Britain braces for a huge thaw and torrential downpours: Temperatures expected to reach 15C in some regions, while one month’s worth of rain is set to fall in just TWO DAYS
- Daytime maximum temperatures across the UK today will range from 11C to 15C
- Some parts will also be affected by torrential downpours and windy weather
- Water UK warn that the drastic change in temperature could lead to burst pipes
- Flood warnings have been issued to affected areas in both England and Wales
The mercury is expected to reach 15C in parts of the country today after almost two weeks of sub-zero temperatures, while one months worth of rain is set to fall in just two days – as Britain braces for a dramatic shift in weather.
Despite the Met Office issuing a ‘danger to life’ warning yesterday, temperatures are expected to jump as the cold snap will be replaced with warmer weather due to milder air coming in from the Atlantic.
Daytime maximum temperatures across the UK today will range from 11C to 15C — in stark contrast to the chilly temperatures recorded over the last week.
However, this unexpected change in weather will also be coupled with a month’s worth of rain in just two days as well as high winds for some parts of the country.
The mercury is expected to reach 15C in parts of the country today after almost two weeks of sub-zero temperatures, while one months worth of rain is set to fall in just two days – as Britain braces for a dramatic shift in weather. Pictured: Piccadilly Circus in London on Sunday night
Pictured: People ice climbing on the frozen Kinder Downfall, High Peak in Derbyshire, on Sunday. Despite the Met Office issuing a ‘danger to life’ warning yesterday, temperatures are expected to jump as the cold snap will be replaced with warmer weather
South Wales, the south and south west of England are said to be affected by the torrential rain which has prompted the Environmental Agency to issue five flood alerts, which include rivers in South Devon.
The Met office has also issued yellow warnings for these potentially affected areas.
The ‘Snow Sunday’ chaos is set to give way to ‘Burst Pipe Monday’ as temperatures rocket.
Some places will see a change of more than 20C compared with the brutally cold overnight lows just a few days ago.
The dramatic rise has prompted warnings from water companies, which say the sudden change could cause pipes to burst.
The Met Office has issued a number of yellow warnings for snow, ice and rain around Britain on Sunday, as well as an amber warning for ice which covers north-east and north-west England, East Midlands, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber from 9am to 8pm
When temperatures plummet, water can freeze inside a pipe and start to expand. This pressure can cause pipes to burst, with the water leaking out only when it starts to thaw.
Water UK, the trade association representing water companies, said unoccupied homes, public buildings and businesses were particularly at risk.
Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said that from today, ‘we’re looking at across the UK highs of 11C to 14C, so around about 15 degrees certainly higher than they’ve been.’
He added that it is not unheard of to get temperatures in the low teens at this time of year, but said the contrast of going from very cold to very mild in a day or two is quite unusual.
Pictured: Residents in Winnersh woke up to find their street and gardens submerged on Sunday due to flooding
The ‘Snow Sunday’ chaos is set to give way to ‘Burst Pipe Monday’ as temperatures rocket
A hiker makes their way up an icy and snowy hill as rain falls in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales. Snow and ice have swept across parts of the UK, with cold wintry conditions set to continue for days. Picture date: Sunday December 18, 2022
Last Tuesday, the mercury plunged to -17.3C in Braemar in Scotland — the coldest temperature since February 11, 2021.
On more recent nights, other places around the country have recorded lows of -10C to -15C.
Last week before the thaw Water UK warned households to check pipes are insulated to protect them from thousands of pounds worth of water damage.
Peter Jenkins, director of campaigns at Water UK, said: ‘The recent freezing weather has been very disruptive to many people. The last thing we want is for people to experience further disruption as temperatures rise, putting many homes at risk of burst pipes due to freeze-thaw.’
Yesterday swimmers and sledgers made the most of the wintry conditions with warnings of rain, snow and ice across the country.
The Met Office issued a ‘danger to life’ warning for ice across northern England with parts of Yorkshire and County Durham still covered in snow.
Some places will see a change of more than 20C compared with the brutally cold overnight lows just a few days ago
Last week before the thaw Water UK warned households to check pipes are insulated to protect them from thousands of pounds worth of water damage
In Derbyshire, a climber was seen scaling the Kinder Downfall, which had completely frozen over in bitter temperatures.
Yellow warnings were issued for heavy rain in the South – with many areas expected to see up to half a month’s rainfall in just 36 hours until tomorrow morning.
Up to three inches of rain was predicted on high ground in Sussex and Dorset with more than five inches set to fall on Dartmoor. Yesterday rain falling on frozen surfaces caused treacherous conditions, especially on untreated roads, pavements and paths.
