Sub-zero Britain: ‘Troll of Trondheim’ sends temperatures plunging to -6C overnight


The UK has woken up to Arctic conditions this morning as temperatures continued to plummet overnight –  going as low as -9C.

In Scarborough it was so cold the town even received a light dusting of snow. 

Met Office experts have issued a number of weather warnings for the white stuff and ice for parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the east coast and south-west England over the coming days.

The forecaster extended Wednesday’s yellow weather warnings into Thursday and Friday, with ice in coastal and northern England, and both snow and ice expected in northern Scotland.

Some roads and railways are likely to be affected with longer journey times expected, it said.

There was snow in Scarborough this morning as families opened their curtains for first time

There was snow in Scarborough this morning as families opened their curtains for first time

Motorists woke up to discover their cars iced over and slippery conditions on the roads today

Motorists woke up to discover their cars iced over and slippery conditions on the roads today

The Arctic snap predicted had well and truly arrived this morning when people awoke today

The Arctic snap predicted had well and truly arrived this morning when people awoke today

One model suggested snow will hit the south of England and move north, bringing more 'significant snow', the Met Office said

One model suggested snow will hit the south of England and move north, bringing more ‘significant snow’, the Met Office said

Icy conditions may result in some slips and falls and there may be icy patches on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths, it added.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued a Level 3 cold weather alert covering England from Wednesday evening through to Monday.

The RAC motor services company also urged people to keep blankets in their vehicles in case they break down in icy conditions.

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.

Horses are exercised at first light on a frosty landscape at Epsom Downs in Surrey

Horses are exercised at first light on a frosty landscape at Epsom Downs in Surrey

Morning frost in Northolt this morning showed the ice on the grass, pavements and roads

Morning frost in Northolt this morning showed the ice on the grass, pavements and roads

Motorists will be getting their ice scrapers out this morning as they prepare to drive to work

Motorists will be getting their ice scrapers out this morning as they prepare to drive to work

Another model suggested the snow could be focused in the south of England. The presence of snow will depend on the movement of the low pressure system in the Atlantic

Another model suggested the snow could be focused in the south of England. The presence of snow will depend on the movement of the low pressure system in the Atlantic

A workman clearing a dusting of snow from the pavements in Tomintoul, Scotland, yesterday

A workman clearing a dusting of snow from the pavements in Tomintoul, Scotland, yesterday

A car battles an icy A939 in Scotland as an Arctic chill sweeps Britain throughout this week

A car battles an icy A939 in Scotland as an Arctic chill sweeps Britain throughout this week

Cold snap to last AT LEAST a week, Met Office warns 

Icy conditions with overnight double-digit sub zero temperatures in exposed parts of the UK could last for at least a week, the Met Office has said.

The forecaster extended Wednesday’s yellow weather warnings into Thursday and Friday, with ice in coastal and northern England, with both snow and ice expected in northern Scotland.

Arctic air, dubbed the Troll of Trondheim, will quickly move south during Wednesday, leaving most of the country in its grip by Thursday morning.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: ‘We are in this pattern for seven days at least.

‘We could see it continue for a while longer, there’s uncertainty in the evolution and how long it will last.

‘However, the pattern for the next seven days is that it will remain cold and we will see double digit minus figures overnight in areas that are prone to frosts and areas where there is lying snow.’

There was no expectation of widespread heavy snow, but wintry showers were expected during the cold spell, particularly on higher ground and by the coast, Mr Madge said.

Cold air from the north tended to contain less moisture than from the west, meaning less cloud cover and therefore lower overnight temperatures.

Mr Madge said although this will be a cold snap, it will not be as tough as the ‘hard December’ of 2010.

“However, the cold air from the Arctic will also bring brighter conditions, with some dry, sunny spells, particularly away from the coast and where winds are light it could feel pleasant in the sunshine. Some patchy freezing fog is also likely.

“Showers will turn more wintry with an increasing risk of snow as the week progresses, particularly in coastal areas or over higher ground.

“There will be widespread frosts with temperatures falling to as low as minus 10C overnight in isolated spots by the end of the week.”

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.”

A major incident was declared in Sheffield on Wednesday after about 2,000 homes in the suburb of Stannington were left without gas for five days, with overnight temperatures plummeting.

