UK weather – Storm Darcy to hit South East with 30cm of snow as icy Russian air sends mercury plunging to -10C

STORM Darcy is set to batter the South East of England with 30cm of snow this weekend – with travel chaos expected.

It comes as an icy blast of Russian air is set to send the mercury plunging as low as -10C in parts of Northern Scotland as the country braces for a cold snap.

Forecasters have issued yellow warnings for snow covering the length of Britain from today, with a more serious amber warning in place for Scotland's central Highlands.

Met Office meteorologist Sarah Kent told The Sun Online that parts of Kent could see up to 30cm of snow tomorrow – with travel chaos expected.

She said: "Over the Kent Downs we could see as much as 30cm of snow tomorrow.

"It could be really nasty as we've got strong easterly winds which will cause significant drifting."

A serious amber weather warning is in place for much of Kent from 4am tomorrow, with possible disruptions to power supplies and other services.

Other regions within the amber warning expected to be hit by Darcy include Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

Roads could become blocked by deep snow, with the possibility of many stranded vehicles and passengers.

Cold air emanating from Russia will move across the UK over the coming days, bringing "significant" snow to parts of Eastern England and Scotland, forecasters said.

Temperatures are also set to plunge in the coming days – with isolated areas of Northern Scotland seeing the mercury plunge to as low as -10C in the early hours of Monday and Tuesday morning, the Met Office confirmed.

Ms Kent said: "With winds gradually easing we will see temperatures drop on Monday and Tuesday morning.

"As the winds fade we could see temperatures could fall below -10C in sheltered glens in Scotland, particularly in the northern and Central Belt."

Meanwhile, the temperature will hover between -1C and 2C across the Midlands and the South of England, before dropping as low as -3C in London on Tuesday morning.

Met Office chief meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: "The UK is in for a notably cold and snowy period over the next week, with very cold air in place over the whole of the UK by Sunday.

"Showers will see snow accumulating across eastern areas. Within the amber warning area, more widespread snow is expected and we could see 5-10 cm of snow quite widely, with a chance that a few places could see 20cm or more."

Wales is also forecast to narrowly escape the icy weather.

Public Health England has issued a cold weather alert between 9am on Saturday and 9pm on Wednesday, warning those with heart and lung problems to take precautions.

Dr Owen Landeg, group leader, extreme events and health protection at PHE, said: "Cold weather isn't just uncomfortable, it can have a serious impact on health. For older people and those with heart and lung problems, it can increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections.

"So it's really crucial at this time, especially ahead of a very cold snap, to remember to check on frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses.

"Make a call, or socially distanced doorstep visit if they live close by, to remind them of some simple but important health tips such as heating their home to at least 18C, 64.4F, and to keep up to date with the forecast.

"It's also helpful to check they have enough food and drinks and any medicines they need. This will help them to stay warm and stay well."

The Met Office say there is a chance of travel delays on roads with some vehicles and passengers becoming stranded, along with delayed or cancelled rail and air travel

There is also a chance that power cuts will occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected.

Rural communities could become cut off and untreated pavements and cycle paths could become impassable.

Mark Sidaway, Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, said: "Into the weekend, snow will continue across much of Scotland, and is likely to increasingly fall to low levels before beginning to move south into northern and eastern England.

"We are likely to see some very large accumulations across higher parts of Scotland especially, with strong winds leading to significant drifting and blizzard conditions at times."

There is already an amber warning for heavy snow covering northern Scotland in force from midnight tonight until 6pm on Saturday, meaning communities could be cut off for several days.

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