Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody fears he’ll develop dementia like his dad

‘I forget my lyrics on stage’: Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, 43, fears he’ll develop dementia like his father as he reveals he practises memory exercises to stave off the ‘horrible’ disease

Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody has admitted he fears he’ll develop dementia as he forgets the lyrics to his songs while performing on stage.

In a new interview, the musician, 43, detailed his father Jack’s battle with the ‘horrible’ disease and revealed he practises memory exercises to reduce his own risk.

The multi-instrumentalist shared: ‘My dad has dementia and I’ve always had memory problems. That’s been a lifetime problem. I’m sure that it will run to me and that’s why I’m trying to get on top of it in my forties, rather than leave it any later.’

Candid: Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody has admitted he fears he’ll develop dementia as he forgets the lyrics to his songs while performing on stage (pictured in August)

Snow Patrol’s lead singer explained he has been keeping busy by completing daily memory tasks, such as learning all the UN countries, to stave off dementia.

The media personality told The Sun: ‘Hopefully I’ve got a few years yet before that affects me. Memory is close to my heart and on my mind. I’ve been trying to do memory exercises. I hope at some point that will connect tissue when I’m on stage. Something disconnects me from the lyrics when I’m there.’

His father – who lives with his wife Linda in Northern Ireland – was diagnosed with the disease back in 2015, and is now in the advanced stage of the disease.

Last year, the Chasing Cars singer shed light on his dad’s battle in the band’s single Soon, which features the lyrics: ‘Soon you’ll not remember anything/But then some day neither will I/Tomorrow though is nothing to fear/Because father it’s always today.’ 

‘It takes away the people that you love’: In a new interview, the musician, 43, detailed his father Jack’s battle with the ‘horrible’ disease

Efforts: Snow Patrol’s lead singer explained he has been keeping busy by completing memory tasks (pictured with Johnny McDaid, Nathan Connolly, and Paul Wilson in 2016)

Gary has admitted he’s ‘worried’ for both his parents as while his dad is suffering with dementia, his mother witnesses the effects of the disease every day.

Reflecting on his upbringing, the Called Out in the Dark hitmaker revealed Jack was a member of the civil service and Linda worked three jobs so he could be educated at a private school.  

‘I didn’t realise how tight they had it. That kind of dedication is something I’m so grateful for… it’s a horrible disease and insidious. It takes your memories from you, it takes your life, takes the people that you love and love you from you’, he added.

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders, that is, conditions affecting the brain. 

Touching: His father – who lives with his wife Linda in Northern Ireland – was diagnosed with the disease back in 2015, and Gary revealed he dedicated his 2018 song Soon to him

There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. 

The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, of which more than 500,000 have Alzheimer’s. 

It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025 will rise to over 1 million. 

In the US, it’s estimated there are 5.5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expected in the coming years. 

Preparations: The belter has revealed he’ll use an autocue for his Reworked UK tour later this year as it’s ‘better to have them there in case I forget’ (pictured in August)

Gary and his band are set to release their eighth studio album, Reworked, on November 1, shortly before they embark on a tour across the UK until early December. 

The belter has revealed he’ll have an autocue for his string of performances as it’s ‘better to have them there in case I forget’. 

He elaborated: ‘I don’t tend to look down at them that much but I just feel it’s better to have it there in case I have a complete brain freeze.’ 


Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders


Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders, that is, conditions affecting the brain.

There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

Some people may have a combination of types of dementia.

Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own unique way.

Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age.


The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, of which more than 500,000 have Alzheimer’s.

It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025 will rise to over 1 million.

In the US, it’s estimated there are 5.5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expected in the coming years.

As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.

Rates of diagnosis are improving but many people with dementia are thought to still be undiagnosed.


Currently there is no cure for dementia.

But new drugs can slow down its progression and the earlier it is spotted the more effective treatments are.

Source: Alzheimer’s Society 

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TV & Movies

Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow originally set for incestuous romance with Arya Stark in stomach-churning axed scenes – The Sun

GAME of Thrones has aired its fair share of incest, but in George RR Martin’s original vision, there was even more.


Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Arya Stark’s (Maisie Williams) relationship was initially set to be romantic, culminating in a controversial affair.

The book outline sent to publishers back in 1993 saw Arya fleeing to the Night’s Watch for safety while Jon was commander, having succeeded his uncle.

While he was initially compelled to send her away, love blossomed, leading to some major bombshells about Jon’s ancestry surfacing.

“When Winterfell burns, Catelyn Stark will be forced to flee north with her son Bran and her daughter Arya,” the summary read.

"Wounded by Lannister riders, they will seek refuge at the Wall, but the men of the Night's Watch give up their families when they take the black, and Jon and Benjen will not be able to help, to Jon's anguish.”

Jon and Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) were supposed to clash over the rejection, while the explosive confrontation would’ve served as the catalyst for Arya’s feelings.

"Arya will be more forgiving… until she realizes, with terror, that she has fallen in love with Jon, who is not only her half-brother but a man of the Night's Watch, sworn to celibacy,” Martin continued.

“Their passion will continue to torment Jon and Arya throughout the trilogy, until the secret of Jon's true parentage is finally revealed in the last book."

Given that Jon’s birth parents later emerge to be Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, Arya is his cousin rather than his half-brother.

Nonetheless, a romantic relationship would’ve been a marked departure from the sibling bond that fans grew to love in the TV adaptation.

Martin has also originally intended for Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) to fall in love with Arya, subsequently damaging his relationship with Jon.

Meanwhile Sansa was set to betray the Starks and bear the tyrannical Joffrey's child before his assassination.

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Fake snow could be used to keep spectators cool at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are testing using fake snow to keep spectators cool in the summer heat.

Tokyo regularly sees temperatures of 35 degrees centigrade and 80% humidity in July, prompting concerns that spectators could suffer heatstroke.

Organisers of the Games have therefore invested in a machine that makes snow by crushing ice and mixing it with air, and then spraying it over the crowd.

The machine was tested at a canoeing event in the Japanese capital on Friday. Around 300kg of artificial snow was sprayed over stands for a period of five minutes

The fake snow arced high into the air before showering down over around 150 spectators at the Sea Forest Waterway venue.

Some in the crowd grimaced as the snow came pelting down, but most seemed to enjoy it.

However, it reportedly had no effect on the air temperature, which was 25.1 degrees centigrade before the snow – and exactly the same afterwards.

"The organising committee want to try all we can to mitigate the heat, and this is one of the ideas that we came up with," said Taka Okamura, a senior director at the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.

"It isn't going to lower the air temperature, but hopefully the ice will make the people it hits feel cooler."

Olympic chiefs have been developing cooling strategies since Tokyo was awarded the Games in 2013.

Other ideas already tried out at other events include vapour sprays, shaded or air-conditioned rest areas, umbrella hats and the distribution of water and ice packs.

Okamura declined to say how much it would cost to deploy snow machines across the whole games and said tests were ongoing.

Organisers have said they will start marathons at 6am to avoid midday heat.

Major roads on much of the 26-mile (42 km) route will be painted with a resin designed to reflect infrared rays and cut temperatures by as much as 8 degrees centigrade.

At a beach volleyball test event this July, the wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), which factors in temperature, humidity, wind speed and solar radiation, rose as high as 31.7.

That exceeds the 31 threshold at which authorities advise citizens against exercise.

Last month, heat concerns prompted the International Triathlon Union to shorten the distance of the run segment in a qualifying event in Tokyo for the Olympics.

Athletes competing in the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships were treated for heatstroke several days before that decision.

The 2020 Summer Olympics will run from 24 July to 9 August, with the Paralympics scheduled from 25 August to 6 September.

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World News

First snow of season falls in Utah, Wyoming as mountain areas of Nevada see light accumulation

Farmers’ Almanac: Winter will be ‘teeth-chattering’ cold

Get ready for a rough winter as The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting a ‘colder-than-normal’ season from the Continental Divide on eastward, complete with ‘teeth-chattering’ cold arriving in mid-February in the Northeast, Great Lakes, and even into the Southeast.

There may still be nearly two weeks of summer officially left, but winter is making its comeback.

High-elevation areas of Utah and Wyoming saw their first snow of the season on Tuesday, while mountain locals in Nevada near Lake Tahoe also saw a taste of frozen precipitation.

The National Weather Service's Salt Lake City office tweeted the "the first fall-like storm of the season" was making its way through the state through Wednesday. The storm was bringing widespread rain and "much cooler temperatures," including a dusting of snow in higher northern mountain locations.


"It begins," the NWS said in another tweet. "Showers this morning have brought some light snow to some areas above 10,000 feet, including Bald Mountain Pass in the Uinta Mountains."

A photo from a Utah Department of Transportation traffic camera showed the Bald Mountain area on the Mirror Lake Highway about 50 miles east of Salt Lake City covered in a light dusting.

Snow can be seen falling in the Bald Mountain Pass area of Utah, located in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
(Utah Department of Transportation)

In Wyoming, the NWS said a "potent early fall storm" was delivering "significant" amounts of precipitation to the area through Wednesday night, including rain that is forecast to turn to snow and continue throughout the day.


Between one to three inches of snow was expected above 8,000 feet in the Teton and Gros Ventre Mountains, with four to 10 inches expected in elevations above 10,000 feet. Up to two inches of snow was also expected in Yellowstone National Park.

"Hikers and campers should prepare for winter conditions," the NWS said.


Further west, the NWS Reno shared a photo from a Nevada DOT camera from about 8,550 feet along Mt. Rose Highway near Lake Tahoe that showed a light coating of snow along a roadway.

"The 'S' word on MT. Rose in the Reno area!!" the NWS Elko said.

While the cool air has plunged in the region, don't expect it to stick around for long. Temperatures are forecast to climb back to and above seasonable levels by this weekend, according to AccuWeather.

The late-summer snowfall may be a sign of what to expect in the months ahead. The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting that "bitterly cold winter conditions" will be in place from areas east of the Rockies all the way to the Appalachians, with the coldest outbreak of the season arriving during the final week of January and lasting through the beginning of February.

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A dancing cockatoo called Snowball is rewriting the rules of science

A jiving, headbanging, grooving sulphur-crested cockatoo has become the new superstar of science.

