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UK braces for more snow and ice as 200 flood alerts put in place

The UK is braced for a cold and wet weekend as more than 200 flood alerts are put in place in the Midlands and across the south of England.

Yellow warnings for snow and ice are in force for much of Scotland through Friday and Saturday, with the Met Office warning of the power cuts and travel disruption.

Dozens of flood warnings and hundreds of flood alerts are also in place across parts of England.

The recent cold snap sent temperatures plummeting well below freezing in parts of the UK, forcing schools to close in rural northern areas of England and Wales on Thursday.

About 10cm (3.9in) of snow was recorded in Kirkwall, Scotland, while 9cm was seen in Bingley, West Yorkshire.

A yellow weather warning for snow and ice covers southern and central Scotland that came into force at 12:00 GMT on Thursday and will expire at 15:00 on Friday.

A second covers central and northern Scotland from 15:00 on Friday until 18:00 on Saturday.

Met Office operational meteorologist Dan Stroud said temperatures in the early hours of Thursday reached a low of minus 13.8C in Altnaharra, in the Scottish Highlands, while Exeter reached a high of 13.6C later in the day.

“We’ve still got rain and many have snow making its way northwards, we have got further weather warnings in force,” he said.

“Temperatures are recovering a little, across the far south it’s generally mild.

“We’ve got a second band of cloud and rain moving northwards, it makes for challenging driving conditions.

“We’ve had the worst of it but it’s still not completely clear. Where we have falling snow we see there is a risk of a few icy patches on roads.

“The focus is probably starting to shift more towards ice, people should still be cautious.”

The Met Office said southerly areas of Scotland are likely to see some travel delays on Friday morning, while in central and northern areas, there is a further chance of travels delays, as well as disruption to power supply and other services like mobile phone coverage.

Disruption has been reported by Great Western Railway on the line between Bath and Swindon due to flooding.

Friday’s main flood warnings are clustered around Birmingham, Derby, Milton Keynes, and east Yorkshire, with several in Southampton, Bournemouth, Weymouth, and Plymouth.

There were two flood warnings in Scotland and 17 flood alerts in Wales.

On Thursday, 43.2mm of rainfall was recorded in Harbertonford, south Devon, almost half the average of what the area normally sees in the whole of February.

The UK’s cold weather comes just as the EU’s climate service says global warming has for the first time breached the 1.5C warning limit across an entire year.

In 2015, global leaders pledged to try to limit the long-term temperature rise to 1.5C, to avoid the most damaging impacts of climate change.

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