Amber weather warning hits home with snow set to trigger power cuts

Brrr-ace for more! Amber weather warning comes into effect with snow set to trigger power cuts, road closures and train cancellations after icy streets saw crashes across Britain ahead of -3C chill tonight – and big freeze set to last until Saturday

  • The UK has been battered by freezing temperatures and storms overnight
  • Yellow and amber warnings for ice and snow are in place in areas across Britain
  • The warnings have hit home with traffic chaos cause by black ice on the roads 
  • In Somerset, over 70 people were rescued as a double decker bus overturned

Yellow and amber warnings are place in regions across the UK today after freezing overnight temperatures caused traffic chaos for motorists and left households facing the prospect of power cuts.

The Met Office has also issued a yellow weather warning tomorrow for snow and ice covering the same affected areas of southern and western England, as well as northern Ireland, the Scottish Highlands and north Wales.

The Met states that ‘snow showers and icy stretches may cause some disruption, ‘ adding: ‘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.

Snow blankets the village of Hope near Chester, where 

A Ferrari supercar is smashed to pieces after a head-on collision today in Leeds, west Yorkshire

A driver was lucky to escape injury after a car skidded into a ditch in Whittlesey near Peterborough today

Yellow warnings are in place for Northern Ireland and Wales as well as large parts of England and Scotland. An amber warning for snow is in place in the Scottish highlands

‘Accumulations of a couple of centimetres are likely at low levels, with some of the higher ground seeing as much as 5-10 cm. 

‘In addition, icy stretches are likely to form following showers.’

A total of 53 crashes were reported to police between 6pm and 11pm yesterday, most of them due to the freezing weather causing dangerous driving conditions.

Seven of these incidents were reported to have resulted in injuries, but were not thought to be serious, police said.

A further 67 calls concerned other road-related incidents.

Overnight temperatures plunged as low as minus 9.8C (14.36F) in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, overnight as the cold snap continued, and could drop as low as -11C later this week.

Lows of minus 8.7C (16.34F) were recorded in Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, minus 8.4C (16.88F) in Katesbridge in County Down, Northern Ireland, and minus 7.7C (18.14F) in Sennybridge in Powys, Wales. 

 Injuries were reported on the bus after a crash on the A39. The vehicle was believed to be carrying around 80 people to work at Hinkley Point nuclear power station

A double decker bus has been flipped over onto its side on the A39 in Somerset after reportedly colliding with a motorcycle 

The A39 Quantock Road near Cannington, Somerset, has been closed while emergency services deal with the fallout from the scene

There were no fatalities at the scene of the crash, although a large number of ‘walking wounded’ were taken to hospital

The motorbike believed to have been involved in the crash with the bus travelling to Hinkley Point

The A28 in Kent has been closed after a truck blocked the road when it skidded on the ice

Today, a major incident was declared in Somerset after a double decker bus carrying 70 construction workers to the Hinkley Point C power station site overturned on the A39, but has since been stood down with no fatalities reported.

Treacherous conditions in Somerset saw more than 100 car crashes in just a few hours as drivers struggled to cope with the sudden drop to levels below freezing.

Last month, firefighters in Staffordshire came across a diesel heater which was being used to heat a home in Stoke-on-Trent.

Such heaters are typically used to warm-up caravans and small mobile homes, but with more people looking to find efficient energy saving methods, firefighters fear that the public may be putting themselves at an increased risk of falling victim to accidental fires.

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: ‘However tempting, such methods of heating should be avoided in order to protect yourself and loved ones from the potentially devastating impact of a house fire.’

A van believed to have been involved in the collision with the Ferrari lies on its side on the motorway

In Leeds, a Ferrari worth £500,000 was left a wreck after flipping from one side of a busy duel carriageway to the other and crashing head-on into a bus in the icy conditions this afternoon. 

The SF90 hypercar, known as the ‘quickest car of the decade’, was travelling on Leeds Inner Ring Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, around lunchtime.

