‘Scandinavian ice blast’ to hit Brits with snow and freezing rain this weekend

Britain is set to be battered by up to five inches of snow and freezing rain this weekend as a blast of icy air sweeps in from Scandinavia.

The Met Office is predicting that "large swathes of the UK" will be affected and has issued yellow weather warnings for rain, ice and snow in different parts of the country.

Travel disruption is expected in the hardest-hit areas.

Large parts of Wales are expected to be blanketed in snow, while small flurries could hit London and parts of southeast England.

A yellow warning for ice covers much of northeast England and large parts of Scotland from 11am, with torrential rain forecast across Cornwall and much of Devon in southwest England from 8pm.

According to the Met Office, the cold snap is caused by a "dense pool of cold air" coming in from Scandinavia.

The Environment Agency has issued 80 flood warnings and 249 flood alerts.

Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said: "As the rain starts to move north it will combine with cold air already over the UK, causing snow across much of Wales, where up to 20cm could fall in the highest regions.

"Over the weekend large swathes of the UK will see some form of snow, with warnings in place for much of Scotland and the northeast of England.

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"Even parts of London and the South East should see a small flurry, which is unlikely to settle."

Britain was battered by Storm Christoph earlier in January, with floods and snow forcing many to evacuate their homes.

There could be more carnage on the way next week with much of England and Wales seeing snowfall and widespread ice between Monday and Wednesday, with warnings over road closures, power cuts and risk of injury due to ice.

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Jason Kelly, Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said that another new weather front on Sunday would bring rain and snow east and north across the UK.

He added: "The most significant event in the forecast is a feature from late Monday evening, which threatens to bring rainfall across a swathe of the UK from the south and west.

"In the colder air to the north of this system the rainfall will readily turn to snow or even freezing rain, affecting a large part of England and Wales north of the M4 corridor."

The Met Office warning says: "The risk of freezing rain will be an additional threat across parts of eastern Wales and the west and south Midlands.

"Snow should turn back to rain lasting longest across parts of northern England."

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