But the ice was expected to quickly disappear overnight as warmer weather swept in from the South West.
Temperatures of 11C (52F) to 13C (55F) are forecast across much of Britain today, with highs of 15C in Cornwall.
The flooded fields in the Cambridgeshire Fens are used by ice skaters in the area on Sunday
Met Office meteorologist Becky Mitchell said warmer, windier conditions are expected this week, with gusts of up to 50mph on exposed western coasts.
A North-South divide is expected to develop towards Christmas with cold temperatures, wintry showers and overnight frosts possible in the North and higher temperatures in the South.
Miss Mitchell said the location of the dividing line was ‘uncertain at the moment’ but there was the ‘potential for snow flurries in the North’ over Christmas weekend.
Yesterday bookmaker William Hill With said it was ‘odds-on’ for a white Christmas in cities including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Belfast and Manchester.
Spokesman Lee Phelps said: ‘The word is that Arctic air could return on Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day and with that in mind, we think there is now a serious chance of a white Christmas in the UK.’
People ice climbing on the frozen Kinder Downfall, High Peak in Derbyshire
A hiker makes their way into a cloud up an icy and snowy hill as rain falls in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
Dog walkers brave the freezing conditions to walk along a snow covered Sandhaven Beach in South Shields
Snow remains in the Oxfordshire hamlet of Harpsden Bottom after another night of minus temperatures
A band of snow, sleet and rain is heading for Essex this morning after a dramatic sunrise over Danbury, Chelmsford
Britains may have been shivering through one of the coldest Decembers for 122 years, but ‘Snow Sunday’ chaos is set to give way to ‘Burst Pipe Monday’ as temperatures rocket
Icicles on the waterfall in the Old Amersham Memorial Gardens on Saturday
Snow covered trees form a stunning landscape at Brendon Hill in Exmoor National Park
The cold snap will be replaced with warmer weather due to milder air coming in from the Atlantic. Pictured, icicles on the waterfall in the Old Amersham Memorial Gardens
WEATHER CHAOS: A wintry scene near Richmond yesterday. Left: The burst main in Camden
Tens of thousands of homes are set to suffer burst pipes, with Thames Water at 0.6C (33.1F).
Peter Jenkins, director of campaigns at Water UK, advised that the rise in temperature could cause burst pipes.
He said: ‘The recent freezing weather has been very disruptive to many people.
‘The last thing we want is for people to experience further disruption as temperatures rise this weekend, putting many homes at risk of burst pipes due to freeze-thaw.
‘That’s why we’re urging everyone to check their water pipes are well insulated now and to follow our simple tips to protect homes against weather conditions.’
The winter of 1962-63 was brutally cold, with ten weeks of temperatures as low as -22C. But that didn’t start until Boxing Day – so the December average was higher than this year.
Tens of thousands of homes are set to suffer burst pipes, with Thames Water at 0.6C (33.1F)
Met Office forecaster Helen Caughey said: ‘After ten days, the cold northerly airflow will see a push of mild air from the South West on Sunday.
As the mild air meets the cold air over the UK, there will be a transient spell of snow, especially in the North.’
It means temperatures could be as much as 25 degrees higher at 6am on Monday compared to 6am on Friday.
More than 100,000 properties suffered burst pipes following the December 2010 Big Freeze, causing £680million of damage.
And burst pipe insurance claims rocketed 1,000 per cent after the ‘Beast from the East’ in 2018.
The Association of British Insurers says the average repair bill is £9,300. After the thaw, chills will return by Wednesday, with snow flurries likely around Christmas Day, especially in the North.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes cut odds on a white Christmas to 2/1 in Edinburgh, 7/2 in Birmingham and 4/1 in London putting hundreds of engineers on standby for tomorrow.
Insurance claims are set to jump more than ten-fold. Yesterday, residents were evacuated from their homes in Camden, North London, after a burst water main flooded their street.
Sixty firefighters scrambled to help, with one resident saying the road was ‘like the river Thames’.
Officials are investigating whether it was linked to frozen pipes.
Police and firefighters also rushed to stop more than two dozen people playing on a frozen pond in Wimbledon Common, South London, yesterday, just days after four boys died from falling through ice on a lake in Solihull, near Birmingham.
Dog-walker Kerry Hopkins, who alerted police, said: ‘I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
‘I asked a few people what they were doing and didn’t they see the news last week? But they said it was fine and the ice was thick enough.’
So far, this month is set to be one of the coldest Decembers since 1900, averaging just 0.8C (33.4F) in Central England – some 3.8C (6.8F) below normal.
The only years colder in the first half of December were 2010, with an average of 0.2C (32.4F), and 1981.
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