Cops raced to the scene at 12.02pm after the shiny black hypercar was reduced to scrap in an accident with a Mercedes Sprinter van, which was flipped over by the incident,

The van came to rest on its side with the cab resting on the central reservation and the back end blocking two of the three lanes.

The supercar was reduced to mangled wreckage in the central lane.

The road was blocked from more than an hour until 1.09pm, causing traffic chaos.

The Ferrari owner was said by eyewitnesses to have lost control of his pride and joy in the freezing conditions, careered over the central reservation and hit the van causing it to topple over.

A major incident has been declared following the collision and police have urged the public to avoid the road 

Yet another vehicle had to be rescued after an accident in Shepton Mallet, Somerset today

A burst pipe near Brentwood, Essex forced part of the A12 to close as it turned to sheet ice

In Somerset, the double-decker bus taking 70 workers to Hinkley Point C power station overturned in ‘treacherous’ freezing conditions.

Avon and Somerset Police had declared a major incident after the crash on the A39 Quantock Road, in Bridgwater, which also involved a motorcyclist, due to the number of patients.

A ‘significant number’ of police, fire and ambulance units were sent to the scene and some trapped passengers had to be freed from the overturned bus.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: ‘Crews used hydraulic cutting equipment and small tools to extricate three casualties from the bus.’

Inspector Rebecca Wells-Cole, of Avon and Somerset Police, confirmed there had been no fatalities and said the major incident had been stood down.

Speaking at the scene, she said: ‘Fifty-four patients were triaged at the scene and it is too soon to confirm whether any of these patients have life-threatening injuries, however 26 patients are being treated as walking wounded.

‘A number of those treated at the scene had been taken to Musgrove Park Hospital, Bridgewater Minor Injury Unit and Southmead Hospital.’

Emergency services were called to the crash at around 6am on Tuesday.

Earlier, the force had urged people to ‘only travel if it is absolutely essential’ as it had received more than 100 reports of road-related incidents in five hours due to the ‘treacherous conditions’.

Ms Wells-Cole said: ‘It may take us some time to recover the bus and to clear the debris from the road.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to advise the local residents to only travel where absolutely essential due to the icy road conditions caused by the cold temperatures overnight and the excess water on the road.’

A driver passes a young mother on her bike with her two year old child in a trailer in Christchurch, Dorset

Drivers ignore road closures to try and pass through deep flood water on the B3347 by Christchurch in Dorset

A road was closed when a vehicle was turned over on the A37 at Shepton Mallet, Somerset 

A bus veered off the road and crashed into a lamppost in Blackpool as road accidents occurred across the country in the treacherous conditions 

A dusting of snow of the beach and cliffs at Holywell Bay in Cornwall earlier today 

Merseyside has also been hit by the cold snap this morning as snow continues to fall

Cornwall has seen a huge dump of snow overnight, causing disruption on the roads there

Heavy snowfall has covered roads and rooftops in Cornwall, which saw freezing temperatures last night 

A road in Kent has been blocked by a truck which lost control on the ice and skidded 

A jogger in Cambridge braves the cold for a run by the River Cam early this morning 

A cyclist faces the freezing conditions this morning in a frosty Blackheath Common in south London this morning

Snow covers the ground in Cornwall where temperatures plunged overnight to below freezing

The sudden dump of snow and ice on the roads has caused chaos in much of the south west of England today 

Temperatures plummeted across the country last night, with the coldest weather seen in Yorkshire where it was -9.8C

Amber warning issued in Scotland 

Snow is continuing to cause disruption across some parts of Scotland, and more is forecast.

More than 100 schools and nurseries in Shetland, the Highlands and Aberdeenshire have been forced to close on Tuesday due to snow and icy conditions.

Road temperatures remain below 0C across the north and north-east, and Traffic Scotland has advised drivers in Moray, Angus, the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen city to use caution when travelling.

Officials said gritters are working around the clock to keep roads safe.