Snowball may never have had a dance lesson in his life but he wowed researchers with 14 different moves as he bopped along to 80s classics.

The cockatoo was filmed swinging from side to side, lunging and lifting his foot as he moved to Another One Bites The Dust and Girls Just Want To Have Fun.

Scientists from the United States believe his ‘remarkably diverse spontaneous movements’ show that dancing is not limited to humans but a response to music when certain conditions are present in the brain.

Parrots are vocal learners whose brains contain strong auditory-motor connections.

Writing in Current Biology magazine, the authors said the key question was how Snowball acquired his dance skills, with parrots able to imitate movements. They suggest: ‘Another possibility is that some moves may reflect creativity. This would also be remarkable, as creativity in non-human animals has typically been documented in behaviours aimed at obtaining an immediate physical benefit, such as access to food or mating opportunities.

‘Snowball does not dance for food or in order to mate; instead, his dancing appears to be a social behaviour used to interact with human caregivers (his surrogate flock).’

The videos were filmed in 2008, when Snowball was 12, and he became a YouTube sensation, with clips of him grooving viewed millions of times. An initial study published shortly afterwards showed he could keep to a beat, but later his owner and study author, Irena Schulz, noticed him displaying a greater range of movements.

Researchers revisited the footage after a 2016 study on the evolution of dance inspired them to think about its wider significance.

During the 23 minutes of music, Snowball’s owner was present and offered encouragement in the form of an occasional ‘Good Boy’, but did not dance.

He danced in three to four-second snippets, moving differently each time he heard a particular tune, a sign of flexibility. Analysis of his moves revealed them to be clearly intentional but not an ‘efficient means of achieving any plausible external goal’.

The researchers suggest that spontaneous dance movements arise when five traits, which parrots share with humans, are present. These include attentiveness to communicative movements, the ability to imitate them and a tendency to form long-term social bonds.

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TV & Movies

Jon Snow Looks Like He Can't Pick Between Dany and His Sisters in These New 'GoT' Teasers

Yo, yo, yo! Only four days until the next episode of Game of Thrones (but who’s counting?) and HBO just released new teaser pics that have major potential spoilers for the episode.

I’m not gonna pull a Jon Snow and be useless/waste your time, so let’s dive into these, shall we?

First things first, there’s a wide shot of what seems like the entire crew of people who survived the Battle for Winterfell. It’s dark, which makes it look like it must have been taken right after the battle (because, morning), and it looks like they’re about to burn all the dead bodies. Depresso. The thing about this picture that’s important is that it contains a pretty easy inventory of who survived.

You’ve got Jon, Tormund, Grey Worm, Dany, Samwell, Bran, Varys, Sansa, Arya, Tyrion, Missandei, Pod, Jaime and Brienne. It’s kind of hard to make them all out because of the lighting, but if you zoom in you can see ’em all, accounted for.

Next, we’ve got this picture of Dany looking weirdly hopeful while hanging out with one of her dragons. She’s looking up at something. Maybe that’s her other dragon flying up above? TBD. Also, she’s not wearing any fur in this shot, which could mean they’re gearing up to go south, where it’s warmer.

Here’s where things get really interesting. There is a series of group shots showing the aftermath, and on the one side we have Team Stark, and on the other we have Team Targaryen, and Jon is noticeably absent from both those pics…

But there is this pic of him by himself…

Which makes it seem like he’s having trouble choosing between his family and Dany (who is also technically family because she’s his aunt, and his girlfriend, confusing!) IDK. Or you could chalk it up to weird camera angles.

Here’s a fun pic of Dany, Varys, and Missandei plotting their trek to King’s Landing. Whoever is talking, they’re listening VERY intently.

And here’s a pic of Cersei and Euron, basically being terrible humans. Cersei’s wearing the Lannister colors (gold and burgundy), which she hasn’t done in a while.

If you came out of last week’s episode thinking Jon/Dany were screwed when they went to King’s Landing you’re definitely not alone, but it’s possible you forgot about Dany’s entire fleet of ships… which would obviously help them in a potential battle.

It’s hard to tell whether they’re starting their journey or finishing it. Either way, there’s some travel coming.

Okay! Have fun spending the next four days of your dissecting these!

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World News

UK weather forecast: 10cm snow TODAY as 90mph Storm Gareth strikes Britain – map shows where blizzards will hit

The Met Office says that there is a "danger to life" with 'severe' weather warnings for rain and wind for nearly all of UK – and snow forecast in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Several people have been caught in an avalanche on Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain, today after heavy snowfall hit Scotland.

There were severe delays to the ferries at the Port of Dover with lorries queuing up due to the bad weather affecting crossings.

The second day of the Cheltenham Festival is under threat with the racecourse due to carry out a morning inspection on Wednesday.

It is feared winds of around 50mph could put temporary structures in danger of being blown over.

Met Office forecaster Bonnie Diamond said an "explosive" cyclone "is seeing the Atlantic storm deepen rapidly."

She added: “We expect structural damage to buildings, trees blown down, large waves on coasts and possible power cuts. People should be aware of warnings.

“Gusts of 70-80mph and possibly 90mph over higher ground are forecast – highest in western Scotland.

“But very windy conditions will also affect the rest of the country – with 55-60mph gusts inland in the north and 35-50 mph in the south, peaking on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.”

John Hammond, chief meteorologist for Weathertrending told The Sun Online: “Cold air is sweeping in from the northwest today and will be with us through Wednesday too.

“The Western Highlands will bear the brunt, with up to 5-10cm on the higher mountains – mostly above road level – for a time today.

“Highest roads and settlements in Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England may see some temporary accumulations of up to 5cm today.

“Snowdonia may see brief accumulations of 2-5cm, but this is most likely above main road level.”

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But major problems look unlikely with Mr Hammond adding: “While the air will feel very cold because of the strong winds, it won’t be as cold as we saw at the weekend, and therefore snow will be more limited. Major disruption looks unlikely.”

Forecasters also said 2in-2.4in (50mm-60mm) of rain was possible over higher ground in Cumbria.

Some of those downpours are expected to contain sleet and wet snow as well as hail in the showers.

Storm Gareth is already causing some travel disruption.

London City Airport is already warning passengers to expect “delays and cancellations” to some flights.

In the West Country the storm has already caused power blackouts and fallen trees blocking roads.

The main trainline through Dawlish, Devon, has been closed.

Highways England said officers were dealing with severe flooding on the northbound entry slip road to Charnock Richard services off the M6 in Lancashire, while a lane was closed on the M6 southbound near junction 33, at Hampson Green in Lancashire, because of a flood.

The Environment Agency said staff had been working through the night in Cumbria and Lancashire to monitor rain and river levels.

It said on Twitter: "We've been out throughout the night clearing grids & removing debris in #Cumbria & #Lancs to reduce flood risk during #stormgareth.

"Rain is falling on already wet catchments, therefore it's important that people do remain vigilant, be prepared & know your risk."

After the rain clears, the storm is expected to bring strong winds, with a chance of damage to buildings, power cuts and travel problems.

The Met Office has predicted the winds will hit Northern Ireland at about 3pm on Tuesday, with a yellow warning for all of England and Wales and some parts of Scotland from 9pm.


The warnings remain in force until Wednesday.

A yellow weather warning for rain is also in place in parts of northern England on Thursday and Friday.

The storm, caused by a deep area of low pressure, was named by Met Eireann, the Irish weather service, and is the third named storm this year after Storm Erik in February and Freya earlier this month.

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Heavy rain and possible flooding today as Met Office warns of severe weather

Severe weather warnings are in place for parts of south Wales and southwest England which will be battered by heavy rain and strong winds.

More than two inches of rain could fall in some places from Tuesday afternoon, triggering fears of flooding and possibly disrupting commutes in the evening and Wednesday morning.

It comes a week after the UK basked in record 21C warmth during a rare winter heatwave that lasted several days.

The weather has taken a turn for the worse since then, with Storm Freya battering much of the country on Sunday and snow falling over high ground in Scotland and England – and it’s expected to continue through most of March.

In its yellow warning for rain, the Met Office said heavy rain will fall across south Wales and southwest England from late Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday morning.

It said 20-30mm (about an inch) will fall quite widely, while 40-50mm (just under 2ins) is expected over higher ground such as the Brecon Beacons and Dartmoor.

Exposed sites could see 60mm (2.4ins).

The Met Office said in a statement: "Rain will affect much of south Wales and southwest England from late Tuesday afternoon, overnight into Wednesday morning before clearing.

"20-30mm of rain is likely to fall quite widely whilst over the higher ground of south Wales and southwest England, such as the Brecon Beacons and Dartmoor 40-50mm is expected, with most exposed sites perhaps seeing 60mm. 

"Strong winds are also expected perhaps enhancing impacts in places."

The Met Office said flooding of homes and businesses is likely, power cuts are possible and spray and flooding on roads will probably disrupt travel.

A number of flood alerts are in place.

Which areas are affected?

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for heavy rain for the following areas.

Southwest England: Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth.

Wales: Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan.

Met Office five-day weather forecast


Some showers in Northern Ireland, northern England and Scotland, which may bring some sleet or snow on high ground in Scotland.

Elsewhere a mainly bright day, although with heavy rain and strong winds arriving later in southwest England and Wales.

Tuesday night

Heavy rain spreading across England and Wales, with coastal gales in the south, reaching Northern Ireland and southern Scotland overnight.

Elsewhere in Scotland, rain and snow clearing with patchy frost.


Rain and hill snow across the far north of England and Scotland.

Sunshine and showers in Northern Ireland and northwest Scotland.

Heavy, blustery showers across England and Wales, possibly thundery.

Thursday to Sunday

Changeable with spells of wet and windy weather , and some drier and brighter intervals.

Hill snow is possible in the north at times, and frost is likely overnight on Thursday.

Rain and snow next week

Wet and windy weather will continue to hammer the UK next week.

Here is the Met Office’s outlook for Saturday 9 March to Monday 18 March: "Saturday is looking windy with gales or severe gales as cloud, rain and hill snow push eastwards across the UK, sunny spells and showers following into the west.

"Further showers likely on Sunday, perhaps some more persistent rain or hill snow for a time.

