UK weather forecast – HEAVY RAIN sparks flash flood warning as bitter cold snap keeps dozens of schools shut

SCHOOLS are set to stay closed this week as Britain’s bitter chill continues – but Brits are bracing for flooding as melting snow and heavy rain build up this week.

Flood alerts have been issued throughout the South West, as Scots face more snow and ice misery this week.

Weather forecasters say temperatures are due to warm up this week – but there’ll still be plenty of rain in store
A yellow weather warning is still in place across much of Scotland for snow and ice until 12pm today
A yellow weather warning is still in place across much of Scotland for snow and ice until 12pm today
The big freeze which has gripped much of the UK will be replaced by rain and wind today, say weather forecasters

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “The rain that has been falling throughout the early hours of 04/02/19 has been greater than was forecast, further rain will fall until around 8am this morning.

“With overnight heavy rain and snow melt, river levels are rising more than forecast.

“Consider installing property level protection. More rain is expected today and flooding is likely.”

After the Met Office recorded the coldest night of the winter so far on Saturday, forecaster Simon Partridge said “things are gradually getting back to normal”.

But a yellow weather warning is still in place across much of Scotland for snow and ice until 12pm today, with up to 6cm expected on higher ground.

“We will see another weather system pushing in from the west and that is going to bring the hill snow to Scotland,” he said.

“Elsewhere it will bring rain and stronger winds across all parts of the UK. That will gradually clear away to the east, with some decent sunny spells developing.

“Apart from south-east England, where that lingers for much of the day, with rain gradually turning lighter, but it will remain cloudy.”

RETURN TO MILDER WINTER

As the country returns to work today he said the mercury could rise to 11C in the South West, up to 9C in the South East and Midlands and 6C in Scotland.

“It is definitely back on track in terms of temperature, where they should be for the time of year, back to a more traditional UK winter for at least a week.

“The rest of the week is just more unsettled weather.”The warmer temperatures come after a low of minus 11.7C was recorded at Chillingham Barns in Northumberland in the early hours of Sunday morning, the Met Office said.

But while it was the coldest night of the year so far in England it was not as cold as parts of Scotland, where temperatures fell as low as minus 12.6C at Braemar in the Highlands.

VALENTINE’S DAY FREEZE

It came as forecasters warned Britain is set to be hit with a -16C Valentine’s freeze too cold for gritters and yet MORE heavy snow.

February 14 could be the coldest for NINE years as icy conditions return after a brief respite later this week.

Over the coming days the mercury is due to creep up as stormy, snowy conditions make way for more typical winter temperatures.

But that won’t last long, as forecasters predict a Valentine’s Freeze will return icy conditions to Britain with lows of -16C, the coldest for nine years.

Forecaster Simon Partridge said: “We’ve got a lot more winter to get through. Most forecast models agree temperatures will dip again from around February 14 onwards.”

The wintry conditions are expected to continue into the half-term break from February 18.

Forecasters warned that the Atlantic low pressure systems will track further to the south, bringing slightly wetter conditions across the UK.

Strong winds are also expected to sweep across the UK.

The Met Office warned: “There is the possibility that frontal systems may bring wintry hazards, particularly if a more east or northeasterly flow develops. Temperatures overall around the average.”

A car gets stuck in a ditch near Avebury in Wiltshire on Saturday after snow wreaked havoc on roads across Kent and Hampshire
A car gets stuck in a ditch near Avebury in Wiltshire on Saturday after snow wreaked havoc on roads across Kent and Hampshire
PA:Press Association
A car lies at the side of the A82 road near Tyndrum, Scotland, as the Met Office issued another warning for ice and snow in parts of Scotland
Reuters
A car in a ditch near Avebury in Wiltshire today ahead of the -16C deep freeze on Saturday night
Press Association
The frozen ponds for the main flight of sixteen locks at the Caen Hill Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Wiltshire remain frozen over in the chill
Press Association

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