Aberdeenshire Council tweeted: ‘Gritters have been out since 5.40am treating all primary routes, followed by secondary routes and priority footpaths. Please take extra care on the roads today.’

Meanwhile, a Met Office warning for snow has been upgraded to an amber alert for the Highlands and Grampian, including Aberdeen, from 3pm on Tuesday until midnight.

The amber warning says there will be heavy snow which could lead to travel disruption, with rail delays and cancellations likely and a chance that some rural communities could be cut off.

Power cuts are also likely and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said on Tuesday: ‘A yellow warning for snow and ice, which cover the whole of northern-east and north-west in Scotland as well as the northern isles as well, started yesterday and runs all the way through to 9am tomorrow morning.

‘We’ve also issued an amber warning this morning within that area covering from Aberdeen along through to Inverness up to northern parts of Scotland, not quite reaching the coastline.’

The Met Office also advised that people keep an eye on the forecast throughout the week as it is ‘likely’ more warnings will be issued.

The Scottish Avalanche Information Service has increased the avalanche hazard alert in five areas, Glencoe, Creag Meagaidh, Lochaber, north Cairngorms and Torridon, to ‘considerable’, meaning there is a possibility of a natural avalanche occurring.


The crash comes after places including Yorkshire, Northumberland and the north of Scotland woke up to huge dumps of snow and frost this morning, with the cold weather set to continue throughout this week. 

Thousands face travel chaos this morning as snow and ice cover the roads in places.

A section of the A30 in Devon has been blocked up by snow, according to Cornwall and Devon police, affecting tens of thousands of drivers.

In Kent, a road was blocked by truck which lost control on the ice became stuck, stopping traffic in both directions.

Elsewhere in Addleston, mud flowed onto a train track and dramatically evaporated into steam as it covered the live rail. 

Avon and Somerset Police said this morning they are advising the public to only travel if essential after the force received more than 100 reports of road-related incidents in five hours.

A total of 53 road traffic collisions were reported to police between 6pm and 11pm on Monday evening, with the majority being a result of the freezing weather causing dangerous driving conditions.

The force said seven of the incidents were reported to have resulted in injuries but they are not thought to be serious.

A further 67 calls were received for other road-related incidents.

Superintendent Mark Runacres said: ‘We are advising the public to only travel where absolutely essential due to the treacherous driving conditions.

‘If travel is necessary, we ask the public to take extreme caution and allow additional time to travel.

‘We have seen a significantly higher number of road-related collisions and incidents in the past 12 hours, which has increased the demand on police resources.

‘We are working with local authorities and National Highways to ensure roads are properly gritted ahead of the rush hour traffic to improve driving conditions.’

The Met Office has said all of England will continue to experience cold weather until 9am on Friday.

Forecasters issued a yellow warning for ice across southern England which is in place until 10am this morning, with ice likely to cause difficult driving conditions.

A separate yellow warning for snow and ice is also in place in Cornwall and Devon until 10am.

At just after 3am, Devon and Cornwall Police tweeted: ‘Police are urging drivers to travel with caution as heavy snow showers sweep across the region.

‘£A30 Carland Cross near Newquay is currently blocked due to snow, Highways are aware. Please allow extra time for any journey and drive with care.’

Just before 4.30am, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service tweeted: ‘We’ve had reports that vehicles are getting stuck in snow on the A39 at Trispen and A391 at Bugle.

‘Please take extra care on the roads as driving conditions are hazardous. If necessary, pull over if it is unsafe to continue.’ 

A snow-covered graveyard in Cornwall this morning as the region is hit by the latest cold snap

The extreme temperatures are set to continue, and could drop as low as -11C later this week 

Forecasters issued a yellow warning for ice across southern England which is in place until 10am on Tuesday morning. Pictured: Blackheath Common, south London 

Travel disruption is expected to continue throughout the week as temperatures remain low 

Striking photos show how the snow has blanketed parts of the country after a dump last night

The Met Office has also issued a yellow warning for snow and ice across parts of Northern Ireland, north-west England and Wales from 12pm on Monday until 12pm on Tuesday.