"As temperatures drop below average for the time of year there will be an increasing risk of hail, sleet and snow to lower levels, mainly in the north.

"The following week will start unsettled with further some rain, sleet and snow.

"There may be a more settled interlude later Monday into Tuesday but further spells of wet weather will push in through the rest of the period.

"It will be windy with gales or even storm force winds with temperatures below average, especially in the north."

When will the weather improve?

Spring will arrive on March 20, and not a moment too soon.

Here is the Met Office’s forecast for Tuesday 19 March to Tuesday 2 April: "The unsettled weather affecting much of the UK at the start of this period is expected to gradually become confined to the north and northwest.

"It should turn increasingly settled in the south with the drier weather perhaps spreading nationwide by the start of April.

"It will be windy at times with the continuing risk of gales in the north and northwest, especially at first.

"The windy spells should become less frequent though with often light winds in the south.

"Temperatures will be near normal or rather cold at times, meaning some rural frost and fog is possible.

"However, there should be an overall trend for temperatures to rise from the south."

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Storm Freya hits Britain with 90mph gale-force winds causing travel chaos

Storm Freya has hit Britain, with winds of nearly 90mph forcing a motorway to close and rivers to burst their banks.

Highways officials have shut the M4 in both directions between Junctions 41 and 42 in South Wales because of high winds on the Briton Ferry bridge.

And a stretch of the A465 in South Wales was also shut by police after a river burst its banks.

This afternoon a gust of 87mph was recorded at Seven Stones in Cornwall.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning, in place from 3pm on Sunday to 6am on Monday.

Two accidents happened on the M4 this afternoon as rain and high winds created havoc, Wales Online reports , forcing lane closures at Swansea and Bridgend.

At Porthcawl near Bridgend, the storm lashed waves over the top of the lighthouse.

High winds are causing a hazard, with police in Derbyshire warning that a fallen tree would be there "for quite some time", Derbyshire Live reports.

Forecasters predicted the storm would be severe enough to risk injuries and danger to life from flying debris and large waves.

The Met Office said there could also be damage to buildings and trees, with road hazards and power cuts possible.

It is warning people to be aware of possible hazards including tiles being blown from roofs, fallen branches, and beach material being thrown on to sea fronts and coastal roads.

Highways England has urged drivers to plan ahead and check forecasts before setting off.

Snow fell in the northern Pennines and Scottish Borders, serving notice that last week’s warm weather was a false dawn and that winter still packs a punch.

The Met Office said: "Storm Freya is expected to push quickly north-east across parts of England and Wales through Sunday afternoon and evening, before clearing into the North Sea through the early part of Monday.

"Gusts of 55-65 mph are likely widely, with the potential for gusts of 70-80 mph for coastal parts of Cornwall, northern Devon, Wales and north-west England.

"The very highest winds look likely to occur on Sunday evening over parts of coastal Wales."

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World News

Almost 200 people stranded since Sunday after train hits fallen tree in blizzard

Around 200 passengers were trapped on a train for two nights after it crashed into a tree that had fallen across the tracks in heavy snow.

Travellers on the Amtrak service had to stay put because a blizzard dumped 4ft of snow and made it impossible to get to them.

The Coast Starlight train 11, which is popular with tourists and was traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles, got stuck at 6pm on Sunday night when branches damaged its engine.

During the 36 hour nightmare, travellers rationed food, ran out of drinking water and made makeshift nappies out of washcloths and safety pins.

They passed the time by dancing in the aisles, making friends with strangers and sharing phones to call family as only one mobile network had a signal.

Operator Amtrak kept the passengers on the train because it still had power but the nearest town, Oakridge in Oregon, did not due to the snow.

Passengers said that after the snack cart ran out of food people in first class were fed from the restaurant, followed by those in business class and lastly those in coach.

They also complained that Amtrak was charging people for food, water and blankets but the company said in a tweet they would be free.

Carly Bigby, one of the passengers on board, said: "The worst of it has been the lack of communication from Amtrak."

She added: "The snack car is officially out and we have just had our last meal which was a light dinner with rice.

"A lot of the older kids have been really good but they’re having to run up and down and it’s a lot, especially the food – it’s not really food they’re liking. Moms are doing all they can right now."

Passenger Rebekah Dodson said: "We can’t get off the train because there’s four feet of snow in every direction, there’s nowhere to go."

She described the atmosphere as like a "giant kumbaya party" as one teenager got out a ukulele to serenade the children to sleep.

Some students had panicked because they feared their professors would not see the delay as a valid excuse for missing deadlines, according to reports.

The train, originally bound for Los Angeles, has since arrived in Eugene, Oregon, for servicing.

A Union Pacific locomotive towed the train back to Eugene after crews cleared the tracks overnight, according to a spokesman. 

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Met Office confirms today is the UK’s hottest February day ever

The UK has shattered a 21-year-old record for the hottest February day on record after the temperature hit 20.3C in Trawsgoed in Wales.

The previous record of 19.7C was set in Greenwich, southeast London, on February 13, 1998.

It is the first time on record it has been 20C in winter and the earliest in a calendar year since March 2, 1977, the Met Office says.

Britons have been basking in a spring-like February heatwave that has sent temperatures soaring exactly a year after the Beast from the East brought heavy snow and freezing cold.

Meteorologists have been left stunned, with the BBC’s Tomasz Schafernaker calling the new record "utterly astonishing".

Monday was the warmest day of the year so far with Britons abandoning their bulky coats and heading out in T-shirts and shorts – but the rare winter heatwave will soon come to a harsh end.

Severe storms will bring heavy rain and gale-force winds from next week, with snow expected over higher ground.

Temperatures have been 10 degrees higher than usual for this time of year, sending Britons to beaches and parks at a time when many spend thousands to fly to places such as the Mediterranean or Canary Islands just to get some sun.

It is officially considered a heatwave because it meets the criteria of having a temperature at least 5C above the seasonal average for five straight days.

Monday’s high in Trawsgoed, Ceredigion, is the hottest February temperature ever recorded in Wales, a day after the west-coast beauty spot of Gogerddan in Cardiganshire hit 19.1C, the warmest Welsh day in February since 1990.

Last week, Scotland’s 120-year-old record for the hottest February day was smashed as Aboyne hit 18.3C, beating the previous high of 17.9C in Aberdeen on February 22, 1897.

While many have been enjoying the warm weather, hay fever sufferers may be affected earlier than usual.

The warm weather will continue on Tuesday – with temperatures in the high teens again – before things begin to return to normal and severe storms sweep in from the Atlantic, heralding the arrival of March.

After the new February record was set, former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas tweeted: "This isn’t some jovial Guinness World Record. This is a climate emergency. Ministers must get off their sun loungers."

Snow is likely at times over high ground in the northwest while the rest of the country is battered by wet and windy conditions from next week, the Met Office warned.

Overnight, clear spells will allow for frost and patchy mist and fog to form again, and it will be breezy and cloudy in the far northwest of Scotland leading into Tuesday morning.

Temperatures will drop to the freezing mark in parts of England and Wales, and 3C in Northern Ireland, while northern Scotland will be the warmest place, with 8C expected in Stornoway.

Tuesday will be a carbon copy of Monday, with another largely sunny day and warm temperatures in the high teens or possibly 20C again.

Further spells of fog are expected on Wednesday, with mild temperatures lingering.

But it will not be as warm.

The Met Office said it will become less mild and unsettled from Thursday, with some heavy showers possible.

In its long-term forecast, the forecaster is predicting rain and less mild temperatures, with overnight frosts through the early days of March.

Next week, the entire country is likely to see spells of wet and windy weather.

The Met Office warned: "Strong winds and gales in exposed areas are possible, particularly in the northwest, with snow at times over high ground here.

"Temperatures should return nearer to normal, and it will feel quite cold in any windy spells."

Met Office five-day weather forecast


It will feel warm and spring-like for most, but chilly on some coasts.

Monday night

Clear spells will allow for frost and patchy mist and fog to form.

It will be breezy and cloudy in the far northwest of Scotland.


Any early fog will clear, to give a largely sunny day.

It will feel warm once again, although it will be cloudy at times for the far northwest.

Wednesday to Friday

After early fog on Wednesday, it will be mild, with sunny spells.

It will become less mild and unsettled from Thursday though, with some heavy showers possible.

Severe storms to strike Britain

The Met Office’s extended forecast for Friday 1 March to Sunday 10 March predicts a return of wet and windy weather, and snow.

It says: "A change to less mild and more changeable conditions is likely by Friday, but the timings and detail are very uncertain.

"Many areas may see some showery rain, but the northwest of the UK is most likely to see wetter, windier conditions.

"Becoming less mild than recently, with overnight frosts still possible.

"There are weaker signals however for drier, more settled weather to continue.

"By early next week the change to more unsettled weather becomes increasingly likely across the whole country.

"Spells of wet and windy weather interspersed with drier, brighter periods.

"Strong winds and gales in exposed areas are possible, particularly in the northwest, with snow at times over high ground here.

"Temperatures should return nearer to normal, and it will feel quite cold in any windy spells."

Wet and windy weather in the west

The rest of March will bring further weather storms with spells of cloud, rain and strong winds, but there will be spells of sunny and dry conditions.

The Met Office said in its forecast for Sunday 10 March to Sunday 24 March: "The extended outlook is most likely to begin with weather systems bringing spells of cloud, rain and strong winds followed by showers and some drier, sunny interludes.

"The wettest, windiest weather remains most likely in the west, with the best of any drier, brighter weather in the south, extending to central areas at times.

"Temperatures are expected to fluctuate day-to-day but overall could be slightly above-average.

"By late March confidence is low, but there remains a possibility of a return to slowly-evolving weather patterns across the UK giving some drier, brighter spells."

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Super Snow Moon myths and legends including werewolves and lunacy

After weeks of anticipation, the biggest supermoon of 2019 will finally light up skies around the world tonight.

During the supermoon, which is often called the Snow Moon, our lunar satellite will make its closest approach to Earth, making it appear both bigger and brighter than usual.

Supermoons have been linked to many myths and legends throughout the years, including werewolves, fertility and even mania.

Here’s a round up of some of the wackiest myths and legends ahead of the supermoon tonight.


