean Siar; and Northern Ireland have all been affected. Temperatures across Scotland and Northern Ireland are expected to “drop sharply following a squally band of rain on Wednesday, with frequent heavy and blustery snow showers arriving from the Atlantic”.
Up to 10cm of snow could fall at low levels, which could treble to 30cm on higher ground in some places by Thursday morning.
But this will be accompanied extremely strong winds that could surge to as high as 70mph on the coasts.
The Met Office has warned there is a “small chance of injuries and danger to life from flying debris”, as well as damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs.
Longer journey times or cancellations are also possible, while some vehicles and passengers could become stranded, with more power cuts also not being ruled out.
The Met Office yellow warning states: “Temperatures across Scotland and Northern Ireland are expected to drop sharply following a squally band of rain on Wednesday, with frequent heavy and blustery snow showers arriving from the Atlantic.
“Away from immediate west-facing coasts, 2-5 cm, and in places 7-10 cm of snow is likely to build up even at low levels, whereas on higher ground some places could see 20-30 cm building up by Thursday morning.
“The showers will be accompanied by strong, blustery winds, with gusts of 50-60 mph possible, and a small chance of 70 mph on coasts.
“Blizzard conditions are likely over higher ground.
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“There is a very small chance that some of the showers could be accompanied by frequent lightning, which may could impact power supplies.
“Snow showers are increasingly likely to turn back to rain and sleet at low levels later Thursday morning and early afternoon, although remaining as snow above 200-300m.”
The Met Office has also issued yellow win warnings on Wednesday from 6am until 3pm for North East England; North West England; Yorkshire & Humber; and Dumfries, Galloway, Lothian & Borders in Scotland.
This warning states: “Winds over parts of SE Scotland and NE England will increase early Wednesday with gusts of 40 to 50mph expected widely, and very locally as high as 60 mph. This is likely to lead to some travel disruption before winds ease from the north during the afternoon.”
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Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin has warned of new weather systems coming in from the north west that are “intensifying” as they reach the UK, raising the possibility of problems arising from a combination of wind and snow.
He said: “We have to keep our eyes peeled for the middle part of the week.
“These weather systems get out of the way but the next ones are coming in from the north west so they are intensifying as they approach the UK.
“The isobars are squeezing together that little bit more, so gives the potential for some problems, either with the wind or with some snowfall or even a combination of both.
“On Thursday, there will be snow coming into Northern Ireland, Scotland and maybe over the hills of Northern England as well.
“Again, with the possible combination of snow and some strong winds, that means blizzards.”