Separate yellow warnings for snow and ice are in place in Scotland until 9am on Tuesday.

Hill walkers rescued from Loch Lomond peak

Two hill walkers were rescued in ‘very challenging’ conditions on an iconic Perthshire peak.

Rescuers said it was a ‘tricky extraction’ that ‘took a significant amount of skill and time to get the casualties to safety’.

Killin Mountain Rescue Team team were called out on Sunday by Forth Valley Police to assist the two walkers on 3852ft high Ben More near Crianlarich.

It is the highest peak in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

The team said in a statement: ‘The initial reports from one of the casualties was that the two had summitted Ben More, but on their descent the two had become separated in the mist, possibly resulting in one of them having taken a fall.

‘The team rescue coordinators managed to achieve communication with both casualties, and were able to ascertain that both had become crag fast [trapped], but were ok.

‘A hill party of team members was deployed to locate the casualties. 

‘This was a tricky extraction for the team members and it took a significant amount of skill and time to get the casualties to safety and down to the waiting support unit.

‘Our volunteers are delighted to have brought both casualties safely down and wish the individuals involved well and hope that this experience, albeit a learning curve, will not put them off from enjoying the mountains we all love.’

The team members were also fed and watered with fish and chips from The Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan activated the capital’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to provide emergency accommodation for rough sleepers on Monday, as temperatures in the city are expected to fall below 0C overnight.

The Met Office has warned that ‘snow showers and icy stretches may bring some disruption’ and could lead to longer journeys for drivers and train passengers.

It said treacherous conditions could also lead to slips and falls on icy surfaces, and urged drivers and cyclists to beware of icy patches on untreated roads.

Parts of the country were hit with freezing temperatures as low as -8C and -9C in south Wales and Yorkshire. 

Temperatures could plunge as low as -11C in the next few days as wintry conditions return following weeks of mild weather.

The extreme forecast prompted the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) to urge people to wear several thin layers and consume plenty of hot drinks if they’re feeling the chill in the coming days, and to be mindful of vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours who might need checking on.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, said: ‘Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly older people and those with pre-existing health conditions, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.

‘During this period, it is important to check in on family, friends and relatives who may be more vulnerable to the cold weather.

‘If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat your home to at least 18C if you can.’

An ice warning is in place for south England until 10am, with Cornwall also under a snow warning for the same time period as rain could turn to snow.

There is a warning for snow and ice across north Wales, as well as Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, which is in effect until midday. The same warning is in place across Northern Ireland at the same times.

Large parts of Scotland, including the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and the Shetland Islands, are covered by a yellow snow and ice warning until 9am on Wednesday, with the Met Office warning snow could turn heavy at times.

All these areas will see tricky conditions on the roads and on public transport, with people being urged to take care when travelling.

Jason Kelly, the chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: ‘Cold, icy and sometimes snowy conditions are in the forecast this week, with the UK seeing more of a north-westerly regime, with temperatures well below average for the time of year.

‘Wintry showers are likely at points through the week in the north of England. Warnings have been issued, and ice is likely to be a hazard for much of the week with some tricky travel conditions possible.

‘Maximum temperatures will largely only reach the low single figures, with temperatures below freezing through most nights this week.’

The RAC said there has been a ‘huge spike’ in breakdowns on Tuesday due to icy conditions. 

A spokesperson said: ‘Even though the weather is largely dry in most places, today is proving far busier than yesterday, which is unusual as Monday is generally the biggest day for breakdowns. 

‘Flat batteries are the top reason for drivers calling us out as cars with older ones finally give up the ghost in the cold. 

‘Ice, and in some areas snow, are the biggest risks for drivers this week – particularly on stretches of road that haven’t been treated. 

‘It’s vital everyone slows down and gives themselves time to plenty of time to brake and react in the event something unexpected happens.’

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