For hundreds of years, many people have believed that there is a connection between a full moon and mania.

In fact the word ‘lunacy’ comes from the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna, who was said to ride through the sky each night.

While there’s little to no scientific evidence that supermoons cause lunacy, studies have shown that on the night of a full moon there’s a rise in both suicides and epileptic seizures.

The reason for this remains unclear.

Effects on menstrual cycles

Several early civilisations believed that women’s menstrual cycles were controlled by the moon.

Ancient Assyrian texts even contained advice on when women were most fertile, according to the different phases of the moon.

Moon deities, including the Incan Quilla, were also thought to have an effect on women’s fertility and reproduction.

Supermoons affect surgery outcomes

In 2009, a study published in Anaesthesiology looked at whether the moon’s phase has any effect on surgery outcomes.

The researchers looked at the outcomes of 18,000 coronary artery bypass graft surgeries, and compared them to the phase the moon was in when they were performed.

Unsurprisingly, the results showed no link between the two.


They’ve been the subject of many of horror film, and some people believe that werewolves could come out during this supermoon.

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The legend can be traced back to Germanic paganism, in which the initiation of warriors was linked to the transformation of man into a wolf.

Selene, the Greek goddess of the moon, was also said to keep the company of wolves, while the North American Seneca tribes believed that wolves sang the moon into existence.

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Why is it called the Super Snow Moon?

Sky watchers will be treated to a special astronomical event on February 19, when the Super Snow Moon lights up the evening sky.

The February full moon is a "supermoon", which means the full moon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth during its monthly elliptical orbit.

As a result, it will appear much bigger and brighter in the sky than usual.

"A supermoon is a celestial wonder because it is when the moon can appear nearly 30% brighter and almost 14% larger than a typical full moon," said Slooh astronomer Dr Paige Godfrey.

"It is one of the few nights a year when people really notice the full moon rising."

The moon’s closest approach will bring it within 356,761 kilometers (221,681 miles) of the Earth, otherwise known as perigee.

That’s about 50,000 km (30,000 miles) closer than it was two weeks ago, during the apogee, when it was 406,555 km (252,622 miles) from the Earth.

During the supermoon, the effects of the moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth’s oceans will be more pronounced, generating higher than normal high tides, known as "Spring Tides".

Tomorrow’s full moon is being referred to as the Super Snow Moon. That’s because, as well as being a supermoon, it is also the Snow Moon.

In early Native American tribes, the February full moon was known as the "Snow Moon" because the heaviest snow fell at this time of year.

It was also sometimes called the Hunger Moon, because the snow made hunting difficult, or the Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing by night.

The more northern tribes of the north eastern United States knew it as the Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signalled the end of winter.

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Get set for 'super snow moon,' the biggest supermoon of the year

Amazing pictures of the super blood moon

People from across the globe gazed in awe at 2019’s only total lunar eclipse that was called a super blood moon because of its huge size and reddish hue.

Skygazers will be treated to the “super snow moon,” on Feb. 19, the largest supermoon of 2019.

February’s full moon is known as the “snow moon” as a result of the heavy snowfall that often occurs at that time of year, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. As a result, the Feb. 19 supermoon has been dubbed the “super snow moon.”

Supermoons occur when the Moon’s orbit brings it to the closest point to Earth while the Moon is full.


“When a full moon appears at perigee [its closest point to Earth] it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon—and that's where we get a ‘supermoon’,” explains NASA, on its website, noting that the phrase was coined in 1979.

A supermoon rises in front of a replica of the Statue of Liberty sitting atop the Liberty Building in downtown Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. 
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Moon will be 221,734 miles from Earth on Feb. 19, according to EarthSky, its closest full moon to Earth in 2019.

For people watching the celestial event in New York City, the Moon will rise at 5:46 p.m. and set at 7:35 a.m. on Feb. 20, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory. The Moon will appear particularly large when it is close to the horizon thanks to an optical illusion known as “the moon illusion.”


Although closer to the Earth, the Feb. 19 supermoon will not be as colorful as last month’s ‘super blood Moon’ eclipse that saw the Earth ’s natural satellite turn a stunning shade of red. The celestial event was 2019’s only total lunar eclipse and generated plenty of buzz.

File photo – An aircraft taking off from Ronald Reagan National Airport is seen passing in front of the Moon as it rises, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 in Washington.
(NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Moon continues to be a source of fascination. China, for example, recently became the first country to successfully land a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon. In December, a checklist that traveled to the surface of the Moon with Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin was sold at auction in New York for $62,500.


2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing.

The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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World News

Winnipeg’s residential streets set to be plowed, parking ban in effect Sunday

Residential streets will start to be plowed tonight, and the City of Winnipeg is reminding you to keep your vehicles off the street.

People unaware of their zone or the rules when the ban comes into effect are being encouraged to visit the city’s public works website.

Knowing your snow zone letter is crucial in order to determine when your residential street is scheduled for clearing.

Zones E, J, L, M, O, S, and V will be cleared from Sunday at 7 p.m. to Monday at 7 a.m.

Zones A, F, H, K, N, R, and U will be cleared from Monday at 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Zones B, G, I, P, Q, and T will be cleared on Monday at 7 p.m. to Tuesday at 7 a.m.

Zone D is set to be plowed on Tuesday, and zone C will follow on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Global News

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World News

UK weather forecast – Snow to hit Britain AGAIN today hours after killer Storm Erik wreaked havoc

Just as the storm starts to fade away, forecasters warned that temperatures will plummet and snow could cover hilly areas.

It comes after Storm Erik battered the UK with powerful gusts of up to 80mph, causing three deaths and travel chaos.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin told the Express that rain showers brought in by Storm Erik “will turn more and more into snow” by this afternoon.

“Through Sunday it turns cold once more and Monday morning looks quite chilly,” he said.

“A band of wet weather will swing across Northern England on Sunday, that could bring in some snow over the hills.

“That is followed on by plenty of showers that will eventually turn more and more into snow across low levels in Scotland by the end of the day.

“People will wake up to rather chilly temperatures on Monday morning.”

The return of the snow could see temperatures plunge to -4C.

“More persistent rain and the risk of hill snow will push south-east across western Scotland, Northern Ireland, north-west England and into north Wales through the afternoon,” a Meteogroup forecaster said.

“There will also be strengthening winds for many.”


The warning of imminent snowfall comes as emergency services count the cost of Storm Erik.

On Saturday a kitesurfer died amid strong winds in an incident on the Saunton Sands beach in north Devon, although police would not confirm whether the death was weather-related.

On Friday morning a 50-year-old man died on the A384 in Buckfastleigh, Devon, and in Wales a van driver was killed after he collided with a fallen tree on the B4306 between Pontyberem and Llannon in west Wales.

Road and rail users were faced with delays as a result of the weather with speed limits put in place on the East Coast Main Line and drivers advised to take extra care.

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Incredible pictures show rare ‘snow rollers’ in Marlborough field

Ice work! ‘Snow rollers’ spotted in a British field are revealed to be an ‘extremely rare’ meteorological phenomena (and not children messing about)

  • Images show six ‘snow rollers’ a rare weather event that was spotted in a field in Wiltshire 
  • Circular formations are made as snow is blown along by the wind collecting more snow, layer by layer 
  • Forestry worker Brian Bayliss, 51, captured the pictures in his field in Marlborough just after sunrise
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Stunning pictures show an unusual cold weather phenomenon known as ‘snow rollers’ which formed in a British field during the this weekend’s snow system.

Brian Bayliss, 51, spotted the six unusual snow formations as he drove past his field in Marlborough, Wiltshire last Sunday.  

The cylindrical wheels of wispy snow were about 2-3ft (0.6 – 0.9m) in diameter and 2ft (0.9m) wide and had long trails in their wake.

Mr Bayliss thought that children had been playing in his field so went to take a closer look but was amazed to discover there wasn’t a single footprint. 

He sent them to a weather expert who told him they were an ‘extremely rare’ meteorological condition.

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Although they look as though they are sculpted by hand, they are in fact the product of the right balance between sticky snow, strong winds and cold temperatures. These incredible pictures show rare ‘snow rollers’ that formed in a British field during the recent snow storm

Snow rollers form when wind pushes snow across the ground, gathering it into a hollow cylinder.   

Bigger snow rollers can be a few inches wide and travel a couple feet, leaving trails behind in their wakes, although more condensed and squished versions can occur.

In order for them to form, there must be a light dusting of snow on top of an icy layer on the ground, often on a hill with no protruding vegetation. 

The dusting needs to be just wet enough so that it can adhere to itself but not stick to the ground, according to the National Weather Service.

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The wind will blow a small chunk of ice along the ground, leaving it to collect more snow, layer by layer.

While wind helps to form some of the rollers, bigger ones, like these, tend to form by rolling down a hill.

Mr Bayliss said: ‘I was driving to work on Saturday morning and I saw them in my field. It’s at a very high elevation, about 700ft, so the snow was quite deep up there.

‘I thought it was kids rolling snowballs, but as I got closer I saw there were no footprints in the field. 

‘I took some pictures and went on with my day, then came over later in the day and they had slumped over and deteriorated, I must have got them at the right time.’

Brian Bayliss, 51, spotted the six unusual snow formations as he drove past his field in Marlborough, Wiltshire last Sunday. The cylindrical wheels of wispy snow were about 2 – 3ft in diameter and 2ft wide and had long trails in their wake

Snow rollers form when wind pushes snow across the ground, gathering it into a hollow cylinder. Bigger snow rollers can be a few inches wide and travel a couple feet, leaving trails behind in their wakes


A snow roller is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind. 

They are also known as ‘snow bales,’ ‘wind snowballs,’ or ‘snow donuts.’ 

They are formed when wind pushes snow across the ground, gathering it into a hollow cylinder. 

Although some formations appear more squashed than others, bigger snow rollers can be a few inches wide and travel downhill leaving trails behind in their wakes. 

There must be a light dusting of snow on top of an icy layer on the ground, often on a hill or other expanse with no protruding vegetation.  

Forestry worker Mr Bayliss, 51, said he had ‘never seen anything like it before’ and when he got closer he ‘could see the sun through the middle, and they just made no sense’.

