Snow and gales bring disruption to UK
Snow has blocked roads and led to several rail services being suspended in Scotland, while a tornado has struck homes in Pembrokeshire in Wales.
More than 200 schools were closed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
There are yellow “be aware” warnings for ice, rain and wind across the UK and 70mph (112km/h) gales are forecast for England’s south and west coasts.
West Wales and west Devon are experiencing high winds and rain.
Storm force winds are predicted for Scotland and Northern Ireland, with low pressure from the east
bringing more snow and disruption later.
Police have advised motorists to take care when travelling on untreated roads. In other incidents caused by the weather conditions on Wednesday:
Twenty-four homes were hit by a tornado and two properties were struck by lightning during storms in Pembrokeshire, Wales overnight,
At least 90 schools are closed in the
Highlands, more than 100 are closed in Northern Ireland, and 16 are closed in mid-Wales Roads and local bus services are affected in the north-west of Northern Ireland and in Scotland – where two HGVs have jack-knifed
on the A9 In Wales, four people needed hospital treatment following car crashes, while other incidents involved a gritting lorry overturning in difficult conditions and a school bus skidding on ice Public transport is disrupted in Londonderry and ferry services to Rathlin Island, off the
coast of County Antrim, have been cancelled, At least three rail services are suspended in Scotland
BBC weather presenter John Hammond said: “Wet and windy weather is going to sweep across the
whole of the country on Wednesday evening and overnight.”
Heavy rain will spread from west to east and could cause localised flooding in some areas, he added.
Northern Ireland was affected by the rain from mid-afternoon on Wednesday, with the east coast
of England being reached by midnight.The harsh weather is set to continue on Thursday and into the weekend.
Met Office spokesman Jonathan Hunter said: “Tomorrow we may see wintry showers across the UK with sleet, snow and rain.
“There may be strong winds tomorrow but easing through the day. On Friday and towards the weekend it will be really cold and we may see some snow showers in the north and at high
Road operator Bear Scotland vowed its teams would be working around the clock to keep routes clear.
Police Scotland advised against travelling unless completely necessary.
Ch Insp Louise Blakelock said: “If you do decide to travel, ensure your vehicle is well-prepared before setting off, make sure your windscreens are
completely free of snow and ice, and your lights are working and clean.”
Scotrail said services would be suspended on a number of West Coast routes from 12:00 GMT on
Wednesday until 18:00 GMT on Thursday due to the stormy conditions being forecast.
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