More than 100 engineers were working on the problem caused when a burst water main damaged a gas pipe on Friday, sending hundreds of thousands of litres of water into the gas network.

Nationally, Age UK advised people to maintain a supply of food and medicine to reduce the number of outdoor trips and torches with spare batteries in case of a power cut.

Homeless people in London will be sheltered after the severe weather emergency protocol was activated for the first time this winter to provide emergency accommodation for rough sleepers.

Up to four inches of snow are predicted to fall this week above 650ft with temperatures set to plummet. 

Dangerous conditions on the A969 in Scotland as the 'Troll of Trondheim' batters Britain

Dangerous conditions on the A969 in Scotland as the ‘Troll of Trondheim’ batters Britain

A gritter is pictured spreading salt across the M42 near Birmingham as a fresh blast of Arctic cold weather is set to batter Britain until Friday

A gritter is pictured spreading salt across the M42 near Birmingham as a fresh blast of Arctic cold weather is set to batter Britain until Friday

There is also a risk of wintry snow showers extending across the north and west of England, while freezing fog is also expected to develop by the weekend. Pictured: A car battles through snow covered streets in the village of Tomintoul in the Cairngorms today

A car battles through snow covered streets in the village of Tomintoul in the Cairngorms today

What is the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol? Everything you need to know

What is the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP)? 

SWEP is a temporary response to a heightened risk of death due to the weather. The alert requires social and healthcare services to target services for high-risk groups of people.

Is it the same as winter shelters?

No.  It is additional to winter shelters, because it is coordinated by the Local Authority, may open at any time of year and does not have restrictions on access.

Who delivers SWEP?

The Local Authority commissions SWEP. The provider varies depending on the local context – eg, SWEP sometimes forms part of a wider contract such as an expectation that communal space in a hostel will be opened. It may also be via B&Bs or hotels, or spot purchasing of beds in shelters or hostels.  

Who decides when to trigger SWEP?

Each Local Authority is responsible for triggering SWEP, and in some areas there is additional coordination. 

How does it work in London?

As well as individual borough responses, the Greater London Assembly commissions ‘overflow’ SWEP beds that open when London-wide SWEP has been activated and local SWEPs reach capacity. 

How long does SWEP last?

It’s up to the Local Authority. Some SWEPs will last for a single night and close as soon as the weather improves slightly. Others have a protocol that includes minimum opening. 

Some SWEPs make a commitment to offering shelter until the people accessing SWEP have been offered a route off the street, such as a bed in a non-emergency shelter or hostel. 

But forecasters warned even at lower levels, the mercury will drop and up to 2in of snow could fall. 

A strong northerly wind is also likely to produce ‘drifting and blizzard conditions’ in some areas, according to meteorologists.

‘In the southern half of Britain temperatures will probably plunge to between -5C and -10C in some locations and in the Welsh valleys they may fall below -10C,’ The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze told Express.

‘Forecast details become much more uncertain next week, but some computer models are showing areas of low pressure starting to push up from the southwest.

‘It is only one possible scenario being shown by computer models at the present time, but if it happens the chance of disruptive snow in the southern half of Britain will increase.’ 

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Jason Kelly, said that next week will see wintry showers, mainly for coasts, and freezing fog patches inland.

‘An area of low pressure may then threaten southern and southwestern parts of the UK through mid-week,’ he explained. 

‘Confidence in the exact track of this system is low, but should it push precipitation into the UK, then this would readily turn to snow, with a lower chance of freezing rain. 

‘How far north the milder air gets is also open to a lot of uncertainty, but for now, many central and northern areas are likely to remain in the Arctic airmass.’  

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: ‘We are in this pattern for seven days at least.

‘We could see it continue for a while longer, there’s uncertainty in the evolution and how long it will last.

‘However, the pattern for the next seven days is that it will remain cold and we will see double-digit minus figures overnight in areas that are prone to frosts and areas where there is lying snow.’

Wintry showers were expected during the cold spell, particularly on higher ground and by the coast, Mr Madge said.

Cold air from the north tended to contain less moisture than from the west, meaning less cloud cover and therefore lower overnight temperatures.

Mr Madge said although this will be a cold snap, it will not be as tough as the ‘hard December’ of 2010.

That winter, Britain faced record-breaking amounts of snow fall and average temperatures throughout the month slipped to a record -1C.



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