He captured the images shortly after sunrise on Saturday and sent his images to the BBC, and their weather expert Ian Fergusson recognised them.

‘Ian Fergusson, their weatherman, saw them and got one of their team to call me and tell me it’s a really rare phenomenon.

‘He told me they were some of the best pictures he’s ever seen, it all kind of snowballed from there.’  

In order for them to form, there must be a light dusting of snow on top of an icy layer on the ground, often on a hill with no protruding vegetation. The dusting needs to be just wet enough so that it can adhere to itself but not stick to the ground, according to the National Weather Service

Forestry worker Mr Bayliss, 51, said he had ‘never seen anything like it before’ and when he got closer he ‘could see the sun through the middle, and they just made no sense’. He captured the images shortly after sunrise on Saturday and sent his images to the BBC

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Fergusson added: These are truly beautiful photos of a very rare meteorological phenomenon – called snow rollers or snow bales. Brian was very lucky to see these.

‘Conditions have to be just right for snow rollers to occur: a smooth, un-vegetated hillside, such as in this case near Marlborough, enhances the chance of them being formed.

‘A layer of thin snow, settled atop existing ice and not sticking to it, combined with specific temperature, moisture level and wind speed, are fundamental to the creation of these natural oddities.’

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UK weather – snow and -6C icy temperatures forecast to hit Britain tonight, Met Office warns

Drivers are encouraged to keep off the roads due to deadly black ice as officials warned people could injure themselves by "slipping and falling" on icy surfaces.

But towards the end of the week Brits could be looking at much warmer temperatures, with ice and snow no longer dominating the roads.

Last night was predicted to be the coldest night of winter in the UK with temperatures tipped to plunge to -16C.

However, temperatures dropped to -12.6C in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, falling just short of the -15.4C record.

But the record in England was smashed last night after temperatures plummeted to -11.7C in Chillingham Barns in Northumberland in the early hours of Sunday morning.

This resulted in the Met Office today issuing a fresh yellow warning for ice and snow across Scotland.

The Met Office warned: "Icy stretches will be the main hazard on Saturday evening, overnight and Sunday morning

"Snow and Ice will affect travel across parts of Scotland from Sunday evening into Monday."


In a chilling warning for motorists to stay off the roads, forecaster Simon Partridge told The Telegraph: "The main concern is black ice on the roadways, and we simply need time to get to the most at-risk areas.'

"If you can travel later, please do," he added.

"Today is a Sunday, thankfully, so there are expected to be fewer cars on the roads."

He added: "Monday morning has -6C possible in Scotland and -3C in northern England.

"Snow showers are forecast on Sunday and Monday in Scotland, with rain in England as it turns milder and windier.

"Gusts are forecast to reach 40mph on Monday in the West and 50mph on Thursday in western Scotland.

"Most forecast models agree temperatures will dip again from around February 14 onwards, with potential for temperatures well below zero, further snow showers and a north to north-easterly flow, although there is uncertainty."

Parts of Britain are even too cold for grit to work, according to the Department for Transport.

According to its Well-Maintained Highways guide, “spreading salt at temperatures below -5C and humidity below 80% may not prevent freezing or melt ice".

But the plummeting temperatures will be short lived, with milder air expected to push its way across the country from Sunday, the Met Office said.


Met Office meteorologist Sarah Kent said tomorrow would see "cloudy outbreaks of rain in central and southern England that will clear slowly.

"By mid-afternoon Wales and Northern England will start seeing wintry sunshine.

"On Monday night we will see cloud eventually clearing away, leaving a largely dry night for all of the UK.

"By Tuesday morning it's going to be very cold with a widespread frost with areas of freezing fog.

"Temperatures will vary quite widely between 0 and -3C, but in Scotland could dip as low as -C.

"But from Tuesday onwards it will become less cold as more Atlantic air will come in, with wind, rain and showers expected for the rest of the week."

Temperatures would be "recovering" to a more seasonal average, Ms Kent said, with highs of 11C expected tomorrow in Cardiff.

The Met Office's Simon Fisher added: "That is the beginning of milder air pushing its way in across the UK next week," he said, stating temperatures will be "nearer normal".

He added: "As a result it will be more unsettled, so windier and wetter weather through the week, so back to our normal winter."

Commuters going back to work on Monday are advised to check their journey before leaving as railways and some roads are likely to be affected.

Journeys by road, bus and train services are expected to be longer.

The Met Office says to expect "icy stretches on many untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths, particularly where snow is lying" and "increased likelihood of accidents and injuries due to icy surfaces".

Experts also warn against black ice, which can be formed by sleet and the refreezing of runoff from melting snow, as surfaces could become dangerously slippery.

Tomorrow has been dubbed "Flat Battery Monday" with cars predicted to have difficulty starting after being idle during extreme weekend temperatures.

"We’re as busy as during the Beast from the East,” said RAC spokesman Simon Williams.


Kent Road Policing Unit said it endured an "[incredibly] busy night" on Friday moving stranded vehicles to reopen the A229 and A249 after both were buried under heavy snow.

They added that they dealt with "numerous" crashes and accidents after cars were driving the wrong way down the motorway.

Motorists on the M3 were also stuck for hours after three HGV lorries jackknifed in the middle of the road ahead of today's -16C freeze.

One driver told the BBC he was forced to eat snow off the roof of his car after he became trapped.

Travellers on the M3 westbound between junctions six and seven near Baskingstoke suffered misery as snow and abandoned vehicles left tailbacks stretching to Farnborough.

And the railways were also expected to be affected this morning by the snow and ice.

South Western Railway, Great Northern, Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink have all advised of alterations to their services.

Debris fell on The Corridor shopping centre in Bath when part of its roof collapsed under the weight of snow on Saturday.

And guests arriving at the Longleat Centre Parcs in Wiltshire on Saturday morning were forced to sleep on the floor.

Staff had decided to let current guests stay in their villas until it was safe to leave — leaving the new arrivals with nowhere to sleep except in function rooms.

An amber snow warning was issued for an area west of London including parts of Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Buckinghamshire, with stranded vehicles and power cuts "likely", and a "good chance" some rural communities could be cut off.

On Thursday night more than a hundred drivers were forced to bed down in a pub after snow left them stranded as temperatures fell.

Motorists slept on mattresses on the floor of the Jamaica Inn, in Cornwall, after drivers were stuck on the A30 for hours.

Commuters were stranded for 12 and a half hours, a bus carrying 30 school children was rescued and hundreds of cars were abandoned on Thursday night as heavy snow hit Cornwall.

Six inches of snow reportedly fell in 45 minutes, causing travel disruption on the A30 and A39 near Bodmin, Cornwall.

Snow, sleet and rain is expected to whip back across the UK from Sunday to Tuesday, with brisk winds, although temperatures should rise as the week goes on.

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Britain colder than South Pole tonight as temperatures plunge to -16C

Britain will be colder than the South Pole tonight, as temperatures plummet to a bone-rattling -16C.

It is expected to be the coldest night of the year – and the lowest temperatures we have faced since 2012.

Drivers have been warned the severe cold means gritting on the roads will not be as effective as usual.

The coldest parts of the UK will be in the Scottish Highlands, where forecasters have predicted a bitter -16C.

Meanwhile, southern England has also been warned it could dip to -10C in areas around Basingstoke and Andover in Hampshire.

The region was also covered in snow on Friday causing traffic chaos on motorways across south west England.

But Braemar in Aberdeenshire in Scotland will be where the mercury falls the most – and will be colder than the Belgrano II research base in Antarctica which is expected to be -14C tomorrow.

On Friday, temperatures dropped to -15.4C in the town as hotel guests wrapped up warm for walks in the snow and had log fires roaring.

The base is the closest research station to the South Pole – 800 miles away.

The AA warns grit spreading on the roads might not help in areas where it falls below -5C and is virtually non-effective at temperatures lower than -9C.

If temperatures reach the predicted levels, it will be the coldest recorded in Britain since February 2012 but not as cold as the overall record which is the -21.3C recorded in Altnaharra in Scotland in December 2010.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for ice in eastern, south west and south east England and London with more white stuff predicted on Monday.

It said: "After dark, temperatures will fall rapidly and untreated wet surfaces, particularly those where snow has partly melted and then refreezes, will become very icy."

Further warnings have been issued for snow and ice overnight into Monday as rain turns to snow across eastern parts of Scotland and northern England.

Weather forecasters say the winter is not over and are predicting a ‘Valentine’s Freeze’ from February 14 with more plunging temperatures and snow expected for the second half of the month.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: "Exceptionally low temperatures of -16C in Scotland and -10C in England’s South are possible on Sunday morning, with ice. Monday morning has -6C possible in Scotland and -3C in northern England.

"Snow showers are forecast on Sunday and Monday in Scotland, with rain in England as it turns milder and windier.

"Gusts are forecast to reach 40mph on Monday in the West and 50mph on Thursday in western Scotland.

"Most forecast models agree temperatures will dip again from around February 14 onwards, with potential for temperatures well below zero, further snow showers and a north to north-easterly flow, although there is uncertainty."

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How is snow formed? Science behind the UK’s cold weather

Snow is a bit of a mixed blessing. Many love it, and lots of places in the UK it’s rare enough to still be a bit of a treat – with apologies, of course, to those who live in parts of the country that get a lot of the white stuff.

Some predictions have suggested that 2019 would bring record low temperatures, incredible snowfall and snow hurricanes.

We certainly have had some freezing temperatures. Wales and Northern Ireland saw gusts as high as 55 miles per hour.

The wind, which has come from the Arctic, is making it seem like we have sub-zero temperatures, but thermometers might report them as higher by as much as seven degrees.

All of this means there’s a greater chance of snow, but what’s the science behind the white stuff and what causes it?

What is snow, how is it formed?

Snow forms as individual snow crystals when a very cold water droplet meets either a pollen or dust particle in the sky. This makes an ice crystal which will then fall towards the ground, as it does more water vapour freezes to it.

Why doesn’t it snow much in the UK?

We’re unlucky in this regard because, and you won’t believe this, most of England is too warm for snow most of the year.

We have reasonably mild winters in the UK because we are in the path of the Gulf Stream. Without it we would have winters as cold as Canada.

