Drivers are being advised to stay off the roads as snow and fallen trees sparked fears of rush hour travel chaos in the aftermath of Storm Freya.
A yellow warning for wind lifted at 6am after gusts of up to nearly 80mph whipped a large swathe of the country on Sunday, with downed trees and debris causing power cuts and affecting travel.
The Met Office also issued a yellow warning for snow until 2am as heavy falls hit high routes across the Pennines, stranding motorists on the A595 in Cumbria.
At Spadeadam, near the Northumbria border, 2.4in of snow was recorded yesterday night, while Cumbria Police said hazardous conditions were being reported across the county and urged motorists not to travel unless necessary.
One motorist said there was ‘chaos’ on the A595, tweeting: ‘Shocked at how bad it is! Major problems in Cumbria due to the snow! Very severe.’
High winds, which reached 76mph at Mumbles Head on Swansea Bay, caused disruption on the rail network across Wales and the Midlands.
Meanwhile, police forces across England and Wales reported gales had brought down trees and blown branches into roads, blocking some routes for motorists.
The stormy conditions were expected to have eased by rush hour on Monday morning, although some rain and gusty winds and some snow will continue.
More than a dozen flood alerts are in place across the south-west, as well as two flood warnings, ahead of a fresh band of rain.
Met Office forecaster Emma Smith said: ‘By six o’clock on Monday the centre of Storm Freya will be out over the North Sea. There will still be outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow just clipping the coast by Newcastle and southern Scotland.’
Fierce waves crash against the harbour wall at Porthcawl, Wales, yesterday as Storm Freya brought strong winds of up to 80mph
Waves smash against the North West coast at Blackpool yesterday where gusts of around 70mph were recorded
Storm Freya hits the south coast of the UK yesterday at the 35 metre-high Longships Lighthouse at Land’s End, Cornwall. Gigantic waves as the wind whips up the sea towards shore
A person travelling through the A465 in Wales yesterday shows the heavily flooded roads caused by Storm Freya as the ferocious winds swept across the UK
Yesterday, the severe weather led to a car crashing on the M4 between Bridgend and Pencoed. South West Police later released the picture and wrote: ‘Please slow down in wet conditions. There is more rain on the way this afternoon’
Huge waves crash against the harbour wall in Porthcawl, Wales, yesterday as the Storm Freya causes trees to fall onto the roads and sees hundreds of homes lose power
Two crashes were reported on the M4 during yesterday afternoon and highway officials had to shut down a five-mile stretch of the A465 due to a burst river bank at Hirwaun, South Wales.
In Ireland, drivers were left tackling the deteriorating weather conditions as snow and sleet hit the N7 in Dublin and caused severe travel disruptions.
Partial road blocks were also seen in Cornwall and Devon after trees and power lines fell into the road.
Land’s End in Cornwall also shook to gusts of nearly 70mph as the storm whipped in from the Atlantic and left police in the Duchy of Cornwall having to take six wind-related emergency calls in the space of 15 minutes.
Yesterday Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith tweeted ‘The storm has arrived in Cornwall! Going to be very windy for next few hours
‘Six emergency calls in last 15 minutes regarding trees and power cables down! To the locals – best stay indoors and have a cup of tea. Emergency services going to be very busy for the next few hours.’
In Devon a gust of 55mph was measured in Chivenor, while 52mph was recorded on the Isle of Portland in Dorset.
Three men had to be rescued from the sea off Studland Bay, also in Dorset, after they got into difficulty in a dinghy.
The trio were left ‘cold and wet but uninjured’ after they managed to clamber onto a yacht that was at anchor, according to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Heavy rain also hit Scotland yesterday, with 34mm falling in Kinlochewe in the northwest Highlands.
In Shapp, Cumbria 22mm of rain was recorded and 18mm fell in Mona, which is on the island of Anglesey in Wales.
As spells of snow hit Cumbria yesterday, drivers were left battling difficult and dangerous roads and some routes had to be closed down
Drivers try to navigate the snowy roads in Cumbria yesterday as Storm Freya blows eastwards across the country and brings with its furious gales of up to 80mph
Road users try to tackle the snowy roads in Cumbria as winds gather speed across the country and bring with it dangerous conditions
Raging waves crashed against a rock in Devon yesterday as the ferocious Storm Freya brings with it winds of up to 80mph
As the strong gales hits parts of the UK a severe yellow warning for strong winds has been issued by the Met Office. Pictured: South Milton Sands in Devon
Waves hit rocks at St Agnes beach, Cornwall, as Storm Freya approaches and is set to bring strong winds of up to 80mph, dangerous conditions and travel disruption to England and Wales yesterday
A dog walker on Perranporth beach, Cornwall, yeterday as Storm Freya approached and is set to bring strong winds of up to 80mph, dangerous conditions and travel disruption to England and Wales today
A group of women try brace the winds as they try and capture Storm Freya on their mobile phones at Newquay, Cornwall, today
A group of women are swamped by a big wave at Fistral Beach, Newquay, yesterday as they attempt to take a picture of the ferocious winds
Spectators are left soaked by a wave as Storm Freya hits Newquay yesterday. The storm brought strong winds of up to 80mph to England and Wales
Volatile waves crash against the shore on the South Milton Sands, Devon, yesterday as winds pick up along the south west coast of the UK
A dog walker and their dog walk along the promenade in Old Colwyn, Wales, yesterday as ferocious waves crashed against the seal wall and out onto the streets
A car splashes into the sea water along the promenade in Old Colwyn, Wales, yesterday as Storm Freya hit the UK and brings strong gales
Early yesterday, spectators braced the strong winds and were swamped by a big wave as they tried to capture Storm Freya on their mobile phones at Newquay, Cornwall.
