Weather UK snow forecast – Met Office reveals EXACT DATE for White Christmas as blizzards & -5C chill to blast Britain

BRITS are being warned of a chilly start to the weekend, with parts of the UK set to feel FREEZING temperatures and heavy rain in the wake of Storm Barra.

The Met Office tweeted: "Once rain clears overnight, temperatures will drop to around #freezing across Scotland

"This brings the risk of #icy stretches forming on wet untreated surfaces.

"Please take extra care when travelling tonight and first thing on Friday morning."

Read our UK weather live blog for the latest news and updates….

  • Louis Allwood

    Long range forecast to early January

    Heading into the Christmas period, settled conditions are likely.

    Temperatures perhaps close to or slightly above average for this time of year, however some colder interludes may bring a risk of frost at times.

    The last week of December and into early January is looking to remain settled, with an increasing chance of frost and fog during clearer spells for Christmas and towards New Year.

  • Louis Allwood

    Sunday to Tuesday weather forecast

    Cloudy with rain at times, heaviest and most persistent in the west.

    Brighter conditions with showers likely at times in the northwest.

    Often dry and bright in the southeast. Mild.

  • Louis Allwood

    Frosty spells tonight

    Evening showers gradually fading leaving most areas dry, cold and frosty with clear spells.

    Probably a few fog patches over eastern England. Cloudier with rain in the far west later.

  • Louis Allwood

    You’ve been using your radiator all wrong

    The weather outside is frightful, and so are household energy bills this winter as they've risen by 70% in just the past few months.

    And the way you're using your radiator could be adding to your outgoings – pushing up your energy bill by hundreds of pounds.

    Many people go into autopilot mode when the weather gets colder, and instantly turn up the heating to battle the winter temperatures.

    Most households will regularly set their thermostat above 22°C, but that's higher than you need.

    BestHeating explains that the thermostat is there to maintain the internal temperature, whatever the weather, you just need it at a comfortable temperature, not an opposite extreme.

    Instead, if you lower the heating at the wall by just one degree, you can save hundreds of pounds according to experts.

    "Keep the thermostat down and at a steady temperature," says Will Owen, energy expert at Uswitch.

    "Turning the temperature down by just one degree could reduce your bills and potentially save you over £100 a year."

  • Milica Cosic

    UK weather outlook for Friday and Saturday

    Early spells of rain on Friday will soon clear eastwards. It will then be bright with sunny spells but there will be wintry showers in the north and west.

    Thick cloud cover will spread eastwards on Saturday bringing outbreaks of rain which will become heavy and widespread during the evening.

  • Milica Cosic

    Drivers should pack their cars with 5 essentials 

    DRIVERS have been urged to pack their cars with five winter essentials before hitting the road as Storm Barra hits the UK today.

    Storm Barra will no doubt bring with it dangerous road conditions, with slippery black ice increasing the risk of an out-of-control skid and accidents.

    Car insurance provider the AA has shared its essential list of cold journey must-haves – if travel in adverse weather is absolutely essential.

    In case of a breakdown, drivers have been told to bring with them a fully-charged phone to call for help.

    A flask of hot drink is another must-have to fend off the cold when stationary – while a torch can be used to help see as daylight hours get shorter.

    Meanwhile, in case an unfortunate skid sends them off the road, a shovel is needed to make sure drivers can free their cars if stuck in snow.

    The insurer also urges drivers to "fully de-ice" their vehicles prior to heading off – including clearing snow from the windows, lights and the roof to help with visibility.

  • Louis Allwood

    What is the weather looking like today?

    The Met Office have said that it will be a cold day with winds picking up.

    They said: "Early rain over the far east of the UK soon clearing. Otherwise, cold and windy with a mixture of sunny spells and showers, some heavy with hail and thunder.

    "Some eastern parts will miss the showers and stay dry."

  • Milica Cosic

    School's closed – can I take the day off work?

    Parents are entitled to take a reasonable amount of emergency unpaid time off work to look after your children is there is an unexpected disruption in their normal care arrangements.

    This could include the closure of a nursery or school due to adverse weather conditions.

    However, this time should be used to make alternative arrangements for their care instead rather than caring for your child.

    Many employers are more flexible though in these circumstances and will allow employees to take holiday at short notice or, if appropriate, to work from home or make the time up.

  • Milica Cosic

    UK weather for today and Saturday

    Be prepared to pack a rain jacket or umbrella wherever you go over the next few days.

    Early spells of rain on Friday will soon clear eastwards. It will then be bright with sunny spells but there will be wintry showers in the north and west.

    Thick cloud cover will spread eastwards on Saturday bringing outbreaks of rain which will become heavy and widespread during the evening.

  • Milica Cosic

    From rain to snow

    Freezing temperatures will turn rain to snow sparking warnings for eight inches to settle in parts of the nation. 