However theories have suggested that we might see a reduction in the warm sea currents that bring in the warmer air. If that happens then the UK would cool significantly – creating a higher chance of snow.

Is it too cold to snow?

You might have heard people say that it’s "too cold to snow" but in fact that’s not the case.

Heavy snow tends to fall when the temperature near the ground is around -10 degrees celsius. At around -18 degrees celsius heavy snow is much less likely because the capacity of the air to hold water vapour decreases.

So, on planet Earth, there’s always a chance of snow no matter how low the temperatures go.

Is every snowflake unique?

Not quite. The chances of finding two the same is tiny because every snowflake takes a different path to earth and forms in different temperatures.

That makes finding two the same very small indeed.

However snowflakes all form in a very similar way because the water molecules all line up in a specific way. Snowflakes will always have six sides though.

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Police stop ‘death wish’ driver who could barely see through snow on windscreen

Police pulled over a "death wish" driver who could barely see through their windscreen after clearing just a tiny patch of snow before hitting the road.

Photos show a black Ford Fiesta almost completely covered in snow, with tiny spaces cleared on the front and back windows, which also appear to be frosted over.

The car was pulled over by Police Scotland officers on the A9 in Thurso, in the Highlands, earlier Tuesday morning, where "appropriate action" was taken against the driver, the force said.

Officers made the traffic stop as the region was hit by heavy snow from a system that threatened to dump up to 10cm.

The Met Office issued five warnings for snow and ice for most of the country.

Officers who stopped the car posted three images showing how it was covered in snow.

One picture shows a tiny square cleared on the driver’s side of the car, whilst the rest of the windscreen is covered with snow.

An image taken from the back of the car shows an even smaller patch cleared.

Police posted the images with a message asking commuters to take care when driving in severe wintry conditions.

The force said said: "Winter has been biting for most of us this week, which means it is more important than ever that your vehicle is suitably prepared for the roads.

"Unfortunately not everyone follows this advice – officers on patrol stopped this car which was being driven on the A9 at Thurso in the early hours of this morning.

"Appropriate action has been taken against the driver in relation to road traffic offences.

"It is important before you set off to make sure your windows are clean, properly demisted and clear of all snow and ice before you drive.

"Also make sure that your roof is clear of snow as this affects drivers behind you and can also cause obstructions on your windscreen when braking.

"Winter road safety is not just about clearing your windows – take special care that brakes, tyres, lights, batteries and wiper blades are in good condition and well maintained. In addition, washer bottles need to contain an additive to stop the water from freezing.

"Be aware of the forecast before you set off and if the weather or road conditions are poor or dangerous then consider whether you really need to travel right away."

The post attracted hundreds of comments.

Agnieszka M’ochowska said: "This is lazy at an amazing level. Takes 5 minutes to get this done."

Ryan Forbes commented: "Priceless. At least they made a small window. Could of been worse,head stuck out drivers door window driving along."

Pat Harwood said: "Whatever happened to basic common sense."

Donna Wellburn said: "Clearly this driver had a death wish! Thank god they were stopped before causing an accident and possibly ruining/ending someone’s life."

Motorists faced difficult driving conditions on Tuesday morning as snow and sleet fall in some areas.

Traffic Scotland tweeted that snow was falling on parts of the M80 and M77 on Tuesday morning while Amey reported snow on the M8, M9 and A7.

In the Highlands, 10 schools were closed on Tuesday due to bad weather.

Snow showers could return on Wednesday and there is a risk of further disruptive snow and ice to parts of the country towards the end of the week.

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UK weather charts show SNOW BOMB forecast to hit Britain TOMORROW sparking travel chaos and power cuts

Crisp, sunny weather will give way to snow, sleet and gales as the Met Office issued a slew of severe weather warnings for the coming days.

The South is set to be worst affected in the coming days, with up to 10cm of snow expected to fall overnight from 9pm tomorrow and into Wednesday.

But snow could also be seen in the North East and North West as early as today, followed by widespread rain from Wednesday in northern areas.

The Met Office told The Sun Online:  "We are looking at a fairly unsettled week with a mix of rain, snow, sleet and gales.

"There's a potential for disruptive snow in some parts of the country, particularly in the South East area on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"In the South between 1-3cm is likely to accumulate quite widely on the ground, with up to 10cm in hilly areas such as the Chilterns.

"Temperatures will dip this week to as low as -8C tonight in Aberdeen, and could sink to -10C in Belfast on Wednesday.

"But the more widely felt temperatures will be at around -2C."


A severe yellow warning for ice was in place for parts of northern Scotland until midday today.

Tomorrow the Arctic blast has led to a total of three yellow warnings for snow and ice, extending into Wednesday for most of England.

The freezing air blowing from the North Pole will bring a chance of delays on the roads as a result of the extreme weather conditions, which could leave passengers and vehicles stranded.

Cancellations of railway services and flights are also possible.

Rural communities across the South East could become cut off and power cuts could occur.

Freezing cold winds reaching speeds of 70mph are likely to sweep across North East England, especially in coastal areas, this week.

While by Monday morning parts of Cornwall were battered by gusts of 65mph.

The Met Office said that widespread rain and snow was possible on Thursday, with some severe overnight frosts in store.

For Friday the Met has predicted sleet and snow in the North as well as continued freezing temperatures bringing the risk of further snow and sleet towards the weekend.

But tomorrow, as today, many areas will continue to enjoy clear, sunny skies accompanied by the freezing temperatures.


In preparation for the heavy snow Heathrow Airport has 185 now ploughs on standby and Gatwick airport has followed suit with 98 snow ploughs and snow-blowers at the ready.

Network Rail has also begun preparations, with 34 de-icing trains prepared to clear the way – plus 2,000 gritters are ready to take to the streets.

With the mercury set to fall to as low as -6C in England this week and lows of -14C are expected in parts of Scotland.

Forecaster Simon Partridge said: "A cold week ahead started on Sunday with a straight northerly, with air coming all the way from north of Greenland, near the North Pole.

"It stays cold certainly until mid-February, with the risk of snow and ice and the chance of easterly winds."

Exacta Weather’s James Madden said: “Next week looks like bringing further very cold weather and snow which could affect much of the country.

“Some of this snowfall could be heavy and towards the middle of next week there is the potential for some disruption due to the weather.

“We can expect more of the same through the rest of the month and through much of February.”

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Met Office issues urgent snow and ice warnings for most of the UK

The Met Office has issued an ice warning for almost all of the UK, and a snow and blizzard warning for parts of northern Scotland as extreme cold grips the country.

Britain is going to shiver through one of its worst cold snaps of the season, with some forecasts warning of thundersnow and temperatures that will plunge to -16C in some places.

Ice will become a major threat to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists starting Monday night as temperatures drop following rainfall, and wintry showers move into some areas.

The ice warning covers the entire country except for parts of Wales, the North West, eastern England and the northern fringes of Scotland, with the Met Office warning drivers to take caution on the roads amid an increased crash risk.

Public Health England’s cold weather alert is at level three – one stage below "national emergency".

The ice warning covers all of Northern Ireland from 9pm on Monday to 11am on Tuesday as rain clears and surface temperatures drop before a blast of wintry showers brings a few centimetres of snow overnight.

The warning extends to most of the UK from midnight to 11am on Tuesday.

The Met Office said: "A band of rain and hill snow will move south-eastwards across the UK during Monday evening and overnight.

"A brief spell of wet snow is possible on high ground of southern Scotland, northern England and north Wales, with some small accumulations possible.

"Behind this surface temperatures will rapidly fall away with some ice forming on some surfaces.

"Once the rain has cleared, some hail, sleet and snow showers will follow from the north-west, with 1-3cm above 200 metres and some small accumulations expected at lower levels."

Meanwhile, the Met Office’s snow warning is in place for parts of northern Scotland between 2pm and 11.59pm on Monday.

It said: "A band of rain with snow falling above around 300 metres is expected to move across Scotland on Monday afternoon and evening."

Up to 3cm of snow is likely above 300 metres with 10cm of snow above 500 metres.

"Temporary blizzard conditions are also likely with strong winds," the Met Office warned.

This week, temperatures in some mountainous areas of Scotland will plunge to -16C at night.

What are the dangers?

The Met Office said icy surfaces – roads, pavements and cycle paths – could lead to injuries from slips and falls.

There is a risk of travel disruption.

In the snow warning area, the national forecaster said there could be delays on some roads and railways.

It will be very cold across the country this week, and many places won’t see daytime highs above 3C to 6C.

Chief Meteorologist Steve Willington said: “The cold weather will continue to bring a risk of snow showers, icy conditions and widespread overnight frosts during the first part of the week.

“Though parts of England and Wales will see low cloud giving way to sunny spells on Monday, elsewhere, strong winds, heavy rain and hill snow will move into north-western areas.

"Wintry showers of rain, sleet, hail and snow will then follow from Tuesday."

Mr Willington added: “These wintry showers will be most frequent and heaviest in the north and west, allowing snow to settle to lower levels at times across these parts, especially on Tuesday night.

"Icy conditions and frost are also expected through this period and may be particularly widespread on Tuesday morning.”

There are signs of some less cold weather towards the end of the week, offering a brief respite from snow, ice and frost before they return next week.

Deputy Chief Meteorologist Tony Wardle said: “Our latest forecast shows signs of a change to less cold weather from Friday due to a westerly wind pattern, rather than colder north-easterly winds as previous forecasts suggested.

“Beyond this briefly less cold spell, it looks like temperatures will once again take a downward turn with the chance of snow, ice and frosts returning next week.”

Mr Wardle added: “Looking further ahead, there are signs for a generally cold theme continuing into February."

Public Health England’s cold weather alert is at level three ("severe weather action") – its second-highest level – in the North West and North East, and level two or one for the rest of England.

Dr Emer O’Connell said: “Experience shows us that every winter thousands of people are seriously affected and even die from illnesses linked to the cold.

"Protecting yourself from the cold may seem like common sense but many people do not manage to keep themselves warm.

“If you know someone at risk, someone over 65, anyone with dementia or a heart and lung condition, or a young child, check up on them and see if there’s anything you can do to help.

