'Beast from the East' to linger with more weather warnings issued for North West

More disruption is on its way
More disruption is on its way

Forecasters are warning that temperatures will stay bitterly cold across the region this week with more yellow weather warnings issued.

The Met Office has said that snow showers will continue on Tuesday night and they will be occasionally heavy in parts of the county. There will also be a sharp frost with minimum temperatures expected to be around -5 °C.

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Experts say that bitter easterly winds from northern Scandinavia and north west of Russia are crossing the UK bringing not only cold air but also is a significant wind chill risk throughout the week making it feel several degrees colder than thermometers show.

The lowest temperatures of this spell are expected on Wednesday and Thursday, meaning the cold winter weather will continue into the start of meteorological spring.

On Wednesday strong winds are predicted to make it feel bitterly cold in advance of Storm Emma which will arrive in the country on Thursday and Friday.

A Yellow weather warning for snow and wind has also been issued by the Met Office for much of the county for Friday and Saturday.

Areas expected to be hit by the wind and snow warning include Preston, South Ribble, Blackpool and Wigan.

The winds will ease into Saturday, with fewer showers likely too.

Met Office Chief Forecaster, Laura Patterson, said: “This spell of weather is the coldest parts of the country have seen since at least 2013, and there is the potential for disruptive snowfall in many parts throughout the week. Transport disruption is likely in areas with significant snowfall and the cold could have an impact on people’s health.

“Low temperatures mean snowfall is likely to be powdery, bringing the risk of drifting in the strong easterly winds. The areas affected by snow will vary from day to day and so will the areas at the risk of major impacts.

"With the weather so severe at the moment it is really important that everyone keeps up to date with the forecast and warnings in their area, check for local travel information and follow the advice of local authorities and emergency services."

Dr Thomas Waite, of Public Health England’s Extreme Events team, said: “When the wind drives temperatures even lower, the risks to health can increase as even people not normally at risk from cold related illness can feel the effects more. This is why it’s so critical to keep warm; a good way is to keep homes heated to at least 18C.

“In weather like this our bodies have to work harder, older people, young children and those with long term conditions like heart and lung diseases, can really struggle to cope in such low temperatures. So do keep an eye on those at risk, wear several thin layers instead of fewer thicker ones and if you’re able, consider clearing paths of snow and ice. Staying warm will help you stay well – and that’s vital in exceptional weather like this.”

Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said: “Gritters are out treating our routes around the clock but it is still important to drive to the conditions when snow is forecast.

“If you need to travel in the morning, make sure you keep your distance and reduce your speed because, even in conditions that seem normal and when the snow is not settling, it can be slippery if ice patches have formed, or where fresh salt has not been worked into the carriageway.

“Drivers should plan their journeys, monitor weather reports and pack a snow kit of blankets, food, water and a shovel if they really need to travel.”

Transport Minister for Scotland, Humza Yousaf, said “Whilst the worst of the weather is predicted to impact the east of Scotland, the rest of the country is also likely to face wintry conditions, so I’d ask travellers to consider if they need to make their journeys during the amber warning periods. If you do choose to travel during those times, you are very likely to face delays and disruption.

“It’s inevitable that these conditions will also impact on other modes of transport, so if you’re planning to travel by rail, ferry or plane, you should check ahead with the operator to find out if your service has been affected.”