The met Office have issued snow warnings for Wirral & Merseyside on Boxing Day. They have also today upgraded their cold weather alert to a level 3 severe action alert. (for details & advice see bottom of page).
There is an area of rain, sleet and snow that is expected to spread eastwards across parts of England and Wales during Boxing Day before clearing during the evening and overnight.
The Met Office say that there is ‘a lot of uncertainty surrounds how much snow will occur, but there is the risk of several centimetres even at low levels’. ‘As precipitation clears, roads could turn very icy’.
A chief forecaster for the Met Office says: ‘A depression developing over the Atlantic Ocean is expected to track east, then south eastwards across the southern half of Britain during Boxing Day’. ‘A spell of snow is likely, even to lower levels, on the northern flank of this depression. South of the depression centre, rain will fall, heavy at times’.
He also adds: ‘There remains much more uncertainty than average regarding the track of this depression which in turn leads to uncertainty about the location of the heaviest precipitation and how much snow there will be’. ‘Where snow does occur accumulations of 2 to 4 cm are likely even to lower levels and in excess of 10 cm possible’.
BBC weather presenter Nina Ridge said: “Our main concern is what’s approaching from the south-west of England on Boxing Day.
“To begin with, we’ll see some wet and windy weather for the South West but it’s as that bumps into the colder conditions and as the intensity increases that we could see this spell of sleet and snow.”
Millions are expected to hit the roads to visit relatives or to take advantage of Boxing Day sales but they were warned to keep up to date with forecasts.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes said it was “breathing a multimillion-pound sigh of relief” at the apparent absence of a white Christmas, while the odds of snow on Boxing Day have now been cut to 5/4.
Spokeswoman Jessica Bridge said: “Santa brought the sunshine not the snow, and for that we’ll be having a sherry on him this Christmas Day. “The odds suggest the mild temperatures have saved the industry from a bumper payout by just 24 hours as white Christmas punters piled into the odds all month long”.”
LEVEL 3 SEVERE COLD WEATHER ACTION ALERT
The snow warning comes at the same time as the Met Office have upgraded the area to a severe Level 3 cold weather action alert.
The Met Office say ‘there is an 90% probability of severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy snow between 3pm on Friday and 12am on Wednesday in parts of England.
The Met Office say that ‘although snow is more likely in some northern and central areas, especially on hills, the weather will still feel very cold with temperatures dipping as low as -1C and mean daytime temperatures of 2C’. ‘More settled conditions are expected thereafter, although it is likely to remain cold with widespread night frosts’.
‘Strong winds will develop in places for a time, exacerbating the chill. As the low clears away southeastwards, cold air will move south across the whole of England giving a risk of wintry showers and icy conditions across England for the rest of Saturday. Sunday to Tuesday, high pressure brings lighter winds but with widespread night frosts and freezing fog patches which may linger well into the day in places’.
They added, ‘Because this type of cold weather can increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services to those that need health support, a severe Level 3 warning has been issued’.
Krista Mitchell, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “This year as a whole has been very mild, so this could be the coldest spell that we’ve had.
“As we go towards Monday and Tuesday, we will see overnight temperatures really drop, with widespread frost and most places dropping below freezing.”
Areas of merseyside saw a belated white christmas last night as snow fell acrosss the region. As wirral was turned into a winter wonderland there was reports of traffic disruption and Liverpool Airport was even forced to close its runway for a time as the snow was cleared. Look through our gallery of the best Wirral snow pictures we were sent by our social media followers here. Check out this video we took as snow fell in bebington:
Severe Cold Weather details & advice:
Stage: LEVEL 3 – This stage requires social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups.
Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, the elderly and those with chronic diseases or respiratory problems. Checking on elderly neighbours or relatives to make sure they are safe and warm is advised.
Please refer to the national Cold Weather Plan and your Trust’s emergency plan for appropriate preventive action.
If you want more information about how cold weather can affect your health please visit www.nhs.uk. If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, advice can be obtained from www.nhs.uk/winterhealth, NHS 111 or your local pharmacist.
The Met Office advise: ‘The public should be aware of the potential for disruption from snow. Please watch for updates to this warning. Especially if travelling’.
Wirral Council Social Care: 0151 677 6557
Arrowe Park Hospital: 0151 678 5111
Clatterbridge Hospital: 0151 334 4000
St Catherines Hospital: 0151 651 0011
Watch amazing scenes as Wirral was hit by the heaviest snowfall in 30 years in 2010:
By: Tom Munns (@cameratom1)