"All of us should be heating our homes to at least 18C, keeping up to date with weather forecasts and planning our days around them – simple steps can really help protect against the cold.”

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Snow hits Britain as Met Office issues warnings over icy wintry showers

Parts of Britain were turned into a winter wonderland as the first significant snowfall of the season hit, bringing blizzard-like conditions and hazards on the roads.

More snow is on the way in a bitter freeze that has also prompted warnings about ice and widespread frost.

Many Britons woke up to their first snowfall of the season on Thursday in places including London, Watford, Buckinghamshire, Coventry, Leicester, the Chilterns in the East of England, and Carnmoney in Northern Ireland.

There was a dusting of 1-2cm in many places, while up to 4cm fell in parts of northern England and Scotland.

A car flipped onto its roof near Crathie, Aberdeenshire, as motorists faced difficult driving conditions.

Is it snowing in your area? Send your photos to [email protected]

Freezing conditions have led to a Met Office ice warning for most of England and all of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, with forecasters warning drivers to take caution on their commute.

Some roads were described as "sheet ice".

Scotland is also under a snow warning, with several centimetres expected over the Highlands and Grampians and a small covering at lower levels.

On Thursday, hail, sleet and snow showers will mostly be confined to the north and east, where coastal gales are also expected. 

Forecasters have urged drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to travel with care, saying untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths could be covered in ice.

Temperatures dipped below freezing across Scotland and the far north of England overnight, with a low of -3.4C recorded at Great Dun Fell in Cumbria.

Patchy rain and sleet was beginning to move eastwards over North Wales early on Thursday morning, bringing the risk of icy stretches on untreated surfaces for people heading out in the morning rush.

Showers were starting to bring snow to parts of Scotland, with flakes falling on inland areas and higher ground, and snow fell as far south as counties around London.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: "Be aware that there’s the potential for some icy conditions out on the roads.

"Make sure you give yourself a bit of extra time – you will probably need a little longer to scrape the car as well."

The yellow warning for snow and ice for Scotland remained in place until midday on Thursday.

The yellow ice warning for Northern Ireland, Wales and England – excluding the far South East and Cornwall – expired at 11am.

However, a new yellow warning for snow and ice will be in place for the East Midlands, East of England, North East England and Yorkshire and Humber until 10am on Friday.

Britain could be facing a lengthy cold spell with a continued risk of wintry showers as cold air from the Arctic spreads across Europe.

Forecasters are also monitoring the risk of cold air from the east swooping over the UK increasing the risk of a repeat of the dreaded ‘Beast from the East’, which covered the nation with heavy snow for several weeks last February and March.

It will feel noticeably colder from Thursday onwards with overnight frosts and wintry showers down to lower levels at times.

A covering of snow is possible to the east of the Pennines in the Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Humberside region, while further accumulation is also likely in Scotland.

However, there remains a lot of uncertainty in the forecast from Friday.

A spokesperson for the Weather Channel said: “The overall pattern is for temperatures to remain below normal across the British Isles through the end of the month as we expect blocking high pressure to dominate across the north Atlantic to Greenland.

“This will result in cold plunges of air from the Arctic to spread across Europe with the continued risk of wintry precipitation down to lower levels at times.

“The much anticipated sudden stratospheric warming, and polar vortex split occurred at the beginning of the January. We are now seeing this anomalous warmth in the stratosphere slowly propagate down through the atmosphere.

“Research has shown that after a polar vortex split, this increases the risk of high latitude blocking and cold conditions across Europe.”

Earlier this week, the UK’s cold weather alert was raised to level two – "alert and readiness" – on the four-level scale.

The Met Office warned: "This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services. Please refer to the national Cold Weather Plan and your Trust’s emergency plan for appropriate preventive action."

Met Office five-day forecast


A widespread frosty start.

Sunshine for most, accompanied by hail, sleet and snow showers, mostly in the north and east.

Windy at first, with coastal gales in the north and east, though the winds easing from the west later.

Thursday night

Another frosty night for many.

Daytime showers easing in the north and east, leaving a risk of icy stretches.

Otherwise, turning wet and breezy in the far west later.


Thickening cloud, rain and hill snow gradually inching across western parts.

Turning windy here too.

Meanwhile, largely dry with sunny spells for many central and eastern parts.

Saturday to Monday

Overnight frosts. Cold with outbreaks of rain, sleet, hill snow and even snow to low levels at times over the weekend. Otherwise, wintry showers in the northwest Sunday and Monday.

More snow on the way

The cold snap will last through the end of the month and into early February, with an increased risk of snow, ice and widespread frost.

Snow is possibly "anywhere" in the UK over the next few weeks.

Here’s the Met Office’s outlook for Monday 21 January to Wednesday 30 January:

"Cold weather will predominate throughout and Monday will start with a widespread frost.

"Most places will probably be dry and bright during the day but rain showers are likely in the southeast at first.

"It will be windy in northwest Scotland, with blustery showers and further snow on hills.

"The showers may well spread further south and east on Tuesday.

"These are likely to bring hill snow to many areas, and perhaps some snow at low levels for a time.

"The timing of this is quite uncertain though. Unsettled and generally cold weather will continue, bringing rain, sleet and sometimes snow.

"Snow is possible anywhere but more likely over northern and eastern areas and over high ground. Overnight frosts remain likely."

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Where heavy snow is expected to fall as brutal cold snap grips UK ‘for weeks’

The Met Office is telling Britons to prepare for a cold snap with snow, ice and widespread frost after a spell of mild January weather.

The highest risk of any snowstorms is from late January and into February as forecasters warn they cannot rule out a repeat of last year’s disruptive ‘Beast from the East’.

Most of the country could see freezing temperatures and there are fears the brutal conditions could go on for weeks,disrupt travel and pose a danger to life.

Some forecasts claim up to six inches of snow could fall in parts of the UK by the end of the month, with many places seeing at least a covering.

The latest weather maps offer a glimpse into where snow could fall from late next week, although there is still some uncertainty because it is still days away.

In the short-term, Saturday through Wednesday will be mostly cloudy, windy and mild with some rain at times.

Things will then turn colder, increasing the risk of snow, ice and severe frost.

Blustery, wintry showers are expected in north-eastern areas on Thursday, followed by gales on Friday, when parts of northern Scotland could see snow.

From then on, the rain could turn to snow almost anywhere, but particularly across northern and central areas, especially later in the period between Thursday 17 January and Saturday 26 january.

The east could see snow showers during that period.

The latest maps suggest snowfall along western parts of the UK in the early hours of Monday 21 January before spreading east.

Snow could fall across a vast swathe of the UK on Tuesday 22 January, with coastal areas under threat on Wednesday 23 January.

About 1-2cm of snow is possible across East Anglia, the Midlands and as far south as parts of Greater London and Kent by January 23.

Maps suggest heavy snow could continue in eastern, central and southern areas on Thursday 24 January, with sporadic snowfall over the following days until another system hits.

Long-term forecasts are predicting another bout of heavy snow from Saturday 26 January to Monday 28 January, with the worst of it expected in northern Scotland.

Over the snowy period, some places in the Lake District in northern England could see up to six inches (16cm) of snow while Yorkshire could be hit by about 2.3 inches (6cm) and North Wales could see up to two inches (5cm), the Express reported.

Snow is also possible in parts of Cornwall and Devon, and Northern Ireland from late next week.

In its latest long-term update, the Met Office said there are signs that colder winter weather, resulting from a sudden stratospheric warming, is on the way for the UK. 

It has warned of snow, ice and widespread frost. 

The warming started around December 22 and winds about 18 miles above the North Pole reversed form westerly to easterly around New Year’s Day, it said. 

As a result of the sudden warming, the Met Office said, the main stratospheric polar vortex has split and been displaced across the Atlantic and Europe – a type of pattern normally seen in the spring. 

Unlike the ‘Beast from the East’ last year, this event is burrowing down through the atmosphere relatively slowly, the Met Office said.

Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Martin Young said: “The latest forecast suggests the highest risk of any severe wintry weather is from late January and into February. Whether cold spells will be brought about by Arctic air arriving from the north or easterly flows arriving from the continent remains uncertain. 

“However, before this happens we expect a rather changeable and relatively mild spell over the weekend and early next week, with some rain for most of us. 

“From the middle of next week, and especially during the last week of January and into early February, there is an increased likelihood of cold weather becoming established across all of the UK. 

"This would bring an enhanced risk of snow and widespread frost almost anywhere across the UK, but particularly across northern parts. 

"However, the cold weather may not affect the whole of the UK and it is still possible that some milder and wetter interludes will intersperse this generally cold period, especially in the south." 

Britons have been given an early warning after research found two-thirds have been caught out by severe weather.

The threat was announced as continental Europe is hammered by relentless snowstorms that have killed upwards of 20 people so far and spawned devastating avalanches.

    The Met Office’s outlook for Wednesday 16 January to Friday 25 January reads:"Cloudy skies and a spell of rain will slowly edge southeastwards on Wednesday, clearing most places by the end of the day.

    "Behind this it will turn clearer and colder from the north by Thursday, with scattered blustery showers, becoming wintry across northern areas.

    "Winds will be strong with a risk of gales in the north at times.

    "Thereafter, it looks set to remain mainly cold, unsettled and sometimes windy, with any milder spells tending to be brief and associated with longer spells of rain.

    "The rain could turn to snow almost anywhere, but particularly across northern and central areas, especially later in this period.

    "Some drier, brighter, quieter spells are likely, perhaps with snow showers, especially in the east.

    "During such spells, frost could become widespread and severe."

    In its long-term forecast for late January and early February, the Met Office has warned of cold weather, including snow, ice and widespread frost.

    This is the outlook for Saturday 26 January Saturday 9 February:

    "During the last week of January and into early February, there is an increased likelihood of cold weather being established across all of the UK.

    "This would bring a greater risk of snow, ice and widespread frost, particularly across northern parts of the country.

    "However, there remains uncertainty over the extent of the cold weather and how long it will last, and it is still possible that some milder and wetter interludes will intersperse this generally cold period, especially in the south."

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    World News

    Two skiers killed by avalanches in the Alps as heavy snowfall swamps region

    Two skiers have been killed by avalanches in the Austrian Alps as heavy snowfall swamps the region and icy temperatures grip Europe.