The storm also saw fierce waves crash against the harbour wall at Porthcawl in Wales.
Earlier today sandbags were in place at a number of tourist attractions as the ferocious winds arrived, with residents in coastal town of Porthleven using sandbags to stop the storm sending tidal waves into their living rooms and kitchens.
Freya will have moved into the North Sea by rush hour on Monday morning, although there will likely be some residual impacts in its wake.
‘We can expect some branches and a few trees being blown down and there’s also scope for some tiles being blown from roofs and also some power cuts as well,’ Mr Snell added.
A severe yellow warning for strong winds, which ran until 6am today, was issued by the Met Office, and covered large parts of the country
Storm Freya will bring very strong winds, major travel disruption and possibly dangerous conditions when it hits late on Sunday. The Met Office is warning of flying debris, damage to buildings and trees and possible power disruption with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage
Met Office graphics show the path of Storm Freya as it makes its way towards the United Kingdom. It’s set to hit western parts of the country first, before bringing fierce winds to the Midlands and North-East England. Some snow could also fall on Monday as temperatures drop to single digits
A yellow weather warning has been issued for large swathes of the country, including much of South-West England, Wales, The Midlands and North-East England and will be in effect from 3pm on Sunday to 6am on Monday
It comes just days after Britain enjoyed its warmest ever February temperatures and firefighters battled moorland blazes.
Met Office forecaster Emma Smith previously said: ‘Freya is bringing a real change after the warmest February on record.
‘Be prepared for problems with travel including delayed trains, planes and road journeys, and the risk of coastal and river flooding in the South West.
‘Gusts of up to 80mph are expected, with the strongest winds moving from the South West on Sunday to the North on Monday. There will also be 50mph to 60mph gusts on South East coasts.
As Storm Freya wreaked havoc across the country a train was left at a standstill in the Cotswolds yesterday after hitting a tree on the track
Snow and sleet was seen on the N7 in Dublin yesterday as Storm Freya hit Ireland and cause widespread traffic disruptions
Drivers were left tackling the effects of Storm Freya yesterday as snow and sleet caused travel disruption in Dublin, Ireland
A person carries their shopping bag through snowy conditions in Rathcoole, Dublin, as Storm Freya swept over the nation yesterday
Road users try to tackle the severe weather conditions in Rathcoole, Dublin, as winds of up to 80mph hit yesterday
Storm Freya arrives at Chesil Beach on the Isle of Portland, yesterday as the ferocious winds continued to wreak havoc across the south west of the UK
Tourists under umbrellas whilst out punting on the River Cam in Cambridge on Sunday morning with the arrival of Storm Freya which brought heavy rain and cold winds
Two women from the Brighton Swimming Club brave the cold and powerful waves of the sea to go for a swim in the sea at Brighton and Hove on Saturday
Women sail in a floating electric hot tub on a waterway near the River Thames and Canary Wharf, in London on Saturday afternoon
RAC spokesman Simon Williams warned motorists to take care due to the possibility of fallen trees and branches on roads.
Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, said: ‘If you do intend to travel, then plan your journey and take extra care, allowing more time.
‘In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.’
We could see lows of -1C in Rochester, Northumberland as the cold weather turns any precipitation in the atmosphere to snow. And temperatures across most of the country will be back to single digits again for most of the week.
Wildfires broke out across the country on Tuesday after the record-breaking 70F (21C) hottest winter day ever created arid conditions and left fields parched.
Firefighters battled blazes in East Sussex, Edinburgh, Saddleworth Moor, in Greater Manchester, and North Wales, as the unprecedented hot February weather continued.
After a period of record-breaking warm temperatures, rains covered parts of the United Kingdom on Thursday in weather more typical of this time of year. A woman is seen walking through the rain in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter yesterday afternoon
Extraordinary pictures from the scene show how a massive wall of flames turned the night sky orange with initial reports saying the blaze was about the size of one-and-a-half football pitches as five fire engines attended the scene.
Elsewhere on Tuesday the Moroccan air plume left beaches and parks surprisingly busy for February as sunseekers took full advantage of the winter respite and was so warm even pollinating bees were taking advantage of the heat wave.
Describing the sudden change in temperature, a Met Office spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘During the winter we usually experience windier and colder weather from the west.
‘But recently we have been experiencing a period of high pressure in the United Kingdom which has acted as a sort of barrier against this colder weather. And so we’ve seen above-average temperatures.
‘That has now moved on, and the weather is returning to normal. We’ll have more wintry temperatures next week.’
Storm Freya is the sixth named storm of the 2018/2019 calendar, and comes after Erik in February and Deirdre in December. Erik left three dead as it wreaked havoc on large parts of the United Kingdom, ripping trees from the ground and causing considerable travel disruption.