Drivers have been urged to take care on the roads and expect treacherous conditions as temperatures plunge and snow and ice hit parts of the UK.
The Met Office has issued weather warnings for snow and ice for parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the east coast and south-west England over the coming days and warned that roads and railways are likely to be affected. And the RAC has urged drivers to make sure they are prepared for car trouble, breakdowns and delays.
The Met Office has extended its yellow weather warnings for snow and ice to cover the rest of the week and said that temperatures in some isolated areas could drop as low as -10C. At the same time, the UK Health Security Agency issued a Level 3 cold weather alert covering England from Wednesday evening through to Monday.
Forecasters said they expected icy conditions in coastal and Northern England and snow in northern parts of Scotland, both of which will lead to trickier conditions on the roads, especially on quieter routes not treated by gritters.
Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said: “As an Arctic maritime airmass settles across the UK, temperatures will fall with widespread overnight frosts, severe in places, and daytime temperatures only a few degrees above freezing. Showers will turn more wintry with an increasing risk of snow as the week progresses, particularly in coastal areas or over higher ground.”
The RAC said drivers should ensure their cars were prepared for the wintry conditions and pack basic cold-weather kit in case they break down or are stuck in traffic. RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “With temperatures plummeting this week, many drivers might be taken aback by the cold after an exceptionally mild autumn. Our advice is to be winter ready – check tyres are properly inflated and with good tread, while topping up oil, coolant and screen wash levels if needed.
“Drivers with older batteries in their cars might also wish to give their vehicle a 20-minute drive before colder conditions arrive to ensure the battery can cope with sub-zero temperatures.
“It’s also worth having a fully charged mobile phone and carrying a blanket in case of a breakdown to keep warm.”