    The men, who are reported to be Germans, were buried in separate incidents despite being well equipped with safety gear.

    Rescuers dug out the pair in the mountain province of Vorarlberg but were not able to resuscitate them, reports Illawarra Mercury.

    It comes as the dangerous conditions also claimed the life of a Swiss snowboarder in the same area on Sunday.

    The woman is said to have veered off the piste in a curve, slid down a steep slope and died after she got stuck head first in deep snow.

    The heavy snowfall has triggered the second-highest avalanche warning level in Bavaria and Austria, while the small town of St Johann has been evacuated.

    Over seven foot of snow is believed to have fallen in ski areas in Austria in the past few days.

    Thousands of tourists have also been left stranded due to closed roads and train routes as the blizzards sweep across Europe, including Greece and Germany.

    Around 120 flights were cancelled at Munich airport while the runways were made safe.

    Meanwhile, in Greece, a 66-year-old woman was found dead after a car overturned in the blizzards near a stream in Keratea.

    The bodies of her husband and another man were discovered nearby a day later.

    Temperatures in central and northern Greece have remained below zero for almost a week.

    The Greek civil protection service has urged municipal authorities to be on the alert ahead of a further spell of cold weather expected to hit Greece today.

    On Saturday, firefighters also had to rescue two French hikers stranded in a forest on the island of Lesbos, the Greek civil protection service said.

    Meanwhile, the UK is set to be hit by a freezing ‘Polar vortex’ weather front this week which will bring arctic winds and cause travel chaos, according to forecasters.

    Snow could hit much of the north of the UK with the BBC warning of temperatures plunging below zero.

    Freezing and bitter wind chills will make it feel like -10C in some parts of the country.

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    Hospitals brace for cold snap ‘mayhem’ as Icelandic freeze grips Britain

    An Icelandic freeze is sending temperatures plunging to almost -10C as a top doctor warns the extreme cold snap will cause ‘mayhem’ for Britain’s hospitals.

    Public health officials have said the cold weather could prove to be fatal and hospitals are bracing for an influx of patients suffering from the flu.

    Through Friday and into the weekend, temperatures will barely climb above the freezing mark during the day and they will plunge overnight with bitter wind chills making it feel like -10C in places.

    Some forecasters are predicting even worse conditions later this month, saying a repeat of the ‘Beast from the East’ will bring heavy snow and another spell of brutal cold.

    Over the next few days there will be spells of freezing fog and frost at night as temperatures plummet.

    Public Health England has issued cold weather alert for the Midlands and northern England, warning that the chilly conditions will pose a danger to vulnerable people, including the elderly.

    Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said hospitals will be hit by "mayhem" this weekend due to the cold snap.

    He told the Guardian hospitals will face “severe difficulties” as lower temperatures will lead to a surge in patients needing care.

    He said: “Influenza is here and is already impacting the NHS and, with colder weather starting to set in, this will further stress already stretched services.

    “I and many colleagues across the country are anticipating mayhem this weekend as temperatures drop, but it will come as no surprise to us."

    Some A&E units and intensive care units are already full, with many patients suffering from serious breathing problems, he added.

    Things will only get worse in the coming weeks, he warned.

    It appears cold temperatures will dominate for most of January.

    Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said of Friday’s forecast: “For some it’s a cold start with a frost and for some it’s a foggy start.

    “The coldest air and the clearest skies expected across eastern Scotland.

    “Temperatures in some places well below freezing.”

    Isolated showers are likely over the far north, north-west and south-eastern coasts, with the best sunshine across southern areas and eastern Scotland.

    Showers will continue in the far north and north-west overnight, but it will be dry and cloudy elsewhere.

    Saturday will be a dry and chilly day for most with any fog slow to clear.

    The best sunshine will be in the east, and temperatures will turn mild across northern Scotland with occasional spells of rain by the evening.

    Sunday will be a cloudy day for England and Wales with patchy drizzle. Scotland will be sunnier.

    Next week will get off to an uncomfortable start, with rain spreading east and gales in the north.

    Tuesday will be colder with showers in the east.

    In the long-term, some forecasters are warning of a repeat of the ‘Beast from the East’ that caused chaos around this time last year, with freezing temperatures and heavy snow.

    Met Office scientist Dr Jeff Knight told the Express that weather patterns indicate there could be sudden stratospheric warming in the second half of winter.

    As a result, temperatures could plunge dramatically across the country and dump heavy snow in many places.

    Dr Knight said: “In our long-range outlook so far this winter what we have been saying is that the probability of cold happening is probably more likely later in the winter.

    “So, this year we have got a moderate El Nino event and when we have those what tends to happen is it favours more mild and wet and westerly weather in the early parts of winter.”

    He added: “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we were looking at another sudden stratospheric warning in the New Year.”

    Met Office five-day forecast


    It’ll be a dry, cold and often cloudy day with any freezing fog patches slow to clear.

    Isolated showers are likely in the far north/north-west, and south-eastern coasts, with the best of any sunshine across southern areas and eastern Scotland.

    Friday night

    Isolated showers may continue in the far north/north-west overnight, but elsewhere dry and rather cloudy.

    Under any clearer spells it will turn frosty, with some freezing fog developing by morning.


    A dry, chilly day for most, with any fog slowly lifting, and the best of any sunshine in the east.

    Turning milder across north Scotland, with occasional rain by evening.

    Sunday to Tuesday

    Often cloudy across England and Wales Sunday with patchy drizzle, but sunnier across Scotland.

    Unsettled Monday with rain spreading east and gales in north.

    Colder Tuesday with showers in east.

    Source: Read Full Article

    World News

    UK weather: Snow forecast to fall across Britain this weekend as mini Beast from the East to spark travel chaos

    Temperatures are set to plunge as low as -7C in parts of the country by Saturday night as Icelandic blasts bring snow and high winds to the UK.

    The snow is set to come nearer to the end of a five-day freeze, with the UK dipping into sub-zero temperatures.

    Craig Snell from the Met Office told The Sun Online: "There's scope that it could come down to about -6C and -7C in the real countryside areas, like the high ground of the Pennines and some of the glens of Scotland.

    "For most of the public, we're looking at falling just below freezing so the main towns and cities will be at 0C or -1C, the suburbs -2C or -3C, and then a few spots around -4C and -5C and then the odd spot at -7C."

    Building on that, Met Office meteorologist Ellie Creed said: “High pressure is currently sat over Scandinavia whilst milder air is constantly trying to encroach from the west.

    “The cold air wins out over the coming days, limiting milder conditions to the west of the country.

    “As a result, we’re set to see a widespread frost on Thursday night, with temperatures dipping quite widely to -1°C to -3°C.

    “In the absolute coldest spots we could see temperatures fall as low as -5°C to -7°C.

    “Meanwhile, occasional showers may well clip eastern coasts through Thursday and Friday, perhaps turning wintry over the Grampians at times.

    “These showers will be accompanied by a biting wind, especially in south east England, where temperatures will rise to only 5°C highs.”

    Looking ahead to the weekend, she added that a weather front coming in from the west will bring the risk of snow in some parts of the country.

    The Met Office has also warned of a risk of windy and stormy conditions across parts of the UK, with some travel chaos expected from freezing fog and icy patches.

    Ahead of the wintery conditions, the next few days look set to be fairly cold for most in the East as spells of rain fall on the West.

    Showers pushing in from the Atlantic look will make for a wet and windy week in the West however, particularly on the coast of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Cornwall and Devon.

    Gale force winds are also expected to lash the West coast of Britain on Thursday when gusts could reach 50mph.


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    American Airlines cancels 400 Monday flights

    Winter Storm Diego is history but major flight troubles linger in the Southeast.

    American Airlines, which canceled 1,100 flights to and from Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday, has canceled 400 Monday flights.

    Those cancellations are also centered in Charlotte, where it has a major hub. The airline said most of the flights canceled Monday were on smaller jets operated by regional carriers including its wholly owned subsidiary PSA Airlines. Those carriers shuttle passengers between Charlotte and smaller cities in the region.

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    World News

    Major storm to bring heavy rain to South, snow to North Carolina

    Heavy rain was already falling in the South on Saturday morning as western North Carolina prepares for the potential for as much as a foot of snow this weekend.

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    A major storm in the southern U.S. dumped significant amounts of rain in Texas on Friday night into early Saturday morning. Areas near Houston reported rainfall rates overnight of up to 2 inches per hour as bands of thunderstorms moved through. Bunker Hill Village in Harris County received 7.88 inches of rain over past 24 hours, while Lake Jackson saw 7.72 inches and College Station received 3.98 inches.

    The radar on Saturday morning shows the storm is primarily a rain-producing system, with the heaviest bands producing downpours east of Houston.

    When all is said and done in Texas and the Gulf Coast, widespread rainfall totals are expected to amount to 3 to 6 inches.

    As a result, the risk of flooding is extremely significant. Flash flood watches and flood watches are in effect from eastern Texas to Georgia on Saturday.

    On the northern edge of the system, there is snow and ice occurring with this storm. Already 3.25 inches of snow has been reported in Lubbock, Texas. Snow and a wintry mix are beginning to spread from the Texas Panhandle to northern Arkansas Saturday morning. Winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings are in effect from New Mexico to Virginia.

    The storm system will track to the east-northeast Saturday afternoon into evening. During this time, cold air from the north will be wrapped into the system, which will set the stage for moderate to heavy snowfall in the Piedmont region and North Carolina. Very heavy snow is expected to fall in southwest Virginia and North Carolina on Sunday.

    Further south, torrential rain will dominate, setting the stage for flooding in Georgia. Upwards of 6 inches of rain is expected in the Southeast once the storm has moved through by Monday. The National Weather Service has already issued flood watches for much of northern Georgia.

    Winter storm watches and warnings are in effect in the Southeast as well.

    The system will be offshore by noon on Monday, but it still will be producing rain and snow from Virginia to Tennessee and Alabama.

    Snowfall totals of 6 to 12 inches will be widespread in Virginia and North Carolina. Localized amounts of greater than 1 foot are highly likely for the mountainous western areas of these states.

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