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UK Weather: Winter arrives as temperatures plunge towards zero

Britain is to get its first proper taste of winter at the end of this week, with temperatures plunging towards zero and snow and floods on the way.

Gritter lorries were spreading salt and sand against a wintry backdrop in Scotland this morning, with the Met Office insisting snowstorms are also possible at ‘lower levels’ in Northern England. 

Elsewhere, warnings have been issued along the North Norfolk coast, where there are fears high tides, whipped by the strengthening winds, will sweep over defences and swamp homes and businesses.

The Thames Barrier is also due to close, with strong northerly winds creating a storm surge that is expected to be funnelled along the Thames Estuary. 

As the mercury plummets towards freezing point, with temperatures already as low as 2C (35F) north of the border, police are urging drivers to take care, warning that trees could be toppled by gales.  

Weather forecasters say sleet and hail will batter Britain for the rest of the week, with lows of 1C (33F) after reaching a balmy 17C in some places just two days ago. 

A gritter lorry spreads salt and sand on the road from Cockbridge to Tomintoul in Scotland against a wintry backdrop this morning

Drivers in the village of Tomintoul in Moray, Scotland, had to scrape snow and ice off their windscreens before braving the treacherous conditions

Drivers in the village of Tomintoul in Moray, Scotland, had to scrape snow and ice off their windscreens before braving the treacherous conditions

A graphic shows the weather forecast for the UK over the next three days, with low temperatures and rain widely expected

A graphic shows the weather forecast for the UK over the next three days, with low temperatures and rain widely expected

A Met Office weather map shows how temperatures are falling today, with the mercury as low as 2C in some parts of Scotland

A Met Office weather map shows how temperatures are falling today, with the mercury as low as 2C in some parts of Scotland

A Met Office weather map shows how winds and rain have been hitting parts of Britain earlier this morning

A Met Office weather map shows how winds and rain have been hitting parts of Britain earlier this morning

A gritter lorry spreads salt and sand on the road from Cockbridge to Tomintoul in Scotland against a wintry backdrop this morning

A gritter lorry spreads salt and sand on the road from Cockbridge to Tomintoul in Scotland against a wintry backdrop this morning

Early morning swimmers are met with large waves on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside as high winds hit the North East of England coastline today

Early morning swimmers are met with large waves on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside as high winds hit the North East of England coastline today

A woman holds an umbrella and a warm coffee as she walks through the rain on a dreary day in Westminster, London

A woman holds an umbrella and a warm coffee as she walks through the rain on a dreary day in Westminster, London 

A woman wearing a face covering holds an umbrella to shield her from the rain on a miserable morning in the capital

A woman wearing a face covering holds an umbrella to shield her from the rain on a miserable morning in the capital

A jogger takes their dog for a run on a sunny but blustery morning in The Purbecks in Ballard Down, Dorset, earlier today

A jogger takes their dog for a run on a sunny but blustery morning in The Purbecks in Ballard Down, Dorset, earlier today

The view down to the Swanage coastline from The Purbeck Hills on a bright but chilly morning in Ballard Down, Dorset today

The view down to the Swanage coastline from The Purbeck Hills on a bright but chilly morning in Ballard Down, Dorset today

Swimmers enjoying the water at Langland Bay near Swansea this morning as the sun begins to rise on the skyline

Swimmers enjoying the water at Langland Bay near Swansea this morning as the sun begins to rise on the skyline

Bookies are offering odds of 4/6 for snow to fall in any major city by the end of the week, with temperatures to reach zero available at 4/9. 

Coral spokesperson John Hill said: ‘The big freeze is on its way with temperatures likely to drop to 0C before the week is out, according to our odds.

‘With temperatures plummeting fast, it opens up the prospect of many parts of the UK seeing snow later this week.’

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency has said immediate action is needed in North Norfolk, facing out on to the North Sea. 

Residents in villages including Watcott, Bacton and Salthouse, where there could be tidal flooding being expected. were nervously awaiting the worst of the weather.

Three flood warnings are in place in the north of the county, for the area spanning from Wells Quay as far as Bacton, with the EA warning that the worst of the floods are likely to come between 7.15am and 11.15am.

‘This warning is due to weather forecasts indicating that tides are expected to be higher than usual and therefore a surge could happen,’ they said.

‘People are urged to take care using coastal roads and footpaths and not put themselves in unnecessary danger.’

Elsewhere, there are several other less severe flood alerts in place across various parts of the county.

These state that flooding is possible in across the eastern coastline in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney areas, and in western parts of the county such as Hunstanton.

Met Office forecaster Alex Deakin said ‘It is going to turn much colder over the next 24 to 48 hours, Thursday particularly cold thanks to some strong winds.’

In the topsy-turvy weather, Britain endured its wettest day on record in October, with enough rainfall to fill Loch Ness.

October 3 brought an average of 31.7mm (1.25in) across the country, the most since records began 129 years ago.

The day of downpours came hours after Storm Alex battered Britain with 90mph gales. It beat the previous record of 29.8mm (1.17in) on August 25, 1986.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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