    Government forecasters have issued rain and wind warnings across Northern Ireland today with another wind alert in force in south-west England.

    Months of storm hell will be driven by warm North Sea waters feeding energy into low-pressure systems.

  • Milica Cosic

    Britain to be battered by SIX more storms this winter

    BRITS are braced to be battered by SIX more major storms through winter as the aftermath of Storm Barra sweeps the country. 

    Forecasters are warning that the next hammering of the UK is just around the corner – with freezing temperatures creating snowstorms. 

    A “perfect recipe” of warm North Sea waters and a La Nina cooling of the Pacific after a placid autumn will drive the misery.

    Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: “We are expecting one more major storm this month which will set the trend for coming months.

    “We expect five to six storms to hit through the winter period which could be severe enough to warrant naming."

  • Milica Cosic

    Weather over the next few days

    The Met Office has given us an insight into what the weather has in store for us over the next 10 days.

    Within the next few days, Brits will see the weather being more settled, with higher pressures and rain at times.

  • Milica Cosic

    School's closed – can I take the day off work?

    Parents are entitled to take a reasonable amount of emergency unpaid time off work to look after your children is there is an unexpected disruption in their normal care arrangements.

    This could include the closure of a nursery or school due to adverse weather conditions.

    However, this time should be used to make alternative arrangements for their care instead rather than caring for your child.

    Many employers are more flexible though in these circumstances and will allow employees to take holiday at short notice or, if appropriate, to work from home or make the time up.

  • Milica Cosic

    Explained: Who is eligible for a cold weather payment?

    You’re eligible for the cold weather payment scheme if you’re in receipt of one of the following benefits and meet certain criteria:

    • Pension credit
    • Income support
    • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
    • Income-related employment and support allowance
    • Universal Credit
    • Support for mortgage interest

    Depending on your specific circumstances, you may also need to meet one or more of the following additional criteria:

    • Have a disability or be in receipt of pension premium
    • Have a child who is disabled
    • Be in receipt of child tax credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
    • Have a severe or enhanced disability premium
    • Be in receipt of a limited capability for work amount
    • Have a child under five living with you

    What is the cold weather payment?

    The cold weather payment is dished out when temperatures are recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees or below, on average, for seven consecutive days.

    When temperatures drop between November 1 and March 31, eligible Brits are entitled to extra money to heat their homes when this happens.

    You get £25 for each seven-day period where the weather is below zero Celsius on average during this time frame.

    You can check if your area has had a cold weather payment by popping your postcode into the government's tool from November 1 onward.

    In 2020, four weather stations in Scotland had cold weather payments triggered by the start of December.

    By March 31 2021, the payments were triggered by 29 weather stations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, covering more than 470 postcodes.

    • Milica Cosic

      If I can't get to work because of Storm Barra, does my employer have to pay me?

      Sometimes snow makes the journey to work dangerous or downright impossible, leaving some people unable to commute.

      So, will you get paid if you can't make it in work? Unfortunately, there is no automatic legal right to be paid if you miss work due to bad weather.

      Employers are entitled to regard your absence as unauthorised, even if it is due to weather circumstances way out of your control.

      Travelling to work is your responsibility – but exceptions may be made if the company provide transport such as a bus service which is cancelled.

      Some employers may allow staff to use annual leave to cover the snow day or even work from home.

      However, it is important to remember your employer should not force or pressure you to unnecessarily attempt the journey if there are legitimate safety reasons why you should not travel.

    • Milica Cosic

      Barra won’t be as impactful as Arwen

      Met Office spokeswoman Nicky Maxey said: “We are not expecting the impacts of Barra to be as bad as we saw with Arwen.

      “Storm Barra will bring strong winds and heavy rainfall to many parts of the UK today.

      “We may see some snow on the higher ground, too.

      “It is unlikely to be as impactful as Storm Arwen last week but there will be blustery conditions so people should still be prepared.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Driver should be careful for debris on roads

      Storm Barra is bringing high winds and drivers should be alert to debris on the roads.

      Sean Sidley, AA patrol of the year, says: “Storm Barra has been battering the UK with strong winds today and it’s very likely trees and debris will be littering the roads. Drivers should be very cautious especially in rural or woody areas. If you see twigs or small branches on the road it could be a sign that a tree has fallen just around the bend, so pay extra attention to the path up ahead.

      “As always in windy weather, leave plenty of space behind other vehicles and adjust your speed to suit the conditions, especially when crossing bridges or passing high-sided vehicles.

      “There may be delays so make sure you bring essentials with you on your journey, even if it is only short, such as warm layers, a hot drink and fully charged mobile phone.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Storm Barra chaos follows in wake of Arwen

      The UK was pounded by strong wind and heavy rain overnight as Storm Barra swept through from the west, felling trees and leaving some areas without power.

      Counties in the south-west of England and in Wales remain under a yellow weather warning until 6pm on Wednesday, meaning residents face delays to transport and the risk of power outages.

      Bryngwyn Comprehensive School in Llanelli, Wales, has been forced to shut temporarily after gusts of more than 70mph ripped part of its roof off on Tuesday evening.

      No-one was injured as most people had left the premises, the school said, although Dyfed-Powys Police were called to the scene to deal with debris that had been blown onto a nearby road.

      Wind speeds of 86mph were recorded in Aberdaron, Gwynedd, just a week after a 81mph gust was recorded in Aberporth, Ceredigion, during Storm Arwen.

      Coastal communities were warned to take care when walking close to piers and harbours, with huge waves hitting seaside towns in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

    • Milica Cosic

      Is Storm Corrie next to wreak havoc?

      Storm Corrie could be named as more gales hit at the weekend and again early next week, said The Weather Company, the world’s biggest commercial forecaster.

      Leon Brown, head of meteorological operations at The Weather Company’s Weather Channel arm, said: “After Tuesday, another storm is likely to be named in the next week as very strong Atlantic jet stream winds create more deep low pressure areas.”

      The Met Office will name Storm Corrie when another Atlantic weather system has potential for amber warnings for wind, with rain or snow impacts also considered.

      A Met Office forecaster said: “It will often be windy and rather cold into Saturday. More strong winds will follow across the country, with hill snow likely in the North. Further ahead, the chance of gales persists.”

    • Milica Cosic

      How to apply for the cold weather payment

      You don’t need to apply for the cold weather payment as it’s paid automatically to those who are eligible.

      If you don’t receive a payment and believe you’re eligible then you can tell your pension centre or Jobcentre Plus office, or call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

      If you’re getting Universal Credit, you can also sign in to your account and add a note to your journal.

      If you go into hospital, this could affect your claim so make sure you tell someone using the contact details above.

      Low income households can get up to £140 towards their electricity bills with the government's warm home discount scheme.

      You can save money on your energy bill by turning off appliances – these are the seven worst to leave on standby.

      Wearing a jumper could slash £400 a year from your energy bills.

    • Milica Cosic

      UK weather outlook for Saturday & Sunday

      There will be early bright spells across eastern areas on Saturday however thick cloud will build in from the west bringing outbreaks of rain and drizzle.

      Sunday will continue to be generally dull and cloudy with patches of mist lingering.

      Spells of rain and drizzle, mostly in the south and west.

    • Milica Cosic

      Pictured: Waves on the sea front in Liverpool

      Waves on the sea front at New Brighton in Merseyside as Storm Barra hit the UK and Ireland with disruptive winds, heavy rain and snow.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Government launches UK power grid review in wake of Storm Arwen

      The Government will launch a review of the UK power grid's ability to weather storms, after Labour called for it to "take charge" in the wake of Storm Arwen.

      Many communities across the north of England and north east of Scotland were left without power for more than a week after the storm hit. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng described the delay in reconnecting the lights as "completely unacceptable".

      On Thursday, Mr Kwarteng launched a review into the resilience of the electricity network across Britain.

      The move comes after the opposition called on the Government to "take charge and carry out a full review", alongside one that has already been promised by the energy regulator Ofgem.

      Northern MPs have repeatedly raised concerns about the response time from both energy companies and the Government in the aftermath of the storm.

      Mr Kwarteng said: "I'm extremely grateful to the thousands of engineers, volunteers, armed forces personnel and emergency responders who worked tirelessly to get nearly one million people reconnected to power.

      "They did so with unbelievable professionalism in the face of one of the most extreme weather events in recent years."

      He added: "While I'm pleased all affected customers are now back online, it is completely unacceptable so many were left without power for so long.

      "There is an urgent need to identify and resolve a number of issues which came to light during the Storm Arwen response, and the review I've commissioned, alongside Ofgem's, will ensure any failings are addressed."

    • Joseph Gamp

      Ireland: Thousands left without power in wake of Storm Barra

      Around 3,000 homes and properties remain without power in the wake of Storm Barra.

      The storm battered parts of the island across Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving thousands without power, closing schools and causing considerable damage.

      ESB said that as of 5.40pm on Thursday, around 3,000 customers remain without power, with Kerry, Sligo and Leitrim worst affected.

      A spokesperson said: "ESB Networks has moved crews from less impacted areas of the country today to assist colleagues in the most severely impacted areas to reconnect customers as fast as they safely can.

      "Crews will continue to work into the night doing everything they can to restore power to as many remaining customers as possible.

      "Unfortunately, small pockets of customers will be without power overnight due to the severity of the damage and we apologise for the difficulty this causes."

      The major storm brought gusts of more than 130km per hour to parts of the country, toppling trees and causing localised flooding in some places.

      Schools in some counties remained closed for two days, only reopening on Thursday.

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